Alan Wood and John Steed, both of Belfast, hiked up Bigelow Mountain, third-highest mountain in Maine, Sept. 11. The pair went up 2,800 feet of incline on their 10-hour, 11-mile hike. Although Steed has youth on his side, the indomitable Wood is 75.

Wood said he first hiked Bigelow 53 years ago, “and then at age 50, so I thought maybe I’d do it at age 75.” His hiking partner is 43.

Belfast native Wood, a real estate agent, and Steed, a mapmaker, have been hiking Maine mountain trails together pretty much since Steed moved here from California 3 1/2 years ago. “Alan was the first person I met when I moved to Belfast,” Steed said. “He was born here, his parents were from here, and he has a great perspective on the area.”

Last year, the pair hiked the treacherous Knife Edge trail at Mt. Katahdin both ways — a round trip that is not recommended because of the level of difficulty and the time it takes to go just one way. “Alan does things his own special way,” John said. “I asked him why he wanted to do Knife’s Edge out and back, and he said, ‘Because nobody else does it.’

“Alan is a really impressive person.”

The coronavirus pandemic has limited their outings more recently, but the pair’s planning is back in full gear for next year. They’re looking forward to tackling Katahdin’s Dudley trail, which recently reopened after being closed by a rock slide and debris since 2016. Dudley is described as a strenuous 1.3-mile trail that is almost entirely above the treeline and climbs nearly 2,000 feet from Chimney Pond to Pamola Peak.

Another mountain on their radar for next year is Borestone, in Guilford. They choose only Maine mountains for their vertical hikes.

Wood, who served on the school board in Belfast from 1986 to 2016, takes pride in staying fit and active. “This year I have walked the old Moosehead Train tracks, Belfast to Burnham Junction and back, and the Hills to Sea trail from Belfast to Unity and back,” he said.

A man of many “loves” in addition to hiking, Wood said he substitute teaches at schools in Northport and Belfast “because children are so amazing and being in nature is so wonderful. I always run with the kids and teach them the ways of the Native Americans and that there is no goal they cannot reach.”

Steed, who is a Waterfall Arts board member, enjoys applying his mapmaking talents to local community mapping projects, such as Our Town Belfast’s recent Belfast Tiny Doors project. Wood notes that Steed is also a runner, with seven marathons and three triathlons to his credit.

“Every year we plan hikes together, as we both love nature and the physical exhaustion part of it,” Wood said.