While creating the Trans Adirondack Route in 2010, Erik Schlimmer was seeking “an Adirondack immersion experience” in which a long-distance hiker could experience the largest park and forest preserve in the Lower Forty-Eight via a meandering but purposeful route. In the Adirondack Park, like all other parks, you can hike one peak here and another one there or walk down a trail here and then one over there. But these experiences are disjointed. A route across the entire park, however, gives visitors a total park experience.

Erik became a hiker’s hiker early in life. During his 20’s and 30’s he embraced a “Reverse Retirement Plan” in which he did most of his traveling, couch surfing, and tent-living when he was young. During those two decades Erik logged the bulk of his 15,000 miles hiked, 15,000 miles mountain biked, 2,000 peaks climbed, and 1,000 nights camped outside.

He now concentrates his efforts on the Adirondack Mountains. He has visited the 92 named features within Lake George Wild Forest, the 99 named features within Hammond Pond Wild Forest, the 106 named features within Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area, and the 134 named features within Wilcox Lake Wild Forest; hiked the Northville Placid Trail four times; thru-hiked the Trans Adirondack Route; traversed the 270-mile High Peaks Wilderness Area trail system; summited the 100 highest peaks during winter; and climbed the range's 217 peaks above 3,000 feet.

Erik is author of Thru Hiker's Guide to America (2010), Blue Line to Blue Line (2013), History Inside the Blue Line (2014), My Adirondacks (2015), and Among the Cloud Splitters (2016). He works in the field of clinical social work and coordinates a veteran mental health peer support system. A veteran himself, Erik served as an 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper during the 1990s, being stationed in Georgia, North Carolina, and Central America.

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