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Single Mom and Her 13 Kids Are 1,300 Miles in Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail

This weekend, Nikki Bettis and 13 of her 15 children hit a big milestone in their thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT). 

In a Facebook post on August 4, Bettis writes:

“Big day!! New Jersey and 1300 miles!!! Rockin and rollin!”

Image by 32 Feet Up

In reaching the 1,300-mile mark, the Bettis family is officially more than halfway done hiking the famous AT, which is just under 2,200 miles long and passes through 14 states in the eastern U.S.

Bettis is a single mom attempting the massive thru-hike with 13 of her biological children, who range in age from four to 22. While 13 of her kids are on the trail full time, two of her adult children (ages 25 and 18) join the family when they can to section hike the trail with their siblings. 

In a post dated July 18, Bettis explains: “13 [kids] are on trail full time and the other two section hike with us as they can, as both chose to keep their jobs and are caring for our home and other dogs.” 

Bettis says the family has been on the trail since March 8, 2023. They hope to finish the thru-hike by mid-October. While she admits some days are hard, Bettis says the experience has brought the family closer together.

Editor’s Note: As of October 2023, the Bettis family has officially completed the thru-hike. Read the latest here.

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