The Triple Crown refers to the three major U.S. long distance hiking trails and is avarded by the American Long Distance Hiking Association - West (ALDHA-WEST). The three trails are:
Appalachian Trail (AT) - 2,184 miles (3,515 km), between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine, passing through 13 states (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsilvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massassachusets, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine) following the Appalachians.
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) - 2,654 miles (4,270 km) long, between the borders of Mexico and Canada, passing through California, Oregon, and California thereby following the highest parts of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range.
Continental Divide Trail (CDT) - up to 3,100 miles (5,000 km), between the borders of Mexico and Canada following the Continental Divide along the Rocky Mountains and traversing New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
The total length of the three trails is up to about 7,900 miles (12,700 km); vertical gain is more than 1,000,000 feet (300,000 m) (190 miles). The average hiker requires about 5 to 6 months for each of the trails. Especially the CDT, as it is not completely marked yet, allows for many alternatives thereby giving this trail different lengths for every hiker. My three hikes are described in detail in the separate trail sections.
At the ALDHA-West Gathering, held each fall, the Triple Crown honorees are recognized and awarded plaques noting their achievement. In 2015 I was awarded my plaque as can be seen below.