BGSU Magazine Fall 2010
Taking on the Appalachian Trail
Andy Niekamp, 49, a semi-retired management information specialist, calls Kettering, Ohio, home, but the Appalachian Trail is his Greek Siren. It first called to him in 1989 and he completed the journey. Then in 2000, the trail called and Andy set forth once more. In 2006, he heard it beckoning yet again. Andy (Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, 1983) is one of just 30 individuals in the world who have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail — over 2,179 miles — three times.
During those hikes, which he completes in sections of about 500 miles over a period of years, he’s learned quite a few lessons; many about nature, perhaps more about life. The trail inspires him, relaxes him, and renews him. Andy fondly refers to the trail as his “old friend,” and his “Personal Fountain of Youth.”