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Dahlonega, Georgia
Southern Gateway to the Appalachian Trail


Speakers/Authors

Authors will be signing their books from
9:00-5:00 on Saturday and 10:00-4:00 Sunday
Hancock Park


 
Gene Espy

DUE TO FAMILY ILLNESS, GENE HAS HAD TO CANCEL

"My 1951 Appalachian Trail
Thru-hike"

The highlight of all Gene's adventures was his 1951 Georgia to Maine solo hike of the entire Appalachian Trail which made him the second thru-hiker. Gene is a pioneer among the currently 10,000 hikers of the
photo of Gene Espy
Michelle Pugh
Michelle "Brownie" Pugh

Saturday 3:00 pm
Hancock Park

"What's in Your Pack?"

Does packing for a backwoods trip ever feel like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces? I'm by no means a light-weight backpacker, but my pack is comfortable and I never feel I'm going without. Come see my packing lists for different types of trips and hear
entire trail, encountering much more solitude, wilderness, and difficulties in his hike than today's hikers. Gene Espy is a well-known speaker who enjoys telling about his AT hike and many other experiences. His now vintage hiking equipment is on display in the visitors center at Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia near the Approach Trail to Springer Mountain.

2nd person to thru hike the AT
Trail of my Life book
Author of:
The Trail of My Life: The Gene Espy Story
www.geneespyhiker.com/
how I make my "to pack or not to pack" decisions. Feel free to bring along your own gear for a shake down or discussion.

Michelle "Brownie" Pugh fell in love with the outdoors as a child at summer camp. When she was twelve she learned about the Appalachian Trail through a camp program, and she has been hiking ever since. Michelle has hiked the Appalachian Trail, the John Muir Trail, the Foothills Trail, and the Wonderland Trail. She leaves for the Tour du Mont Blanc trek in the Alps a couple of days after 2017 Trail Fest. Her first memoir, Love at First Hike, describes her adventures-and misadventures-on the Appalachian Trail. The stories of the characters she met and the lessons she learned are woven amongst details about wind-swept mountains, tranquil valleys, and peaceful trail towns. Her second book, Lost and Found, a tug-at-your-heartstrings dad and daughter adventure tale about her thru-hike of the John Muir Trail was debuted at Trail Fest last year.  


Michelle Pugh book
Author of:
Love at First Hike: A Story of Love & Triumph on the Appalachian Trail
is available at Amazon.com



book
Author of:
Lost and Found: A John Muir Trail Thru-Hike
is available at Amazon.com

Oree Crittenden

Sunday 1:00 pm
Hancock Park

"An Adventure in the Theater of the Mind"

Oree Crittenden
Gary Sizer
Gary Sizer

Sunday 3:00 pm
Hancock Park

"The Trail is Full of Surprises"

Gary's talk will include the transformation long distance hikers undergo, both inside and out; inspiration and kindness at the most unexpected times; what's that smell?; strange habits and traditions, old and new; funny stories. In 2014, Gary Sizer completed
Many years ago I had dreams of participating in an AT trail hike and then had them dashed by a spinal cord injury. For the years before my injury I often dreamed and talked about making an attempt at an AT hike. Scratch that, for an AT hike I figured my chances were slim to almost none to fill that exhilaration. As time went on and I grew within my disability, I gained many skills that helped me to pursue other meaningful Adventures.

But still the call of the wilderness was there. Over the years of my friendship with high school classmates on Facebook I often saw them post pictures and comment on them. At one point a few years ago I ran into a classmate, Lee Griffith, and asked if he thought he could get me back out on the trail. Some time passed and then one Christmas holiday I messaged him directly on Facebook and said did you really think you could get me back out on the trail!? Shortly thereafter a message came through with a definitive yes. The rest of the tale only Trail family can really understand, but I like to share my thoughts in memories for all those who dare to take an Adventure in the Theater of the Mind.

Oree Crittenden

Watch the video, Oree on the AT

Check out my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ORee480
a life changing journey when he hiked the Appalachian Trail, over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. Join us, as we welcome Gary for stories, photos, laughs and inspiration, drawn from his experiences living among nature. Gary hails from Asheville, leads workshops on respecting the wilderness, tells stories for NPR's "The Moth" and his book, "Where's the Next Shelter?" is a best seller in Travel and Adventure. 


WHere's the next shelter
Author of:
Where's the Next Shelter
www.wheresthenextshelter.com/

Mark Warren
Author, Naturalist, and Director of Medicine Bow

Saturday 4:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm
Hancock Park

"Cherokee Medicine from the Sidewalks of Dahonega"

Join Mark Warren at the main stage in Hancock Park for an orientation and then a walk around Dahlonega to learn about some plants that provided medicines for the Cherokees. Mark is a naturalist, author of books on Cherokee lore, and Director of Medicine Bow, a "primitive school of earthlore."

Mark Warren
class
REI Staff
REI Co-op

Saturday and Sunday
REI Outdoor Classroom

"Thru Hiking Basics"- Saturday 12:00 pm

"Women's Backpacking Basics"- Saturday 3:00 pm

"Camp Cooking Basics for Backpackers"- Sunday 12:00 pm

Lightweight Backpacking Basics"- Sunday 2:30 pm


Joe Boone
Georgia Appalachian Trail Club


Saturday 2:00 pm
Sunday 2:00 pm
Community House across street from Hancock Park

"What's Going on on the AT?"

Learn about the impact of the movie "A Walk in the Woods" on the Appalachian Trail, trail maintenance handled by thousands of volunteers, and the Leave No Trace method of low impact camping.

GATC hikerpanel
Thru Hikers

Saturday 2:00 pm
Sunday 2:00 pm
Hancock Park

"Thru Hiker Panel"

Come hear our panel of hikers who have thru hiked the Appalachian Trail and some that have done other long distance trails. Bring your questions, as this session is audience question driven. Get several perspectives, as there is no one way to long distance hike.

Justin Ellis
University of North Georgia Ecological Protection Lab

Sunday 1:00 pm
Community House across street from Hancock Park

"How Outdoor Enthusiasts Aid in Stopping the Spread of Invasive Species and Preserving Our Native Environment"

The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid is decimating the population of the Eastern Hemlocks throughout the forests traversed by the Appalachian Trail and other trails. Learn about this problem and what you can do to help.
UNG
hemlocks
Donna Shearer
Save Georgia's Hemlocks

Saturday 1:00 pm
Sunday 3:00 pm
Community House across street from Hancock Park

"The Hemlocks Are Crying for Your Help"

Learn about the insect that is decimating the Hemlocks, including identification of the pest threatening our hemlocks, what's at stake if we lose these iconic trees, 3 integrated ways to save them, and opportunities for volunteers of all ages.

Byron Kerns
Byron Kerns Survival

Saturday 1:30 pm
REI Outdoor Classroom

"Wilderness Survival: Packing Your Brain"

A former U.S. Air Force Survival (SERE) Instructor will pack your brain with a tad of "S***, never thought about that!" What needs said I'll be saying, come listen.

Check out the website at www.byronkernssurvival.com
Byron Kerns

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Contact us at: info@dahlonegatrailfest.org  
Updated on September 7, 2017
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