This past summer, the Trail and Town Alliance, a standing committee of the Foundation, coordinated the hosting of 15 veterans hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) through Warrior Expeditions. Warrior Expeditions is a veteran nonprofit outdoor therapy program that helps veterans transition from their wartime experiences through long distance outdoor expeditions. The Warrior Expeditions veterans who chose to hike the AT required support with a place to rest and transportation to the trail or to resupply, and Trail and Town took the lead in connecting these veterans with families in town to host.
Harpers Ferry is commonly known as the “mental midpoint” of the AT because of its historic and scenic nature, and is a significant stop for thru-hikers. Trail and Town worked with representatives from Warrior Expeditions to track the status of hikers and ensure there were local Harpers Ferry-Bolivar families on standby to host.
This year was an enormous success! Our local families stepped up to the plate with everything from wholesome meals and good conversation to baby and pet snuggles. But most importantly, the thru-hikers had the opportunity to bask in air-conditioning! Veterans and host families alike reported that they found the experience meaningful and enjoyed each other’s company. Check out some pictures of the veteran hikers and their host families below!
Also, take a moment to visit Warrior Expeditions’ website to learn more about the valuable programs this organization provides to those who served.