November 2, 2020

“The Blackalachian”: Tales of the Appalachian Trail

Tall and lean, Daniel White looks like he belongs somewhere in the depths of nature. And most days that’s where you can find him. Daniel White, aka “The Blackalachian”, is an inspiration to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. With almost no training or athletic background, White hiked the Appalachian trail in 190 days — a feat that many experienced hikers would gawk at. Daniel prides himself on his accomplishments, but retains a palpable level of humility, laughing easily when asked about the nature of his extreme hikes. 

Daniel talks about the outdoors as an escape from the monotony of his day-to-day job. He’d accustomed himself to working 60 hour weeks, and wanted a change of pace. He wanted to see the world. The sudden nature of his dive into the outdoor community illuminated many of the injustices present in the world of hikers. “The equipment is expensive” he says — noting that access to the outdoors is still restricted to those who can afford it (thus garnering a largely white community).  Daniel also notes his frustration at being known as a Black hiker, a role that has given him a unique spot in the outdoor community. Yet, he hopes that one day he can be regarded just as every other hiker is: another person enjoying the outdoors. 

Unsurprisingly, Daniel is constantly on the search for new adventures. When asked what hike he hopes to tackle next, he lists several, chief amongst which is the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) — another monstrous hike that spans the length of the West coast. If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that there will be no shortage of adventures for Daniel as his experience in the outdoors continues to blossom. 

To listen to the full interview with Wild Virginia’s Publicity & Outreach Director, Katie Keller, click here.