Brian Vaughan's Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,160 mile trail leading from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. In actuality, the trail begins in Maine and ends in Georgia, but most hikers begin in the south in the early spring and finish in Maine in late summer/early fall. Thruhiking means traveling the entire length of the trail, either in one year or in "sections" over a period of years.

and who is Brian Vaughan, anyway?

Brian is an 18 year old Class of '97 graduate of Dedham High School in Massachusetts. He has worked since graduation to save money for his thru hike, and hopes he will have enough money left for tuition at UMass Amherst in September - and that he'll finish the hike on time! Some Internet sites he visits (other than A.T./hiking ones) include Playsite for chess and also The Tolkein Archives. In August of 1996 Brian completed the three week Northwoods Expedition at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. He's also spent time hiking in the White Mountains. Brian's hiking career began much closer to home in the Blue Hills in Canton, Mass.

Some interesting AT links


Brian sent some photos home from the disposable camera he took with him. I have had a lot of trouble getting them scanned to use on the website, but finally got four of them uploaded.

The first one is of Brian standing on the edge of a cliff (too close!). I thought it was McAfee Knob, but he tells me it isn't.

The second one is a picture of a wild pony.

This is a photo of a shelter.

Here is a picture of one of the little staircases that go over fences when the AT goes through private property. I just recently read in the Solemates journal at Trailplace that they are called "stiles."

These photos were taken with Brian's new camera. The first one is of his feet, which obviously are feeling the strain of over 1000 miles of travel. They look to me like they have poison ivy or something. Brian's new camera has a timer, but I guess that it doesn't wait long enough, since on McAfee Knob, he was struggling to get his pack on before this shot was taken. Brian took three photos of snakes but I only posted one here. His fascination with wildlife in the Shenandoah's led to a picture of a rabbit, deer, and a butterfly. Be sure to read all of the words on this humorous sign. I didn't want to post pictures of thruhikers without permission, but I couldn't help posting this tattoo. This picture of the trail is what everyone pictures the AT to look like. Thanks to everyone who emailed me to let me know that this town is Harper's Ferry. I haven't spoken to Brian since developing these pictures, so I wasn't sure where it was.

NEW PHOTOS 08/09/98!!!
A picture of four unidentified hikers taking a break.
Another picture of four hikers, Brian may be the one on the left, but I'm not sure!
A panoramic view of the trail, from somewhere after Glencliff, N.H.
Brian sitting on top of a bridge.
Seven hikers atop Mt. Moosilauke.
Posing in front of Bascom Lodge. Brian is second in from the right.

What is Brian doing now?

Brian came home to Dedham for a brief visit before starting classes at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is majoring in computer science. His most recent adventure was January 9, 1999, he, Paul Magaroni, and his friend Stephen Remick attempted a winter ascent of Mount Washington. They made it up 2/3 of the way, but returned due to the bad weather conditions. If you wish to email Brian, his email address is nairbv AT yahoo DOT com.

This page was created by Brian's mother during the course of his hike. For more information about Brian and his thruhike, you can email his mom at or his stepfather at

Last revised February 14, 1999.