Our Stories

David and Zoe Sheatz: NCNST Long Distance Hikers

Categories: Hiking Stories

David and Zoe Sheatz

Central patch + Pennsylvania

When Covid came into our vocabulary in the spring of 2020, my wife Zoe (and now my hiking partner) and I had extra time on our hands because we had chosen to have limited exposure to the general public. We had a beautiful trail near us which we had heard about, so we started hiking the Gerard Trail in the Oil Creek State Park. We enjoyed the exercise and scenery which hiking offered, so I downloaded the All Trails app, which provided me information about other nearby trails.

Some of those trails were in another nearby state park, Cook Forest, which also included the North Country and Baker Trails. Soon Zoe and I were chasing both of those trails, traveling farther and farther to complete section after section while experiencing new and beautiful views.

It wasn’t long before we were planning vacations in the Allegheny National Forest and Moraine State Park so that we could spend more time on the North Country Trail. The challenge of completing the Pennsylvania portion kept us going, and along the way I was sharing pictures on social media. Many people commented about how they enjoyed traveling along with us by viewing the photos. Others said that we were doing retirement right. And I think they are correct because though we could have traveled to distant lands or the Atlantic seaboard, the enjoyment which Zoe and I have received from seeing the beauty of our native state is now taking us up into the Allegany State Park in southern New York State for more vacation fun hiking the North Country Trail.

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