A former news reporter, Brian King has been a senior staff member at the ATC since 1987, and his knowledge of A.T. history is encyclopedic. Bill Bryson, whose sense of humor is wicked and legendary, is the best-selling author of A Walk in the Woods, which recounts his attempt to thru-hike the A.T. and is the basis of a forthcoming (2015) movie starring Robert Redford.
The only illustrated book officially published with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, The Appalachian Trail explores this legendary footpath in detail: with a foreword by Bill Bryson and filled with more than 300 spectacular contemporary images, as well as unpublished historical photos, documents, and maps from the ATC archives. Once inspired by this wonderful celebration of the A.T., readers can plan their own hike using the removable and full-size copy of the official National Park Service’s map of the entire Appalachian Trail included inside each book.
In celebration of the Appalachian Trail’s seventy-fifth anniversary, this official book documents in text and photos the history, beauty, and significance of America’s most iconic hiking trail. With fascinating essays on topics ranging from the trail’s history to the day-by-day hiking experience, this book is perfect for anyone interested in conservation, outdoor recreation, or American history, and for all those who dream of one day becoming thru-hikers themselves. Completed in 1937 by a small cadre of volunteers, the Appalachian Trail spans fourteen states, from Maine to Georgia, and is more than 2,000 miles long. Now, seventy-five years after its completion, the A.T. remains America’s premier hiking trail and is known as "the people’s path." Visitors from all over the world are drawn to the trail for a variety of reasons, whether to reconnect with nature and see its beauty and wildlife, or to challenge oneself—for two miles or 2,000. Out of three million annual visitors, almost 2,000 attempt each year to earn the distinction of "thru-hiker" by walking all five million footsteps in one continuous journey.