Approaching the Appalachian


Cal Simko

Trevor Serrano makes an early morning 14,200-foot summit in Colorado in September 2015. The local 22-year-olds latest travels will have him hiking the Appalachian Trail over the next five to seven months. Contributed photo

Erica Robinson, Contributing writer

Trevor Serrano, 22, enjoys spending his time experiencing the great outdoors. During the summer of 2015, he decided to take a year off from school to road trip across the United States. He began his journey in Connecticut and headed west, traveling through the Midwest, Colorado, Washington, then down the west coast before coming back east. After a year back at school and work, Trevor has decided to embark on a new journey to hike the Appalachian Trail. He planned to leave on Sunday (June 11).

The 7.5-mile section of the trail in Connecticut that was closed on May 17, between Bulls Bridge and Mt. Algo Shelter due to a wildfire, has re-opened just in time for Trevor’s trip. His mother and his sister hope to meet him once he makes his way back down to Connecticut in order to visit and give him some supplies.

“I’m looking forward to having him make it through Connecticut so I can see how he is doing. Of course I am going to worry the whole time, but I think that it will be worse once he is out of New England and has been gone for months. I know I will not be able to stop thinking of him, I need to be reassured that he is safe and healthy,” said his mother, Karin Serrano.

The Appalachian Trail is a nearly 2,200-mile-long hiking trail through the Appalachian Mountain Range in the Eastern United States. The elevation gain/loss of hiking the entire trail is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 16 times, according to the Appalachian Trail  Conservancy. With this amount of hiking, Trevor would have to consume over 5,000 calories a day in order to maintain his current weight. With that in mind, Trevor has taken it upon himself to eat as much as he can before he leaves for his trip.

“Everywhere I go I have been eating all I can, steaks, desserts, everything, I just keep eating until I can’t anymore,” said the Mills graduate. Trevor is worried that he is going to lose too much weight, and as skinny as he is he doesn’t have much to lose.

The trail travels through 14 states. Trevor is beginning at the top of the trail in Maine and heading south until he ends in Georgia.  This is the way that the creators of the trail believed most people would hike, however, the majority of people head north from Georgia. Trevor hopes to join the less than 15,000 people that have completed a successful thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

Cal Simko
Trevor Serrano, 22, will leave the comfort of home and his job at the McCall Foundation to hike the Appalachian Trail in hopes of becoming one of the fewer than 15,000 estimated to have completed a thru-hike from Maine to Georgia. Contributed image

As Trevor’s pile of gear continues to grow higher and higher, it is obvious that his trip is rapidly approaching. Each day it seems as though a new item pops up in the Serrano’s living room, where Trevor has made a zone for all of his gear.

His mother stated, “I have decided to just stay out of the living room for a while, I am going to let him keep all of his stuff how he wants until he leaves.”

Even sitting on the dining room table is Trevor’s book, “How to Thru Hike the Appalachian Trail.”

In preparation, Trevor has spent many hours hiking Bear Mountain in Salisbury, part of which is located on the AT and features Connecticut’s tallest peak. However, it is almost impossible to fully prepare for a thru trip of the trail, hiking around 15 to 20 miles every day with a lack of food for what Trevor believes will take him between five and sevem months.

“I am not really sure what to expect, I don’t think I’ll know until I am spending my first night in the woods, once there is no turning back,” Trevor said as he stared down at his feet. But anyone who knows Trevor knows that he will have no interest in turning back, not even after he makes it all the way down to Georgia after months of enduring all that Mother Nature throws at him.

Since Trevor returned from his cross-country road trip he has been working as a receptionist at the nonprofit McCall Foundation in Torrington, where his coworkers have grown to love him.  As a matter of fact they were all devastated to hear that he would be leaving them in June. At the end of his last day, his coworkers gifted him with a new set of trekking poles, along with a cake. Despite their disappointment in his departure, they are proud of him and are now huge supporters of his trip, along with the rest of his family.

As Trevor’s days at home are dwindling he is trying to enjoy the luxuries that he knows he will miss: overlooked things such as running water and home-cooked meals. While his trip is going to be tough, his friends and family have no doubt in their minds that Trevor is going to make it all the way and join the few that have completed a thru hike of the AT.