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Pinellas County woman one step closer to being oldest woman to complete Appalachian Trail

Pamela Clark is hoping to become the oldest female to complete the 2,200-mile hike in one year, and she's about 500 miles from finishing!

TAMPA, Fla. — A monumental journey for someone of any age — hiking the entire 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail in one year. A Pinellas County woman is hoping to complete that and if she does she will be the oldest female to do it.

76-year-old Pamela Clark is also known as Birthday Girl. That's her nickname on the Appalachian Trail. She started the hike on her birthday last March, then came off the trail 1,300 miles later in October with an injury. But she was determined to finish within a year. We first met her in December right before she went back out to the trail in January for the final 800 miles.

On Feb. 4, we caught up with her on Zoom as she was finishing a long day of hiking. "I'm in New York!" She said laughing. In just over a month, Birthday Girl has hiked 300 miles through two states. "It definitely is a lot colder, but having the people with me is exceptional."

She's become quite the celebrity along the trail, with fellow hikers from all over, hoping to meet up with her along the way. 

"People have come out. They've given trail magic and walked with me. That's been really, really great. It's been very nice."

She does have some help. Several people make sure she has hiking partners and warm places to stay on nights when temperatures are falling below zero.

"They're doing logistics. They're saying this is how many miles you're doing on the trail today, this is where you get off. And this is where you're staying tonight and I'm going ok! So I do the walking."

And one of those friends even helped her give her signature purple hair a refresh! 

"I went out, tried to beat the snow, across 5-6 miles and then came back and he did my hair."

She still has 500 miles to go and needs to complete it by March 30 to become the oldest female to through-hike the Appalachian Trail in a year. Click here to keep up with Birthday Girl's journey on Facebook.


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