On the Trail

When I was 19 years old I spent the summer hiking 600 miles from Massachusetts to Maine along the Appalachian Trail. I’ve longed to get back on the trail ever since, but long distance treks like this are difficult to plan – life always seems to get in the way. That is, until something unexpected happens that completely shifts your perspective.

On the Trail is a deeply personal journey that takes the viewer through both the emotional and the physical challenges of a long distance hike, while showcasing the natural wonder of Vermont’s Green Mountains. The Long Trail was America’s first long distance hiking trail; it was the inspiration for the significantly longer Appalachian Trail. The hiking path runs North-South along the crest of the Green Mountains and boasts some surprisingly rugged terrain.

These mountains are a truly special place and having the opportunity to hike clear across them is an experience that is difficult to put into words. Although an adventure of this nature presents very real and intense physical challenges, it was the mental and emotional challenges that have really had a lasting impact. My mom and I undertook this hike as a way to deal with the death of my father, and we found that many of the characters that we met along the way were dealing with comparable emotional turmoil. There is something about the simplicity of a long distance hike that is deeply cleansing. Knowing that each passing day brings only one goal; find a way to get from point A to point B. For us, the process of thru-hiking the Long Trail allowed us to move on the the next stage of our lives and see beyond great tragedy.

-Producer/Director, Matthew Podolsky

My mom and I enjoy one of our few days without rain!

My mom and I enjoy one of our few days without rain!

 

One of many shelters we stayed at along the trail.

One of many shelters we stayed at along the trail.

 

Listen to our EOC podcast interview with long-distance hiker Candy Podolsky:

Visit the show notes page for this episode.

 

Listen to our EOC podcast interview with the Executive Director of the Green Mountain Club, Mike DeBonis:

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Listen to our EOC podcast interview with ultra-marathon runner and Long Trail record holder Nikki Kimball:

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Listen to our EOC podcast interview with third generation Long Trail hiker Cara Clifford Nelson:

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Listen to our special archival EOC podcast interview with Catherine Robbins Clifford, one of the first women to hike the entire Long Trail in 1927:

Visit the show notes page for this episode.

 

Stream crossing in Southern Vermont.

Stream crossing in Southern Vermont.