In “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson, the history of the Appalachian Trail is covered throughout the travel logue as a whole, though this it more commonly observed within the pages of chapter three. In this chapter, Bryson describes the intentions behind the trail’s creation. A man named Benton MacKaye, in the nineteen-twenties, had the founding idea for the trail. According to Bryson, the trail was not meant to generate revenue but to work as sort of a serene environment for those who traveled through it (28). The idea was expected to expand even further and branch off into the building of several structures along the trail itself. MacKaye’s insistence upon building these other structures bore no fruit and eventually fell through, but they included, and were not limited to: work camps, hotels, study centers, and woodland villages.
Four years after his proposal, a conference was held in order to start planning the Trail’s construction (28). However, it was another five years before there were any attempts to really get down and dirty and begin the actual process. It was then, Bryson states, that Myron Avery, another key player in the Trail’s birth, took the reins. It is often said that, “it was really Avery’s trail.”(29) He put in a large deal of the man hours whereas MacKaye provided more of the outline for the basis of the construction. Avery not only traveled the entirety of the trail, but he also “mapped it out” and “superintended the construction of hundreds of miles” of it (29). Over these many years, the trail’s size has wavered from anywhere between 1,200 miles and 2,100 miles, never quite actually making it through the end of the Appalachian’s themselves (29). The trail resides between Georgia and Maine and without the risk of sounding opinionated on the subject, would likely live up to MacKaye’s dream. I propose this because to this day the