Ben Anderson @ Jackson County Public Library

  • Jackson County Public Library 310 Keener Street Sylva, NC, 28779 United States

Since its creation in 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has become the most heavily visited of all our national parks, with yearly visitation sometimes surpassing 10 million people.

To many, the Smokies are among the loveliest and most interesting mountains anywhere, favored by a remarkable biodiversity owing mostly to copious precipitation, elevation variation, and remnants of the most recent ice age. In the park, one finds a variety of trees and plants similar to that of the entire 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from north Georgia to central Maine.

As the national park system celebrated its centennial in 2016, Ben Anderson decided to explore and closely observe, across the seasons, as much of the nation’s most popular national park as practicable during the year.  On the three or four hikes he took each month, he revisited a number of trails he was familiar with from previous hiking and backpacking excursions, often through his role as a Smokies backcountry volunteer for more than 20 years. Even on familiar trails, he sought a greater perspective and deeper insight into the park.

In Smokies Chronicle, Anderson offers observations on natural and human history, mountain culture, geography, geology, flora and fauna. The book also deftly blends the personal with the universal in a compelling mix of entries from the backcountry.
Although this book can be used as a helpful trail guide, it also provides a fresh look and an engaging narrative about our most heavily visited national park, through the eyes and ears of a writer who has an extensive history with the park.