Photo: The Grey Bearded Adventurer

He’s known as the “Grey Bearded Adventurer” for good reason.

At 81, Dale Sanders is on a mission to become the oldest person to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one season. He started his 2,200 trek on January 1 in Georgia, and hopes to reach trail’s end in late September or early October at the age of 82.

This distance is no joke, but it’s actually not the furthest Sanders has traveled in one adventure. At 80, he become the oldest person to ever paddle the length of the Mississippi River, doing it in support of Juvenile Diabetes research.

According to his website, Sanders has been an avid outdoorsman his entire life. He worked for the Parks and Recreation department for almost six decades and his first job was as a lifeguard. Eventually, he taught swimming and first aid, and certified thousands through the American Red Cross.

He’s an accomplished swimmer, diver, and spear-fisherman who set a record for Underwater Breath Holding when he submerged himself for over six minutes without coming up for air.

“You’re going to have to live a happy life. And I could stand here all day and go over different formulas for what will make you happy. But you’ve got to figure that out for yourself,” he told WGME.

Here’s more on Sanders’ hike and rowing adventures:


So, what are your goals at the age of 80?