A Biography for the 2,190 Miles of the Appalachian Trail

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By Jonathan Miles

THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL
A Biography
By Philip D’Anieri

In “On Trails: An Exploration,” Robert Moor’s sinuous meditation on the theory and practice of nature trails, Moor wrote that he used to wonder about the authorship of the unmarked footpaths he’d encounter in the woods or in city parks. Just who had decided that this route was the optimal course from here to there? The answer, Moor concluded, was no one. No one had authored the path — but also everyone had. “Someone made a stab at a problem,” Moor explained, “took a tentative trip, and the next person followed, and then another, subtly improving the route along the way.”

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