Grandma Gatewood's Walk

Grandma Gatewood's Walk

The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

Book - 2014
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Drawing from Gatewood's diaries, journals, and correspondence, the author documents the life of the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail alone, in 1955, as well as her efforts to bring public attention to the once little-known footpath. The public attention she brought to the trail was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.
Publisher: Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Review Press, 2014.
Edition: First edition First paperback edition.
ISBN: 9781613734995
Branch Call Number: B G223
Characteristics: 277 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Though she had reached the age of 67 in 1955, the woman known as Grandma Gatewood was not content to rest on her (mountain) laurels. Not only did this mother of 11 and grandmother of 23 hike the Appalachian Trail solo once (the first woman to ever do so), she did it three times (becoming the firs... Read More »

Journalist Ben Montgomery shines a welcome light on the amazing Emma Gatewood's life in this delightful book, exploring why the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail solo (three times!) did what she did and looking at her efforts to bring public attention to the poorly maintained 2,050 mile t... Read More »

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Oct 14, 2018

Loving the outdoors and a challenge, this is an amazing story well-written.

Sep 15, 2017

Interesting book, especially for someone interested in the Appalachian Trail. Details of the trip itself seem a bit perfunctory. I realize this was awhile ago, but would have preferred a more reflective tone. It's amazing what this woman accomplished with her lifelong dream of through-walking the AT--she sparked a revival of interest that has not ended.

This book is a lot of fun to read. In 1955 at the age of 67 Emma Gatewood packed up and headed out to hike the Appalachian Trail. This story is about her hike, and about the trail itself. She was a remarkable lady, very strong and determined. With great pacing and writing, this book is a welcome read.

Jul 16, 2017

This is a great story of an amazing woman who walked and walked and walked. I loved the way the author weaved her life story along with the history of the AT in this book. It is a must read and will get you inspired to "take a walk".

Apr 17, 2017

she is awesome, book was pretty good and skipped from her backstory to the trail. a few boring/dry parts mixed in weird ways, but I guess only so much changes on a 2000 mile trail! liked part author added at end

KHCPL_Wagner Jan 19, 2017

The amazing true story of the 67 year-old grandmother who in 1955 became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone.

To be in your 60s and still ambitious enough to want to "go for a walk" on one of the most strenuous trails in the U.S. is just amazing. What will I do in my lifetime that has such an impact? Although this isn't an extremely well-written account, it pulls together enough of her story to make for a fascinating read.

May 05, 2016

Totally in awe of Grandma Gatewood and fascinated by the Appalachian Trail and its thru-hikers. However, this was kind of a dry, newspaper style recitation of facts. Went off on tangents about other news making events that happened while she was hiking which I ended up skimming at times. I'm glad I read it, but probably has a limited audience.

PimaLib_HeatherR May 08, 2015

An amazing, inspiring story that shows the depths of human strength and determination.

LaughingOne Mar 28, 2015

"Seemed like a good lark" is what Grandma Gatewood would answer when asked why she hiked the Appalachian Trail, and alone. She had spent some time on long walks in the area she lived in Ohio and that helped her decide what bare essentials she would need to be able to hike the Appalachian Trail. It was so minimal it’s hard to imagine she had enough. But she did. Her story is amazing and interesting and inspiring. It’s about the trail itself, and conservation, and adventure. But it’s also about spirit and independence and following your dream, and freedom. This is an awesome story. Enjoy!

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