83-year-old ‘Nimblewill Nomad’ is the oldest person to hike the Appalachian Trail

Who is Nimblewill Nomad?

The Nimblewill Nomad, an 83-year-old hiker, has become the oldest person to complete the in the United States.

83-year-old 'Nimblewill Nomad' is the oldest person to hike the Appalachian Trail

After finishing his journey in western Massachusetts, MJ “Sunny” Eberhart of Flagg Mountain, Alabama, has entered the record books, according to officials.

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Dale Sanders, the former record holder after completing the challenge at the age of 82 in 2017, joined him at the finish line.

At the end of the journey, Eberhart was toasted with champagne.

How long is the appalachian trail?

From Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail spans 2,193 miles.

From Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail spans 2,193 miles.

Despite having tens of thousands of miles under his belt, Eberhart admitted that the trail was difficult to navigate at his age, resulting in several falls on slippery rocks.

“I’ve got a couple of skid marks on me, but I’m fine,” he said recently. “You have to be incredibly determined to do this.”

He walked the trail in sections to take advantage of the best weather, and had already completed the northern sections, including Mount Katahdin in Maine.

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In the same year that five-year-old Harvey Sutton became the youngest person to complete the feat, he finished his final section in western Massachusetts, in the town of Dalton.

Sanders stated that he is not saddened by the record’s demise.

“I’m delighted that my dear friend Nimblewill is taking my record away from me. “Records are meant to be broken,” he explained.

On the trail, Eberhart met Harvey, also known as Little Man. “He impressed the dickens out of me,” Eberhart said of the youngster.

Eberhart is the oldest person to complete the Appalachian Trail, according to Jordan Bowman of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.


After retiring as an optometrist in Florida in 1993, the walker began his wanderlust in earnest.

The man with the flowing locks and the impressive beard hiked farther than most on the 2,193-mile trail that connects Georgia’s Springer Mountain and Maine’s Katahdin.

He began his walk in February at his home in Flagg Mountain, Alabama, and has since added hundreds of miles to the route.

The journey was relatively short for a man who once trekked 4,400 miles from the Florida Keys to northern Quebec, an adventure he documented in a book called Ten Million Steps.

83-year-old 'Nimblewill Nomad' is the oldest person to hike the Appalachian Trail

He later hiked from Newfoundland to Florida, a much longer journey. He also walked Route 66 from Chicago to California.

On this journey, Eberhart admitted he was feeling his age. Because his reflexes aren’t what they used to be, he limited himself to eight hours of walking per day. He claimed he bloodied his elbow after falling in New Hampshire.

He hasn’t lost his desire to keep moving or to seek the peace he finds on the trail in the company of the close-knit and diverse hiking community.


Eberhart’s first major hike coincided with a search for peace after lugging emotional and mental baggage that involved a divorce and losing the respect of his children, he said. He eventually found his peace, and forgiveness.

“You can seek peace. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to find it. I persevered to the point that the good Lord looked down on me and said you’re forgiven, you can be at peace,” he said recently during a break near the Maine-New Hampshire border.

“It’s a profound blessing. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

Eberhart will return to his home at Flagg Mountain, the southernmost mountain topping 1,000ft in the Appalachians, where he serves as caretaker of a fire tower and cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Source: thejournal.ie

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