Earl Shaffer, who became in 1948 the first person to hike all 2,160 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one trip, has died. He was 83.
Shaffer, who developed almost a cult following among hikers, died Sunday at the Lebanon Veterans Administration Medical Center after a bout with cancer.
At the time that Shaffer completed his four-month journey from Georgia to Maine, such a trip was not thought desirable or even possible.
Shaffer later hiked the trial in the other direction, and in 1998 - 50 years after his first hike and just months before his 80th birthday - he hiked the route all over again.