Bekah and Derrick Quirin along with their 1-year-old daughter,Ellie, hiked the full Appalachian Trail this summer, The Roanoke Times reported.
The family of 3 completed the 2,190-mile trek over a six-month period. They began on March 20, heading south from the McAfee Knob trailhead in Roanoke On March 20, they set off from the McAfee Knob trailhead in Roanoke County and headed south to Georgia. From there, they traveled to Maine and marched back to McAfee Knob on Sept. 30.
“She’s a really happy baby, and she loves being outside,” said Bekah Quirin, “She just flourished out there on the trail.”
Ellie was too young to actually walk the trail so most of her time was spent carried in a baby backpack, but she did enjoy exploring says Bekah.
“She’d grab sticks and play in the dirt or mud,” the mother said. “She was never bored. We didn’t even have to bring any toys.”
The Quirins, both 26, are outdoorsy people. They have degrees in outdoor leadership and years of trail experience, and it was important to incorporate their daughter into that lifestyle.
“We thought about how we could incorporate Ellie into that lifestyle early on,” Bekah Quirin said. “We had to adjust our lifestyle when we had a baby, but we wanted to get as close as we could to bringing her on outdoor adventures.”
The Quirins encourage other parents to get outdoors with their children.
“You don’t need to go on a thru-hike to have great outdoors memories with your kids,” Bekah Quirin said.