Our Stories

Matt Patterson: NCNST Long Distance Hiker

Categories: Hiking Stories

Matt Patterson

Central patch + Pennsylvania, Ohio, Mackinac Bridge, 1000 Miles, and 2000 Miles

Early on, while I was working on my completion of the Buckeye Trail, I was thinking, “What’s next?” After attending the NCTA Celebration in Marquette, Michigan, I knew what was next. My wife and I had never been north of Flint, Michigan. We quickly learned what we were missing. We just returned from our seventh annual trip to northern and/or upper Michigan for a week of hiking and camping.

I began hiking portions of the NCT long before I completed the Buckeye Trail in May 2022. One step in Pennsylvania and I was in love with the “other direction” on the trail already. I completed Pennsylvania in 2022 and began hiking New York in 2023.

My hike is almost always a day hike, and almost never an out-and-back. I love to plan and organize hikes, and have created a Google Sheet that is shared with a trusted group of hikers that can post their hikes as well for others to join in. This makes car-to-car hiking easy and fun.

I keep asking myself if I am really going to hike this entire trail. And every time I come home from a hiking trip; I cannot help but start planning the next one. My new remote job has me planning my first extended “work-cation,” putting me near the trail for evening hikes. Yikes!

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