July 11 was a good day for Arlette “Apple Bay” Lan to complete her Ice Age Trail tour of Wisconsin.
On the eleventh, she completed her eleventh—and final—national scenic trail, making her the first woman to completely hike all of the national scenic trails in the country, everyone knows.
Lan was greeted with cheers, confetti cannons, party blowers and pie (her love of dessert inspired her old name) when she arrived at the eastern terminus of the Ice Age Trail in Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay.
“One for the women!” The small crowd of supporters cheered as she stood by the boulder that indicates the station, which was moved back to its original (and more beautiful) location in the park, Old Ski Hill Overlook, in April.
more:Emily Ford becomes the first woman to ride the 1,200-mile Ice Age Trail in winter
more:5 unusual things to see along the Ice Age Trail, from a plane wreck to a stone elephant
On Wednesday as she was getting ready to board a plane to go home, she said she hadn’t yet sunk in what she had accomplished.
In February, it finished the 4,800-mile North Country Trail, which passes through the northwest corner of Wisconsin on its way from North Dakota to Vermont.
This trail is one of the most difficult hiking trails, not only because of its length but also because of its location in the northern part of the country. Both usually mean hikers end up with hiking in backpacking during the winter.
Fewer than two dozen people have completed the trail, including only a handful of women, according to the North Country Trail Association’s Long Distance Recognition Committee.
And as far as Lan or anyone else knows, she is the first of those few women to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails.
But it won’t be the last, maybe even this year. Heather “Steady” Werderman of Michigan also hikes all eleven trails. The Ice Age Trail—its 8th National Scenic Trail—completed in June and is currently on the Pacific Northwest Trail. In the fall, she plans to tackle her last two trails—Potomac Heritage Trail and New England—and become the second woman to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails.