Like Us On Facebook
Facebook Pagelike Widget

Liz “Snorkel” Thomas, the “thru-hiking legend,” on expanding outdoor access through writing and urban-hiking


Liz Thomas is a professional hiker, speaker, and outdoor writer who held the women’s self-supported speed record on the 2,181-mile long Appalachian Trail from 2011-2015. Called a “thru-hiking legend” by Outside Magazine, Liz has also hiked 20+ long distance trails including the Triple Crown of Hiking (AT, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail) and first known traverses of the Wasatch Range and Chinook Trail. Her innovative urban thru-hikes of 14 cities led The Guardian to call her “The Queen of Urban Hiking.” Liz is a former staff writer for the New York Times/Wirecutter and current Editor-in-Chief for the outdoor web-magazine Treeline Review as well as contributing editor and columnist of “Ask a Thru-hiker” for Backpacker Magazine. She’s the author of Long Trails: Mastering the Art of the Thru-hike, which received the 2017 National Outdoor Book Award for Best Instructional book with judges calling it destined to become the “Bible of the Sport.”

Discussed in this episode:

–Barriers to entry in thru-hiking

–The story of how Liz got her trail name, Snorkel

–Urban thru-hiking

–The ALDHA West video on Liz’s Seattle urban hike

–How urban settings interact with redlining, race, class, gender, etc.

The Trust for Public Land

NYC playgrounds thru-hike

Inman 300 trail

Sign petition to support the Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act

–Truffle Pigs Bistro

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

–Quote: “I had spent a lot of unnecessary money and pain learning about thru-hiking the hard way, and yet, thru-hiking had still changed my life and rewired me into a much more emotionally stable and happier person… I really wanted to share that joy with others while also minimizing the barriers to entry that I experienced.”

–Follow Liz: or @lizthomashiking.

––Follow Social Sport: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter 

–-Subscribe to the Social Sport Newsletter

*This episode is sponsored by OPE Running. Go to and use code SOCIALSPORT for 15% off your order.

Follow us

Welcome to your new favorite running website. Be sure to stay up to date with all the latest news and content by following our social media pages below. Thanks!

[tg_social_icons style="light" size="large"]

Read our old stuff…it’s still great

Scroll to top