If Nothing, Your Creativity Will Appear

The Appalachian Trail runs 2200 miles through the eastern seaboard of the U.S. I will probably never hike the entire thing, but I am a section hiker of the AT. While hiking, I enjoy the sounds and sights. I also love the jolt of adrenaline I get when a bear appears. Yet, sometimes the trail can get a bit monotonous. Thus, I’ve come up with 5 unusual things to do on the Appalachian Trail.

1. Select a rock.

IMG_1393I know that the last thing you want to carry is more weight in your pack. But, if you have the goal of eventually hiking the entire trail, even if it is a section at a time, carry your rock with you. When you get to your final destination in the future, drop the rock as a ceremonial ode to the miles you’ve hiked together. Also, take your time when selecting your rock. You’ll have millions to choose from, so make sure it represents you. Are you solid and dark? Edgy and sparkly? Round and gritty?


2. Build a fairy house.

IMG_1447On your next break where you take off your pack, drink some water, and just relax, build a fairy house. Grab sticks, nuts, leaves, and whatever else you can find in the forest litter and construct a fairy house at the foot of a tree. The fairies who bring the trail magic will reward you.

3. Find salamanders.

5 unusual things to do on the appalachian trailYou’ll be visiting hundreds of water sources. The next time to grab a liter of water, turn over a rock or two. You’ll find all types of salamanders and other amphibians just waiting to be observed. See if you can find some of the rare and endangered ones. As with Leave No Trace rules, you also want to obey Don’t Disturb the Wildlife.

4. Write a journal.

IMG_1326Although probably not unusual, as many people do this, you’ll want to record your thoughts, as you’ll have many. Most of the shelters have a place to check in, but you might want to carry your own writing instrument. If you’re not a writer, record something. Your smartphone, if you’re carrying one, probably has recording options on it. Use them.

5. Make trail names for your friends and family who aren’t with you.

IMG_1365Imagine what trail names you’d come up with for them if they were with you. Would they be way ahead of you, climbing each mountain quickly, thus earning the name “Goat”? Or would they be slacking behind at their own pace, earning the name, “Snail”? In my mind, my family members who didn’t hike got the names “Sunshine”, “Hustle”, and “Can Do.”
You’ll probably come up with your own 5 unusual things to do on the Appalachian Trail. That’s great. No matter what you come up with, have a super time and enjoy the beauty of the trail.


  1. Joseph Donahue

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  2. 50 Hikes 50 States Project-Georgia - Eat Walk Learn - […] The Appalachian Trail’s southern terminus is about 90 minutes north of Atlanta. If you really want to start your…

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handsome hiking couple

Chris and Steve, the empty-nesting nomads, travel the world, one month at a time, housesitting and Airbnbing along the way. We uncover urban walks, great hikes, and vegan/vegetarian eats that other guide books miss. And we throw in a bit about Forex trading along the way.

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