The Allegheny Trail (ALT) is perhaps the least known, and least travelled, of America’s Long Trails. Its’ northern terminus is north of Bruceton Mills,WV at the Mason-Dixon Line — the WV/PA border. It meanders in a southwest direction for three hundred++ miles through the heart of the state and the Monongahela National Forest, crossing into Virginia and finishing at its’ junction with the Appalachian Trail on Peters Mountain.

The first seventy-five miles follow country roads and farm lanes through once booming coal towns. The last 225 miles – nearly all true trail or pure bushwhacking – are a mixture of epic climbs, spectacular ridge running, and nasty, rocky, wet mountain hollows. Unlike the rutted, well-worn path of the Appalachian Trail, true navigational skills and woodsmanship are necessary for completing the ALT.

The idea of running the trail end-to-end was conceived by Casseday over two years ago. He and Mongold first discussed it on North Fork Mountain in 2006. In the meantime, Rebekah Trippitoe, a renowned Virginia ultrarunner, hammered the trail in 2007. Her spectacular, minimally-aided effort resulted in a new ALT Speed Record — 7 days, 6 hours. Despite being a very experienced ultrarunner and outdoorswoman, her attempt was marred with difficulty in following the nearly unmarked trail, constant blowdowns and bushwhacking, and many run-ins with resident bears.

After pre-running over eighty percent of the trail, the boys are happy to report that the trail hasn’t changed a bit in the last year. They’ve spent literally hundreds of hours studying maps, scouting trail and crew points, and assembling the finest, most prepared, and psychologically toughest crew ever to support a long trail speed record attempt. Join the boys and their crew on the ALT this Labor Day weekend, or follow along here via Live Updates that begin August 26.

Get the blow-by-blow on Rebekah’s adventure.
Get more information on the Allegheny Trail.

Please support the West Virgina Scenic Trails Association, the stewards of the ALT.


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