During the 2014 Trail Dames Summit in Boone, North Carolina, last month, I had the honor of presenting the Adventurer of the Year Award to an old friend, long-time Jacksonville resident Sue “Hammock Hanger” Turner.
One of Florida’s first backpackers to use a camping hammock rather than a tent, Sue has taken on dozens of long-distance hikes over the past decade, many of them solo. Her adventures – which you can follow on TrailJournals.com under “Hammock Hanger” – read like many backpacker’s bucket lists, ranging from the Appalachian Trail and Florida Trail to the John Muir Trail, Wonderland Trail, and the Camino de Santiago.
After double knee replacement surgery, she spent last summer hiking through England, including traversing the Coast to Coast Trail. This summer, she’ll be enjoying the Rocky Mountains on the Colorado Trail.
In 2010, Sue took on the challenge of being the first person to backpack the proposed Great Eastern Trail, which is envisioned to provide hikers an alternate route to a large portion of the Appalachian Trail. It stretches from Alabama to Pennsylvania.
In addition to her many miles of backpacking, Sue is a gracious volunteer, helping newbie hikers get their start backpacking. She’s taught clinics at the Trail Dames Summit and at Florida Trail Association meetings and conferences, and served as the Long Distance Hiking Committee chair for FTA for many years.
We’d like to congratulate Sue on her well-deserved award and recognition as one of America’s top women hikers. Well done!