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WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE NEW EDITION OF
HIKER’S GUIDE TO CIVIL WAR TRAILS IN THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION
The PATC Publications Committee is pleased to announce the second edition of Hiker’s Guide to Civil War Trails in the Mid-Atlantic Region, written and edited by Larry Broadwell and William Needham. The first edition of this trail guide, published in 2015, was written and edited by Larry with contributions from William; for the second edition, William moved up to co-write the work with Larry. Patrick Wamsley, whose encyclopedic knowledge of the war contributed to the first edition, suggested more routes as candidates for inclusion in the book and provided historical anecdotes on new trails. From his home in New Hampshire, mapmaker Dave Pierce used Google Earth and sources he developed over decades with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency to improve maps. Like the first edition, the new guide draws on the knowledge of PATC trail maintainers and hike leaders, as well as park staff and reference works. The stunning photo of Chancellorsville that is the cover of the second edition is by Theresa Rasmussen and used with her permission.
The success of the first edition and a variety of developments led to a year-long project to produce this second edition. The first edition marked a departure from the club’s usual approach to such guides. The second edition reflects the same unique approach. Rather than focusing on scenery and natural history in the region covered, it follows routes that pass sites of historic events before, during, and after the Civil War. It covers many of the best war-related sites in the four-state area where PATC builds and maintains over 1,000 miles of trail. The information about each of the routes is unique both in coverage and in detail. Along with the usual trail directions and maps, the guide features an Events/Significance section for each route to explain context, and within the trail description, the places where events or action occurred. More photographs than usual are included to depict key action points. This format results in a volume almost twice the size of the standard PATC trail guide. To produce a detailed, accurate historical account of events surrounding the Civil War required a commitment of many hours. For nearly a year, Larry and William conducted interviews and did field work, measuring distances between landmarks, recording coordinates, photographing scenes in all seasons, driving to and walking the routes, and researching the significance of what occurred on or near them. The well told history and detailed trail instructions are evidence of the degree of their effort.
Like the first edition, the forthcoming guide describes the evolution of the war and, in some cases, hour-by-hour developments on battlefields. It provides context for actions of commanders on both sides and also follows the moves of less-known figures. The second edition includes several new routes and revisions to nearly every route from the first edition to provide new perspectives. Most of the routes are circuit hikers; those that are point-to-point may require a car shuttle or a reverse hike in which one retraces their steps back to the beginning of the hike.
Larry and William, who in addition to volunteering for PATC also lead hikes for Sierra Club, plan a series of hikes based on routes in the guide, ongoing throughout the fall. For information about this hike series, go to Sierra Club Potomac Region Outings (SCPRO) (Washington, DC) | Meetup.
The price of this new edition is $18.00 retail; $14.40 with members discount.
ALSO PUBLISHED IN 2022
THE FIFTH EDITION OF HIKES IN WESTERN MARYLAND
The fifth edition of PATC’s guide, Hikes in Western Maryland, is now available from our online store and from some of the outdoor outfitters who carry our products. This book, edited by Judith McGuire with maps by David Pierce, and layout and cover design by Alan Kahan, reflects many hours of hiking, writing, editing, and cartography by PATC volunteers and friends. Western Maryland has an abundance of wonderful hiking trails including day hikes and multi-day backpacking trips, level strolls and demanding climbs, linear hikes and circuits. Many of these trails have historic sites and others allow for a dip in a stream or lake along the way. There are various options for camping along the trails or nearby. Each of the 25 chapters begins with a description of the hike, including the length of the hike and often shorter or longer options, and the WGS84 coordinates for trailhead parking. The descriptions also include information about notable features of the area through which the hike passes and any potentially difficult aspects of the route e.g., stream crossings, steep climbs. This is followed by a turn by turn description of the route. This edition adds three new hikes and eliminates three from the prior edition; changes and updates were made to other hikes.
A hike of special interest to highpointers, those who attempt to ascend the highest points in all 50 states, is the hike described in Chapter 25, Hoye Crest/Backbone Mountain Trail. Aspiring highpointers can collect three high points within one day by starting with Pennsylvania (Mount Davis) 50 miles north of here, then visiting Hoye Crest, and finishing with West Virginia’s Spruce Knob 56 mi to the south (a drive up). More information can be found here. The Maryland high point, at 3,360 feet at Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain, is just 500 feet from the West Virginia border.
The editor of this guide, Judith McGuire, is committed to the practice of Leave No Trace for preserving our wonderful wild spaces and protecting ourselves when enjoying them. She provides a very helpful list of tips to urge hikers to practice Leave No Trace; these tips include planning ahead and preparing for the terrain, weather, and emergencies; if hiking alone giving someone else your itinerary and leaving a copy in your car; if traveling with others, keeping your group small; traveling and camping on durable surfaces whenever possible; and many more. Information about potential hazards such as ticks and hunting seasons as well as information about camping within state parks and forests is provided.
The fifth edition of this guide is 144 pages and includes 25 maps and 27 photographs. The retail price is $14.00 and the member discounted price is $11.20.