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'Hardest Hiking Trail in the East'
by regenold
2011-10-10
United States New York
Backpacking
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My Adventure Story

It took 22 hours and 52 minutes, but this week the Gear Junkie crew completed a fast and light trek of the Devils Path, the often-cited "hardest hiking trail in the East." It gets this name because of its ceaselessly vertical nature -- in 27 miles the trail climbs and descends six major peaks, racking up a total of 14,000 cumulative vertical feet of gain/loss over its knee-crushing length.

 

A crew of three -- myself, GearJunkie contributing editor T.C. Worley, and Brian Leitten, a friend and video producer in New York -- began our trek late on Monday night after a day of literal planes, trains and automobiles. We flew to JFK, hopped a subway to Manhattan, then switched to an Amtrak in Penn Station for a 1.5-hour ride north of the city. By 10p.m., we were at the western trailhead of the Devils Path, a biked locked up as our "shuttle" at the other end, and getting ready to hike off into the night.

 

We ticked off 7 miles the first night before bivying a couple hours in the woods. Next morning, we got up early and made the assault on the remaining six mountains and 22 miles of the trail. We finished the route after dark on Tuesday night, thighs a bit jello-like and knees sore. Then, it was time to hop on the bike to pedal back to get the car. . . . Overall, an epic trip! 


--Stephen Regenold

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