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  • April 2010
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One Book, One Community and One Long Hike

This year’s selection for the One Book One Community program is A Walk in the Woods:  Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. 

When I first read A Walk in the Woods about 10 years ago, I became fascinated  with the Appalachian Trail.  When I went camping with friends in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park I got a chance to hike on part of the trail.  It was cool to see and meet serious hikers at the trailhead in Tennessee.

For awhile, I was obsessed with reading accounts of people who “thru-hiked” the whole 2,170 miles.  I was impressed that someone would devote months of their life to hiking the trail.  The trail begins (or ends) in Georgia and ends (or begins) in Maine.  Most people like to begin their hike in Georgia in the Spring.  This way they can avoid the heat of the summer in the south and the snow and cold of winter in the north.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ACT) is a volunteered based organization dedicated to the preservation and management of the trail.  This is a good starting point to find information about the trail.

For personal stories about hiking the trail, I really liked A Journey North: One Woman’s Story of Hiking the Appalachian Trail by Adrienne Hall.  I would also recommend Appalachia Adventure: From Georgia to Maine–a Spectacular Journey on the Great American Trail.

Try Trailplace: An Appalachian Resource Website for great photographs and personal trail stories.  Click on Trailplace Forums to see the photos from the trail. 

Now that spring is here, I’ll have to dust off the hiking boots and plan a hike around Pittsburgh some weekend. 

~Marian

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