Our Stories

Beau Swanson: NCNST Long Distance Hiker

Categories: Hiking Stories

Beau Swanson

Central patch + Michigan, Mackinac Bridge, and 1000 Miles

Three years ago I found myself overweight, unhappy, and just starting my road of sobriety. (I’m three years clean now.) I wanted more out of life and was looking for purpose, something bigger than myself.

I was already starting to walk daily and got the idea that I wanted to walk across the country. Knowing very little of real hiking, I thought I should start small and do some studying. My first walk wasn’t NCT related but introduced me to the trail. I walked from Grand Haven, Michigan to Port Austin, Michigan, in the tip of the thumb (350 miles). It was during this walk that I first crossed paths with the trail that I now know and love.

My second voyage was to complete the Lower Peninsula NCT miles. Early October 2022, after 29 days, I completed all 600 miles. That brings us to this year, where after 40 days, I completed all 560 miles of the UP. I found this voyage humbling as the terrain and isolation made for a much tougher trip.

What’s next, you may ask? My days on this amazing trail are far from finished, but as for the state of Michigan, I’m finished. If and when I continue, I would probably continue west to Wisconsin. What an amazing trail and community around it. I can’t get enough of it. Glad to play my small part in such an overwhelming effort.

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