Walking Towards Peace: Veterans Healing on America’s Trails

Current research and perspectives of professional therapists, as well as information on organizations devoted to healing veterans in the outdoors.

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Event Details

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February 17, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:30 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


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Webinar Outline

This webinar will be more of a conversation between the presenters with no formal presentation.

Author Cindy Ross shares current research and perspectives of professional therapists and provides information on organizations devoted to healing veterans in the outdoors. Through the veterans’ collective stories of wartime traumas and their present lives, what becomes clear is that anyone suffering from any form of PTSD may discover the powerful comfort and healing that can be found in the outdoors.

Retired Special Forces Army Ranger, Travis Johnston, will also take part in the webinar. Travis is highlighted in Cindy’s new book, Walking Towards Peace: Veterans Healing on America’s Trails, in which this webinar is about.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how ecotherapy, particularly walking in nature, can heal trauma and bring peace, citing personal examples and stories
  • Discover cutting research on the topic
  • Learn how you can help struggling folks, particularly veterans, whom are struggling with mental health issues, access the natural world


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).

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Cindy Ross, Author
New Ringgold, Pennsylvania

Cindy Ross had her formal education at Indiana University of PA and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia in Fine Arts, Painting. She is a long-distance hiker, writer, author, educator, and artist. She through-hiked the entire 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail and the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail as a single woman, and later, married with kids, the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail, making her a Triple Crowner.

Out of her nine published books, she writes of her adventures in A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail, Journey on the Crest, and Scraping Heaven: A Family’s Journey Along the Continental Divide. She has also made a career speaking publicly about her travels and alternatively raising and educating their two children, Sierra and Bryce. It is the subject of her 8th book, The World is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature & Travel to Shape and Extraordinary Education, Skyhorse Publishing, NYC.

In addition to hiking, Cindy has visited 65 countries as a cyclist and paddler, which she writes about in newspaper and magazine articles published across the country.

Cindy has been an educator for most of her life, teaching backpacking and journal writing at local colleges, as well as facilitating her children’s homeschooling career.

She and her husband Todd Gladfelter built their own log home from scratch and live a simple lifestyle close to the earth. As experts in self-sufficiency, they have grown their own organic food raised chickens, goats, llamas and steer provided workshops on Voluntary Simplicity at the college level

They also ran a hostel on the Appalachian Trail as part of the Volunteers in the National Parks program and maintain a section of the AT through the local hiking club.

Cindy has been the Director of River House PA, a 501c3 nonprofit, which takes veterans into nature to heal. Her 9th book entitled, Walking Towards Peace: Veterans Healing on America’s Trails, was released April 2021 with The Mountaineers Books, Seattle. It traces the personal and deeply moving stories of 25 veterans who mostly hike (long distance and short) as well as paddle rivers and mountain bike trails, to help heal from their trauma.

Learn more about Cindy by visiting her travel writing blog at https://cindyrosstraveler.com/


Travis Johnston, Retired Special Forces Army Ranger
Savannah, Georgia

Travis is a Retired Special Forces Army Ranger and is highlighted in Cindy Ross’ book, Walking Towards Peace: Veterans Healing on America’s Trails.


Closed Captioning

We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

Learning Credits and CEUs

American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

  • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
  • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES PDH) (most HSW approved)
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
  • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Symposium, as well as for other conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.


While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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3,542 views • posted 12/17/2021