Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oakland County Law Enforcement Officers Meet the Appalachian Trail; one will hike the sidewalk of Hot Springs

As you read these words the first of 28 hikers  - many of them Oakland County law enforcement officers- have started hiking the entire 2,181 mile long Appalachian Trail (AT) to raise funds for specially adapted homes for seriously disabled American soldiers. Sgt. Pat Fanning of the Novi Police Department started the five month relay  today as he departed Springer Mountain, Georgia.  Read the story on this relay team of American Hero Hikers in the Thursday, March 24th edition of The Oakland Press at or in the print edition.
Why this "special report"?  One of the hiker's trail trek will take him through the mountain town of Hot Springs, North Carolina, an area I know well, a unique section of the famed Appalachian Trail, for in Hot Springs, the AT emerges from the forested hills and follows one mile of sidewalk right down main street before crossing the French Broad River and heading back into the mountains and the northwards towards Maine. I have hiked this section- down the sidewalk - and dined at her trailside cafes and soaked in her hot springs, an other wordly experience for trail hikers. And off course I spent a night at the Iron Horse Station,  a landmark inn, restaurant and tavern. Where else can  you be lulled to sleep by the romance of a late night freight train rumbling through town and walk out the front door onto the Appalachian Trail at dawn?

For more on the AT:

To follow the hikers on Facebook use "American Hero Hikers"

On-line donations:

Trail journal: 

These pictures give life to that mile of sidewalk that hiking boots tred. (All photos by
Jonathan Schechter from his 2010 explorations of the Hot Springs section of the AT.)


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