Appalachian Trail Project

Appalachian Trail Project

On February 18, Nyle Sockbeson, our Project Venture Team Lead, began his 4-6 month thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT). The AT starts at Springer Mountain in Georgia and spans 2,198.4 miles to the northern terminus of sacred Katahdin in Maine. The trail goes through 14 states, all which occupy Indigenous lands. We hope to raise awareness for our relatives Indigenous lands which the AT occupies. We invite you to keep up with Nyle’s journey on our social media!

CLICK HERE to support Wabanaki people’s accessibility to outdoor recreation


Nyle’s Journal

Date: June 1, 2023
📍 Mohican⁠ | Mileage completed: 1525
”Land is so sacred. The land provides everything we need and more. We owe everything to the land we occupy. It is easy to become entitled to what land provides. There is a perspective to gain when focusing on how to give back, instead of what to take the reciprocity and the connection. Responsible recreation on lands like the Appalachian Trail is an experience full of give and take.
This land gives us the water we need, the views we cherish, and the experience of the natural world. To give back and to be reciprocal with the land, we follow Leave No Trace principles, provide stewardship, and build our connection to the natural world. This reciprocity is empowering for both the land and self. I’m back in my homelands of Wabanaki Territory “New England”. These lands are sacred to me and I look forward to providing as much as I can to them and giving thanks to what they provide me. A healthy relationship between oneself and sacred lands is such great medicine. Woli-woni.💜” -Nyle
Date: May 19, 2023
📍 Lenni-Lenape | Mileage completed: 1100
”My journey is officially over halfway done. I’ve been on the Appalachian Trail long enough to see seasons pass, scenery change, and new life emerge. I’ve taken days to reflect on how incredible this experience has been. I look forward to enjoying every last moment the AT has to offer. As much as this trail has to offer, I’m incredibly lucky to miss home as much as I do. Some people aren’t as fortunate to have such an amazing home life to miss. I miss my friends, dog, job, community and most of all: family. I will be reunited with all of this soon and will be a better person when that time comes. Until then, I am soaking up every lesson this trail has to offer. Woli-woni!” – Nyle
Date: May 4, 2023
📍 Piscataway⁠ | Mileage completed: 900
‘I’m lucky to be a student of Mother Nature everyday. She has taught me lessons about myself spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Through these beautiful lessons, I’ve experienced so much learning that Mother Nature has facilitated. The most significant lesson I’ve learned is the power of energy. The energy you put out, is what you receive back. When tough days come, finding positive energy can be challenging. That’s when the best lessons begin. When listening, Mother Nature will always provide. ⁠
I encourage others to take a step into this classroom. As long as you enter her space to listen, Mother Nature will teach. Enter this space in whatever capacity feels right. Just be sure it’s in a good way. Woli-woni!’⁠ – Nyle


Date: April 6, 2023

📍 Tutelo | Mileage completed: 400

‘Sleeping in single digit temperatures, hiking in cold rain and experiencing daily physical pain will make any AT hiker question why we’re out here. It’s important for us to have a solid understanding of our “why”. In the book Braiding Sweetgrass, author Robin Wall Kimmerer writes “gratitude plants the seed for abundance”. Hiking with this concept in mind answers my why. I’m grateful everyday for my health, family, culture, community and this journey I’m on. This gratefulness feeds my soul and keeps me going. It’s  difficult to fully express my gratitude, but know that if you’re reading this, you are apart of my why. Woli-woni! 💜 – Nyle

Date: March 21, 2023

📍 Cherokee | Mileage completed: 200

“The Longest Walk” is a traditional Wabanaki honor song. I was taught this song honors the trail of tears, injustices that Indigenous People face, and all who suffer. As the late great Dean Francis said, “we all have our own trail of tears and we all have our own longest walks.” As I hike through parts of the country where the trail of tears began, I’ve been singing this song loud for those who can’t. There’s been a deep connection and drive I’ve felt walking on these lands. ⁠

I continue to hike my longest walk and heal from my own trail of tears. Our traditional Wabanaki songs are good medicine. I sing and hike to honor those who have, will or currently walk their longest walk. Thank you all for the continued support. Woli-woni! 👟💜 – Nyle


Hear a snippet of The Longest Walk honor song:

Date: March 03, 2023

📍 S’atsoyaha (Yuchi) | Mileage completed: 109.4

In my first two weeks, I’ve been beginning to find my routine out here. In the mornings I break down camp, filter water, and eat breakfast. In the evenings I set-up camp, eat dinner, and hang my food (PCT Style). Of course, during the day, I hike. Life is simple and enjoyable on the Appalachian Trail (AT), but not exactly comfortable all the time. I’m beginning to learn how it feels to step out of my comfort zone, and it’s an empowering feeling. Thank you to everyone so much for their incredible support. It lifts my spirits up and excites me to think about more Indigenous representation in the backpacking world, as well as in other outdoor settings. Looking forward to continuing with updates and seeing where this project will go! Woli-Woni – Nyle 


Date: Feb. 21, 2023

📍 S’atsoyaha (Yuchi) | Mileage completed: 31.3

This is a journey that has been in the making since 2020. I am dedicating my hike to my late brother, Douglas Sockbeson, who passed away unexpectedly from cardiac arrest on December 16, 2020.

–Nyle Sockbeson, Project Venture Team Lead

Nyle is also hiking to fundraise outdoor recreation opportunities for Wabanaki people. One of the goals of this project is to build WPHW’s outdoor gear library, which will allow for more outdoor recreation accessibility for Wabanaki People. If you would like to donate, please click here or mail a check to:

Wabanaki Public Health & Wellness
Attn: WPHW AT Project
PO Box 1356 Bangor, ME 04402

CLICK HERE to support Wabanaki people’s accessibility to outdoor recreation

Click here to learn more about Project Venture.

Map above from the Appalachian Trail Convervancy.