Grandma Gatewood's Walk

By Ben Montgomery,

Book cover of Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

Book description

2014 National Outdoor Book Award Winner in History / Biography

Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, sixty-seven-year-old great-grandmother had…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Grandma Gatewood's Walk as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This fascinating history about hiking the Appalachian Trail spotlights a woman who demonstrated that age and gender aren't barriers to remarkable physical feats. Or should I say "feet"?

Grandma Gatewood was a pioneer, not only for women trekking alone, but for people of any age who set out on a journey others say isn’t possible for them. I was inspired by her story to take on a journey I thought would be marvelous, but beyond my capabilities. And I made it happen!

From Diane's list on long walking adventures.

If I’m lucky, someday I’ll get to do something like what Grandma Gatewood did, and Ben Montgomery does a great job of telling us all about it. Emma Gatewood dropped everything once her children were grown and she could shuck her domestic responsibilities and set off alone to walk the Appalachian Trail. No training, no fancy gear, no special food: She just went for a walk, and then did it again, and again, transforming herself into trailblazing conservationist along the way.

When Emma Gatewood, a farm-reared 67-year-old, left her Ohio home with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars, no one, especially not her family, realized she aimed to walk 800 miles of the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. As the first person—to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone—Gatewood used the resulting media attention to stop the trail from falling into complete disrepair.

From Cathryn's list on barrier breaking women.

Grandma Gatewood is the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone. She accomplished the feat at age 67 and then went on to hike the trail another two times! But when you read this book you realize that she is a woman of endurance in more ways than one. A very inspiring read.

From Jennifer's list on women who love the outdoors.

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