My Trail Story by Nav

Nav and her pup, Arrow, found the best trail family (“tramily”) while hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Hi! I’m Nav (real name is Rachel), I’m 25, and I am currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail with my Sheltie pup, Arrow! I started the trail on March 17th, so I’ve officially been on trail for a little over two months!

I’m absolutely loving the trail, and something I wanted to share about is my trail family.

Hiker Nav standing on train tracks with her dog.
Photo by Rachel Boice
Hikers hanging out on a mountain side
Photo by Rachel Boice

Nothing beats the community of the trail… people are so accepting, supportive, and it feels like everyone is looking out for each other. For a while, I was with a couple people, but we didn’t really have a “tramily.” Right around the Grayson Highlands, we linked up with some really great people, and we have been having the BEST time!

It’s fun during the day. You always have people in front or behind you, and you have the opportunity to hike with different people throughout the day. Getting to camp is the best, though. It feels like a grand welcoming every time you get there, and you see all the familiar faces that make you smile. We’ve had so many fun times around the fire, making jokes, playing games and just chatting.

My favorite moment so far was when we all decided to hike to McAfee Knob for sunrise. The night before, we all crammed in a shelter so we could just get up and go, but unfortunately none of us slept. Our alarms went off at 4:15 a.m., so we quickly packed up and scrambled to the top. We all were tired and already sweating (thanks, Virginia humidity!!!), but when we got to the top, oh, my gosh, it was worth every bit. We all hung out, ate breakfast, took tons of pictures, and just had a great time that morning. I wish I could stay in that moment forever… the most beautiful place with my favorite people. There’s truly nothing like it!

A group of hikers sitting on a ledge
Photo by Rachel Boice

Related Trail Guide

A view of a hill along the Appalachian Trail.

Its narrow corridor stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. The AT traverses 14 states on its way. The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world and is one of the Triple Crown trails. The AT is an amazing hiking adventure for long-distance hikers and section hikers. It is also perfect for day-hikers looking to enjoy the beautiful views. Check out our interactive AT map today!