Jennifer Pharr Davis Hikes the MST

MST 40th Anniversary Jennifer Pharr Davis Hikes the MST

Jennifer Pharr Davis, world-renowned adventurer, finished a three-month, 1,175-mile hike of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Although Jennifer is most famous for setting speed records, her goal on the MST this time was different. She took on this journey on the MST’s 40th anniversary to “encourage a love of the outdoors and help people experience this amazing trail that’s right outside our back doors.”

Jennifer’s hike was a family affair. Her husband Brew handled logistics, and he and their two children – 4-year-old Charley and 10-month-old Gus – joined her frequently on the trail.

Jennifer is a vibrant writer. She blogged regularly about her adventures on the MST, and those writings are archived here so you too can hear the stories from her trip on the MST.  Jen and family finished the trail the weekend before Thanksgiving, and were thankful for their time on, and off, the trail!

Jennifer Pharr Davis | Photo by Anna Paschal

Jennifer Pharr Davis is a hiker, author, speaker, and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year who has covered over 13,000 miles of long distance trails on six different continents.

In 2011, Jennifer hiked the 2,185-mile Appalachian Trail in forty-six days, eleven hours, and twenty minutes, maintaining a remarkable average of forty-seven miles per day. By doing this, she claimed the overall (male or female) fastest known time on the “A.T.”, an accolade she held for several years. Jennifer has written six books, including three North Carolina guidebooks, two hiking memoirs called Becoming Odyssa and Called Again, and a book with her husband Brew about hiking with families. She has also written articles for the New York Times, Outside, Backpacker, and Trail Runner, and has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Daily Beast, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and the CBS Early Show. Jennifer is a professional speaker who shares her trail adventures with corporations, conferences, schools, and libraries across the country. She is founder and owner of Blue Ridge Hiking Company, a guiding service that “makes wilderness accessible and enjoyable” for hikers of all ages, genders, and abilities. She is a board member for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and an ambassador for the American Hiking Society and Farm to Feet. Jennifer lives in Asheville with her husband Brew and their four-year-old daughter Charley and infant Gus.

I’m only 34, but I can’t remember a time when our state felt so divided. I know that I’m just walking and not doing anything life changing. But I hope my walk can symbolize the fact that it doesn’t matter whether you live in mile-high mountains or on the Outer Banks, whether you work in a high rise in Charlotte or on a farm in the Piedmont. Folks are folks- and North Carolina has some of the best folks anywhere. Trails bring us together. And this trail- our trail- can bring out our best.”

—Jennifer Pharr Davis

Mountains to Sea Trail





Blog Posts

A week of living in the moment — many moments

August 23rd, 2017|

Our first week on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail has been filled with MORE than I anticipated. More great views, more mushrooms, more climbs, more rain, more miles, more hardship, and most of all more emotion. I’d forgotten that it’s not just your body that has to [...]

A Family Odyssey from the NC Mountains to the Coast

August 31st, 2017|

Note: Karen Chavez, outdoors writer with the Asheville Citizen-Times, is writing a series of articles about Jennifer Pharr Davis and family's hike across the state on the MST. Start here, then click "Read more" for the full article.  CLINGMANS DOME – Before the start of [...]

Enjoying the Home Trail Advantage

August 31st, 2017|

In the past two weeks we have covered more than 180 miles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. But if we were on any other path, in any other state, I doubt we would have made it this far. After we started in the Smokies and Brew [...]

Jen’s fuel for the long haul: a hard-boiled treat

September 3rd, 2017|

What keeps Jen fueled on her long-distance hikes? While she makes her way across North Carolina, she’ll share some of her favorite trail food.  This week’s trail food is a three-letter word. It is all natural, portable, inexpensive, and delivers about six grams of protein per [...]

Karen Chávez: Hike a Mile in Her Boots

September 7th, 2017|

While Jen is working her way across the state, she’ll be interviewing the people she encounters along the way. Today: Karen Chávez, longtime outdoor recreation writer and editor with the Asheville Citizen-Times.  Karen Chávez didn’t grow up in North Carolina, but she has spent the [...]

Run a Mile in His Brooks Cascadias: Todd Gothberg

September 10th, 2017|

While Jen is working her way across the state, she’ll be interviewing the people she encounters along the way. Today: Todd Gothberg of Asheville.  Todd has a hint of a Yankee accent that lets you know he’s not a native, but he has lived in [...]

Trail Food: Rx for a good bar

September 12th, 2017|

What keeps Jen fueled on her long-distance hikes? While she makes her way across North Carolina on the MST, she’ll share some of her favorite trail food.   Bars are a hiker’s best friend. They offer instant energy in convenient packaging. It rained 5 out of the [...]


I love this state and there’s no better way to experience it than on foot. I want to encourage a love of the outdoors and help people experience this amazing hiking trail that’s right outside our back doors. I hope I can promote conservation, too, and that my walk can highlight some of the natural resources our state is blessed with, so that maybe we can work together to protect our unique landscape.

—Jennifer Pharr Davis

Start exploring North Carolina – one step at a time.