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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 Landscapes

A Drover’s Tale: Along Great Road and Turnpike, from Meriam’s Corner to the Wapack Range (Part 3)

NOTE: The third (and the longest) of three posts in a series titled “A Drover’s Tale” A “most novel and interesting walk” Henry David Thoreau was an exemplar and prophet of American pedestrian exploration. In his classic essay “Walking,” published shortly after his death in 1862, he famously declared “that in Wildness is the preservation…Continue readingA Drover’s Tale: Along Great Road and Turnpike, from Meriam’s Corner to the Wapack Range (Part 3)

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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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Benton MacKaye Landscapes Trails

A Drover’s Tale: Along Great Road and Turnpike, from Meriam’s Corner to the Wapack Range (Part 2)

NOTE: The second of three posts in a series titled “A Drover’s Tale” Part 2: Stagecoach, Tavern, Turnpike After leaving Knops Pond, as Marion Davis later recalled, she and Frank Robbins would drive their herds through Groton, the relatively unsettled southern part of Pepperell, and the villages of Townsend Harbor and Townsend Center. “We’d .…Continue readingA Drover’s Tale: Along Great Road and Turnpike, from Meriam’s Corner to the Wapack Range (Part 2)

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Trails Benton MacKaye Landscapes

A Drover’s Tale: Along Great Road and Turnpike, from Meriam’s Corner to the Wapack Range (Part 1)

NOTE: “A Drover’s Tale” will be published in three separate posts, of which this is the first. Part 1: “Pasture Day” “May twentieth was what they used to call Pasture Day–go get the cattle from down country.” Marion Buck Davis lived in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, in the hill country just to the north of…Continue readingA Drover’s Tale: Along Great Road and Turnpike, from Meriam’s Corner to the Wapack Range (Part 1)