For day hikers and serious backpackers alike, the Appalachian Trail probably suggests stunning vistas, shimmering lakes and rivers and — in the appropriate season — brilliant fall foliage. But it’s not clear how much scenery trail runners like Steven Lange actually notice. On April 4, 2020, he covered the 72 miles of the AT that meanders through New Jersey in 13.5 hours. This section of the trail, which starts along Route 80 near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, climbs 8,000 vertical feet before reaching the New York border at Wawayanda State Park in Hewitt.
In case taking on a single section isn’t enough of a challenge, there are trail runners who make the round trip. The fastest time over the 144-mile course was posted by Keilynn Alicea, who wrapped up her run August 27, 2020 and took 3 days, 19 hours and 52 minutes to complete the circuit.