75-Year-Old Becomes First Woman To Complete 4,800-Mile North Country Trail Twice

The North Country Trail encompasses eight states and spans an impressive 4,800 miles. Completing it once is a feat in itself, but one hiker has just made history by becoming the first woman to finish the trail twice. Joan H. Young, a 75-year-old from Michigan, showcased her love of the outdoors with this incredible achievement.

The trail stretches through Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Young completed the journey for the first time in 2010—becoming the first woman to ever do so—after spending 20 years slowly covering different sections. This time, she completed the route in 18 months, with an average pace of about 15 miles per day.

“It never felt all that epic to me,” Young said. “It was a string of hikes. I got to go hiking every day.” Not many would attempt this trek twice, but Young has always been deeply inspired by nature and takes great joy in backpacking with friends. She is also an author and amateur botanist, so spending time in the outdoors is a source of inspiration for her.

“It takes a fair amount of planning to pull off a continuous hike on this trail, I mean, you need to be comfortable in outdoor situations,” she adds. The North Country Trail is a relatively new trail that was authorized by Congress in 1980. Due to this, Young found changes the second time she undertook it. “This particular accomplishment is in a category all by itself,” said Chris Loudenslager, National Park Service superintendent of the NCNST. “The whole notion that someone wanted to do it a second time, I think that’s unprecedented.”

You can learn more about Young and check out her books by visiting her website.

75-year-old Joan H. Young is the first woman to complete the 4,800-mile North Country Trail twice.

h/t: [WCNC Charlotte]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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