October 20, 2017

Former Buckeye Hiking 2,000-Plus Miles of Appalachian Trail


Oct. 20, 2017

Columbus, Ohio Kelly Ann Baird, a former member of the Ohio State women’s rowing and swimming teams, has set out on a five month, 2,000-plus mile trek on the Appalachian Trail. She started the trip on Oct. 1 and is set to arrive in Georgia in February.

Baird competed as a member of the First Varsity Four and Second Novice Eight during her two years with the rowing team. The only regatta she competed at in 2015 was Ohio State’s season-opening regatta on the Scioto River. She helped the 1V4 win both races that day. In 2014, her first year with the team, she helped Ohio State claim the Big Ten title as a member of the 2N8 as the boat finished third in its final.

Baird picked up hiking about a year and a half ago and has been hooked ever since. She has hopes and aspirations that she can inspire others through her journey. Baird will be hiking anywhere from four miles a day to almost 24 miles. She will be forging rivers and navigating climbs throughout the journey.

“By pushing boundaries and sharing my experiences with others, I hope to inspire more individuals to get outside and explore the world around them, whether that be by taking a stroll around a neighborhood park or walking for months on end across the country,” Baird said on her The Trek blog page.

Baird already has published two posts talking about her love for hiking and the first 100 miles of her trip. Joining her on the trip is her ‘goofy’ pup, Riley.

You can follow her journey through blogs or on Instagram.

During her time with swimming, Baird competed in the freestyle and individual medley events during her time in the Scarlet and Gray. She also competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle and 200 backstroke. As a junior, the Lexington, N.C., native held Ohio State’s best times in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle, and she helped the Buckeyes place fourth at the 2013 Big Ten Championships by contributing points in the 200 medley relay.