Q&A with science teacher Craig Harper, hiking the Appalachian Trail

Science teacher Craig Harper (left) on the Appalachian Trail next to the Mt. Katahdin sign in Maine in 2005. He said the best part of hiking is not knowing what would happen the next day.

Ava Reddick

What is the Appalachian Trail

It is 2,200 miles, so you can start in Maine and go through 13 states to Georgia, or you can start in Georgia and go to Maine. It usually takes people five to six months.

How did you decide you wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail? Why? 

It seemed like a fun opportunity; I was young and did not have a lot of responsibilities. I was a teacher, and in my second year of teaching I went with a buddy and we started in Maine and went south all the way to the end in Georgia, it took about five months. 


What part of the trail did you hike?

We hiked the whole thing from Maine to Georgia. I hiked with a buddy from college and with all sorts of different people, on and off the trail. 

What was the best part of the experience? 

The best part was not knowing what was going to happen each day, and you don’t know who you are going to meet and going to see. It was the adventure of it all, it was pretty fun!

Grace Guo

How long have you been hiking for?

Since around 2005, 17 to 18 years, it has been a long time. 

What other trails have you hiked?

I have done some small trips before, I haven’t done a bunch of big trips so this was different and fun. I did one called the Wonderland Trail, (which is) 100 miles near Seattle. As well as other places in Colorado and parks, no other huge long trails as they are called. 

How often do you go on hikes?

I have done a ton (of hiking) since the Appalachian; not many recently, but many in the past.

Do you prefer hiking with friends/family or alone?

(I enjoy) both. The Wonderland Trail I did by myself, I have done some with friends and family before too.