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1,000+ miles down, 1,000+ to go; time for ice cream on the Appalachian Trail

Of the few thousand people who attempt to through-hike the more than 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail each year, only about a quarter finish.

So, reaching the halfway point, which roughly falls in Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County, is a cause for celebration.

Through-hikers mark their accomplishment with yet another challenge — eating a half-gallon of ice cream in one sitting.

WITF caught up with a few hikers taking part in the trail tradition.

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Neil “Happy Feet” Postal, 24, of Virginia Beach, Virginia taught motorcycle safety courses before starting on the trail. Postal said they had very little hiking experience before setting out on the 6-month trip.

Andrew “Magic Falcon” Chang, 40, is a chef from New York City. He said there was one “smart choice” of ice cream flavor to attempt the half-gallon challenge.

Yvette “Milkweed” Furnia, 36, of Orange County, New York is a former science teacher and fourth generation egg farmer. She said she was first inspired to hike the trail while in college.

Alan “Legoman” Dwyer, 36, works in IT for the New Hampshire Air National Guard. For his ice cream flavor, he chose a taste of home — maple walnut.

Read more from our partners, WITF.