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Trail quotations

Quotations from the trails and greenways (part 2)

Contact the editor if you have a trail-related quotation to add to this document

Compiled and edited by Jim Schmid

Many of the quotes provided here were compiled for and published in Trail Quotes: From Advocacy to Wilderness, 2001, Jim Schmid, editor, South Carollina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Columbia, SC.

Many publications and conference presentations use quotations to add interest and to emphasize the importance of trails and greenways. By sharing the quotes collected by Jim Schmid, we hope that you might find just the right quotation for your publication or presentation, or you just might enjoy reading them on their own. The quotes are arranged loosely according to subject matter.

Any copyrighted material on these pages is used under "fair use" for the purpose of study and review. A thorough effort was made to clear any necessary reprint permissions. Any required acknowledgement omitted is unintentional.


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ConservationMaintenanceOutdoor EthicsSafetyWilderness


Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of ensuring the safety and continuance of the Nation. —THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901-09), 1858-1919

If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers. —JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US literary naturalist, 1893-1970

We have gotten past the stage, my fellow-citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation; whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery. —THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901-09), 1858-1919

What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself. —MOLLIE BEATTY, Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1993-96

The most unhappy thing about conservation is that it is never permanent. Save a priceless woodland or an irreplaceable mountain today, and tomorrow it is threatened from another quarter. —HAL BORLAND, New York Times Book Review, 25 February 1964

The Earth belongs in use to the living… No generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801-09), 1743-1826

What is commonly called conservation will not work in the long run because it is not really conservation at all but rather, disguised by its elaborate scheming, only a more knowledgeable variation of the old idea of a world for man's use only. That idea is unrealizable. But how can man be persuaded to cherish any other ideal unless he can learn to take some interest and some delight in the beauty and variety of the world for its own sake, unless he can see a value in a flower blooming or an animal at play, unless he can see some use in things not useful? —JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US literary naturalist, 1893-1970

The underlying principle of conservation has been described as the application of common sense to common problems for the common good. —THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901-09), 1858-1919

The house of America is founded upon our land and if we keep that whole, then the storm can rage, but the house will stand forever. —LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963-68), 1908-73

Land is life.
Whether it is land that grows food or land that serves as the conduit for water we drink, whether it gives identity to our communities or provides us the means of livelihood, whether it is our pathway to adventure or a vehicle to create community land is the basis of our survival and our prosperity.

—BAY AREA GREENSPACE PROJECT [San Francisco], Working Together, 1996

Conservation viewed in its entirety, is the slow and laborious unfolding of a new relationship between people and land. —ALDO LEOPOLD, US conservationist, 1887-1948

Earth Day is the first holy day... and is devoted to the harmony of nature... The celebration offends no historical calendar, yet it transcends them all. —MARGARET MEAD, US anthropologist, 1901-78

In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it's unenvironmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature. —MOLLIE BEATTY, Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1993-96

Conservationists have, I fear, adopted the pedagogical method of the prophets: we mutter darkly about impending doom if people don't mend their ways. The doom is impending, all right; no one can be an ecologist, even an amateur one, without seeing it. But do people mend their ways for fear of calamity? I doubt it. They are more likely to do it out of pure curiosity and interest.—ALDO LEOPOLD, US conservationist, 1887-1948

Preserve... that's where it's at. —DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952-69), 1912-2000

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. —FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Thirty-second US President (1933-45), 1882-1945

Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech. —ALDO LEOPOLD, US conservationist, 1887-1948

I would argue that practices that destroy ecosystem always destroy jobs. —BRUCE BABBITT, Secretary of Interior, 2000

A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of the land. Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort to understand and preserve this capacity. —ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1887-1948

Our values are etched in the landscape. That is our enduring legacy.—BRUCE BABBITT, Secretary of Interior, 2000

I would not have... every part of a man cultivated, any more than I would have every acre of earth. —HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US writer and naturalist, 1817-62

Conservation is the foresighted utilization, preservation and/or renewal of forests, waters, lands and minerals, for the greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time. —GIFFORD PINCHOT, first Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905), 1865-1946

The good news is that Americans will, in increasing numbers, begin to value and protect the vast American landscape. The bad news is that they may love it to death. —CHARLES LITLE, The American Land, 1979

[We stand] today poised on a pinnacle of wealth and power, yet we live in a land of vanishing beauty, of increasing ugliness, of shrinking open space and of an overall environment that is diminished daily by pollution and noise and blight. This, in brief, is the quiet conservation crisis. —STEWART UDALL, The Quiet Crisis and the Next Generation, 1963

There is a limit to the number of lands of shoreline on the lakes; there is a limit to the number of lakes in existence; there is a limit to the mountainous areas of the world, and there are portions of natural scenic beauty which are God-made, and... which of a right should be the property of all people. —ARTHUR CARHART, USDA Forest Service's first landscape architect, in a memorandum to Aldo Leopold, 1919

God keeps on making children but he has quit making land. —CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE on ENVIROHMENTAL QUALITY, From Rails to Trails, 1975

What we're really after is conservation of things we value, and thus I have been trying the term 'conservation easement.' Another term may well prove better, but 'conservation easement' has a certain unifying value: It does not rest the case on one single benefit as does 'scenic easement,' but on the whole constellation of benefits&emdash;drainage, air pollution, soil conservation, historic significance, control of sprawl, and the like. —WILLIAM WHYTE, Securing Open Space for Urban America: Conservation Easements, 1959

The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues self-restraint. —EDWIN WAY TEALE, Circle of Seasons, 1953

Friends at home! I charge you to spare, preserve and cherish some portion of your primitive forests; for when these are cut away, I apprehend they will not easily be replaced. —HORACE GREELEY, Editor of the New York Tribune, 1811-72

A town is saved, not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it. —HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US writer and naturalist, 1817-62

The key to intelligent tinkering is to keep all the parts. —ALDO LEOPOLD, US conservationist, 1887-1948

Today, we must realize that nature is revealed in the simplest meadow, wood lot, marsh, stream, or tidepool, as well as in the remote grandeur of our parks and wilderness areas —ANSEL ADAMS, US photographer, 1902-84

When a tree falls there is no shade. —LAO-TZU, Chinese philosopher, 604-531 BC

Roosevelt's brand of conservation set the course that others would follow for decades. Its focus was responsibility and restraint in managing natural resources, and its opponent within the camp was preservationism (led by John Muir), which favored protecting the earth from the hand of man. The tension between management and preservation is present to this day in both natural resource agencies and the environmental movement itself. —PETER BORELLI, Crossroads, 1988

Let us leave a splendid legacy for our children... let us turn to them and say, this you inherit: guard it well, for it is far more precious than money... and once destroyed, nature's beauty cannot be repurchased at any price. —ANSEL ADAMS, US photographer, 1902-84

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to. —MARK TWAIN (Samuel Clemens), US writer and humorist, 1835-1910

Man always kills the thing he loves, and so we the pioneers have killed our wilderness. Some say we had to. Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map? —ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1887-1948

In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught. —BABA DIOUM, Senegalese conservationists, 1937

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches and a thousand tempests and floods. But He cannot save them from fools. —JOHN MUIR, US naturalist, 1838-1914

A land ethic for tomorrow should be as honest as Thoreau's Walden, and as comprehensive as the sensitive science of ecology. It should stress the oneness of our resources and the live-and-help-live logic of the great chain of life. If, in haste to 'progress,' the economics of ecology are disregarded by citizens and policy makers alike, the result will be an ugly America. —STEWART UDALL, US Secretary of the Interior (1961-69); 1920

I have explored on this rocky bit of shore the great concept that nothing stands alone and everything, no matter how small, is part of a greater whole. —SIGURD F. OLSON, conservation writer and wilderness advocate, 1899&endash;1982

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. —ALDO LEOPOLD, US conservationist, 1887-1948

It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours. —JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961-63), 1917-63

Protect the land that I have photographed, so that it may be experienced by your children's children. —ANSEL ADAMS, US photographer, 1902-84


A trail is not a route from here to there. It is a place to reconnect. In building trails, we need to think about the trail experience. What does the trail look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like, taste, and sound like? Does the experience challenge the mind? Challenge the body? Does it touch a chord that resonates the soul? A good trail will do that! —ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO., 2001

Building a trail should be an environmentally healing process. We always need to think about how the trail can inspire the stewardship of the lands around it, while being sure that we preserve and heal the corridor that hosts the trail. In other words, it should be more than a trail, it should be a greenway. —ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO., 2001 own observations lead me to believe that the greatest trail damage is caused by
(1) improper trail design (i.e., trails installed at too steep a grade),
(2) inadequate maintenance (i.e., failure to install water bars or other devices to divert the flow of water off the trail bed),
(3) the utterly indefensible practice of some hikers in taking short cuts on graded trails.
, Appalachian Hiker II, 1978

Understanding WHY things are done is at least as important as HOW. If you know why something is happening, you'll figure out a way to build a structure to match a need. Soak up the core concepts. Experiment and keep track of the results. Be curious. Add new techniques and tactics to your bag of tricks. Get dirty and HAVE FUN! —WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

The engineer needs to be an artist in laying out and designing new trails. His task is to subtly blend his own accomplishments with the naturalness of the surroundings and avoid any indication of contrivance. —STAN MURRAY, Appalachian Trail Conference chairman, encouragement to AT maintainers, 1971

Planning and building trails takes lots of time, money and labor&emdash;always scarce commodities. —ROBERT LUCAS & ROBERT RINEHART, "The Neglected Hiker," Backpacker, 1976

The ultimate compliment paid to a trail crew is to say, 'It doesn't look like you had to do much work to get through here.' Avoid the Bulldozer Bob look. Make your trail 'just happen.' —WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

A trail and its markings do not constitute any intrusion upon naturalness of the forest wilderness. Trails should be marked and maintained in a manner to eliminate the necessity of labor and uncertainty in finding one's route. They should be an open course, a joy for travel. In that manner, without concern for route finding, the traveler will derive full benefit from his surroundings. This is what we have sought to accomplish in our constant and unending emphasis on the indicated standards of Appalachian Trail marking and maintenance. —MYRON AVERY, final report to the Appalachian Trail Conference, 1952

Let's get one thing straight: Trails weren't put there by the Supreme Being of your choice. They were cut my human beings just like you and me. —ALLEN ST. JOHN, Bicycling for Dummies, 1999

It is much more important to understand how the forces of water and gravity combine to move dirt than it is to actually dig dirt, install waterbars, or build puncheon. —WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

Of trail making there are three stages: There is dreaming the trail, there is prospecting the trail, there is making the trail. Of the first one can say nothing dreams are fragile, intangible. Prospecting the trail&emdash;there lies perhaps the greatest of the joys of trail work. Making trails is the more plodding work; yet it has reliefs and pleasures of its own. —NATHANIEL GOODRICH, paper delivered to New England Trail Council, 1917

I am happy, however, just to go into the forest and put a new handrail on a bridge or putter over a few rods of trail, for, above everything, I am a trail man. CHARLES BLOOD, helped construct the White Mountain trail system in New Hampshire, 1930

Remember that the two most common injuries in rock work are pinched (or smashed) fingers and tweaked (or blown out) backs. Both sets of injuries are a direct result of using muscles first and brains last. High-quality rock work is almost always a methodical, even tedious task. Safe work is ALWAYS faster than taking time out for a trip to the infirmary. —WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

In trail making, as in all other activities, progress and improvement are inevitable; time marches on. —L.F. SCHMECKEBIER and HAROLD ALLEN, "Shenandoah National Park: The Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trail," Appalachia, 2(7), 1936

We have overbuilt many roadways in America. We can afford to do that. We cannot afford to overbuild our trails. For in making them 'better,' we make the experience worse. —DAN BURDEN, Florida Bicycle Facilities Planning and Design Handbook, 1997

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. —CONFUCIUS, Chinese philosopher, 551-479 BC

A lot of learning takes place when you slosh over a wet trail in a downpour and watch what the water is doing and how your drains and structures are holding up. —WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

As a rule, try to hurt the earth as little as possible.—RAY JARDINE, The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker's Handbook, 1998

The focus should be on maintaining basic passage, rather than creating a manicured trail corridor. A more natural look is desired. Smaller blow-downs that can be easily stepped over might be left. Because we are striving for a natural environment, resource protection is the key. The overall goal should be to keep the wilderness experience as natural as possible through trail work that is simple and that blends in. —RUBEN RAJALA, in American Hiker, magazine of the American Hiking Society, 1989

Trail design should seek to accomplish three objectives. These are satisfaction of user needs, protection of the resource, and cost effectiveness. —JOSEPH WERNEX, The Development of Trailbike Trail System, in Forest Environment in Planning for Trailbike Recreation, 1978

Trail location and construction is relatively a simple job. Money, proper workmanship, common sense, abundant energy, and simple tools and equipment are the only requisites to good work. The employment of location and supervising engineers and specially organized survey parties, and the use of precise methods involving technical practices such as accurate leveling, transit work, detailed field notes, and profile maps of location, have no place in the trail program. USDA FOREST SERVICE, Forest Trail Handbook, 1935

Trail building starts by getting on your hands and knees. Look at your soil material. Find out what it is composed of and what it does in the rain. Find out where the water comes from before it gets to your trail and where it goes when it leaves. Your prime consideration is slowing and directing the water runoff from your trail surface. —MARK EDWARDS, Trails Coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, in Signs, Trails, and Wayside Exhibits by Suzanne Trapp, 1994

High quality trail design is primarily a balance between beauty and function. Natural features and scenery exist ideally in creative juxtaposition with the continuity, efficiency, and durability of a proposed route.—ROBERT PROUDMAN & RUEBEN RAJALA, Trail Building and Maintenance, 1981

Any other feature of construction may be improved from month to month or from year to year, but if the grade is not properly established the trail must in time be abandoned. Thus not only may time and money be wasted, but the trail while in use will be unsatisfactory. USDA FOREST SERVICE, Trail Construction on the National Forests, 1915

No factor in trail construction is more important than proper drainage, and many sections of good trail are damaged and destroyed by erosion which could have been prevented. —CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, Construction of Trails Handbook, 1937

The laying of a trail... becomes not only a pleasure in itself, but an inducement to plan a better way of life, to construct worth-while things, or to weave a better product in the loom of our being. —EARLE AMOS BROOKS, A Handbook of the Outdoors, 1925

We forget that trail construction is more common sense than engineering. Thorough knowledge of the country, love for that kind of work, instinct of a dog to know which way to get home, and last but not least, disregard for the time of day, are the principal requisites. A man with a tripod, transit, and level has no business on trails. Personally I would consider him a nuisance. We put too much stress on technical knowledge in simple matters where only good common sense should prevail. In my experience, wild animals solved many problems for me. Good experienced engineers will see the point and agree with me. We are handicapped so much by inexperienced technical knowledge that it takes sometimes ten men to decide whether a certain shrub or tree should be taken out where a dozen could be taken out without injury to the landscape or nature. In conclusion, I want to thank you all in the Park Service. I regret to leave you, but law must take its course and I am leaving after 42 years of service to the nation. [letter to National Park Service Director]

—GABRIEL SOVULEWSKI, Supervisor of Yosemite National Park from 1906-14


....a trail is a linear corridor, on land or water, with protected status and public access for recreation or transportation. Trails can be used to preserve open space, provide a natural respite in urban areas, limit soil erosion in rural areas, and buffer wetlands and wildlife habitat along waterways. Trails my be surfaced with soil, asphalt, sand and clay, clam shells, rock, gravel or wood chips. Trails may follow a river, a ridge line, a mountain game trail, an abandoned logging road, a state highway. They may link historic landmarks within a city. Trails may be maintained by a federal, state, or local agency, a local trails coalition, or a utility company. –AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

Backcountry trails, sometimes called "single-track" or primitive trails, are generally unsurfaced natural routes that range from narrow treadways to carefully planned and elaborately constructed (but natural-looking) thoroughfares. Attention to slopes and effective drainage is essential for the long-term stability of this type of trail. –ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Trails are routes on land or water, used for recreational purposes such as walking, jogging, hiking, bicycling, equestrian activities, mountain biking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and vehicular travel by motorcycle, four-wheel drive or all-terrain off-road vehicles. –GEORGIA DEPARTMENT of NATURAL RESOURCES, Georgia Recreation Planning Manual, 1993

Recreation trails are for people. They allow us to go back to our roots. Trails help humans make sense of a world increasingly dominated by automobiles and pavement. They allow us to come more closely in touch with our natural surroundings, to soothe our psyches, to challenge our bodies, and to practice ancient skills. –WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

Multiple-use recreation trails or "multi-use trails" are generic terms for what many people call trails or greenways. These trails are built to high standards, are usually 10-feet wide, asphalt or concrete paved, and designed for many types of use. Bicycling, walking, running, in-line skating, and other nonmotorized uses are typical on multi-use trails, and they are frequently very heavily used. –ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

A trail offers its users awareness of surroundings. Trails preserve vistas. Trails preserve ecosystems which allow natural sounds to drown out urban sounds. Trails invite touch and discovery. Trails protect and preserve fragrance. The trail experiences offer users feelings of bigness and connection with the earth. Trails unfold mystery, offer surprise, preserve the detail. In fact, well designed trails offer the hikers, bicyclists, skaters or other adventurers new sensations each time they are used. –DAN BURDEN, Florida Bicycle Facilities Planning and Design Handbook, 1997

A trail is a narrow highway over which a pack animal can travel with safety during the usual period when the need for a highway exists. –USDA FOREST SERVICE, Trail Construction on the National Forests, 1915

Rail-trails are trails constructed on abandoned railroad corridors converted to recreational use or ‘railbanked’ for possible future rail use. They can be very short to hundreds of miles long. Typically surfaced in crushed stone or paved, their moderate grades make rail-trails popular with bicyclists, walkers, and others. –ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

In its simplest and most effective form, a nature trail is a narrow path leading through sections of park or woodland chosen for the richness and variety of the natural history materials flanking it and one made alluring by a succession of well-written non-technical labels which name the specimens and give important information regarding them. In other words, a nature trail is a roofless museum the width of a foot-path, a mile or so long. –WILLIAM ALEXANDER, Recreation on the Nature Trail, Recreation, 1932

Water trails: Many people consider any corridor of open water used for recreational travel or string of lakes connected by portage to be a water trail. Camping accessibility by water along the route makes multi-day travel possible. Canoeing, kayaking, and, in some areas, personal-watercraft use are all popular ways to enjoy water trails. –ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Greenway: 1. A linear open space established along either a natural corridor, such as a riverfront, stream valley, or ridgeline, or overland along a railroad right-of-way converted to recreational use, a canal, scenic road, or other route. 2. Any natural or landscaped course for pedestrian or bicycle passage. 3. An open-space connector linking parks, nature reserves, cultural features, or historic sites with each other and with populated areas. 4. Locally, certain strips or linear parks designated as parkway or greenbelt. –CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

A practical working definition for greenways is: a landscape linkage designed to connect open spaces to form protected corridors that follow natural and man-made terrain features and embrace ecological, cultural, and recreational amenities where applicable. –KEITH HAY, Greenways and Biodiversity, Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity, 1991

A greenway is a corridor of protected open space that is managed for conservation and/or recreation. The common characteristic of greenways is that they all go somewhere. Greenways follow natural land or water features, like ridges or rivers, or human landscape features like abandoned railroad corridors or canals. They link natural reserves, parks, cultural and historic sites with each other and, in some cases, with populated areas. Greenways not only protect environmentally sensitive lands and wildlife, but also can provide people with access to outdoor recreation and enjoyment close to home. – FLORIDA GREENWAYS COMMISSION, Creating a Statewide Greenway System for People … for Wildlife … for Florida, 1994

A ‘recreational greenway’ is a linear open space that contains a trail(s). Although a greenway trail can take any form, the term generally refers to a high-standard paved trail that accommodates multiple uses. –ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

... if you take a syllable from each of these terms green from greenbelt and way from parkway the general idea of greenway emerges: a natural, green way based on protected linear corridors which will improve environmental quality and provide for outdoor recreation. –CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

A greenway is a continuous strip of vegetated land protected for special uses, extending through an urban area or area targeted for future development. Various segments of a greenway should perform one or more of the following functions: beautify the City, preserve open space, maintain wildlife habitat, provide paved foot trails/bikeways, manage floodplains and stormwater, control sedimentation, provide a park-like environment, provide access to surface drainage systems and service distribution lines, reduce air pollution, absorb noise, and cool the urban atmosphere. –GREENVILLE [NC] GREENWAYS COMMITTEE, 1991

Greenways are linear corridors of protected open space managed for conservation and/or recreational purposes. They often follow rivers, stream valleys, ridges, railroad corridors, utility rights-of-way, canals, scenic roads or other linear features. –GEORGIA DEPARTMENT of NATURAL RESOURCES, Georgia Recreation Planning Manual, 1993

A greenway is a corridor of open space. Greenways vary greatly in scale, from narrow ribbons of green that run through urban, suburban, and rural areas to wide corridors that incorporate diverse natural, cultural, and scenic features. Greenways can be land- or water-based, running along stream corridors, shorelines or wetlands. Some follow old railways, canals, ridge tops, or other features. They can incorporate both public and private property. Some greenways are primarily recreational corridors, while others function almost exclusively for environmental protection and are not designed for human passage. Greenways differ in their location and function, but overall, a greenway network will protect natural, cultural, and scenic resources, provide recreational benefits, enhance the natural beauty and the quality of life in neighborhoods and communities, and stimulate economic development opportunities. –PENNSYLVANIA GREENWAYS PARTNERSHIP, adopted, 1998

Greenways have been described as linear parks within towns and cities. These parks are usually found along flood-prone rivers and streams, often the only undeveloped land left within cities. When trails are constructed through these parcels, however, they become popular recreation areas for walking, jogging or even bicycling. They also provide linkage between neighborhoods and public areas such as schools or shopping centers, and even help maintain wildlife habitat and unique natural areas. –JANE ROHLING, Corridors of Green, Wildlife in North Carolina, 1988

Recreation consists of any pursuit engaged upon during leisure time, other than those to which people are normally ‘highly committed.’ –COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION RESEARCH ADVISORY GROUP, 1970

Recreation is usually defined as some sort of diversion, exercise, or activity that refreshes, relaxes, and pleases the participant. Recreation may take place anywhere, in almost any environment, for the experience is primarily a personal phenomenon, but one that may be shared with family or friends. The recreation experience can usually be enhanced by and may depend on the setting in which it takes place. For many, much of the pleasure of outdoor recreation is the respite it provides from urban densities and pressures and the opportunity to renew our ties with nature. –USDA FOREST SERVICE, National Forest Landscape Management, Recreation, Volume 2, Chapter 2, 1987

Leisure is the time available to an individual when the disciplines of work, sleep, and other basic needs have been met. –COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION RESEARCH ADVISORY GROUP, 1970

Partnership: a relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, for the achievement of a specified goal. AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, 1998

When you work in a bureaucracy, trying to make program changes sometimes seems like trying to slow dance with a cow: it’s not much fun, it annoys the cow and you step in a lot of manure. –BETH TIMSON, From Waterbars to Polygons: The Evolution of a State Trails Program, Trends, 33(2), 1996

…any path must flow from place to place in a continuous manner, like a stream or river. It must connect places with each other. And it must begin someplace and end somewhere else; it must have a clear origin and destination, and provide a strong sense of direction. These characteristics–continuity, connection and an origin and destination–are fundamental to the development of any path. – CHRISTINE CARLSON et al, A Path for the Palouse: An Example of Conservation and Recreation Planning, Landscape and Urban Planning, 17, 1989

There is much confusion between land and country. Land is the place where corn, gullies, and mortgages grow. Country is the personality of land, the collective harmony of its soil, life, and weather... Poor land may be rich country, and vice versa. Only economists mistake physical opulence for riches. Country may be rich despite a conspicuous poverty of physical endowment, and its quality may not be apparent at first glance, nor at all times. –ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

The Appalachian Mountain Club is an association of volunteers organized to cultivate public respect for the environment and to provide opportunities for enjoyment of its natural beauty and for wise stewardship of its use [AMC Purpose and Goals]. –APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB, 1983

The conservationist, then, is the man more concerned about what certain natural resources do for his soul than for his bank balance. Every man is a conservationist part of the time in his thinking, if not in his action. –DAVID BROWER, Wildlands in Our Civilization, 1964

Sustainability on natural surface trail corridors is defined as the characteristic of a travel surface to support currently planned and future uses with minimal impact to the natural systems of the area. Sustainable trails have negligible soil loss or movement while allowing the naturally occurring plant systems to inhabit the area, recognizing required pruning and eventual removal of certain plants over time. Sustainable trails will not adversely affect the naturally occurring fauna. Sustainable trail design will accommodate existing and future uses while only allowing appropriate uses. The sustainable trail will require little rerouting and minimal maintenance over extended periods of time. –USDI, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Rocky Mountain Region, January 1991

Sustainability: the ability of the travel surface to support current and anticipated appropriate uses with minimal impact to the adjoining natural systems and cultural resources. Sustainable trails have negligible soil loss or movement and allow the naturally occurring plant systems to inhabit the area, while allowing for the occasional pruning and removal of plants necessary to build and maintain the trail. If well built, a sustainable trail minimizes seasonal muddiness and erosion. It should not normally affect natural fauna adversely nor require re-routing and major maintenance over long periods of time. – USDI NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Natural Resources Management Guideline, 1997

The term management is used here to include the over-all policy, planning, and design of recreation development at all levels of government, as well as the operational aspects of administration. – OUTDOOR RECREATION RESOURCES REVIEW COMMISSION, Outdoor Recreation for America, 1962


A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse! –WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Richard III, 1597

A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle. –IAN FLEMING, London Sunday Times, October 9, 1966

He doth nothing but talk of his horse. –WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Merchant of Venice, 1600

I cannot imagine my life without horses. They have been my teachers, my friends, my business partners and my entertainment. –MONTY ROBERTS, Horse Sense for People, 2001

The horses are talking … just listen. –MONTY ROBERTS, Horse Sense for People, 2001

Always work to cause your horse to follow the path of least resistance. Then place an opening for him to pass through so that the path of least resistance becomes the direction you want him to go in. – MONTY ROBERTS, Horse Sense for People, 2001

The saddle is a place for dreaming when there’s hours of trail ahead... –LOUIS L’AMOUR, Chancy, Western writer, 1908—88

Ride with a smile, a light hand, and lightly upon the land. –GENE WOOD, Clemson University professor, at Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference, Clemson, SC, 2001

The country has gone sane and got back to horses. –WILL ROGERS, cowboy humorist, 1879—1935, New York Times, May 12, 1933

Man was created to complete the horse. –EDWARD ABBEY, US environmental advocate, 1927—89

No one ever came to grief— except honorable grief— through riding horses. No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle. Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing horses, but never through riding them; unless of course they break their necks, which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die. – WINSTON CHURCHILL, British statesman, 1874—1965

Sit loosely in the saddle of life. –ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Scottish author and poet, 1850—94

I had rather ride on an ass that carries me than a horse that throws me. –GEORGE HERBERT, Jacula Predentum, 1651

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river. –ABRAHAM LINCOLN, reply to the National Union League, June 9, 1864

You can see what man made from the seat of an automobile, but the best way to see what God made is from the back of a horse. –CHARLES RUSSELL, Western artist, 1864—1926

A canter is the cure for every evil. –BENJAMIN DISRAELI, The Young Duke, 1831

People on horses look better than they are. People in cars look worse then they are. –MARYA MANNES, More in Anger, 1958

A man that don’t love a horse, there is something the matter with him. –WILL ROGERS, cowboy humorist, 1879—1935, New York Times, August 17, 1924

A good horse should be seldom spurred. –THOMAS FULLER, Gnomologia, 1732

There is more to lose than land. A way of life and an understanding of who we are is also at stake. Horsemanship is important to our country’s history and lore. It teaches us responsibility and stewardship and how to care for another life form. When we protect this, it enriches our communities. – JOHN TURNER, President and CEO, Conservation Fund, 1997

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. –WINSTON CHURCHILL, British statesman, 1874—1965

There will never be a time when the old horse is not superior to any auto ever made. –WILL ROGERS, cowboy humorist, 1879—1935, syndicated column, September 11, 1932

If you ride a horse, sit close and tight. If you ride a man, sit easy and light. –BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1732-57

He who would venture nothing must not get on a horse. –SPANISH PROVERB

If an ass goes traveling, he’ll not come home a horse. –THOMAS FULLER, British scholar, 1608—61

I want to leave the world a better place for horses and people. –MONTY ROBERTS, The Man Who Listens to Horses, 1997

Fortunate indeed is the rider of a good trail horse; for nothing he possesses will provide a more liberal and constant opportunity to explore and become thoroughly familiar with the open range lands, forests, mountains and wilderness areas of America. –CHARLES VOGEL, Trails Manual, 1968

There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse. –ROBERT SMITH SURTEES, Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour, 1853

Horses are our silent partners. When we learn their language. This partnership grows strong. – MONTY ROBERTS, The Man Who Listens to Horses, 1997


Greenway-making is as much a matter of scrounging as it is of making genteel applications to government and foundation funding sources. The fact is, scroungers make by far the best greenway leaders simply because, by rooting around, they somehow find the grants, the in-kind services, donated materials, and significantly, the gifts of land. There is no way to provide tips for the art of scrounging; scroungers are born, not made. —CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

Fiscally we are budgeted for the 1950’s while our problems are those of the 1970’s. —E.H. KETLEDGE and R.E. LEONARD, The Impact of Man on the Adirondack High Country, The Conservationist, 25(2), 1970

The best way to save land is to buy it outright…. —WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money was not scarce? —RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US essayist, 1803–82


... greenways are features that tie a bigger system of park components together, and they emphasize harmony with the natural environment, provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and help create an interconnected park system. —JAMES MERTES and JAMES HALL, Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Guidelines, 1996

Greenways are terribly important in the urban environment because they provide an edge, which means you have more people connected to the greenway itself, to the system of connections. Also, they’re practical. In many areas, we can’t get more ‘big fat guys’–parks in the traditional sense. But by restoring rivers and other corridors, we can save the skinny ones. —WILLIAM SPITZER, former Acting Assistant Director, National Recreation Programs, National Park Service, 1998

The ‘linkage of urban and rural spaces’: this is what makes the greenway idea so fresh and compelling. —CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

The dream is to spiderweb this entire nation with so many green threads, principally along streams and ridges, that every citizen would be only minutes away from one. —NOEL GROVE, Land & People, 1994

It is easy to fall into the assumption that everything we do harms the environment. Our relationship with nature is complex and it is unfair to over-emphasize our harmful impacts. Indeed, greenways represent our desire to foster a healthy and responsible attitude toward nature. —JONATHAN LABAREE, How Greenways Work: A Handbook on Ecology, 1992

Greenways are ‘the paths to the future’ as they link people to the outdoors. They meet an ever growing need, a need to leave the hectic city (if only for a moment) and to experience earth beneath your feet and fresh air in your lungs–to feel life and to feel alive. —VICTORIA LOGUE, Backpacking in the ‘90s, 1995

We need to bring open space to the people, instead of expecting them to journey to find it. That’s where greenways are contributing. —GILBERT GROSVENOR, Vice Chairman, President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, 1987

If the greenway movement can help us get back a bit of honest natural beauty and our heritage of historic place, we shall owe it much. —CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

Greenways allow us to treat land and water as a system, as interlocking pieces in a puzzle, not as isolated entities. —ED MCMAHON, Director, American Greenways Program, 1999

Protecting environmental corridors through establishing and managing greenways represents one method (to be used in conjunction with other approaches) to safeguard vital ecological processes. —JONATHAN LABAREE, How Greenways Work: A Handbook on Ecology, 1992

To leave for our children what our grandparents enjoyed as children … trees, streams, and that quiet place from which to draw strength. —CAPITAL AREA GREENWAY COMMISSION report, Raleigh, NC, 1974

Linkage is the central theme and goal of the greenway concept–to reconnect and preserve natural land and water habitats, thus reversing the biologically destructive effects of landscape fragmentation that inevitably result from urbanization. —KEITH HAY, Greenways and Biodiversity, Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity, 1991

A highway takes your car to the country, a greenway your mind. —CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

Greenway corridors have three standard features: they are linear pieces of land, they are under some form of long-term protection and they connect one area to another. —TERESA MOORE, "Greenscapes and Greenways— Maryland’s Green Infrastructure," Trends, 33(2), 1996

The building of greenway systems takes time, money, patience, technical knowledge, and partnerships. Without dedicated people, the greenway corridors that protect the habitat linkages so essential for biodiversity would not happen. —KEITH HAY, Greenways and Biodiversity, Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity, 1991

... [The greenway story] is the story of a remarkable citizen-led movement to get us out of our cars and into the landscape–on paths and trails through corridors of green that can link city to country and people to nature... —CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

Greenways provide more bang for the recreational buck by taking advantage of otherwise unbuildable landscapes like floodplains and ridgelines, and by linking lands already in public ownership. —ED MCHAHON, Director, American Greenways Program, 1998

Greenways are a bold idea with the magic to stir people to action. Greenways themselves are not new. We want to encourage their spread across the American landscape, by focusing on their values to communities. A nationwide network could ultimately grow from local action in thousands of communities across America. —PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986)

No other single conservation opportunity offers so many advantages. No single environmental solution serves so many purposes. Publicly or privately owned, following rivers or ridges, greenways can link the nation in a network of green. —PATRICK NOONAN, President, The Conservation Fund, 1993

By preserving land in its natural state you allow the natural system as God designed it to function. If you think of greenways as a means to provide a place for biological communities in their natural state to be maintained, and if at the same time you provide human access to the greenway corridor, you have given people a means to look at our world in a different way. —CHUCK FLINK, President, Greenways Inc., 1988

... linear open space has significantly more perimeter or edge than traditional consolidated parks. This edge may be used to buffer competing land uses, and soften the urban image. —BILL FLOURNOY, Capital City Greenway: A Report to the City Council on the Benefits, Potential, and Methodology of Establishing a Greenway System in Raleigh (NC) report, 1972

... let us build many more golf course developments, but for the most part without the golf courses themselves— substituting community greens for putting greens and greenways for fairways. —RANDALL ARENDT, Conservation Design for Subdivisions, 1996

The greenway design should ensure accessibility to all whether disabled by a physical handicap or by the weight of carrying parcels from market to home. —CHUCK FLINK, President, Greenways Inc., 1991

Communities [should] establish Greenways, corridors of private and public recreation lands and waters, to provide people access to open spaces close to where they live, and to link together the rural and urban spaces in the American landscape. —PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987

To make a greenway... is to make a community. And that, above all else, is what the movement is all about. —CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

We have a vision for delivering outdoor recreation opportunities close to home for all Americans: a network of Greenways, created by local action, linking private and public recreation areas in linear corridors of land and water. Greenways can bring access to the natural world to every American, and can eventually, if we act now with speed and with foresight, link our communities and our recreation areas together across the nation. —PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987

Greenways are many things to many people. And that’s one of their virtues. —CHRIS BROWN, Chief, National Park Service, River, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, 1994

Greenways are popular now for some very good and lasting reasons. They remind us that our urban environment is not just a fume-choked freeway or boulevard of billboards.

We may go out of our way to despise the city rather than see it as our own habitat, however unnatural. Here we work, consume, sleep–but we also grow, play, and learn. Few of us live near the rainforests or Arctic wilderness that attract so much environmental attention. We experience our lives as urban people–by the year 2000, over 80% of Americans will live in cities or suburban areas. And yet there is wildness, if not Wilderness by bureaucratic designation, in our urban areas.

As conservationists, greenways, as places where the natural world lives in the midst of cities, deserve more of our attention. Most of us have an image of a greenway as a river plus a trail. Those are the typical ingredients in greenway systems–some as large and complex as the Hudson River, others as small as the nameless creek through a townhouse project. Other greenway corridors include road and utility rights-of-way, abandoned rail lines, drainageways and canals.

All these combine the natural with the industrial, provide recreation and wildlife habitat, and link utilities and living streams. In short, greenways are linear parks that borrow the power in our minds of the River, the Forest, and the Journey.

The importance of greenways lies in this diversity. While greenways provide some very tangible benefits to the urban world, they also make appealing environmental projects….
–STUART MACDONALD, "Greenways: Preserving our Urban Environment," Trilogy, 1991

Greenways provide a wide range of benefits for people, wildlife and the economy, and a system of greenways and larger greenscapes offers many, long-term ecological benefits.

  • preserve biodiversity
  • provide wildlife corridors
  • protect water quality
  • direct growth
  • maintain character/sense of place
  • serve as outdoor classrooms
  • provide outdoor recreation
  • contribute to high quality of lif
  • enhance surrounding property values
  • stimulate tourism and related business ventures
  • offer alternative transportation
  • reduce public expenditures to correct environmental problems (flooding, water/air treatment, etc.)
    , "Greenscapes and Greenways–Maryland’s Green Infrastructure," Trends, 33(2), 1996

Health and Fitness

In society you will not find health, but in nature… Society is always diseased and the best is the sickest. There is no scent in it so wholesome as that of the pines, nor any fragrance so penetrating and restorative as that of everlasting in high pastures. —HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal, December 31, 1841

Many people believe that dealing with overweight and obesity is a personal responsibility. To some degree they are right, but it is also a community responsibility. When there are no safe, accessible places for children to play or adults to walk, jog, or ride a bike, that is a community responsibility. —DAVID SATCHER, Surgeon General, Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, 2001

As the life of the horse is in his legs, so the life of the traveler is in his feet, and good care should be taken of them. —JULIETTE DE BAIRACLI LEVY, Traveler's Joy, 1979.

...So here's my advice to city planners. Make your city runnable. Runners are the first wave of troops bringing human activity back to the urban core of any city. Where we go, others will follow. The connection between runnability and livability is so clear (at least to me), that it's surprising that new developments consistently leave pathways out of the plans... DON KARDONG, "Pathways to Vitality," Runner's World, February 27, 2004

Taste your legs, sire: put them into motion. —WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Sir Toby Belch, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene 1

There is delight, too, in the physical fitness that comes only after weeks and weeks of walking. The body works at its best when used every day, and the feeling this gives is tremendous. —CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

Education has no more serious responsibility than the making of adequate provision for enjoyment of recreative leisure not only for the sake of immediate health, but for the sake of its lasting effect upon the habits of the mind. —JOHN DEWEY, US educator and philosopher, 1859–1952

True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are united. —ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT, German naturalist and traveler, 1769–1859

Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded. —JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German philosopher and writer, 1749–1832

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a difference of 100 calories of exercise per person per day, the equivalent of 20 minutes of walking, could eliminate the obesity epidemic we are now experiencing. —MICHAEL P. O'DONNELL, Editor in Chief and President, American Journal of Health Promotion, Sept/Oct 2003

There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym. —BILL NYE, The Science Guy, 1999

Physical fitness is vital for the optimal function of the brain, for retardation of the onset of serious arteriosclerosis which is beginning to appear in early adult life, and for longevity, and a useful and healthy life for our older citizens. —DR. PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US cardiologist, 1886–1973

Without health there is no happiness. An attention to health, then, should take the place of every other object. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

It is not God, but people themselves who shorten their lives by not keeping physically fit. —CARL LINNAEUS, Swedish botanist and explorer, 1707–78

We are under-exercised as a nation. We look instead of play. We ride instead of walk. Our existence deprives us of the minimum of physical activity essential for healthy living. —JOHN F. KENNEDY, address to National Football Foundation, New York City, December 5, 1961

Most people are pantywaists. Exercise is good for you. —EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

Hiking a ridge, a meadow, a river bottom, is as healthy a form of exercise as one can get. —WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice and avid hiker, 1898–1980

Increased access to open space and scenic resources, and increased participation in outdoor recreation activities have been linked to better physical fitness leading to decreased public health care costs; reduced social service and police/justice costs; as well as reduced self-destructive and anti-social behavior. —USDI NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails, and Greenway Corridors, 1995

Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

After dinner sit a while; after supper walk a mile. —THOMAS FULLER, British scholar, 1608–61


You’ve heard this before, my friend, but I have to say it again because this is my last chance to say it. You’re not going out there to prove anything. You’re not going out there to rough it. You’re going to smooth it. You get it rough enough every day! —HARRY ROBERTS, Movin’ On, 1977

The sole criteria is to walk with the senses, with hands that feel, ears that hear, and eyes that see. —ROBERT BROWNE, The Appalachian Trail: History, Humanity, and Ecology, 1980

The hiker can go without combing his hair or shaving and will be accepted as perfectly normal. He can get dirty and his friends will still speak to him jovially. His clothes may be in tatters, and people will think nothing of it. If there happens to be a little rock dust on his shirt or trousers, or if his clothes are a trifle torn, so much the better. Of such stuff are hiking heroes made. The hiker doesn’t have to have to talk very much, say witty things, hold a glass in his hands, or laugh lightly at banalities. His is a world of opposites, and no one cares or worries about it. —ANN and MYRON SUTTON, The Appalachian Trail: Wilderness on the Doorstep, 1967

Hiking takes more head than heel. —EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

However, some of us do walk best under duress. Or only under duress. Certainly my own most memorable hikes can be classified as Shortcuts that Backfired. —EDWARD ABBEY, environmental advocate, 1927–89

Walking revitalizes me. After one day on the trail I become different from the way I am at home. I am in touch with the seasons, the weather, the varied hours of each day. I see more keenly. I am aware of the details. —MARLYN DOAN, Hiking Light, 1982

I dream of hiking into my old age. I want to be able even then to pack my load and take off slowly but steadily along the trail. —MARLYN DOAN, Hiking Light, 1982

May your trail be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill. —EDWARD ABBEY, environmental advocate, 1927–89

Take nothing for granted. Not one blessed, cool mountain day or one hellish, desert day or one sweaty, stinky, hiking companion. It is all a gift. —CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest, 1987

... unless we begin to protect existing hiking trails and provide new ones to cope with projected demands, the hiker faces a grim future–more and more hikers with fewer and fewer places to hike. ROBERT LUCAS & ROBERT RINEHART, The Neglected Hiker, Backpacker, 1976

I would, as always, be going alone. I know well the arguments that solo hiking in a remote wilderness is foolhardy, dangerous, even irresponsible, but I know even more the great rewards that await the lone wanderer, rewards that can only be glimpsed by those who walk in groups. —CHRIS TOWNSEND, Walking the Yukon: A Solo Trek Through the Land of Beyond, 1993

Dear Lord, if you pick ‘em up, I’ll put ‘em down. —HIKER’S PRAYER

So, good luck to you fellow-hiker, wherever you go! May you never run out of tobacco or songs; may the trees be great and old and the girls young and comely. May the sun shine upon your cheek and the shade lie upon the back of your neck. May you find wood and strawberries and sassafras. But he who flingeth away the bottle and hindereth not the picnic paper, he that carveth the beech bole and she that expects others to carry her coat, camera and pack, may their socks be lumpy, and farm dogs bite their calves! —DONALD CULROSS PEATTIE, The Joy of Walking, The New York Times Magazine, April 1942

The more that’s done for hikers in the forests and woods and mountains, in that far do they fail to get the most out of it... We must retain the challenging character of the wilderness. —WALTER O’KANE, guidebook writer, 1935

To explore the interesting places in the vicinity, to become acquainted to some extent at least, with the natural history of the localities, and also to improve the pedestrian powers of the members. objectives of ALPINE CLUB OF WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, America’s first organized hiking club, 1863

Almost 48 million Americans over age 15 went hiking in 1994. Hiking’s popularity has increased considerably, up 93% since 1984. Over the same periods, the number of backpackers increased by 73%— from 9 to 15 million and interest in primitive area only camping increased 58%— from 17 to 28 million. —SPORTING GOODS MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION and USDA FOREST SERVICE, Emerging Markets for Outdoor Recreation, 1997

To the untrained eye, selfish or ego climbing and selfless climbing may appear identical.… Both kinds of climber place one foot in front of the other. Both breathe in and out at the same rate. Both stop when tired. Both go forward when rested. But what a difference! The ego climber is like an instrument that’s out of adjustment. He puts his foot down an instant too soon or late. He’s likely to miss a beautiful passage of sunlight through the trees. He goes on when the sloppiness of his step says he’s tired. He rests at odd times. He looks up the trail trying to see what’s ahead even when he knows what’s ahead because he just looked a second before. He goes too fast or too slow for the conditions and when he talks his talk is forever about something else. He’s here but he’s not here. He rejects the here, is unhappy with it, wants to be further up the trail but when he gets there will be just as unhappy because then it will be ‘there.’ What he’s looking for, what he wants is all around him. But he doesn’t want that because it is all around him. Every step is an effort, both physically and spiritually because he imagines his goal to be external and distant. —ROBERT PIRSIG, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, 1974

Historic Trails

I am very weary of this journey, weary of myself and all around me, I long for the quiet of home where I can be at peace once more. —AGNES STEWART WARNER, Oregon Trail pioneer, August 21, 1853

This route is the greatest one for wrangling, discord and abuse of any other place in the world I am certain. —ABIGAIL SCOTT, Oregon Trail pioneer, 1852

I think none of use have realized until now the perils of this undertaking... —MARGARET A. FINK, Oregon Trail pioneer, 1850


If you took a leave of absence and hiked the Appalachian Trail for six months and came back to work with a full beard, would anybody notice that you had been away, or, if you’re female, remark how it’s not every day that you see a woman with a full beard? —LEWIS GRIZZARD, Shoot Low, Boys–They’re Ridin’ Shetland Ponies, 1985

There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the fault of his feet. —SAMUEL BECKETT, Waiting for Godot, Act 1, 1952

Nearly everyone I talked to has some gruesome story involving a guileless acquaintance who had gone off hiking the trail with high hopes and new boots and come stumbling back two days later with a bobcat attached to his head or dripping blood from an armless sleeve and whispering in a hoarse voice, ‘Bear!’ before sinking into a troubled unconsciousness. —BILL BRYSON, A Walk in the Woods, 1998

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. —HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walden, 1854

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-five now, and we don’t know where the hell she is. —ELLEN DEGENERES, Comedian, actor, writer, 1958-

I hadn’t asked him why he wanted to come [hike the Appalachian Trail]. Katz was the one person I knew on earth who might be on the run from guys with names like Julio and Mr. Big. Anyway, I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to have to walk alone. —BILL BRYSON, A Walk in the Woods, 1998

Nature and I are two. —WOODY ALLEN, US film actor, director, & writer, 1935-

Two great talkers will not travel far together. —GEORGE BORROW, English author, 1803–81

I always carry with me soy sauce, bacon bits, Parmesan cheese, curry, olive oil, garlic powder, bouillon, and oregano. With those items, I figure I can make a tasty meal out of dirt and grass if necessary. —JOHN FAYHEE, Along the Arizona Trail, 1998

My idea of camping out is being out of half-and-half for my coffee in the morning. —LEWIS GRIZZARD, US humorist, 1946–94

Some people spend a lot of money on camping equipment and spend weeks in the wilderness when they could save themselves a lot of trouble simply by occasionally going out in their backyards to pee. —LEWIS GRIZZARD, US humorist, 1946–94

The US Forest Service, 1998, received these actual comments from backpackers after wilderness camping trips:

  • Too many bugs and spiders. Please spray the area to get rid of these pests.
  • Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
  • Chairlifts are needed so we can get to the wonderful views without having to hike to them.
  • A McDonald’s would be nice at trailhead.
  • Too many rocks in the mountains.
  • The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.

A civil servant is sometimes like a broken cannon— it won’t work and you can’t fire it. —GEORGE S. PATTON, US Army General, 1885–1945

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get to the office. —ROBERT FROST, US poet, 1874–1963

[America] is the only country in the world where we pay $150,000 for a house and then leave it for two weeks every summer to go sleep in a tent. —LEWIS GRIZZARD, US humorist, 1946–94

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. —FRED ALLEN, US entertainer and radio comedian, 1894–1956

I like longs walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. —NOEL COWARD, English playwright, actor, composer, director, 1899–1973

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity there ain’t nothing can beat teamwork. —MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Puddin’head Wilson, 1893

All other things being equal, choose a john with a view. —COLIN FLETCHER, The New Complete Walker, 1974


If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies’ territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time will harvest a few trespassers. —EDWARD ABBEY, US environmental advocate, 1927–89

A pedestrian ought to be legally allowed to toss at least one hand grenade at a motorist every day. BRENDAN FRANCIS, Irish writer, 1923–64

A near tragedy— the first week out on the expedition someone lost the bottle opener, and for the rest of the trip we had to subsist on food and water. —W.C. FIELDS, US comedian, 1880–1946

My advice for grizzlies is to try to maintain sphincter control. —KERRY SNOW, volunteer trail manager with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, 1990

The tourists drift in and out of here like turds floating through the sewer. —EDWARD ABBEY, writing about Arches National Monument in 1956

Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car. —E.B. WHITE, Fro-Joy, One Man’s Meat, 1944

Life is like a dogsled team... If you’re not the lead dog, the scenery never changes. —LEWIS GRIZZARD, US humorist, 1946–94

Buy land; they are not making it anymore. —MARK TWAIN (Samuel Clemens), US writer and humorist, 1835–1910

Put the park rangers to work. Lazy scheming loafers, they’ve wasted too many years selling tickets at toll booths and sitting behind desks filling out charts and tables in the vain effort to appease the mania for statistics which torments the Washington office. Put them to work. They’re supposed to be rangers— make the bums range; kick them out of those overheated airconditioned offices, yank them out of those overstuffed patrol cars, and drive them out on the trails where they should be, leading the dudes over hill and dale, safely into and back out of the wilderness. It won’t hurt them to work off a little office fat; it’ll do them good, help take their minds off each other’s wives, and give them a chance to get out of reach of the boss— a blessing for all concerned. —EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire, 1971

Never journey without something to eat in your pocket. If only to throw to dogs when attacked by them. —E.S. BATES, US writer, 1879–1939

After all, what is a pedestrian? He is a man who has two cars— one being driven by his wife, the other by one of his children. —ROBERT BRADBURY, The New York Times, September 5, 1962

There are three kinds of lies— lies, damned lies and statistics. —MARK TWAIN (Samuel Clemens), US writer and humorist, 1835–1910

She travels grubbiest who travels light. —ERMA BOMBECK, Humor columnist, 1927-


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