Appalachian Trail in NJ/NY
A NEW SHOW IN DEVELOPMENT
There is an entire community on the Appalachian Trail comprised of thru-hikers of all ages and backgrounds traveling on foot from Georgia to Maine. The community includes teachers, veterans, artists, environmentalists, adventurers, broken-hearted lovers and some unexpected participants.
The thru-hikers are only one part of the community. There are also day trippers and a myriad of volunteers and organizations providing support such as the Trail Angels offering provisions or the NY/NJ Trails Conference, which helps maintain the trail and protect the land. This colorful community exists against the backdrop of the rich history behind the establishment of the trail and through which the trail winds.
Trekking the AT, a half-hour show, will take the viewer on a journey along the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey and New York, asking hikers why they’re hiking the trails and talking with volunteers. Plus we’ll explore the natural world, the effect of glaciers on the geology, visit glacial lakes and waterfalls, and examine human-made environments such as bridges and shelters built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. We’ll move from the large-scale grandness of the trail to the close up and personal.
Currently, GNJP is developing, researching and fundraising for the show. Filming for the video would begin in 2018. The show is the third in the Open Spaces & Historic Places series – the first was on Morris County and the second on Monmouth County. Both are broadcast on public television. Two other shows are in development: the Delaware & Raritan Canal and South Jersey’s Bayshore Byways.
This project is important because it encourages viewers to disconnect for a while from the world that assaults us daily and to reconnect with a natural world that offers time for reflection and relaxation, and to develop a deeper appreciation for others by hearing the personal stories of the hikers and volunteers.
Our goal is threefold: to help further develop an appreciation of our world in order to be better stewards, to get to know our fellow citizens a little better thus encouraging empathy and understanding, and to encourage viewers to get outside.
This is done by producing a visually appealing video with an engaging story that takes the viewers to new places and appeals to viewers who care about their community and the world in which they live, but need a little nudge to appreciate and connect with that world more significantly. It will be the rare viewer who gets inspired to hike from Georgia to Maine from this show, but we hope to inspire viewers to take their friends and families for a day trip or a camping trip, to visit a historic site, to volunteer to clear a trail or to identify with the hikers or volunteers who share their stories in the video.
After the show airs on public television, it will be available online free to academic institutions, environmental organizations, nonprofits and others to download and share the video. Our website will offer information and links on becoming involved and where to hike.