Appalachian Trail Reader


The Appalachian Trail Reader. An anthology of trail narratives, natural and social history, and many interesting surprises.  

Library Journal: "The collection contributes valuable information about the trail, the need to protect it, and helpful hints about hiking."

Published by Oxford University Press

Paperback ISBN 978-0-19-510090-7

Goodreads: “A superb anthology! Emblidge weaves the work of historians, folklorists, hikers, essayists, and poets together in this ode to the Appalachian Trail. It includes everything from reflections on the changing role of the backpack to the Cherokee legend of "Spearfinger" (a witch who apparently still haunts North Carolina's Whiteside Mountain) to the historic injustice perpetrated against Appalachian communities forced from their lands by the federal government to make way for the AT. It also contains excerpts from countless thru-hiker journals and published work. This is *not* a book to read if you're looking for advice while planning your expedition (although it contains some advice). It *is* a book to read however if the wilderness holds a special awe for you. This collection has something for every hiker. I couldn't put it down.”

School Library Journal: “This beautifully literate compendium offers armchair travelers a sense of the trail’s history, romance and blood, sweat, and tears. The selections communicate the beauty and awe experienced on the trail.”

Booklist: “Many nature lovers retain the experience of even a brief hike along the Appalachian Trail as an enduring and luminous memory. But whether one has already attempted a months-long trek along hundreds of miles of its awesome wild trails, or simply hopes to eventually have an opportunity to amble along a brief segment, this wonderful anthology promises to amplify past experiences and inspire future adventures. It also, unquestionably, answers the shadowy yearnings of armchair travelers, with the exquisite “quilt of words” editor Emblidge provides for readers. Background material and lore are covered in the first section; an extensive number of both historical and contemporary concerns are presented in the state-by-state format of part two. A refreshing melding of diaries, essays, and even comments from trail registers bears witness to the encounters of celebrated writers, anonymous men and women, and everyday folks. Their unique perspectives illuminate the serenely radiant wilderness and other individuals encountered along the way.”

AMC Outdoors: “Good reading is trailing you this summer. The Appalachian Trail Reader stitches together a ‘patchwork quilt of voices’ from the trail -- from diary and trail-register entries to writings by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, and AT visionary Benton MacKaye.”