Two Must See Documentaries About The Appalachian Trail (And One Book)

white blaze

The white blaze of the AT

I had the opportunity this morning to watch two excellent documentaries on the Appalachian Trail. The first, White Blaze-Stories From Appalachian Trail, was filled with interviews of thru hikers explaining not only why they decided to hike the AT, but also had it had changed them.

This documentary features M.J. Eberhart, also known on trail as the “Nimblewill Nomad.” His insight and  and wisdom is second to none as he has been hiking for more years than most people have been alive. His hiking accomplishments are many, and to me the most amazing is that at the age of 60 he hiked from the Florida Keys to the far North of Quebec. That is an astounding 4,400 miles!

He is also the author of Ten Million Steps: Nimblewill Nomad’s Epic 10-Month Trek from the Florida Keys to Quebec. I have read this and it is one of the best written hiking books out there. He is one awesome dude! I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants a detailed look at long distance hiking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-UMoA-QmZU

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The second documentary took a little different path than the first. One group of people that thru hikers will encounter on their hike are “Trail Angels.” Trail Angels are folks that take time out of their lives to provide assistance to thru hikers. Often times in the form of a cooler left on the side of a trail, they can be filled with soda, snacks, beer and candy bars. Trail Magic can also be rides into towns, meals that are bought for you or even a free place to stay for the night.

This documentary featured “Apple,” a 30 year veteran of IBM who decided that in retirement he would spend his time providing Trail Magic to thru hikers.  He sets up a 12 person tent that includes a stove, food and drink. For many at the start of a thru hike, something like this can be a life saver as the weather can be incredibly unpredictable with night temperatures in the 30’s to mid 40’s. He goes into some detail as to why he does this and the cinematography is just outstanding.

Here is the You Tube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaZxBlVwhcE

Happy Hiking!!!

4 thoughts on “Two Must See Documentaries About The Appalachian Trail (And One Book)

    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      Thank you! I followed several hikers who vlogged their thru hikes and it was amazing to see how many people were willing to give time, money and just about anything else to help hikers. Very cool to say the least!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Barb Knowles

        The AT goes through Pawling, NY and hikers were frequent visitors to the post office. Mail was held there for people as they passed through as well as mail being held for them. And I know they replenished supplies at our local deli. I don’t think they were driven in, as the town is a nanosecond from the trail, but they may have gotten rides. I’m embarrassed to say it never occurred to me to offer one. I just thought “Oh another hiker! Cool!”

        Liked by 1 person

  1. The Zen Hiker Post author

    Several times over the years when my kids have had hockey practice at Trinity Pawling I have gone to the AT train station and waited to see if thru hikers have needed rides into town. It’s only happened a few times but the hikers have always been incredibly thankful!! After walking on the trail all day the last thing that they want to do is walk few miles on the road to replenish their supplies!

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