Michael Ranck of Deer Lake, a retired school teacher, has just finished hiking the 2,179 mile Appalachian Trail.

HAMBURG – After spending 114 days hiking the Appalachian Trail, Michael Ranck, Deer Lake, just wanted to go home and take off his shoes.

On Wednesday, the 59-year-old emerged from the trail near the Hamburg Reservoir and was greeted by about 30 family members and friends, many of whom walked the last mile of the trail with the retired Hamburg Area Earth science teacher.

“This is something I wanted to do for years. I live by the trail and have hiked parts of it. I like a challenge,” Ranck said.

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