GARDNERS, PA. (July 19, 2010) - Two sisters from Maine decided in 2000 to hike the Appalachian Trail -- all 2,179 miles of it from Maine to Georgia. They did it barefooted.

They will discuss the feat that distinguishes them from other Appalachian Trail thru-hikers at the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park on Sunday, August 8, at 1:00 pm. Their hike over often rugged mountainous terrain through 14 states took them eight months.  When they finished, to get back home, they turned around and hiked it again.  That took another seven months.

Lucy Letcher, 25 at the time, and her sister Susan Letcher, 21 then, became known on the trail and to the Appalachian Trail hiking community as the "Barefoot Sisters."  They wrote about their adventures as they  went along and then compiled their writings into two books.  The first, "Southbound," chronicles their trip from Mount Katahdin in Maine and to Springer Mountain in Georgia.  Their second book, "Walking Home," documents with serious and humorous stories their trip back to Maine.

Both sisters will be at the Appalachian Trail Museum to discuss their experiences, why they decided to hike barefooted and their books.

Lucy Letcher is an artist and writer. She has a Masters in Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Edinburgh College of Art in England and has exhibited in galleries in the United Kingdom, United States, and Germany. She currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

Susan Letcher has a doctorate in ecology from the University of Connecticut. She works as a professor for study abroad courses in Costa Rica with the Organization for Tropical Studies. A renaissance woman, she  has won awards for music composition and poetry.

Their presentation on August 8 will be given near the museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park ( Those attending are encouraged to bring a folding chair or a blanket. The Appalachian Trail Museum, open daily from noon to 4 pm through Labor Day, is in a 200-year-old restored grist mill that is across from the Pine Grove General Store and is two miles from the midway point of the Appalachian Trail. Exhibits in the museum honor those who founded, constructed and first thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.

More information is available at the museum's website,, and

About the Appalachian Trail Museum Society

The Appalachian Trail Museum Society, a 501-C-3 not-for-profit organization formed in 2002, organizes programs, exhibits, volunteers and fundraising nationwide for the Appalachian Trail Museum.  The museum opened on June 5, 2010, as a tribute to the thousands of men, women and families who have hiked and maintained the 2,179 mile long hiking trail that passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. Located in the Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners, Pennsylvania, the museum is conveniently near Carlisle, Gettysburg and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  Additional information is available at

For more information on things to do and lodging in Cumberland Valley go to


Joe Patterson - Communications Committee - Appalachian Trail Museum Society

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