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Trails Benton MacKaye Appalachian Trail

“One big job”: The long reach of Benton MacKaye’s conception of the Appalachian Trail

My book Benton MacKaye: Conservationist, Planner, and Creator of the Appalachian Trail was published exactly twenty years ago this month. MacKaye is best known for his conception of the Appalachian Trail, which he introduced just over a century ago in a 1921 article in the Journal in the American Institute of Architects, “An Appalachian Trail:…Continue reading“One big job”: The long reach of Benton MacKaye’s conception of the Appalachian Trail

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Trails Benton MacKaye Appalachian Trail

Benton MacKaye National Scenic Trail Bill Filed in Congress

The most fitting possible tribute and monument to Benton MacKaye, conceptualizer of the iconic Appalachian Trail, was proposed today when legislation was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate the existing 287-mile Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) as a National Scenic Trail, as defined and provided in the National Trails System Act. The “Benton…Continue readingBenton MacKaye National Scenic Trail Bill Filed in Congress

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Appalachian Trail Bay Circuit Trail Trails Benton MacKaye Landscapes

The Massachusetts Walking Tour: Connecting Communities on Foot–and with Music

I first met Raianne Richards and Mark Mandeville, the founders and leading lights of the Massachusetts Walking Tour, when I joined them and fellow musicians Amy Alvey and Mark Kilianski on the final leg of their trek along the Bay Circuit Trail (BCT) in 2014. That year and the next, they walked different sections of…Continue readingThe Massachusetts Walking Tour: Connecting Communities on Foot–and with Music

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Trails Benton MacKaye Appalachian Trail Bay Circuit Trail

Community and “the Care of the Countryside”: Benton MacKaye’s Original Conception of the Appalachian Trail

In April 2021, I helped organize an on-line “virtual symposium” with a small group to discuss a theme we described as “Civic Responsibility and the Conservationist.” The event was instigated by Alan French, a Massachusetts businessman (now retired) and activist (still very active), who spearheaded the completion of the Bay Circuit Trail, a 230-mile walking…Continue readingCommunity and “the Care of the Countryside”: Benton MacKaye’s Original Conception of the Appalachian Trail