The longest continuously marked footpath in the world, the Appalachian Trail spans 2,140 miles across fourteen statesfrom Georgia to Maineand travels through vastly different natural and social environments. Now, in a lively and eye-opening introduction to this national treasure, The Appalachian Trail Reader collects trail diaries, historical and personal essays, and poems that reflect the meaning of this great wilderness trail across both time and geography.
Here are the works of both well-known writers and anonymous raconteurs, including Henry David Thoreau, James Dickey, Aldo Leopold, James MacGregor Burns, Richard Wilbur, and many others. The trail's founding fathers Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery speak here, too, about their visions and plans, while excerpts from Appalachian Trail hikers' journals, from the 1930s to the 1990s, provide a firsthand, intimate portrait of walking the trail. And throughout, scientists' close observation of the natural world mingle with poet's evocations of the sweetness or the rigors of the wilderness experience.
A patchwork quilt of voices, both eloquent and raw, The Appalachian Trail Reader presents a rich introduction to the trail for those planning a walking trip, and a vivid scrapbook for those who have already hiked its mountains or valleys.
About the Author
David Emblidge has hiked sections of the Appalachian trail in seven states as well as other trails in North America and Europe. He writes and edits books on literary, historical, and outdoor recreation subjects. His own work has appeared in The New Republic, MD, Saturday Review, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and The Berkshire Eagle. He serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Audubon Society (Berkshire Sanctuaries) and was a director of the Berkshire County Historical Society.