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

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Blog Posts

Carving a path across North Carolina

September 12th, 2017|

You never realize how much it rains, until you spend all your time outside. On the days it didn’t rain, my feet were wet from a ford across the Linville River and an unsuccessful rock hop at Harper Creek: the recent precipitation has caused the [...]

The beauty of experience and wisdom 

October 9th, 2017|

Two pregnancies, 24 months of nursing, one knee surgery, and six months of physical therapy all separate me from my last hike of over a thousand miles. Time has passed, seasons have changed, and somewhere amid the transition, I lost my top gear. Most days [...]

The MST: a trail more diverse than you might think

October 19th, 2017|

The Mountains to Sea Trail is the most diverse path I have ever experienced. It travels past the spruce and fir trees of 6,000 foot ridgelines in the Smoky Mountains to the cotton fields of Eastern North Carolina. Along the way, I have observed the [...]

The gift of the MST

October 30th, 2017|

Hiking the Mountains-to-Sea trail has been a gift. I am out here every day living a dream. I say that because hiking a 1,175-mile trail with two kids under the age of five who are tagging along seems more like a fantasy or delusion than [...]

The trail: Conservation’s ultimate classroom

November 8th, 2017|

I have hiked several trails that end at the ocean. In each instance, I have walked hundreds of miles to reach the beach and as soon as I stick my toes in the water, the hike ends. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail takes you to the coast, [...]

Photos

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.