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in detail: with a foreword by Bill Bryson and filled with more than 300 spectacular contemporary images, as well as unpublished historical photos, documents, and maps from the ATC archives.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.
About the Author
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.
2013 National Outdoor Book Award Winner
"The Appalachian Trail is one of the finest achievements in our nation’s outdoor history—and this new lavish book is the perfect testament to that achievement. It also celebrates an important milestone: a birthday! The trail is now a healthy 75 years old. Done in large format, coffee table style, it consists of a series of essays and is packed full of inspiring photography—contemporary and historical. The finishing touch to this already outstanding volume is tucked inside the back cover: a fold-out map of the entire Appalachian Trail." ~National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation
FEATURED BOOK: If you read only one book about the A.T. and its history, this is the one to choose...a book to read and treasure, even if you do keep it on your coffee table. He has brought 75 years of A.T. history to life in amazing detail, and—with his exceptional skill—made it exciting and readable. You’ll learn about the lives of historic A.T. figures, including some very interesting details you won’t find in any other book. Even if you’ve been involved with the A.T. for many years and think you know it all, I believe you’ll discover something new in Brian’s text. Whatever you pay, it’s a ‘priceless’ book!” ~booksforhikers.com
"Fall is the ultimate hiking season—and the perfect time to celebrate the 75th birthday of the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America’s Hiking Trail is part history lesson, part inspirational photo album and part practical travel guide. Fortunately, there's a removable map so you don't have to squeeze a coffee-table into your pack." ~The Wall Street Journal
“As the only illustrated book published with the Appalachian Trail Conservatory, THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL is a true token. Including more than 300 spectacular photographs, essays on trail experiences and an official full-size map of the entire trail, your next holiday is likely to be inspired by this captivating book.” ~The Manual.com -- The Essential Guide for Men
"Not only does it contain 336 pages of history, documents and essays, but the book has over 300 gorgeous photos. I mean take-your-breath-away beautiful pictures! It is a very nicely put together book." ~Snug Harbor Bay
“Even if you've been reading on iPads, iPhones, and other devices, you need to touch, handle, and turn the pages of this book. For all those with holiday lists, your problem is solved. Give this book to a hiker, trail maintainer, historian, environmentalist, or photographer.” ~Carolina Mountain Club
“This remarkable collection of historical information, old and new photos, anecdotes, and essays covering day-to-day hiking experiences is bound to entice the reader into finding the nearest trailhead for some late fall hiking. Its publication celebrates the Appalachian Trail’s 75th anniversary. One will be amazed (and tempted to say ‘let’s go there right now’) when viewing the more than 230 full-page color photographs of sights along the trail from Georgia to the top of Maine. Each state has its own section of photos.” ~Vermont Country Sampler
“Anyone who cherishes America’s natural beauty will swoon over this gorgeous book detailing the history and sights of the iconic 75-year-old hiking trail, which runs through 14 states, from Maine to Georgia. Included is a National Park Service map of the entire 2,000-mile path.” ~Parade Magazine