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Re: [at-l] History along the AT route
The best overall book devoted to the Appalachian Trail in my opinion is "The
Appalachian Trail REader, edited by David Emblidge and published by Oxford
University Press in 1996.
It contains essays on the early explorers from Desoto to Kephart, an exploration
of the geology that formed the mountains and traces the birth of the concept of
Most importantly it provides the best insights I have seen anywhere of the role
of the various Appalachian Trail pioneers from MacKaye to Myron Avery. One of
the essays by Guy and Laura Waterman is a superb portrait of MacKaye, his
strengths and weaknesses.
Part two is a state by state collection of essays dealing with the trail,
covering everything from history, natural history to the joys and hardships of
Authors range from Henry Thoreau to notes left in the Katahdin register, and
thru hiker diaries. It's a thoroughly delightful book that, better than anything
else I've read, captures the spirit of the trail.