Rugged Happiness: Setting the Unsupported Female Fastest Known Time on Vermont's Long Trail

"Rugged Happiness: Setting the Unsupported Female Fastest Known Time on Vermont's Long Trail"
Nika Meyers

In 2012, Nika hiked Vermont's 270-mile Long Trail from Canada to Massachusetts while working for the Green Mountain Club, the organization that maintains the trail. It was her first thru-hike and – even though she didn’t know what she was doing – fell in love with hiking and the community surrounding the trail. 

This fall, she returned to the trail she loves to experience it in a different way. She wanted to be in places that brought her joy and confidence. To dream big and appreciate having a body and mind that can carry her through the mountains. To follow in the footsteps of dear friends and mentors. To listen to the sound of the crisp fall leaves under her feet, smell the rich soil, and unmistakable scent of the spruce/fir forests. To watch day turn into night and back into day. To show up and say “yes” to a challenge that would show the little girl inside of her that she could be the first female to set an Unsupported Fastest Known Time across her home state as a wild Vermont fairy.

After 6 days, 11 hrs, and 40 mins of channeling her inner wild thing, she reached the southern terminus. Through photos, videos, and stories, Nika will share moments from the journey of deep strength, unexpected fear, sleep-deprived silliness, abundant discomfort, and overwhelming happiness. The Long Trail is where her love for long-distance hiking started and she is excited to share her story!

What is Potbelly Perspectives?

ACES' Potbelly Perspectives speaker series features Aspen locals and visitors who share their exciting accounts of world travel and adventure through images and stories.

From January through March, this speaker series takes place every Wednesday evening at 7PM at Hallam Lake, providing an opportunity for community-building and story-telling that engages Aspen locals and visitors alike. Tea, donated by Two Leaves Tea Company, beer donated by Breckenridge Brewery, and Paradise Bakery cookies are offered. 

Learn More About Potbelly Perspectives


Potbelly Perspectives



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  • Adults