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On the Trail - A History of American Hiking - cover

On the Trail - A History of American Hiking

Silas Chamberlin

Publisher: Yale University Press

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Summary

The first history of the American hiking community and its contributions to the nation’s vast network of trails. In the mid-nineteenth century urban walking clubs emerged in the United States. A little more than a century later, tens of millions of Americans were hiking on trails blazed in every region of the country. This groundbreaking book is the first full account of the unique history of the American hiking community and its rich, nationwide culture.   Delving into unexplored archives, including those of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Green Mountain Club, and many others, Silas Chamberlin recounts the activities of hikers who over many decades formed clubs, built trails, and advocated for environmental protection. He also discusses the shifting attitudes of the late 1960s and early 1970s when ideas about traditional volunteerism shifted and new hikers came to see trail blazing and maintenance as government responsibilities. Chamberlin explores the implications for hiking groups, future club leaders, and the millions of others who find happiness, inspiration, and better health on America’s trails.  “With rich historical context Silas Chamberlin inspires new appreciation for trailblazers, while sharing the legacy of hiking and its growing importance today, as people find their way to a new relationship with the natural world.”—Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and Vitamin N  “Chamberlin has demonstrated that what at first looks simple—walking on our own two feet—has a complex history of changing cultural associations, social infrastructure, and national significance.”—James Longhurst, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Available since: 10/25/2016.
Print length: 273 pages.

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