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Trails Benton MacKaye Appalachian Trail

“Expedition Nine”: A 1969 Benton MacKaye birthday tribute

One hundred forty-five years ago this March 6th, Benton MacKaye was born in Stamford, Connecticut. On that date in 1969, he celebrated his 90th birthday at his long-time hometown of Shirley Center, Massachusetts—actually a village in the town of Shirley, some 35 miles northwest of Boston. A man whose vocation and long career earned him…Continue reading“Expedition Nine”: A 1969 Benton MacKaye birthday tribute

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Trails Benton MacKaye Appalachian Trail

Benton MacKaye National Scenic Trail bill refiled in U.S. House

[Updated: 5/29/2023] In a post published exactly a year ago, I reported on the introduction of a bill “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.” That 2022 bill never received a hearing…Continue readingBenton MacKaye National Scenic Trail bill refiled in U.S. House

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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