Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside

Georgia Man Honored for '51 Through-Hike

Gene Espy was second (or first) to hike AT

Sixty years after he walked from Georgia to Maine, Gene Espy is gaining recognition as one of the Appalachian Trail's pioneering hikers. Espy, then 24, hiked almost all of the AT's 2,025 miles without company, beginning in late May and finishing on September 30, of 1951. He was recently honored by the Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame, and his hometown of Macon, Georgia, will declare September 30 Gene Espy day. Espy, an engineer and life-long adventurer (he completed a 740-mile bike ride at age 16), is credited with the trail's second through-hike, though recent research suggests that official first through-hiker Earl Shaffer may have cut some 170 miles by taking shortcuts and hitch hiking.


Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News