Every couple years I try some interesting speed hike of some long trail, generally 1-2 weeks. This year for various reasons I decided to do something a bit longer. I’m going to try to thru-hike the Finger Lakes Trail, possibly in record time. I’m not fast as a trail runner goes but I can be a relentless hiker. Some reasons why I picked the Finger Lakes Trail:
My sister (Kim Levering #489) hiked it last year
She’s given me a lot of inside perspective on the trail and frankly, I never would have heard of it otherwise. She lives fairly close to it which is how she found it. It’s strangely off my radar at least, especially for being such a well-marketed trail. Which gets me to my second point.
There’s a great community.
The map system is amazing, there are full time staff organizing events and moderating Facebook groups and emails, there is a very supportive hiking
and landowner community, and I attended a number of virtual events this year which maybe I wouldn’t have had the opportunity in past years.
There hasn’t been a “real” record.
The Wikipedia page mentions a 24 day hike and I’ve heard the real record is 23 days I believe by trail legend “Java Joe”. I haven’t seen a GPS track anywhere. But regardless, these records are not trail runner records. These days given the terrain and the pace of record-setters on longer trails, this trail is probably doable by elite runners with support in 10-12 days. That isn’t me…but I can probably cut off a few days.