2021 Project: FLT FKT

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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