Long Path North Sees First Thru-Hiker

The extension of the trail to Thatcher Park was completed 3 years ago and until now, no one has backpacked entire trail non-stop.

Mary Ann Nissley, of Chalfont, PA, became the first person to accomplish the 328+ mile trek on May 30, 1998. She started at the George Washington Bridge on May 6, 1998, thus completing the hike in only 25 days. Not bad for a lady in her mid-60s!

As Mary Ann passed through the hamlet of West Fulton, Cherie Clapper greeted and presented her with an LPNHC CoolMax shirt. When Mary Ann reached the base of Vroman's Nose, Sylvia and Wally Van Houten invited her into their home for supper and an overnight stay before she headed on to Albany County. While at the Van Houtens, Mark Traver presented Mary Ann with an LPNHC patch to congratulate her accomplishment.

After a night in the Cole Hill Forest, Mary Ann made her way to Mike Willsey's house, where the final section, Section 33, starts. Having no further need of her overnight pack, Mike agreed to shuttle it ahead to Thatcher Park. This may have saved Mary Ann just enough time and energy to finish the trek just an hour or two before an enormous storm swept through the area.

Hopefully, news of her adventure will encourage more hikers to follow in her footsteps and backpack the entire Long Path.