One of our recent Ph.D. graduates, Silas Chamberlin, has turned his dissertation into his first book, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, with Yale University Press.
In the mid-19th century, urban walking clubs emerged in the U.S. Today, millions of Americans hike on trails blazed in every region. This is the first full account of the history of the American hiking community and its nationwide culture. Delving into archives, including the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Green Mountain Club and others, this is the story of hikers who formed clubs, built trails and pushed for environmental protection.
Delving into unexplored archives, including those of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Green Mountain Club, and many others, Silas Chamberlin recounts the activities of hikers who over many decades formed clubs, built trails, and advocated for environmental protection. He also discusses the shifting attitudes of the late 1960s and early 1970s when ideas about traditional volunteerism shifted and new hikers came to see trail blazing and maintenance as government responsibilities. Chamberlin explores the implications for hiking groups, future club leaders, and the millions of others who find happiness, inspiration, and better health on America’s trails.
Silas Chamberlain's book is now one of the non-fiction bestsellers at the Moravian Book Shop!