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St. Cloud State Grad Hikes 4,600 Miles on North Country Trail

Jordan on the summit of Mount Marcy in New York (Photo courtesy of Luke Jordan)

ST. CLOUD – Hiking 4,600 miles takes endless determination, physical endurance, and a stubbornness to continue moving forward through obstacles. For 23-year-old Luke Jordan it also lead to plenty of time to learn about himself, and the world around him.

Jordan, a St. Cloud State University graduate, spent seven months hiking through seven states on the North Country Trail this year. Jordan started his journey in late March and completed the hike 205 days later on October 17th.

Jordan is one of just a handful to hike the entire trail.

Jordan graduated at SCSU last December with a natural resources degree, he started planning for his hike during his junior year. After he graduated, he wanted to raise awareness about hiking on trails.

(Photo courtesy of Luke Jordan)

Jordan started his journey on March 27th from Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota.

During his time on the trail, Jordan encountered several challenges. Heavy snow fell and slowed his progress in the early months of his hike. Large amounts of mosquitoes swarmed him while he was in Michigan. Jordan says he thought about giving up several times during his journey, but his stubbornness kept him moving forward.

“I’m kind of stubborn, once I set my mind on something I really don’t give up,” Jordan said,


“After I overcame those big obstacles it wasn’t really that hard to keep going.”

At 4,600 miles, the North County Trail is America’s longest footpath. Jordan hiked an average of 25 miles per day, all while carrying over 30 pounds of supplies in his backpack.

During his hike, Jordan came to learn the generosity of people he encountered. People gave him hot meals and offered him supplies, some offered him a warm room and a bed to sleep in. Jordan says he learned that most people are good in nature during his journey.

“Doing this hike kind of restored my faith in humanity,” Jordan said, “With all the encounters I had, it taught me that the majority of people are still good honest people.”

After overcoming several obstacles and passing through seven states, Jordan completed his hike on October 17th.

(Photo courtesy of Luke Jordan)

After finishing his goal, Jordan says he learned that you don’t need that much to survive.

“I learned how little you actually need to survive, and how cluttered the real world gets,” Jordan said.

With plenty of time to think on the trail, Jordan was also able to narrow his focus on a career path, he hopes to become more involved with the national trail system. After all, hiking 4,600 miles is certainly a good way to get your foot in the door.


Click on the audio player below to listen to the complete interview with Jordan.

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