“I’m willing to bet we’ll see 50 percent of hostels along the trail will close.”. read. David Chandler in front of the Woods Hole hostel near Pearisburg, Va. Damascus, Va., is quieter now that many hikers have postponed their treks up and down the Appalachian Trail because of the coronavirus. Beck says he's thrilled to be back home with his family. ST. PETERSBURG, FLA -- Nearly eight months ago, Ryan Beck left to hike the Appalachian Trail. As someone else said he probably was safer in … “It’s been rough. Kelsey Foster after completing 200 miles of the trail. By . Closures page for a more complete state-by-state list. Close and go home while I’ve got these grubby hikers here?” he said. There was a fear that hikers could bring infections to vulnerable towns, and an injury on the trail could further strain medical resources. have done to make sure that we could still have the hikers and still have the distancing. ST. PETERSBURG, FLA -- Nearly eight months ago, Ryan Beck left to hike the Appalachian Trail. When Alexandra Eagle first mentioned plans to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alongside her new husband, her sister told her they'd either be divorced in five months or married forever. Knoxville woman opens up about ending Appalachian Trail thru-hike early amid COVID-19 pandemic Gretchen Pardon is not giving up on her dream and plans to return to the trail … Posted: Apr 5, 2020 / 07:56 AM EDT / Updated: Apr 5, 2020 / 07:57 AM EDT. by: SARAH BLAKE MORGAN Associated Press. Good for him! Download it here. Read full article. Kera Passante and Bill Welch were just 19 days into the journey of their lifetimes — hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine — when the pandemic’s shadow fell across their path. Ms. Coltrane, 55, was able to get a three-month deferment on her mortgage, and to stay afloat, she started delivering pizza for Domino’s at night and working 5 a.m. shifts at a Walmart distribution center. But imagine hiking it during a pandemic. David Chandler, a 39-year-old thru-hiker, said that most hikers he encountered had stayed for “a spiritual journey” and were trying to act responsibly by wearing masks in towns and minimizing time off the trail. We shared Beck's story before he left. Staying in hostels, shopping at local grocery stores, eating in local restaurants, drinking beer in local bars — or the temptation to huddle with others in a shelter on a cold, rainy night when your gear is wet — are all chances to contract … This year, its owner, Alison Coltrane, had one guest between April 6 and May 14 as she abided by a county ban on short-term lodging. On March 1, 2020, just weeks before much of the country issued shelter-in-place orders, a mother and her teen daughter set out on a near-six-month-mission: to backpack the Appalachian Trail, a 2,000-mile hiking thruway that traverses 14 Eastern states.. Virus Outbreak Appalachian Trail Hikers In this March 30, 2020, photo, Alexandra Eagle, left, and Jonathan Hall soak up their last moments hiking the Appalachian Trail in Cosby, Tenn. Sandra Marra, the president of the conservancy, said the request to stay off the trail was not made lightly. “No one’s out here wanting to violate federal law. Still, he said he would not judge the people who carried on. It set off an exodus from the trail and a bitter debate about those who stayed behind. Spring break at the university I lecture at in North Carolina was scheduled for the week of March 8th. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan) 48 thoughts on “Illegal Thru-Hikers on Appalachian Trail Call into Question Backpacking During the Pandemic” ... 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