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Trails Benton MacKaye Landscapes Appalachian Trail Bay Circuit Trail

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 Landscapes

Concentric Cartography

NOTE: “Peculiar Work,” the title of this blog, is borrowed from an article written by Massachusetts surveyor and cartographer Edward G. Chamberlain a century ago. He was describing his unique avocation, the rewards of which could only be measured by his own rigorous standards. The following essay about Chamberlain is included in my 2012 book,…Continue readingConcentric Cartography

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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