In these times of resurging pandemic and shortening daylight, it might make sense to stay home and read a good book. Luckily, three new books and a revised re-print of an old hiker classic have just hit the shelves. Read our reviews below.
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument by Eric Hendrickson
Review by Dick Anderson
Eric Hendrickson, husband and trail crew partner to Maine IAT Vice President Elaine Hendrickson, has just published a book on the history of the 87,000 acres of mountains, ponds, rivers and forest that comprise the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Published by The History Press, the book captures Eric’s comprehensive knowledge of the old sporting camps, logging dams, and other historic features in the new national monument. Eric has spent a lifetime exploring this particular corner of the North Woods in Maine, and it is fair to say that he and Elaine have reached every corner – by mountain bike, on foot, or by skis.
In addition to unearthing a wealth of historical images, Eric has researched the human activities represented by those photos and maps with the help of local, Maine, and national experts and historians. The first 30 miles of the International Appalachian Trail winds through Katahdin Woods & Waters, and Eric’s book will be a great companion for anyone who might enjoy some reading as they prepare for their trip at home or while walking through this great corner of the North Woods.
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is published by The History Press can be ordered at Arcadia Publishing and many other booksellers in Maine.
Through Woods & Waters: A Solo Journey to Maine’s New National Monument by Laurie Apgar Chandler
Review by Don Hudson
As a former forester, Laurie Chandler knows the woods. When her life turned upside down following the death of her husband, Chris, in 2009, she began to set herself a goal. Chris had introduced her to the wilds of northern Maine on their honeymoon trip to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, and in the months and years following his death, she began to plan for a thru-paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. A few years after the planning began, Laurie became the first woman to solo thru-paddle the NFCT.
Explorations often open up new opportunities, and so it was for Laurie. Restless to get out on the trail again, Laurie began planning in early 2018 for a combination paddle/hiking trip, from the West Branch of the Penobscot, on the NFCT, to the East Branch of the Penobscot and the heart of Maine’s new national monument. Once there, Laurie put on her pack and followed the IAT through Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
Laurie is an inspiring storyteller whose solo journey shows us how one of our newest national treasures fits into the rich fabric of Maine’s great North Woods. Read this very personal story of exploration and discovery with a map at your side. You will finish with a deep appreciation for the grandeur of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and a long bucket list of places to visit.
Laurie’s book is published by Maine Authors Publishing in Thomaston, Maine and you can find it in Maine bookstores and online.
Accommodations at the Edge of Wilderness: The Story of Hunt Farm and Lunksoos on the Penobscot River’s East Branch by John Neff
Review by Earl Raymond
John Neff has written a new book about the Hunt and Dacey Farms and the Lunksoos Sporting Camps, the first settlements on the East Branch of the Penobscot River. Built in the early 1800’s when the area around the East Branch was still largely unexplored, both farms (and later the Lunksoos Sporting Camps) became key points of access to the Katahdin region and, as such, attracted a list of celebrated visitors including Henry David Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt, Percival Baxter and painter Frederic Edwin Church. Both farms also hosted many of the early naturalist and geologists exploring the region such as Charles Edward Hamlin, Myron H. Avery, and Charles H. Hitchcock, who created the first geologic map of Maine.
Neff’s book is a very interesting and informative read and will be enjoyed by the many people who will be exploring Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. It is available as a free download from the University of Maine Digital Commons.
Where Less the Path is Worn by M.J. “Nimblewill Nomad” Eberhart
The second Edition of Nimblewill Nomad‘s book, Where Less the Path is Worn, is now available! Here’s Nimblewill’s description:
347 days. 5,000 miles. On foot!
That’s the sweep of this inspiring, spirit-filled adventure, the first known hike encompassing the entire Appalachian Mountain Range as we know it to exist on the North American continent.
This monumental journey unfolds as seasoned long-distance hiker M.J. Nimblewill Nomad Eberhart tackles his second traverse of the Eastern Continental Trail. Along this near-continuous footpath of connecting trails, he walks south from “Land’s End” at Cap Gaspé, Quebec to a very different view of the Atlantic Ocean in the Florida Keys—framed by Caribbean blue waters—to reach the southernmost point of the United States at Key West.
After achieving this goal, Nimblewill extends this journey with an incredible walk that breaks new ground. On an epic trek across the island of Newfoundland, he continues to where the Long Range Appalachian Mountains rise to meet the tundra, to the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula where the Vikings first landed on this continent over a thousand years ago. Journey’s end is on Belle Isle, the northernmost Appalachian mountaintop to hold its head above “Iceberg Alley” in the Labrador Sea. Along this journey, you’ll meet the many kind and generous souls who lifted Nimblewill, who touched his heart, his life, theirs to be touched in return.
This lyrical and heartfelt recounting captures not only the resolve and challenge of long-distance hiking, but also offers up reverence to the ageless and timeless beauty of the Appalachians.
Where Less the Path is Worn can be ordered at Amazon.