Grandma Gatewood’s Walk tells the inspiring story of Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone. In 1955, at 67 years old and with 11 children (and many more grandchildren) under her belt, Grandma set out on a thru-hike of the 2,000-mile trail—with only a straw hat and tennis shoes for protection against bears and snakes. Despite rain, snowstorms, blisters, dangerous encounters with strangers . . . she completed her epic journey in four months. This riveting tale of endurance is not only an account of one remarkable pioneer but also a portrait of America’s changing landscape and history. With photos throughout as well as sidebars about other interesting female hikers (like “the barefoot bandit”), this book celebrates forgotten champions who have made indelible marks on our nation’s trails.
For who is this book for ?
Grandma Gatewood’s Walk is for anyone with an interest in outdoor exploration, historical nonfiction, or inspiring biographies.
- The author does a great job of balancing out the history with Grandma’s personal story
- The photos are really neat and add to the book
- It is inspiring to read about someone who is not only remarkable but also relatable
- Some of the content may be inappropriate for younger readers.
- The author occasionally interrupts the main text with sidebars that are not necessarily relevant to the story at hand.
- There is little information about Emma Gatewood’s life before she began hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Learn more about the author
Ben Montgomery is a features reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he has also written for The Chicago Tribune, St. Petersburg Times (now defunct), and Las Vegas Sun. He lives in Florida with his wife and two young children.
“This book is a wonderful tribute to Emma Gatewood and her accomplishments. It also provides interesting sidebars about other female hikers who have blazed trails of their own. I really enjoyed this read!”
“A well written and inspiring book about a courageous woman.”
“What a great book! I was hooked from the first page and found myself eagerly turning pages to see what would happen next. Emma Gatewood’s journey is inspiring, and Ben Montgomery does an excellent job of bringing her story to life. This is a must-read for anyone who loves adventure tales or outdoor history.”
“Grandma Gatewood’s Walk is the story of Emma (Grandma) Gatewood, the first woman to thru-hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone. In 1955, at 67 years old and with 11 children (and many more grandchildren) under her belt, Grandma set out on a thru-hike of the 2,000-mile trail—with only a straw hat and tennis shoes for protection against bears and snakes. Despite rain, snowstorms… she completed her epic journey in four months.”