Challenge conquered: 5-year-old hikes Appalachian Trail before starting kindergarten

A 5-year-old’s adventures normally are kept close to home — the backyard, neighborhood or a park. But Harvey Sutton went on an adventure of a lifetime that would be too much for many adults.

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Days before he is scheduled to start kindergarten, he and his family finished the Appalachian Trail on Aug. 9, The Associated Press reported.

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, while thousands start a thru-hike, only about 1 in 4 people complete the entire trip over five to seven months.

Harvey was 4 years old when he took the first step of the 2,193-mile trek starting in Springer Mountain, Georgia, in January.

Harvey and his family finished the trail earlier this month on Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Harvey kept going as he studied all the wildlife along the paths and kept his energy up, thanks to Skittles stuffed into peanut butter tortillas.

He told the AP that he was never bored on the 209-day trip.

They slept in a tent, woke up at 5:30 a.m. and hiked all day. It was the routine and friendships they made with other trail hikers that kept them engaged.

One hiker, Karl Donus Sakas, traveled with the Suttons from Pennsylvania to the end of the trip.

Sakas, also known as “Sugar Man,” would create a treasure hunt for Harvey to keep him engaged while in New Jersey. Sakas hid toys and glow sticks for Harvey to find.

The excursion also logged more than just miles for the Sutton family, who hail from Lynchburg, Virginia.

“It gave us a bond and a strength that we hadn’t realized before,” Cassie Sutton told the AP.

“We’re closer than ever before,” Sutton added.

This wasn’t the first hike for the Sutton family. They’ve been conquering the wilderness since Harvey was 2.

You can see their trek on YouTube and Instagram.

Click here for more information on hiking the Appalachian Trail, including registering for a hike and getting a list of supply points and camping regulations.

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