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In 1955, at the age of 67, Emma Rowena Gatewood became the first woman to hike the entire 2,168 mile (3,489 km) Appalachian Trail -- wearing sneakers and carrying an army blanket, a raincoat, a shower curtain, and a change of clothes in a homemade bag which she slung over one shoulder. For food, she foraged for wild plants, as well as carried dried meat, cheese, nuts, and dried fruit. The mother of 11 and grandmother of 23, Gatewood is now considered a pioneer of ultra-light hiking and one of the first high-profile ambassadors of the Appalachian Trail.
When asked why she decided to hike the trail, which she learned about from a National Geographic Magazine article, Gatewood -- who was widely known as Grandma Gatewood -- said, "I thought it would be a nice lark... It wasn't." She later added, "For some fool reason, they always lead you right up over the biggest rock to the top of the biggest mountain they can find."
Even with its challenges, Gatewood clearly caught the hiking bug. She hiked the entire trail again in 1960 and then hiked it again in sections in 1963 at the age of 75 -- making her the first person to hike the Appalachian Trail three times. She also hiked 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of the Oregon Trail from Missouri to Oregon, averaging 22 miles (35 km) a day.
Gatewood's feats made her a hiking celebrity and were instrumental in raising public awareness of what was at the time a relatively unknown trail. As for her advice for others who want to follow in her footsteps, Gatewood recommended: "Make a rain cape, and an over the shoulder sling bag, and buy a sturdy pair of Keds tennis shoes. Stop at local groceries and pick up Vienna sausages... most everything else to eat you can find beside the trail... and by the way those wild onions are not called 'Ramps'... they are 'Rampians' ... a ramp is an inclined plane."
To learn more about Grandma Gatewood's incredible story, we highly recommend the excellent book, "Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail" for adult readers at http://amzn.to/2tvLMcU
For young readers, there are two inspiring picture books about Grandma Gatewood's story, both for ages 5 to 9: "Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail" (https://www.amightygirl.com/grandma-gatewood-hikes-the-appalachian-trail) and "When Grandma Gatewood Took a Hike" (https://www.amightygirl.com/when-grandma-gatewood-took-a-hike)
For many books for young readers about the wonders of outdoor discovery, visit our blog post, "Explore Your World: 30 Mighty Girl Books About Outdoor Discovery," at https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=11570
For an excellent parenting book about the benefits of outdoor play and exploration for kids, check out "Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children" at https://www.amightygirl.com/balanced-and-barefoot
And, for many girl-empowering books for children and teens about the importance of determination, visit our "Perseverance" book section at http://amgrl.co/2Anw5IT
Nearing the end of an 18 km hike on the Elora Cataract Trail.
Tuesday Trails: Bruce Trail # 10
The remains of the abandoned Mountain Sanatorium, along with Sanatorium Falls, are next in our ongoing journey north along the Bruce Trail. More pictures and the story at this link. https://hikingthegta.com/2017/12/30/mountain-sanatorium/
My faithful furry friend back in April when she was 3 and a half months old. We share so many great hikes together.
Interested in taking in the beauty of Lake Ontario this Sunday morning? Ever wanted to explore Scarborough's share of the Waterfront Trail? Come join SWSCD member and certified hike leader Diana Smyth this Sunday (Nov 25th) as she takes us on an easy paced +/- 5 km tour of this amazing lakefront urban trail. Meet at the Rouge Hill Go Station building for 11:00am and plan to go rain or shine. If you are interested in car pooling or have some transportation challenges, send us a private message and we'll see if we can help out on our end. See you there. (Note: There is a Go Train on Sunday morning that leaves Union Station at 10:13am and arrives at Rouge Hill Go Station at 10:42am). #seewhatshecando
What a beautiful day for a hike at Peggy’s Wood and Dave Kerwin Trails with new friends! Thanks for coming out! Don’t forget to join us this Saturday for Birds & Brunch @naturescanada Details on #seewhatshecando website and our Facebook events page! Registration link in bio☝🏼Congratulations, you hiked 8 kms today 👍🏼You’re awesome!
@seewhatshecando @townofnewmarket @experienceeg @yorkregiongovt
#trailbirdcollective #trailbird #trailbabies #loveyr #discoverontario #loveontario #explorecanada #YRitsallhere #hikeitbaby #adventuremoms #outdoorwomen #womenwhohike #womenwhoexplore #womenwhoadventure #hikingculture #getoutside #wildernessculture #ontariotrails #comewander #hikeontario #seewhatshecando #springbaby
An awesome morning to walk the @WaterfrontTRCA with #SWSCD member and certified hiking guide Diana Smyth as part of her SWSCD #hiking Group ‘Toronto East and Durham West Trail Buddies. Head to https://t.co/PU6YRRhUsN to find more scheduled hikes for Dec and Jan. #seewhatshecando https://t.co/knz1ri1eR4
Seek more outdoor adventure and find your tribe. We had a great day with Trailbird Collective hiking Peggy's Wood and Dave Kerwin Trails in East Gwillimbury. Trails are family friendly, great for bikes, strollers and a pair of running or hiking shoes. If you are looking to venture into the forest, right in York Region, this is a great hike. Find more York Region outdoor adventure on Trailbird Collectives' SWSCD Group page. #seewhatshecando #hiking
RT @TheGreatTrail Well done to Leigh Swansborough from Australia and Clarissa Black from the U.S., who completed a challenging five-month hike of the Dempster Highway to Tuktoyaktuk! Thank you both for inspiring us 😀 https://t.co/fuSSNyEPSw https://t.co/gnhh20fopd
RT @HikeOntario October 1-7 marks #OntarioHikingWeek - and @HikeOntario's Official Birthday! We encourage you to lace up your shoes, get outside, and #TakeAHike!
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