Hiker walks 13,000 miles to create new continental trail


ALTO, Mich. (WOOD) — An Oregon man has spent the last three years walking some 13,000 miles to help map out and create a new countrywide trail.

Rue McKenrick, 40, of Bend, Oregon, helped outline the American Perimeter Trail, a 14,000-mile loop that goes around the continental United States. The Michigan portion and surrounding area of the trail is known as North Country.

On his first trek of the North Country, McKenrick stayed with the Hough family from Alto. They acted as ‘trail angels,’ giving him a place to stay. Inspired by McKenrick’s journey, the Hough family built a place for hikers to stay when they attempt to walk the Michigan portion of the American Perimeter Trail and other paths.

“…After meeting with these trail angels here and in Alto, Michigan, our proprietor, Buck Hough was inspired to build a shelter, much like you’ll see shelters on other long trails like the Appalachian Trail,” McKenrick said. “And this was built from a local grain bin that was just rusting in a field and a farm had already been torn down. He acquired it and built a shelter so that long-distance backpackers, after they’ve hiked thousands of miles, will have a place for respite to dry out and to warm their bones.”
The American Perimeter Trail path in Alto.

McKenrick stopped in Grand Rapids this week to attend a Recreational Equipment Inc. event and speak with the North Country Trail Association about their shared footbed for the American Perimeter Trail.

To learn more about the trail, nonprofit and the documentary exploring McKenrick’s journey, visit .

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to

Comments / 0

Comments / 0