I just finished hiking 2,700 miles. No, it wasn’t on one of those two trails. Not the Pacific Crest Trail of Reese Witherspoon’s movie Wild, nor Robert Redford’s Appalachian Trail from A Walk in the Woods.
In 1968, those two became the first “National Scenic Trails,” but ten years later Congress designated the third. Splitting the country’s midsection like a corkscrew, tight-roping the Rocky Mountains from Mexico to Canada, the Continental Divide Trail is acclaimed as the third jewel in the hiking world’s Triple Crown.
I was lucky — or plain stubborn. I finished the CDT on October 2, five months after starting. Some 240 started, but nearly two-thirds didn’t make it, according to Teresa Martinez, executive director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. She quickly added that this was the largest CDT thru-hike class ever and that less than a decade ago fewer than ten a year started. The AT and PCT’s numbers in 2015 were around 3,000 and 2,000, respectively. NY Times