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3000 Miles in the Great Smokies (Narrative Histories) Paperback – September 10, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Hart is a native of western North Carolina and served as a hiker/writer for Hiking Trails of the Smokies and contributed a number of trail narratives to this publication. He has written two articles about renowned photographer George Masa that appeared in the first volume of May We All Remember Well and in the seventy-fifth-anniversary issue of Smokies Life magazine. He is a life member of the Great Smoky Mountains Association and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
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Product Details

  • Series: Narrative Histories
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (September 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596297514
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596297517
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,952,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
There are lots of books out there about the Smoky Mountains and the Southern Blue Ridge in general. They focus on beautiful photographs, history, regional attractions, or some combination thereof. Bill Hart's book is different. He has spent a lifetime hiking these mountains and their hollows and splashing through and fishing its streams. And he shares his experiences of these "3,000 miles" in this book.

When I finished the book, I thought about what major things I might want to share with potential readers. Two things jumped out at me. First, the book has wonderful personal stories. Second, more than any other book about this region that I've read, it captures the wonder, the awe, the special feeling of contentment that I remember experiencing on Southern Blue Ridge trails. It may be because I've come across a quiet glen of tall trees with a ground covered with beautiful ferns or flowering Trillium, or suddenly having a clear, expansive view of the mountains when the trail opens up at an overlook. This book captures that feeling.

Among the stories Bill shares are those involving unusual folks he's met, interactions with a variety of animals, potentially dangerous or frustrating trail experiences, the history of many locales within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the joy of trout fishing. His writing is eloquent, but not flowery -- like someone who's rocking next to you some evening on the porch of a mountain cabin simply telling you his experiences hiking the mountains. It is funny, scary, informative, inspiring ... and always interesting. Quite frankly, it made me very envious, both of Bill and of his family of fellow hikers.
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Format: Paperback
Like the author of this book I was introduced to the Great Smoky Mountains when I was young (eleven years old) but my grandfather was not interested in hiking; just admiring the mountains. I did my first hike up the Chimney Tops alone that summer. I took my son to the mountains to hike when he a young boy and this I believed instilled the love of the mountains in him just like Mr. Hart has them instilled by his own father taking him on his first hike to the Alum Cave Bluffs.

I purchased this book at the Great Smoky Mountains bookstore a couple years ago and finally got around to reading it during these dull days of winter when I was stuck inside and unable to hike due to extreme weather conditions that make it too dangerous to hike in (well, for my own comfort anyways). From what I read though, this did not always seem to stop this author from doing his hikes during these inclement weather events. I am not quite that impressed on the idea of hiking through heavy rains and snows (although I have done it on occasion).

The book was entertaining at times as the author talked about his encounters as he hike all the different trails, former trails and gone off the trail to experience the wilderness adventure. As I read the book I also paid attention to the dates he hiked. It was a year round event (unlike the hikes I have done with my son that have been confined to three of the four seasons). One day we want to hike Mt. LeConte during the winter just to see what it looks like under a fresh blanket of snow. I am rambling on now so I will get to the point.

Here is the review: If you love to hike the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and you have some knowledge about them, this is a great book and you will most likely enjoy it. You probably will not like it unless you are an avid hiker or have some knowledge of this region. You really have to understand the places he is talking about to get the full effect of the stories.
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Format: Paperback
Bill Hart really knows the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He's been hiking the trails in the Park for decades.
And his great book shows it. In its own quiet way, the book tells about Hart's personal journey through the mountains
as soon as he could hike.
Read it to give you inspiration to hike. Read it in your tent as you look out on a stream or mountains
and give it to others and tell them to get down here.
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