AT Journeys Summer 2019
TIME
TRAVEL

The Wild East Historical
and Cultural Experience

Significance of Scenic Views

Hot Springs, North Carolina

TIME
TRAVEL

The Wild East Historical
and Cultural Experience

Significance of Scenic Views

Hot Springs, North Carolina

TIME
TRAVEL

The Wild East Historical
and Cultural Experience

Significance of Scenic Views

Hot Springs, North Carolina

Support the Trail You Love
AT Journeys Enonation Advertisement
View from the A.T. in Harriman/Bear Mountian state parks, New York – By Raymond Salani III
A moment at Mahoosuc Notch
Adventure and unwind in Hot Springs, North Carolina
Spirit and grace carry on
Shortleaf pine ecosystem
Historic summer reads
Love and diversity

ON THE COVER
Sunrise at Blackrock Summit — just steps from the Trail in Shenandoah
National Park – Photo by Lori Mier

U.S. history and culture resonate in the Wild East
The significance of breathtaking views beyond the footpath
The A.T. Museum tells the story of the Trail
Trailblazing women of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
Fishing spots abound for the passionate angler
View from the A.T. in Harriman/Bear Mountian state parks, New York – By Raymond Salani III

ON THE COVER
Sunrise at Blackrock Summit — just steps from the Trail in Shenandoah
National Park – Photo by Lori Mier
Happenings in the Trail community
A moment at Mahoosuc Notch
Adventure and unwind in Hot Springs, North Carolina
Spirit and grace carry on
Shortleaf pine ecosystem
Historic summer reads
Love and diversity
U.S. history and culture resonate in the Wild East
The significance of breathtaking views beyond the footpath
The A.T. Museum tells the story of the Trail
Trailblazing women of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
Fishing spots abound for the passionate angler
ATC Executive Leadership

Sandra Marra / President & CEO
Stacey J. Marshall / Vice President of Finance & Administration
Elizabeth Borg / Vice President of Membership and Development
Laura Belleville / Vice President of Conservation & Trail Programs
Cherie A. Nikosey / Chief of Staff
Brian B. King / Publisher

A.T. Journeys

Wendy K. Probst / Editor in Chief
Traci Anfuso-Young / Art Director / Designer

Contributors

Jordan Bowman / Communications Manager
Laurie Potteiger / Information Services Manager
Brittany Jennings / Proofreader

MISSION
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail — ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.
Board of Directors

Colin Beasley / Chair
Greg Winchester / Vice Chair
Edward R. Guyot / Secretary
Mary Higley / Treasurer
Beth Critton
Grant Davies
Shalin Desai
Norman P. Findley
Thomas L. Gregg
Daniel A. Howe
Robert Hutchinson
James LaTorre
Colleen Peterson
Rubén Rosales

President’s Advisory Circle

Hon. C. Stewart Verdery, Jr. / Co-Chair
Hon. Stephanie Martz / Co-Chair
Diana Christopulos
Constance I. DuHamel
Lisa Koteen Gerchick
Jessica Herrera-Flanigan
R. Michael Leonard
Robert Rich
Thomas Torrisi
Sara Hazelwood Yanes

© 2019 Appalachian Trail Conservancy. All rights reserved.
Membership

For membership questions or to become a member, call: (304) 885-0460

[email protected]

Advertising

A.T. Journeys is published four times per year. Advertising revenues directly support the publication and production of the magazine, and help meet Appalachian Trail Conservancy objectives. For more information and advertising rates, visit: appalachiantrail.org/atjadvertising

MISSION
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail — ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.
Board of Directors

Colin Beasley / Chair
Greg Winchester / Vice Chair
Edward R. Guyot / Secretary
Mary Higley / Treasurer
Beth Critton
Grant Davies
Shalin Desai
Norman P. Findley
Thomas L. Gregg
Daniel A. Howe
Robert Hutchinson
James LaTorre
Colleen Peterson
Rubén Rosales

President’s Advisory Circle

Hon. C. Stewart Verdery, Jr. / Co-Chair
Hon. Stephanie Martz / Co-Chair
Diana Christopulos
Constance I. DuHamel
Lisa Koteen Gerchick
Jessica Herrera-Flanigan
R. Michael Leonard
Robert Rich
Thomas Torrisi
Sara Hazelwood Yanes

© 2019 Appalachian Trail Conservancy. All rights reserved.
The staff of A.T. Journeys welcomes editorial inquiries, suggestions, and comments. Email: [email protected] Observations, conclusions, opinions, and product endorsements expressed in A.T. Journeys are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of members of the board or staff of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

A.T. Journeys is published on Somerset matte paper manufactured by Sappi North America mills and distributors that follow responsible forestry practices. It is printed with Soy Seal certified ink in the U.S.A. by Sheridan NH in Hanover, New Hampshire.

A.T. Journeys ( ISSN 1556-2751) is published quarterly for $15 a year by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, (304) 535-6331. Bulk-rate postage paid at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and other offices. Postmaster: Send change-of-address Form 3575 to A.T. Journeys, P.O. Box 807, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.

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Contributors
Contributors

The sheer magnitude of historical events converging with the A.T. challenged me to find the common thread of the mountains and gaps as barrier, passage, and life source

Marina Richie

THE DRIVE FROM MARYLAND INTO WEST VIRGINIA — OVER THE Potomac and then Shenandoah rivers — is my singular favorite stretch of road. Not just because it is where I used to play, float lazily on innertubes, and attempt to kayak when the rapids were low in the summers of my college years, but for the sheer magnificence of the views and the deep reverence I feel for the history surrounding the area. History flows like a river along the length of the A.T. In some areas, like the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac in Harpers Ferry, it flows quite literally. U.S. history and culture are intertwined inextricably in so many places along the Trail that it is easy to liken the footpath to a portal for time travel. In this ancient but somehow ageless Appalachian mountain range, time loops from past to future and back again revealing old and new messages — of the significance of dazzling scenic views, the stories behind some of the oldest historical places in the U.S., and the importance of cultural diversity in the outdoor-loving recreational community.

Wendy K. Probst / Editor in Chief
AT Journeys contributor, Jennifer Pharr Davis

Jennifer Pharr Davis
Jennifer Pharr Davis is a hiker, author, and speaker who has hiked more than 14,000 miles and traversed the Appalachian Trail three times. In 2011, she set the overall unofficial speed record on the A.T. (averaging 47 miles per day for 46 days). She has also logged over 600 miles pregnant and over 1,000 miles while nursing. She founded the Blue Ridge Hiking Company — a premier guiding service in the southeastern U.S., which recently launched a lightweight hiking and backpacking boutique in Asheville and a bunkhouse on the A.T. in Hot Springs, North Carolina. “It was a joy to write this piece because the scenic views along the Appalachian Trail are the first place where I felt fully beautiful, self-assured, and a part of the natural environment,” she says. Jennifer is also the author several critically acclaimed books, including Becoming Odyssa and The Pursuit of Endurance.

AT Journeys contributor, Audrey Peterman

Audrey Peterman
Audrey Peterman grew up in the proverbial “village” that it takes to raise a child. Free to roam the lush Jamaican countryside with a host of village children, she feasted on mangoes, guavas, and limitless fruits and sat on the riverbanks observing life in the water while doing her homework.

"When I migrated to the United States and discovered the National Park System, I was shocked to find the disparity in visitorship and employment along racial lines,” she says. She and her husband Frank have been striving to remedy this situation through consulting, writing, speaking, and physically introducing people to the parks. She served five three-year terms on the Board of Trustees for the National Parks Conservation Association and is co-founder of the Diverse Environmental Leaders Speakers Bureau.

AT Journeys contributor, Tim Bower
Tim Bower
Tim Bower is an illustrator living and working in eastern Pennsylvania. Over the last three decades, his editorial work has been commissioned by major U.S. newspapers, magazines, and book publishers, and has been recognized by the illustration/design industry. He has also produced artwork for advertising campaigns, annual reports, and character design for film for clients including: Sony, Nike, Volkswagen, Red Bull, ESPN, Major League Baseball and Blue Sky Studios. Tim has served on the faculty of several college illustration programs, most currently the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. “As an editorial illustrator I’m offered assignments on current events most frequently, so the occasional historical or fictional themes are always welcome and have become preferred,” he says. “This article, with its substantial conceptual heft was a pleasure to dig into, not only for its interesting imagery but for its historical and cultural significance.”

AT Journeys contributor, Marina Richie
Marina Richie
After a deep dive into history, Marina Richie has a piece of advice for fellow hikers: If you want to time travel, pause to touch a boulder and feel the passage of human history grounded in geology and shaped by the north-south mountain range.

Marina often writes about the confluence of nature and culture, and authored the winter 2019 feature, “Wild Skyway.” “Researching this piece offered new and often emotional insights into the Cherokee Trail of Tears, and those who traversed the Underground Railroad, as well as stories from the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and the CCC-era,” she says. “The sheer magnitude of historical events converging with the A.T. challenged me to find the common thread of the mountains and gaps as barrier, passage, and life source."

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President’s Letter
President’s Letter

Resilience, Dedication and Aspiration

AS THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL Conservancy’s (ATC) president/CEO, it has been my privilege to share in the rich A.T. legacy. When I joined in 2017, I was immediately impressed by the passionate dedication to the Trail shared by our members, volunteers, partners, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and, of course, the ATC’s board and staff. I’ve had an incredibly fast, exhilarating, and wonderful run, so I’m sure that this being my last column will catch many of you by surprise — more about that below. Initially, I want to address a number of important items:

First, the incredible efforts made by first responders, hikers, and the whole A.T. community to the horrific assault that led to the death of U.S. Army veteran Ronald Sanchez Jr., and which severely wounded another hiker, reminds us all how much we depend on one another. Our hearts go out to the victims and to their families and friends — clearly reflected by the outpouring of love and support that the A.T. hiking and volunteer community has directed their way. Not long after this tragedy, Appalachian Trail lovers from around the world gathered for the 33rd Annual Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia. The yearly festival of celebration, learning, and fellowship was made more profound by our shared shock at this senseless violence.

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Letters
Letters
A.T. Journeys Step Out article

THE ARTICLES FROM KIM O’Connell and Rebecca Harnish, “Step Out” and “Postcards from Paradise” (Spring 2019) are the reason I will keep my membership and enjoy A.T. Journeys as long as I live. Rebecca’s short article may be why many don’t want to long-distance hike, but to me and the ones who have hiked the Trail, we never want it to end. Her article gave me the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings that only a person that has experienced it can get. Keep these articles coming.

Richard “Truck” Dailey
Orange Park, Florida

WHILE I AM GENERALLY NOT a fan of the thru-hiker articles, I do appreciate the togetherness that comes from publishing the 2,000-Miler list of those who’ve done it ("2,000-Milers," Spring 2019) #jealous. The “Step Out” article about Trail Communities by Kim O’Connell is a keeper for when my life commitments allow me to hike, long weekends at best. Good tips in that article. Also, beautiful post card art by Rebecca Harnish.

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Board Election and Annual Meeting Announcement
Election Process and important dates

FOUR RETURNING DIRECTORS HAVE BEEN NOMINATED for open positions on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Board of Directors for the 2019–2022 term.Elections will be conducted electronically prior to the organization’s annual meeting, which is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon EDT on September 7, 2019.

Nominated for three-year terms are: Greg Winchester of Milton, Georgia; Beth Critton of West Hartford, Connecticut; Rubén Rosales of Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Norman Findley of Brookhaven, Georgia.

The annual meeting will be conducted on a virtual basis this year. Further information on the meeting, the elections process, and the nominees can be found at: appalachiantrail.org.

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{ By Jennifer Pharr Davis }

{ By Jennifer Pharr Davis }

I HAD BEEN ON THE TRAIL FOR A LITTLE OVER FOUR WEEKS and despite the demanding climb to the summit of Roan Mountain my legs still felt energized. The Trail stretched before me like a moving sidewalk that pulled me forward without effort. It was late April and the breeze brought the stirring scent of spring to the 6,000-foot ridgeline. The eastern horizon was stacked with layers of mountains that turned violet and indigo as the sun grew heavy in the sky. To the west, the deep green of Christmas tree farms and spring flora filling the valley floor. As I ascended Hump Mountain, the sun descended on a distant peak. And, like a lit match to a firework, the sinking orb ignited the sky with rose color hues and golden linings on every cloud.

When I reached the top, I was overtaken with the moment. Without thinking, I shouted, “Praise God,” at the top of my lungs. Suddenly, I felt self-conscious. I looked around again to make sure I was alone. I was… I was by myself, standing on top of a 400-million-year-old mountain, with uninterrupted views in every direction, and the moment was too full to be contained.

AT Journeys: Trailhead - Veterans War Memorial
Veterans War Memorial Tower
Among so many easily accessible historic Trail-side treasures from Georgia to Maine is the Veterans War Memorial Tower in Massachusetts. The 93-foot-high tower, which is located at the summit of Mount Greylock and is part of the Mount Greylock State Reservation, was constructed in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps in honor of WWI veterans. At 3,492 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest point in the state and from its peak on a clear day, visitors can see as far as 90 miles away.

Mount Greylock became Massachusetts’ first state reservation in 1898, with the donation of 400 acres of land. Today the reservation includes over 12,500 acres, including an 11.5-mile segment of the Appalachian Trail.

AT Journeys: Wild East Appalachian Trail
AT Journeys: Wild East Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is more than a footpath in the woods. It is the backbone of a great landscape. With its scenic views, native plants and wildlife, American history, and unique communities, the Wild East landscape is a worldwide destination for your own unforgettable adventure.

Immerse yourself in the stories surrounding the Wild East — from the importance of forest health to the eastern U.S. to the significance of the A.T. and surrounding corridor as a migratory route and home to myriad species of birds. Explore, watch videos, and learn about the people and places that are part of the larger narrative that encompasses the Wild East.

Discover the Wild East at:
wildeastappalachiantrail.org
trailhead
Safety on the Trail
and Reporting Incidents
The A.T. has an extraordinary culture of kindness and generosity and is sometimes viewed as a sanctuary from some of the ills of the modern world. However, the Trail is not insulated against the problems of larger society.

In the wake of the widely reported incident on the Appalachian Trail in southwest Virginia in May 2019 that resulted in the death of Ronald Sanchez, Jr. and serious injuries to another hiker, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious behavior to law enforcement.

Mr. Sanchez managed to send an SOS from a satellite-based device just before he was killed. The distress calls triggered a major emergency-management response throughout southwest Virginia—from nearby U.S. Forest Service law enforcement, sheriffs’ deputies from Smyth, Wythe, and Bland counties, the state police, and a National Park Service ranger from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Twenty-four miles of the Trail from the edge of Mount Rogers National Recreation Area to Va. 42 were closed for 26 hours while law enforcement and a private rescue group combed the area to ensure other hikers were safe.

The ATC advises hikers to call 911 (or use an emergency distress signal in areas where cell service is not available) in any situation requiring a law enforcement response or medical emergency. A 24-hour National Park Service dispatch number: 1-866-677-6677 can also be called to report incidents along the A.T. The ATC has updated and streamlined its Incident Reporting web page to provide guidance on — and multiple ways to report — an incident or suspicious person, including a mobile-friendly online incident report form at: appalachiantrail.org/incidents

For in-depth safety tips visit: appalachiantrail.org/safety

Get Engaged
with A.T. Volunteers

Stewardship Council Selections

Deadline August 15

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is seeking candidates for the 2019-2021 Stewardship Council. This special committee of the ATC Board of Directors oversees policy development and programs related to stewardship of the A.T. and its surrounding lands and resources. The Council takes a lead role in volunteer engagement, outreach and education, and identifying and mitigating threats to the Trail. Members are expected to attend two, two-day meetings each year and participate actively on council committees. Committees typically meet once per month, usually by e-mail or conference call. The deadline for nominations is August 15.

For more information visit:
appalachiantrail.org/council2019

A.T Journeys: Springer Mountain

Springer Mountain – Photo by Niki DiGaetano

Live music, hiking workshops, food,
beverages, and festivities were all part of
the 2019 festival – Photos courtesy REI
Workshops at 2019 Flip Flop Festival
Festivities at 2019 Flip Flop Festival
Live music and Beverages at 2019 Flip Flop Festival
FLIP FLOP
FESTIVAL
This year’s 5th annual Flip Flop Festival saw a record number of thru-hikers (55) starting mid-Trail during a four-day period in late April. More than 1,000 people joined in the festival’s celebration of the great outdoors in Harpers Ferry and Bolivar, West Virginia by participating in workshops and outings ranging from hiking to birding and forest bathing, to star gazing. For the second year, REI supported the event with expert clinics and a storytelling panel, and added some extra zing by partnering with Blue Ridge Bucha at the festival, who donated proceeds to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy from their sales of a new Appalachian Trail brew.
Live music, hiking workshops, food, beverages, and festivities were all part of the 2019 festival – Photos courtesy REI
FLIP FLOP FESTIVAL
This year’s 5th annual Flip Flop Festival saw a record number of thru-hikers (55) starting mid-Trail during a four-day period in late April. More than 1,000 people joined in the festival’s celebration of the great outdoors in Harpers Ferry and Bolivar, West Virginia by participating in workshops and outings ranging from hiking to birding and forest bathing, to star gazing. For the second year, REI supported the event with expert clinics and a storytelling panel, and added some extra zing by partnering with Blue Ridge Bucha at the festival, who donated proceeds to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy from their sales of a new Appalachian Trail brew.
A.T. Congressional Update
Congressional Update
The Congressional Appalachian National Scenic Trails Caucus was formed to unite members of Congress who wish to work together for the sustained protection and conservation of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Over half of the American population lives within a day’s travel to the Trail, and it unites countless communities over its 2,191 miles. The caucus co-chairs and founders, Representative Don Beyer (VA-08) and Representative Phil Roe (TN-01) are avid A.T. hikers and champions. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is honored by their leadership in the U.S. House on Trail issues.

The caucus provides a venue for members and their staff to quickly gain important information regarding Trail events and the ATC’s priorities, encourage rural economic development anchored by outdoor recreation while preserving a “wild” A.T. corridor, and is a convening space for ATC members who are interested/engaged in improving public lands (specifically Trail lands). Is your U.S. Representative a member of the caucus?

For more information visit:
appalachiantrail.org/takeaction
trailhead
A Soft Spot for Hardcore
By Josh Kloehn
Originated by the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club (TEHCC) under the charismatic leadership of Bob Peoples, Hardcore is an opportunity for current thru-hikers and previous Hardcore participants to give back to the A.T., learn about trail work, and actually get dirty and perform Trail rehab that occurs after Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia. After 16 years of projects, TEHCC passed the Hardcore baton on to the next A.T. Maintaining Club north — the Mount Rogers A.T. Club (MRATC), and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Konnarock Trail Crew. This season, 2019 marked the fourth year that MRATC and Konnarock hosted and led the Damascus Hardcore crew. Taking advantage of the skilled and veteran Konnarock volunteers, they each took three to four Hardcore volunteers under their wing and tackled Trail rehabilitation projects up in the Grayson Highlands.

Work completed as part of the 2019 Hardcore week:

87 Rock Steps
3 Rock Waterbars
34 Sq Ft of Rock Crib
578 Sq Ft of Scree to close off braided social trails
10 Stepping Stones
13 Drainage Dips
6 New Blaze Posts
Rehabbed over a third of a mile of a heavily-used section of the A.T.

trailhead
A Soft Spot for Hardcore
By Josh Kloehn
Originated by the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club (TEHCC) under the charismatic leadership of Bob Peoples, Hardcore is an opportunity for current thru-hikers and previous Hardcore participants to give back to the A.T., learn about trail work, and actually get dirty and perform Trail rehab that occurs after Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia. After 16 years of projects, TEHCC passed the Hardcore baton on to the next A.T. Maintaining Club north — the Mount Rogers A.T. Club (MRATC), and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Konnarock Trail Crew. This season, 2019 marked the fourth year that MRATC and Konnarock hosted and led the Damascus Hardcore crew. Taking advantage of the skilled and veteran Konnarock volunteers, they each took three to four Hardcore volunteers under their wing and tackled Trail rehabilitation projects up in the Grayson Highlands.

This year, my partner NAB (“Not A Botanist”) and I (“Unicorn”) are flip flop thru-hiking the A.T. and we decided to sprinkle a little Hardcore on the journey to really spice it up after Trail Days,” says Phoebe Anderson. “NAB and I are both avid conservationists, and we wanted to do our part to help maintain this incredible trail. Hardcore was an awesome and humbling way to do so. I now understand the hours of work each set of rock stairs took to install, and the hundreds of thousands of hours that have been put in over the years to make this thing possible.”

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Wild East Time Travel
Wild East Time Travel
Red Stars
Thunder reverberates. Winds gust. Ahead lies a stone shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. To your right, century-old tree roots tangle among rock walls of a long-forgotten farm. Underfoot, the soils may hide an arrowhead chiseled by a hunter 9,000 years ago, or a stray bullet from the Civil War. The boulder you touch to steady yourself could well be a billion years old. You quicken your step with the urgency of all who have come before you to find refuge in a storm.

Every footfall on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail connects to the flow of human history that is anchored in geology and influenced by the north-south mountains and gaps. It is here in the Wild East when outdoors, and within the largest natural corridor east of the Mississippi River, that time travel feels possible.

Wild East Time Travel
Wild East Time Travel
by Marina Richie Illustration Tim Bower
Red Stars
Thunder reverberates. Winds gust. Ahead lies a stone shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. To your right, century-old tree roots tangle among rock walls of a long-forgotten farm. Underfoot, the soils may hide an arrowhead chiseled by a hunter 9,000 years ago, or a stray bullet from the Civil War. The boulder you touch to steady yourself could well be a billion years old. You quicken your step with the urgency of all who have come before you to find refuge in a storm.

Every footfall on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail connects to the flow of human history that is anchored in geology and influenced by the north-south mountains and gaps. It is here in the Wild East when outdoors, and within the largest natural corridor east of the Mississippi River, that time travel feels possible.

{ By Larry Luxenberg }
{ By Larry Luxenberg }
the only full-fledged hiking museum in the U.S. is located near the mid-point of the A.T. in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania
Springer Mountain
Springer Mountain
THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL MUSEUM MARKED THE start of its tenth season with a big weekend in early May. On Saturday May 4, the museum inducted its ninth class into the A.T. Hall of Fame — which now totals 40 members. The following day, at its Hall of Fame Festival, the Museum unveiled five new exhibits, the largest number of new exhibits since its grand opening on June 5, 2010. At the festival, despite an all-day downpour, nearly 80 people listened to Hall of Fame inductees and people involved in the new exhibits. Among the attendees were the family of “Walkin’” Jim Stolz, who came from as far away as Alaska, and the three living founders of the American Hiking Society, who organized Hikanation: Jim Kern, Bill Kemsley, and Paul Pritchard.
Women of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club / BY LIZ SKENE
Women of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
Women of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
30-year-old Harriett Fowlkes mourned, saying she had “given up hopes of ever getting to do very much more hiking in the Smokies.” Once an active member of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, she had left her job as a home economics teacher in Knoxville, Tennessee to live and work in Jackson, Michigan. And although she didn’t care for the term “veteran,” she submitted her application to be designated as one of the club’s “veteran hikers” anyway, an honor introduced just one year prior. Her application demonstrated that she had met the club’s rigorous guidelines for that honor: for at least three consecutive years, she had joined no fewer than 25 percent of the club’s scheduled hikes; she had hiked a minimum distance of 300 miles and three-fourths of the Appalachian Trail within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and had climbed eleven specific Smokies peaks. Thus, in 1938 Fowlkes became the club’s first female veteran hiker.
By Alec Clement
and pounds equal pain, an adage that a past thru-hiker gave to me starting out on my 2,191-mile hike of the A.T. He was referencing the fishing pole that I tried to sneak past him on my pack shakedown. Up until that point, I was open to dropping weight off my pack. Now I was thinking of a different adage, “hike your own hike.”

Due to the advice I was given, I sent my pole forward 30 miles ahead to Neels Gap. This would give me a chance to decide if the Trail would provide plenty of fishing opportunities to make the extra weight worth it. Within the first 100 steps of the approach trail I realized I made a mistake not having my pole on me. There was a beautiful waterfall (Amicalola Falls) cascading down into a pool of water (Reflection Pond). Although I can’t confirm fishing was allowed at this spot, it gave me the foreshadow I needed.

Appalachian focus
Appalachian focus
Mahoosuc Notch / Maine
photographer Declan Fox
photographer
Declan Fox
WE WERE STILL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE WHEN I started getting excited for Mahoosuc Notch. I wanted to take more photos of “Inc” and “Sponge,” my hiking partners, but as we approached the end of our thru-hikes I was running out of time. The dramatic boulders of Mahoosuc would be one of my last opportunities to photograph my Trail family on an iconic section of the A.T. The morning was cool and damp when we entered the Notch. My plan was to get out in front of my friends so I could frame up and catch them in action. This immediately fell apart when they enthusiastically charged into the daunting slabs at full speed. As a testament to his impressive pace, Sponge was immortalized in my camera as a series of motion blurs. But, with a combination of frantic scurrying over slick rock and pleading for a few seconds head start, I managed to perch myself on a promising vantage point. When Inc emerged into the light, time stopped for an instant. I fired off a few frames, stowed the camera, and we continued on to Katahdin.”
~ Declan “Photon” Fox
Mahoosuc Notch / Maine
a.t. communities™
a.t. communities™
Hot Springs / North Carolina
Hot Springs, located in the mountains of Western North Carolina and cuddled along the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River, is a town rich in history and beaming with natural charm.
Hot Springs / North Carolina
Hot Springs, located in the mountains of Western North Carolina and cuddled along the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River, is a town rich in history and beaming with natural charm.
Whether you are searching for an outdoor adventure, a relaxing soak in a natural mineral hot spring, or an evening out with friends and family enjoying live music, craft brews, and delicious food, you will find yourself refreshed and invigorated by the beauty of Hot Springs.

Be sure to take a few steps (or more) on the legendary Appalachian Trail, which passes directly through the town and draws thousands of adventure seekers from around the world every year.

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trail stories
trail stories
Strength and Beauty
A hiker’s positive spirit and grace is carried forward.
By Brenda Kelley
Strength and Beauty
Ron and Brenda in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma – Photos by Brenda Kelley
WHEN I FIRST MET RON, HE TOLD me he wanted to do something big, since he had recently improved his health and was learning to manage his chronic pain. He was used to walking a lot and was thinking of maybe doing a walk across America on the American Discovery Trail. We started backpacking together in Arkansas and we would talk a lot about the Appalachian Trail. He decided he wanted to try to thru-hike it. He saw it as just the beginning of what he wanted to do. He also wanted to try the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. He was considering applying for the Warrior Expeditions trip on the Continental Divide Trail after he was done with the A.T. I remember talking with him about Earl Shaffer and his famous quote that he went to the A.T. to “walk off the war.” Ron wanted to be a positive example of the ability to manage and overcome mental and physical injuries. He wanted others to know it can be done and that help is out there for veterans, so that they could also get help like he did.   
Indigenous

Shortleaf pine,
Pinus echinata,

is a widely distributed and poorly understood southern yellow pine. Growing in 22 states from southern New York to eastern Texas, it occupies the largest range of any pine in the southeastern United States. Its extensive distribution reflects it adaptability to a great variety of soil, average annual temperatures, total precipitation, and elevations (up to 3,000 feet).

Shortleaf pine is a medium-sized, native, evergreen conifer with relatively short needles and thin, flaky, black bark that becomes reddish brown with age.

Shortleaf pine has medium-thick bark which protects the tree and the dormant buds within the bole and at the base. Pines up to about 30 years of age will sprout from dormant basal buds if the crown is top-killed. It regenerates well after fire since exposed mineral soil and lack of competition facilitate seedling establishment.

Shortleaf Pine
Shortleaf Pine

Shortleaf pine,
Pinus echinata,

is a widely distributed and poorly understood southern yellow pine. Growing in 22 states from southern New York to eastern Texas, it occupies the largest range of any pine in the southeastern United States. Its extensive distribution reflects it adaptability to a great variety of soil, average annual temperatures, total precipitation, and elevations (up to 3,000 feet).

Shortleaf pine is a medium-sized, native, evergreen conifer with relatively short needles and thin, flaky, black bark that becomes reddish brown with age.

Shortleaf pine has medium-thick bark which protects the tree and the dormant buds within the bole and at the base. Pines up to about 30 years of age will sprout from dormant basal buds if the crown is top-killed. It regenerates well after fire since exposed mineral soil and lack of competition facilitate seedling establishment.

recommended
recommended
Historic Summer Reads
Historic Summer Reads

TAKE A DEEPER DIVE IN TO THE nuanced stories of American history along the A.T. this summer. Our picks will send you back in time — and maybe inspire you to plan a future visit to a hallowed place of historical significance in the Wild East.

Hiking through History: Civil War Sites on the Appalachian Trail
By Leanna Joyner
Our featured pick, Hiking through History: Civil War Sites on the Appalachian Trail, was written to “share the history of place with Appalachian Trail lovers, and to share the A.T. with history lovers,” says author Leanna Joyner. “I knew from my own experience as a 2,000-miler who hiked the length of the Trail from Georgia to Maine in 2003, that history was easy to overlook in the midst of the physical and present-moment experience of long-distance hiking.” Her book meets the typical hiker’s tactile experience of the Trail with knowledge that deepens one’s appreciation of what happened here. “Rather than presenting a lot of regiment details or the minutia of military operations, it captures the purpose, action, and outcomes in a way that brings to life the moments that shaped our American history that we get to explore on our Appalachian Trail,” says Joyner who — while not initially a history buff — made it her goal to connect the past with the footpath. “I did that by presenting pieces of stories that have never been told before in A.T. guides, described ways that the landscape looked, then compared to how we see it now, and described the characters who knew the land before it was ever imagined as part of this long-distance trail,” she says.
Trail Giving
Trail Giving
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
A.T. – “the Guillotine,” Shenandoah National Park, Virginia – By Hannah Sourisseau 
ANNUAL FUND LEADERSHIP CIRCLE
LEADER
$100,000 – $499,000
James A. Black
Estate of Laurence Ross
PARTNER
$50,000 – $99,999
Estate of Ken Byerly
Estate of Lois DeConca
Davies Family Foundation
Greg* & Jan Winchester
Sandi Marra by Lisa Kovatch, Steve Pardis, Rubén A. Rosales
Sharron Martin by Jennifer Whitford
Richard Mayberry by Susan & Arnie Andresen, Ora & Susan Wells
Robert Mayberry by Karl & Joan Munn
David Misemer by Joseph Misemer
Kimberly Greenwell
John W. Grumm
George Grzyb
Greer Gunby
Edward* & Janelle Guyot
Jim Haggett
In Honor Of
Alan Nye by Hardy Winburn
Megan ‘Dangerpants’ Parker & John ‘Six’ Sieber by Dawn Havird, Andrea LoPinto, Ashley Newby, Janice & Henry Thomas, Lisa Westray
Dianne Seger by Donna Fielder, Lorri Toomey
David Smith by Art Smith
Kenny Smith by Joan Gigstead
Dave Tarasevich by Shepherds Spring, Inc.
Betsy Thompson by Sarah Best, Jeanne Manto, Eunice Thompson
Edward Uehling by Jeanne Werner
Matthew Whitford by Jennifer Whitford
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Parting Thought
Parting Thought
Wildflowers – A.T.  Vermont
Wildflowers – A.T. Vermont – Photo by Aaron Ibey

I fell in love with the Appalachian Trail back in the 90s, when a young woman of Asian descent sent me her story about thru-hiking the Trail for publication in our environmental travel newsletter, Pickup & GO!

My feelings grew deeper when I first set foot on the Trail at its beginning in Georgia near the turn of the century, on a hike with the Atlanta-based “Keeping It Wild” group my husband Frank spearheaded. It was the first time I actually saw a tree fall in the woods, and we heard the crack well before we saw the shudder in the forest where it landed.

A few years later, while preparing to speak at an Appalachian Trail Conservancy event, I learned about Benton MacKaye, and how in the 1920s he envisioned the Trail as a means of helping working class Americans in rapidly urbanizing areas make more efficient use of our spare time, instead of just our working time. What a visionary! I felt closer to the Trail than ever.

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AT Journeys Spring 2019
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