More About the Author
Leonard M. Adkins, profiled by Backpacker magazine, and referred to as "The Habitual Hiker," has hiked more than 19,000 miles exploring the backcountry areas of the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean. Almost every hiking season finds him on some new and exciting adventure. He has thru-hiked the full length of the Appalachian Trail five times (and lacks less than 700 miles of finishing for a sixth), traversed the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico, followed the Pacific Northwest Trail through Montana, Idaho, and Washington, and walked Canada's Great Divide Trail. Other long-distance journeys include Vermont's Long Trail, West Virginia's Allegheny Trail, and the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas. His adventures in Europe include a trek of the Pyrenees High Route from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean along the border of France and Spain and an exploration of Iceland's interior. His most recent excursions were a number of hikes in New Zealand, including some of the country's Great Walks, such as the Milford and Abel Tasman Tracks.
The off-season is spent writing books and articles. Leonard's words and photographs have appeared in Islands, Caribbean Travel and Life, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Backpacker, Colorado Daily, Mid-Atlantic Country, Charleston Gazette, and other newspapers, magazines, and websites. He is currently the hiking columnist for Blue Ridge Country, writes the outdoors column for the bi-monthly Roanoker magazine, and blogs about hiking trails at www.blueridgeoutdoors.com.
Leonard is the author of more than a dozen books on the outdoors, nature, and travel, and his Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail (photographers Joe and Monica Cook) received the National Outdoor Book Award, ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award, and a Virginia Literary Award nomination. The Appalachian Trail: A Visitor's Companion was honored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation with a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award.
Leonard is not just a writer; he takes an active part in all of the books he produces. He walked all of the trails he writes about in his hiking guides with a surveyor's measuring wheel to insure accurate mileage and descriptions. For his travel books Maryland: An Explorer's Guide, West Virginia: An Explorer's Guide, and Adventure Guide to Virginia, he visited all of the places he describes: bed & breakfasts, restaurants, historic sites, museums, golf courses, bookstores, antique shops, amusement parks, beaches, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and more.