Earlier this year, Chris Sherman laced up his hiking boots and set off on a 2,181-mile, five-month camping trip along the historic Appalachian Trail.
The 30-year-old native Cazenovian, who admits to not having spent longer than one week in the wilderness at one time, began his solo voyage in mid-March and finished the trek in August with countless memories and a new hiking companion, his girlfriend Lily.
“It was always something I wanted to do,” said Sherman. “The longest I had stayed out in the wilderness before the hike was probably four or five days prior to that trip. Some parts were exhausting, but at no point did I actually want to give up. We had a few 100-plus degree days in Pennsylvania — we were in the direct sun all day and there weren’t many water sources.”
Sherman started his journey on March 18 at Springer Mountain in Georgia, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
During the five-month hike Sherman passed through North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, before ending his adventure on Aug. 14 at the trail’s northern terminus at Mount Katahdin in Maine.
“The trail was something I always heard about and was interested in. I read ‘A walk in the woods’ by Bill Bryson, it’s probably the most famous book about the Appalachian Trail, and you get a real good feel for the hike,” Sherman said. “It’s there, it’s something fun to do. It’s a great way to get outside and meet different people; there are nothing but great people out on the trail.”
Equipped with everything he needed to survive the voyage, Sherman said he slept in his tent mostly, although basic lean-tos were available every 10 or 15 miles for hikers seeking shelter.