The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is pleased to announce the release of “Trail Brothers,” the first short film in the new myATstory video series. This five-film series will showcase the stories of several unique members of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) community, focusing on the transformative role the Trail has had on their lives.
“The Appalachian Trail has been a source for so many awe-inspiring tales, with more being created every year,” said Javier Folgar, director of marketing and communications for the ATC. “We at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy are proud to show the inclusiveness and personality that make the A.T. such a great place to make your own story in the future.”
“Trail Brothers” chronicles a five-day journey with Derick “Mr. Fabulous” Lugo, a New Yorker attempting to rekindle the magic of his 2012 A.T. thru-hike and reconnect with his brother, Carlos Velez.
“I wanted him to experience what I experienced when I thru-hiked, at least a part of it,” Lugo said. “There’s this feeling you get. It just flows through you, where everything is just right. And I’m getting chills just thinking about it.”
Through a series of emotional and literal ups-and-downs, the film follows these brothers on their trek from the heart of New York City to the depths of the forests lining the A.T. Derick and Carlos experience companionship, blisters and, ultimately, a greater appreciation for each other and the benefits that the Trail provides.
“It’s just calming being out here,” Velez said. “Even though it’s exhausting sometimes.”
The myATstory video series is a part of a larger campaign to showcase that the ATC mission is also the Trail community’s mission. The series will not focus exclusively on hikers, instead showing how other groups and individuals have become involved with the A.T. — sometimes without even setting foot on the Trail itself.
“We want to highlight that the Appalachian Trail community isn’t exclusive to experienced hikers or adventure junkies,” said Folgar. “Future videos will show a variety individuals who want to preserve the unique experience that the Trail provides, whether that means protecting an entire mountain from destruction or simply lending a helping hand to the hikers passing through their town. So few places foster such a love both from and for the community, and we’re pleased that the A.T. has that effect.”
The myATstory video series is developed through the collaboration of the ATC, Horizonline Pictures and executive producers Rubén and Valerie Rosales. To view “Trail Brothers,” see the schedule of upcoming videos and learn about the myATstory Contest — where visitors can share their own A.T. stories for a chance to win great backpacking prizes — visit myATstory.org.
TetonHikingTrails.com The Smoky Mountain Hiker is the author of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog and the online trail guide, HikingintheSmokys.com