Our Stories

Arlette Laan: NCNST Long Distance Hiker

Categories: Hiking Stories

Arlette “Apple Pie” Laan

End-to-End Hiker; central patch + Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota; 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 miles

by Bill McCarty

I started my hike on April 8, 2021 in Defiance, Ohio, and finished my hike on February 21, 2022 back in Defiance. From Defiance, I went Eastbound toward Vermont and then flipped to North Dakota to walk eastbound back to Defiance. Miles stopped making sense at some point, but I think I ended up with 4,700 to 4,800 miles.

I enjoyed North Dakota, the Border Route, and the Superior Hiking Trail. Wisconsin was lovely. Michigan was beautiful and challenging since winter had set in. I thought the Ohio sections along the towpaths were interesting because of the history, but I had a hard time with southeastern Ohio and the barking, aggressive dogs. Pennsylvania was lovely; New York was challenging with the mud, heat, and humidity. I was happy to join up with the Long Trail in Vermont and enjoyed confusing Long Trail hikers by telling them that I started my hike in Ohio. 

The trail angels along the hike made the hike special and worthwhile. I’m very grateful for the help and support I received along the way. A special shoutout to Sue, Bethany, and Nancy who took care of me in the early winter days when I was still solo. I had a week of car support in North Dakota from Troll and several days car support from Odin in Minnesota. I had hiking partner Little Bird join me for the Superior Hiking Trail, and hiking partner Greenleaf for the true winter part of Michigan. Without these people, the hike would have been even harder. It was long and lonely many times.

Learn more about long distance hiker recognition at explorenct.info/NoCoLo/index.htm.