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2000 Milers

Completing the entire estimated 2,1​90 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one trip is a mammoth undertaking. Each year, thousands of hikers attempt a thru-hike; only about one in four make it all the way.

2000 Miler Listing

Each year the names of those who have reported hike completions in the previous 12 months are published in the spring issue of the A.T. Journeys magazine; the deadline is December 31 of the previous year. Our complete on-line 2,000-miler listing of all years is updated periodically.

View Current Listings

A.T. Hiker Photo Archive

Between January and April 2009, 12,779 ​Polaroid photos representing over 18,000 Appalachian Trail hikers were carefully removed from old notebooks, barcoded, scanned at 600 dpi, and placed into archival quality sleeves and slip-covered albums.​

View Photo Archive

Interesting Facts To Point Out

The number of people hiking the entire Trail has risen dramatically over the years. From 1936 to 1969, only 59 completions are recorded. In 1970, the numbers began to rise. Ten people completed the Trail in 1970, including Ed Garvey, whose thru-hike was well-publicized. The trend was further fueled by the release of Garvey's popular book, Appalachian Hiker: Adventure of a Lifetime. The term “2,000-miler” was coined in the late 1970s to help identify this growing group of hikers.

By 1980, the total number of 2,000-milers had increased more than ten-fold. The total had doubled by 1990 and again by 2000. More hike completions were reported for the year 2000 alone than in the first 40 years combined. The 10,000th hike completion was recorded in 2008.​

In the trail's first several decades, women represented only about 15% of those who completed the entire A.T. Trends are changing, though. In 2016, women represented 29% of the total hike completions reported.

International hikers from Australia, Austria, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Venezuela, and Wales have reported completing the Trail.

Hikers of a wide range of ages have completed the A.T. While more than half of all thru-hikers are in their 20s, many people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s have thru-hiked the A.T. The number of thru-hikers in their 60s is fewer than 500, and only about 25 people age 70 and above have completed thru-hikes.One person was 81 when he completed his 5th hike of the entire A.T. Teens comprise about four percent of thru-hikers; a very small number of children have completed the A.T. with their parents. Section-hikers tend to be older, with a median age of 40. Their ages at the time of their hike completions have ranged from 15 to 86.

2,000-Milers by Decade
1930s         5
1940s         3
1950s       14
1960s       37
1970s      785
1980s   1,429
1990s   3,337
2000s   5,929
2010s   6,008
Total 17,510

Noteworthy 2000​-Milers

Myron Avery with Measuring Wheel
Myron Avery

First 2,000-miler

In 1936, ATC Chair Myron Avery became the first “2,000-miler,” which he accomplished primarily in the process of flagging and measuring the original A.T. route.

Early section-hikers

Five others reported completing the entire Trail between 1939 and 1946, including a 1939 completion by George W. Outerbridge, who now has a shelter named after him just south of Lehigh Gap, Pennsylvania, on the first stretch of Trail he completed in 1932.

Hikers with disabilities

Although hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is a demanding endeavor for a person in the best physical condition and optimal health, hikers with a variety of disabilities have successfully completed the entire A.T. These include several blind hikers, an above-the-knee amputee, hikers with diabetes, and organ transplantees.
Grandma Gatewood
Grandma Gatewood

First female thru-hiker

Mildred Norman is the earliest female thru-hiker on record, having reported a flip-flop hike in 1952.  Under the name "Peace Pilgrim", Norman later walked over 25,000 miles throughout North America.

First solo female thru-hiker

Emma Gatewood, better known as “Grandma Gatewood,” mother of 11 children and grandmother of 23, was 67 when she first hiked the Trail in 1955. In 1957, she completed her second thru-hike at age 69. In 1964, she became the first person to complete the A.T. three times when she finished a section-hike. She was famous for wearing only “Keds” tennis shoes and carrying a small knapsack.
Earl Shaffer_850x605
Earl Shaffer

First reported thru-hiker

In 1948, Earl V. Shaffer became the first to report a thru-hike, walking the entire Trail from Georgia to Maine. He was a World War II veteran. Part of the reason he was drawn to hike the A.T. was to "walk the Army out of his system." He chose to start in Georgia so he could, as he said, "walk north with spring."  In 1965, he hiked again—this time from Maine to Georgia. On his third thru-hike, 50 years after his first, he became the oldest thru-hiker at age 79, a distinction he held until 2004. His memoir about his first thru-hike, Walking With Spring, is still in print.

201​6 Hiker Counts
​(updated February 12, 2017)

Northbound Thru-Hike (Georgia to Maine in 12 Months)
Springer Mtn., Ga. (estimated) ​3377
Harpers Ferry, W.Va. 1535
Completions reported  620*

Southbound Thru-Hike (Maine to Georgia in 12 Months)
Katahdin, Maine  ​490
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.  ​259
Completions Reported  102*

​Flip-Flop Thru-Hike (entire Trail, non-contiguous, in 12 Months)
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.    366**
Completions reported    125*
Section (more than 12 Months)
Harpers Ferry, W. Va.  761
Completions reported  154*

*Hike completions are reported on the honor system. There are no time limits on reporting; the completion numbers for 2016 will continue to increase by ​an estimated 20% or more in the coming year, and marginally afterwards. 

**Flip-flop thru-hikers start at any location along the entire A.T. and at some point change their direction of travel. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia is the most popular starting location for a flip-flop thru-hike--and thus represents the beginning for some "flip-floppers." However, for ​other flip-floppers, Harpers Ferry could be reached 100 miles, 1000 miles, or even 2000 miles into their journeys. Hence this number counted here does not represent either the number of starters or the number that have made it halfway, but something in between.

It's estimated that 2-3 million visitors hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail each year. Most enjoy day hikes and short backpacking trips, but each year a small fraction of those hikers complete the entire Trail. How many? Since 1936, more than 17,500 hike completions have been recorded by ATC. This includes thru-hikes, multi-year section-hikes, and several hundred hikes by people who have already completed the A.T. two or more times. We call all these hikers “2,000-milers.”

2000-Milers in Recent Years

Total completions recorded:
575 616 648
720 839 875
996 1027

Northbound 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Springer Mountain, Ga. (est.) 1,425 1,460 1,700 2,100 2,250 2,500 2,700
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
709 747 849 1017 1,130 1,270 1,383
​Completions Reported
397 433 467 549 589 690 674
Completion rate: 28% 30% 27% 26% 26% 26% 25%

Northbound thru-hikers walk from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Katahdin in Maine in ​12 months or less.

Southbound 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Katahdin, Maine 252 256 282 383 336 276 411
Kennebec Ferry, Maine
(152 miles)
187 N/A 209 293 N/A 262 307
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
124 115 135 184 167 169 196
​Completions Reported
71 50 84 80 94 84 90
Completion rate: 28% 20% 30% 21% 28% 30% 22%

Southbound thru-hikers walk from Katahdin to Springer Mountain in ​12 months or less.
Flip-flop 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Completions Reported 43 40 39 63 51 76 89

Flip-flop thru-hikers complete the Trail in twelve months or less, but start and/or end at a location other than the southern or northern end. 

Section 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Completions Reported 105 126 130 147 141 140 174

Section-hikers complete the Trail in pieces, taking more than 12 months. Some may complete the A.T. in two or three summers, others may ​complete the Trail on shorter trips over a decade or more.