Since 1994 Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp has hiked 9,500 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT), a continuous footpath that runs through fourteen states from Spring Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. He has been awarded three "2,000 miler" certificates by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy which is conferred on hikers who have completed the entire AT and he is a Life Member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Andy first became interested in backpacking in Boy Scouts, took his first solo hike on the AT in 1989, and since then has hiked the trail in sections end-to-end over three times. His average hike on the trail is 10-15 miles per day but he has walked up to 27 miles in one day. In the last few years he has averaged 500-600 miles per section. He labels himself as a chronic section hiker of the AT. He finds each successive end-to-end hike gets easier and more enjoyable and his favorite areas of the trail are the southern Appalachians, New Hampshire and Maine. Most of Andy's AT hiking is solo, but occasionally he has friends join him for short sections and he has met many interesting people along the way.
Andy Niekamp is from Kettering and has a passion for long distance hiking. He has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail end to end four times. Andy is founder and leader of the Dayton Hikers group, the largest outdoor recreation group in Dayton and the Chief Adventure Officer of Outdoor Adventure Connection.