Decatur woman hikes Appalachian Trail in 114 days

In just 114 days, a Decatur woman completed the entire length of the Appalachian Trail and most of that time she hiked it solo.

The trail stretches 2,189 miles across 14 states and Clayton State chemistry professor Susan Hornbuckle covered every step of it. This was her first summer off work in 20 years.

“I got really close to finishing it in 95 days and was able to throw in a few weekends to finish it up,” said Hornbuckle.

She averaged 19 miles a day, thanks to her training as an ultra-marathon trail runner. Even at that pace, Hornbuckle took time to enjoy the nature that surrounded her.

“I saw 24 bears,” she said. “Bears are cool.”

In May, Hornbuckle traveled from Atlanta to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and started the trek to Maine. She reached trhe trail’s northern terminus at Mount Katahdin in early July. After returning to West Virginia, she started heading south which turned out to be the most challenging part of her adventure.

It was a difficult task, but she was determined to complete it. She was even joined by family and friends for parts of the southbound hike.


PHOTOS: Decatur Woman's Appalachian Trail Adventure