The Hike:

  • Why hike the Appalachian Trail?

Hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) has been a dream of mine for years now. I recall graduating High School and going into an intense phase of buying/reading/watching all things pertaining to hiking and the outdoors.  

2,190 Miles, what an accomplishment I thought to myself. A trail who's mountain ranges surpass Mt. Everest in elevation nearly 16 times in it's accumulation. A footpath that swallows 14 states in its magnitude. Talk about a Trek!

The confidence, elation, preparation, will power, and wisdom it must take to hike a trail like that. I pondered it's grandeur almost as if she were some fairy tale impermissible to touch. At the time I did not have the reasoning or belief that I could accomplish the Appalachians, but

NOW I CAN! (See our Mission Page)

I will begin my adventure on this beautiful beast on July 9th, heading Southbound. This will classify me as a southbounder, or a SOBO.  I will be kicking it off in Maine and concluding the hike in my home state of Georgia. 

Hey! My name is Zachary Cooper,

I am a brother, friend, student and son, but most of all I am his.

(Gal 2:20)

My hobbies and interests include cooking, exercising, journaling, philanthropy, photography, reading, and

all things involving adventure and exploration. I would describe myself as a man of faith who's goal in life is to empower others through encouragement and sincere friendship. 

If we were to have a conversation 3 things you would notice about me include:

​Love... Energy... Integrity...



I graduated high school at Union Grove, in McDonough, GA prior to attending Georgia Southern University. 

For my final semester of college, I interned alongside strength coaches at EXOS, Gulf Breeze FL.  While there, I was a working hand in rehabilitation and developing programs to increase the quality of life through movement/performance methodologies for military personnel and elite athletes. I am blessed to have been given that opportunity and thankful for the EXOS staff's involvement in my education process. I graduated on May 5, 2018 with my BS in Exercise Science. Currently, it is my goal to raise awareness for The JAY's HOPE Foundation while hiking the Appalachian Trail. All the funds collected through this "miles for a mission" campaign will be given directly to children and families impacted by cancer,  (get involved).


About Zak,

"I have known Zak for 8 years. He has always had a compassionate heart. He is humble, dependable, responsible, respectful, and is a quiet leader. He is intentional about everything that he does and leads by example. His spirit is calm and grounded in God's grace. He is intense and thoughtful about life and his impact on others and lives according to a strong moral compass. He sets goals and diligently works his plan to accomplish them but never forgets to ask for other's insights and perspectives so that his plan has holistic balance and meaning. His character hasn't really changed through the years. He is present and alive in everything that he does. He is now diligently pursuing his life and his career goals. Zak is such a joy and I thank God for placing him along my journey"


—  Lisa Glover | HR Business Consultant

     Georgia Power Company


Follow Zak:

Stay updated on my progress during this hike.

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