Appalachian thru-hiker completes journey with his parents before kindergarten

Harvey Sutton is the youngest thru-hiker of the 2,190 mile trail.
Harvey Sutton is the youngest thru-hiker of the 2,190 mile trail.(wabi)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 4:12 PM EDT
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MILLINOCKET, Maine (WABI) - A couple from Virginia recently completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian trail with their young son.

Harvey Sutton is just five years and four months old, which makes him one of the youngest people known to have thru-hiked the trail.

Cassie and Josh Sutton say they’ve both lost parents and wanted to be sure their son had an adventure to remember, whatever may come. They saved up for years to take enough time off work to make the trip.

They say playing pretend while they hiked and using their imaginations helped keep up the pace.

They summited Katahdin on Monday, completing their seven month journey.

Harvey didn’t have much to say about his trip, but he confirmed that it was “awesome” and that ”Hiking was so great.”

Cassie says hiking with a five year old presented challenges, but they persevered. “At first it was a little overwhelming with how much physical activity you have to do and how much you’re around each other all the time, but as time progressed, it kind of fell into this nice place where it felt comfortable and enjoyable.”

“The last 24 hours of us being home have been very odd for him.” says Josh. “Just figuring out what life is like to have a stable home versus us sleeping at a different place every night for the past 209 days.”

The family plans to have more adventures in the future, but for now they’re getting used to living in their house again and are headed back to work after so long on the trail.

Harvey starts kindergarten next week and definitely has the best story for show and tell.

This article previously stated that Harvey was the youngest hiker to complete the trail. It was updated to reflect the fact that a younger hiker (Juniper Netteburg, age 4) had completed the trail in 2020.

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