Route: AT Four State Challenge (PA, MD, WV, VA)

Pennsylvania, US
Maryland, US
West Virginia, US
Virginia, US
45 mi
Vertical Gain
7,182 ft

This approx. 42 mile route touches 4 states (PA, MD, WV & VA) while following the Appalachian Trail.  A map is here.


I Michael Hohl will be attempting the unsupported FKT on 2/15/2019, I will be starting at the Mason Dixon Line about 6:30am. I will be carrying everything I need minus water which I will purify from various springs along the way. My beacon link is if you want to follow.

Hi! On Saturday April 6th, 2019, Shannon Cebron and myself will be attempting to set the female FKT (supported) for the Four State Challenge, on the standard route (southbound) starting at the Mason Dixon line and ending at the WV/VA state line on the AT. There currently is not a female FKT for this route, so we thought we would get it going and encourage other females to go out there and challenge it. Our Strava profiles are below.

I, Zach Valentine, will be attempting the FKT for the AT Four State Challenge unsupported on the standard north to south route on 20 April 2019. I will carry all the food required from start to finish and plan to use water purification tablets as necessary along the way. My plan is to be at Pen Marr Park ready to step off at 0530L. I will post an initial trip report to and a longer more detailed piece to at a later date.

I completed the challenge yesterday and submitted for a FKT. Weather was brutal hot and ran out of water multiple times. Check out my Strava activity for a detailed trip report,

Many thanks to Michael Hohl for answering some of my logistical questions. 

Zach Valentine gets honorable mention for his run, but not the unsupported FKT.  Zach missed a short section of the AT through Harper's Ferry, as can be seen on his Strava track.  The error shortened the course by probably only a 200m or so, and he avoided a 150' climb & descent.  Nevertheless, especially on a highly established route like the AT, it is important that runners know and follow the exact, official course.  Route knowledge is part of doing an FKT.  Zach was gracious in accepting this conclusion, when presented with his error.  We expect, however, that the next FKT aspirant will want to beat his time of 10h42m51s.  More detail & photos from Zach's run on his Strava.

I will be attempting the supported FKT on Tuesday May 14th around 6AM

Hello FKT World! Tomorrow, 5.28.2019, myself and Troy ‘Tortuga’ Allen will be attempting to set a new unsupported FKT for the AT Four State Challenge. We plan to leave the Mason Dixon Line at about 6:00am heading south. Thanks to Michael Hohl for setting such a great time to push against. You can follow our public SPOT Tracker pages by following the links below, and we’ll be using Strava to record the data as well. ?

SPOT Links:

Witt ‘el matador’ Wisebram -

Troy ‘Tortuga’ Allen -

User Picture
Profile picture for user Erin Kelman

I, Erin Kelman, will be attempting the unsupported FKT on Sunday August 4th around 7 am.  I'll carry food and will be using a Katadyn BeFree filter water bottle to refill water as needed.  

My Strava profile is:

I, Patrick Aragon will be attempting the unsupported FKT tomorrow, 8/31/19, starting at 6:45am. 

User Picture
Profile picture for user iveysmith

I, Ivey Smith, will be attempting to set the women's unsupported FKT tomorrow, September 30, 2019 around 7am. I will be carrying aqua tabs for water purification and any/all food I will need for the day.


User Picture
Profile picture for user brianokum

I will attempt the unsupported FKT tomorrow, Saturday the 11th of Oct 2019. I'll drive down to Pen Mar and start around 8am, and will carry everything I need (aside from water, which I will stop and filter). I will be running alone from start to finish. 

-Brian okum

Rolled my ankle a few miles in, and then walked out. It happens I guess. 

I, Louise Valentine, will be attempting the Unsupported Mixed Gender Team FKT for the AT Four State Challenge on the standard north to south route on 19 October 2019. I will be joined by my husband, but we will individually carry all the food required from start to finish and plan to use water purification tablets as necessary along the way.  My Strava account is and my personal blog is

Took a hard fall at mile 14.5 and decided to call it at mile 20 due to knee inflammation.  Ya win some, ya lose some!  A beautiful course though!

User Picture
Profile picture for user adrianspencer

Hypothetically, would a runner who crossing the Potomac along the railroad bridge and not the destroyed pedestrian bridge but adhered to all other elements of the traditional route, be awarded an official FKT? Or is this one on ice until they put the pedestrian bridge back in order?

Interesting question. As you know, the White Blaze folks are extremely particular about following the exact route. But if the exact route does not exist, a very minor variation that is at least as long with at least as much elevation gain should be fine. We prefer to defer to local traditions and accepted practices, so you might want to post the same question on forum.  

Hey Adrian, if you are talking about using the tracks right beside the pedestrian bridge, it's essentially the same route as the pedestrian walkway was built over the second set of tracks that used to exist on the same platform. However that area is roped off to pedestrians and is a dangerous choice. I wouldn't recommend it.

Hey Everyone, I am thinking of trying for the supported FKT on this tomorrow-March 21, 2020.  Will let you know how it goes.


Thank you so much and cheers,


User Picture
Profile picture for user jay.cougnet

I, Jay Cougnet, will be making a supported attempt of this FKT route on June 20, 2020.  It appears the normal route to Harpers Ferry over the Potomac River has a detour due to the damaged pedestrian bridge.  It will be slightly longer than the normal route, will my attempt still be considered for validation?  

My Strava Profile is:


My personal Blogg where I will post my post activity report is:


Good work.  Thank you are the detailed write up.  Hoping to give this try in the spring. I booked marked your blog report for future reference.


User Picture
Profile picture for user Carl Von Lewin

I, Carl Von Lewin, completed the FKT route for the AT Four State Challenge, supported, on the standard north to south route starting at 4:43 AM on Thursday, August 6, 2020. The Harper's Ferry bridge was open. While I started the challenge in PenMar, I ended my run in Key's Gap rather than the WV/VA border sign at the top of Loudoun Heights. However, according to Strava and geographical data, the challenge was completed at mile 43, in 8:49:08. Thank you.

I completed the 4 state challenge yesterday! I attempted it in 2017 with some people but I bailed at Gathland 30 miles in on the Southbound trail. It was a goal of mine to come back to it and finish it. I started at the Mason Dixon line at 0610 in the morning and finished at the VA/WV line at 1821.

I was unsupported and carried far too many foods with peanut butter (clif bars and tortilla rolls), beef jerky, sports beans, and 2L of water.

Strava post is here:

User Picture
Profile picture for user adrianspencer

I’m giving the unsupported run a go tomorrow. I’ll be parking in Harper’s Ferry and biking to the start so I don’t think I have a great shot at the record but wanted to inform the board just in case I surprise myself with a really good day. Matt has set a really good time!

I finished in 9:10:08 and thought I had the new FKT!  Found out on the drive home that Katie beat me on Thursday, it just wasn't updated on here until after I had started my run.  Huge props to Katie, so fast!  I might be back for another try :)

Still wrote a race report -

Going to try to reclaim my record on Saturday the 7th! I have no idea if beating 8:28 is doable for me or not, haven't raced since February so I don't know what kind of shape I'm in :)

User Picture
Profile picture for user LCCRAMER

This weekend I'll be making an attempt on the Female Unsupported FKT! The leaf-fall on the trail is really bad right now, it isn't the best timing - but it's when I have time, so we'll see how it goes!

Hi,  If I wanted to run south to north (VA to PA), is there a clear starting point with a sign at the first Virginia / West Virginia border crossing?  My plan is head south out of Harpers Ferry to the Virginia line.  Once at the VA, start the run north to PA.  I was just wondering if there was a clear and obviously sign to indicate the starting point.  Roughly how far south is the VA border from Harpers Ferry?  

Thank you.


It’s about a mile up from where Chestnut Hill Rd intersects the AT. It’s very close to the “Now Entering Harpers Ferry National Historic Park” sign, maybe 150 yards south of it.

User Picture
Profile picture for user idking90

I’m starting at 7:00 tomorrow morning from PenMar, going unsupported. Pray for my ankles.


Took a spill near Lamb’s Knoll led to my hip flexor locking up pretty bad and it became difficult to move my leg over any obstacles without a lot of pain, and I bailed at Gathland State Park
Longest all time run though and it got me to get out and play around a lot more running on trails than I would have ??‍♂️

User Picture
Profile picture for user jonathan.elwell

I completed the 4 state this past Saturday (5/15/2021) in 12 hours, 52 minutes unsupported. By far my longest run/hike and a beautiful date in the woods! I knew no way I was even going to attempt an FTK but a major accomplishment for me as an athlete just to complete at the pace I did.

Jonathan Elwell

I, John Soscia, completed a self supported 83 mile out and back with ~13800 ft of climbing/descent on this section of trail in 22hr 49min on 5/20/21. Started at the Quality inn in Harpers Ferry at 12:37 am, ran up to the PA border and back down to the hotel. 


Avoid this out and back if you dont like using spider webs as resistance training, because as soon as the sun goes down theres about a million of them every 10 steps you take



This was the final leg of a 5 week challenge I created for myself that I'm calling the Maryland Triple Double. Out and backs traversing 3 of the biggest/most used trail systems in Maryland. Catoctin/Gambrill (Tea Room to Catoctin Mountain Park Loop Back to Tea Room, 52 miles, ~10000 ft of climbing, ~10000 ft of descent. Unsupported), Patapsco Valley State Park (River Rd Sykesville to River Rd Avalon back to River Rd Sykesville. Official Patrick Blair route : 62 miles ~9500 ft of climbing, ~9000 ft of descent. My unofficial route : 59 miles ~6500 ft of climbing, 6500 ft of descent. Unsupported).

I will try to create a new FKT course on here for the Catoctin leg at some point in the next week if anyone wants to try it.

Hey everyone, I will be attempting the Female Unsupported FKT for this route going southbound on Friday. We shall see how it goes!

Ran about 40 minutes over the current record. What a wonderful section of trail!


I did this route March 26, 2022.  Started near Pen-Mar and went South with support.  Took me 13:16:28, which I know isn't a FKT, but wasn't sure if this site also logs other accounts?  If so, my post is below.  Def. a great time!



User Picture
Profile picture for user Patrick_Blair

Myself, Dan Frank, Jonathan Gowen, and Pat Stem will all be attempting the Supported FKT tomorrow 4/21/2022!  Can't wait!

User Picture
Profile picture for user Bernie

AT Two State Challenge (MD & WV)

User Picture
Profile picture for user Patrick_Blair

I plan to attempt the Unsupported FKT tomorrow 5/12/2022... weather looks really nice for a fun day!

I, Melinda Coen, along with Jessica Simao will attempt this route tomorrow travelling as a Female Team, Self-supported on 12/3/22.

We finished in 11:07 and some change. Not ideal weather or time of year (rain for 3hrs and then fog and lots of slick rocks and leaves); hard ankle roll/sprain around mile 7 slowed us down a bit. Enjoyed the day and the route though!!