Above the Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg
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7 Underrated Thru-Hikes You Should Consider Backpacking

Don't let the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail get all the love.

The popularity of well-established long-distance trails like the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail has soared in recent years as more people add hiking these famous to their adventure bucket lists.

And yes, it's incredible to hike one of these trails end-to-end, but not everyone has six months of free time for these famous trails often associated with thru-hiking. It can also be costly. In addition to the lack of a paycheck coming in, it's possible to spend thousands while you're out there depending on your gear, food, and other factors.

Thru-hiking purists would say the only true definition of one is a months' long backpacking trip from one end of the trail to the other, done continuously. But hiking the full length of a trail in pieces — or "section hiking" — or starting in the middle are also worthy approaches! Here are a few shorter, but still challenging thru-hike alternatives, a few of which link up with those famed trails.

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