A “Walk in the Woods” on the Appalachian Trail Becomes a Movie
By Roger Lohr
An AMC Outdoors Magazine article referenced the coming movie version of Bill Bryson’s 1998 bestselling book “A Walk in the Woods,” a comical ill-fated attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT). The recent success of Reese Witherspoon in the movie “Wild” about a woman who hiked on the Pacific Crest Trail brought great popularity to that trail and the entire concept of “thru-hiking,” which is an attempt at walking along the entire length of the trail.
In the past year about 2,500 thru-hikers attempted the AT, which runs from Georgia to Maine and a reported 640 completed the trek. The movie “Walk in the Woods” starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte is expected to increase the number of people hiking the trail to about 4,000 in 2016. Will the trail become overcrowded at overnight sites? Will it get trashed, or impact the fauna and flora?
Stewardship and protection are key aspects of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which is calling for more people to reverse their thru-hike experience by starting at the middle and going north before trekking the bottom half of the trail afterward. Much of the issue will be taken care of by natural selection – the fact that within a few hundred miles more than half of the hikers quit the trek. The word is that the first two or three weeks are the test on the more than 2,160 mile journey from Spring Mountain in GA to Katahdin, ME.
The film will be released on Labor Day Weekend.