Most Outsiders find their love for hiking and the outdoors when their young, but not like this 4-year-old girl. Scarlett, lovingly known as “Little Foot,” conquered all 48 4,000-foot mountains in New Hampshire before her fifth birthday. Already, that’s a tough challenge for those taller than three feet. But Little Foot made the journey look easy in the snapshots her hiking partner and grandmother took. Together, the hiking team is now a part of the exclusive club of avid hikers that have summitted all 48 4,000-foot peaks in the state. They now wear the commemorative Appalachian Mountain Club patch with pride.
Most of the trails Scarlett and her grandmother hiked were a part of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This range contains some of the highest peaks in the state, including Mount Washington at 6,288 feet. Given that the 4-year-old’s last hike was on Mount Tecumseh, the shortest of the 48 at 4,003 feet, the duo likely worked their way down the long list from longest to shortest trails. According to Little Foot’s grandmother, at times, she wanted to give up, but her granddaughter’s “determination and excitement” encouraged them both to soldier on.
Now that’s she’s completed this grand feat, some might think Scarlett’s ready to take a break from her outdoor adventures. But, like a true Outsider, the 4-year-old instead plans to find new trails to conquer with her favorite hiking partner. Perhaps she’ll set her sights on the Appalachian trail and become the second-youngest hiker to complete the 2,100-mile journey.
Woman Hikes New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-Foot Mountains with Four-Legged Partner
Scarlett isn’t the only unlikely hiker to complete New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-foot mountains. Back in July, Mel Elam decided to take Floki the cat with her on the long journey. The inspiration came when Elam saw a fellow hiker on Mount Moosilake with a feline of his own. So, Elam packed her daypack and settled Floki on the top with his harness and leash.
Together, the two met plenty of curious bypassers that loved to see Floki admire the birds or dash through the trails. One even encouraged the pair to create an Instagram account for their adventures, which Elam now regularly uses when she brings her favorite hiking companion on the trail.
According to her mom, what Floki enjoys most about her adventures through the New Hampshire mountains is watching the birds. Sometimes, her fascination with birds can slow their pace, but Elam doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, fans and fellow hikers ask Elam for tips for hiking with a cat.
“I always say patience,” Elam said.
Like Little Foot, just because the pair have completed the 48 4,000-footers doesn’t mean their days of hiking are over. Stay up to date with Floki’s adventures by following them here.