Rue McKenrick

Rue McKenrick - Thru Hiker & APT Creator

In today’s LEGEND LIFE STORY interview I will be speaking to Rue Mc Kenrick from Bend, Oregon. Rue is a full time professional long-distance backpacker who has completed the “Triple Crown, having through-hiked the 2,190 mile Appalachian Trail, the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail and the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail. He has also through-hiked the John Muir trail and covered thousands of miles on other backcountry trails. He is now in the process of creating the American Perimeter Trail a new hiking trail that circumnavigates the continental United States.

The American Perimeter Trail(APT) will be more than 12,000 miles long once developed. It will use existing trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Appalachian Trail (AT) or parts of the North Country Trail.
Rue began his journey in July 2019 when he set out to hike the whole thing and made it about 10,000 miles and 20 states before weather conditions and health problems in North Dakota forced him to put on hold his plans. Rue plans to resume his journey around the beginning of May 2021 and complete the remaining 2000 plus miles.

In our interview Rue talks about how his career as a professional backpacker began, how his vision for the APT came up, what drives him and how despite many obstacles and challenges he keeps himself going to complete his vision. We talk about the importance of following one’s dreams and how the only things that prevent us living our dreams are the internal barriers or limitations we ourselves create and that it is in overcoming these that we free ourselves to live the live we dream of for ourselves.

To learn more about Rue and the American Perimeter Trail head over to and Instagram @ruemckenrick and @americanperimetertrail.

“Since [the APT] is a loop it has no beginning and no end. It is truly infinite.” @ruemckenrick

Some Questions I Ask:

  • How did you get started being a thru hiker?
  • What is it you love about thru hiking?
  • What have been some of your most challenging moments on the trails?
  • How do you keep yourself positive and motivated when out on the trail?
  • How did you conceive the idea of creating the American Perimeter trail?
  • What is your definition of living a legendary life?
  • What are three life lessons you have learned in life that you think would be of value to others?