Trail Quotes


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My overall purpose in compiling Trail Quotes has been to set down in a single place the most interesting, well-phrased thoughts, and observations that I have discovered over a course of trail study and reading that began in 1982. I want Trail Quotes to be a readable source for inspiring, challenging, and amusing information and knowledge; as well as a reliable, easy-to-use reference work for finding the precise wording, author, date, and source of the trail quotation. Many quotes just give the author. I have spent years researching to find a fuller citation for quotes you will find here. The internet has made it easier to research. But not all quotes and citations on the internet are accurate. Over the years I have discovered many quotes that I would like to add to my list, but I have not been able to verify the citation or find a full citation.

Many websites, publications, and conference presentations use quotations to add interest and to emphasize the importance of trails and greenways. I hope that you might find just the right quotation for your publication or presentation, or you just might enjoy reading the quotes on their own. The quotes are arranged loosely into 53 different subject categories.

2001-Jim-Schmid's-Trail-Quotes-Book-CoverIn 2001 while working for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism as their first State Trails Coordinator I published a book Trail Quotes: From Advocacy to Wilderness.  Click here to access a full text copy in PDF.

Don’t forget to browse through Trail Quotes for the pure enjoyment of it. Reading the words and ideas of persons who express them well can enrich your own use of words—and your ability to express your ideas effectively in writing and speaking.

Quotation: the act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
—AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1881-1911

I am reminded of the professor who, in his declining hours, was asked by his devoted pupils for his final counsel. He replied, “Verify your quotations.”
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

I hate quotations! Tell me what you know.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact, it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is.
—MARY PETTIBONE POOLE, A Glass Eye at a Keyhole, 1938

If you have questions about any quotes or citations or can provide additional quotes or information please contact me.

Trails and Greenway Advocacy Quotes

Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am. A reluctant enthusiast and part-time crusader. A half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the West. It is even more important to enjoy it while you can, while it’s still there. So get out there, hunt, fish, mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the Griz, climb a mountain, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and elusive air. Sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness of the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves. Keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive. And I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in safe deposit boxes and their eyes hypnotized by their desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The most common form of terrorism in the USA is the carried on by bulldozers and chainsaws. It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it. Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The national parks belong to everyone. To the people. To all of us. The government keeps saying so and maybe, in this one case at least, the government is telling the truth. Hard to believe, but possible.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The land belongs to them that love it (and will fight for it?).
Let’s make them parks and not parking lots.
God bless America. Let’s save some of It!
—EDWARD ABBEY, Journal entry April 8, 1957, Arches, Utah

Every important change in our society, for the good, at least, has taken place because of popular pressure—pressure from below, from the great mass of people.
—EDWARD ABBEY, One Life at a Time, Please, 1988

Be a half-assed crusader, a part-time fanatic. Don’t worry to much about the fate of the world. Saving the world is only a hobby. Get out there and enjoy the world, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, husbands, wives; climb mountains, run rivers, get drunk, do whatever you want to do while you can, before it’s too late.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89, quoted in The Green Lifestyle Handbook, 1989

…the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, the Friends of the Earth, the Audubon Society, the Defenders of wildlife operate on this theory—those who learn to love what is spare, rough, wild, undeveloped, and unbroken will be willing to fight for it…
—EDWARD ABBEY, The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West, 1977

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

We either have wild places or we don’t. We admit the spiritual-emotional validity of wild, beautiful places or we don’t. We have a philosophy of simplicity of experience in these wild places or we don’t. We admit an almost religious devotion to the clean exposition of the wild, natural earth or we don’t.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

We who are gathered here may represent a particularly elite, not of money and power, but of concern for the earth for the earth’s sake.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

People can be divided into three groups: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Showing up is 80% of life.
—WOODY ALLEN, US Film Actor, Director, Writer, 1935-

In the 19th century, we devoted our best minds to exploring nature. In the 20th century, we devoted ourselves to controlling and harnessing it. In the 21st century, we must devote ourselves to restoring it.
—STEPHEN AMBROSE, US Historian, 1936-2002

Americans are seeking trail opportunities as never before. No longer are trails only for the ‘rugged individualists’ pursuing a solitary trek through breathtaking wilderness … users include young people and senior citizens, families, individuals and organized groups, people with disabilities and the physically fit.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

…key factor in the development and planning of most trails is local, grassroots efforts: that is, the citizens who drive the local, state, and federal government to act. Everything from establishing the vision and need for greenways to defining specific trail corridors, to participating in the zoning process, to forming citizen coalitions, to developing guidelines for trail use and access should be within the abilities of each citizen. With broad-based support, the vision of a national system of trails can be realized.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

A common danger unites even the bitterest enemies.
—ARISTOTLE, Greek Philosopher, 384–322 BC

If we are to continue to be able to resort to the woods and use trails without restriction, there is need for action. Indifference, heedlessness and delay will exact a heavy toll.
—MYRON AVERY, Chairman Appalachian Trail Conference 1931-52, 1899-1952

Being an effective trail advocate begins with deciding just exactly what it is you want to achieve. Before you can get out and champion your project, you need a vision, a plan and maps that show preferred routes and other features.
—BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL COUNCIL, In Support of Trails: A Guide to Successful Trail Advocacy, 1993

If there’s one essential ingredient to creating trails and trail systems, it’s people. All the land and financing in the world won’t blaze a trail if there aren’t people championing the project.
—BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL COUNCIL, In Support of Trails: A Guide to Successful Trail Advocacy, 1993

Don’t keep forever on the public road, going only where others have gone. Leave the beaten path occasionally and dive into the woods. You will be certain to find something you have never seen before.
—ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, Scottish Scientist, Inventor, 1847-1922

At that moment, bicycling found its way into my marrow. It became my passion, pleasure and career.
—MIA BIRK, Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet, 2010

It is at the local, community level where successful trail networks begin.
—BRANDYWINE CONSERVANCY, Community Trails Handbook, 1997

Politics is democracy’s way of handling public business. We won’t get the type of country in the kind of world we want unless people take part in the public’s business.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952–69), 1912-2000

We still need conservationists who will attempt the impossible, achieving it because they aren’t aware how impossible it is.
—DAVID BROWER, Wildlands in Our Civilization, 1964

Fight your battles in private; advocate in public.
—GEORGE CARDINET, US Trail Advocate, 1909-2007

The beauty of the living world I was trying to save has always been uppermost in my mind—that, and anger at the senseless, brutish things that were being done. I have felt bound by a solemn obligation to do what I could—if I didn’t at least try I could never be happy again in nature.
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

…the factors leading to the rise of the consumer hiker in the late 1960s continue to influence the community today, so that of the thirty-four million Americans who hiked in 2012, less than 1 percent were active club members. As a result, two generations of hikers have reached adulthood with minimal—if any—relationship to the club structure that defined hiking for more than a century.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
—FRANK A. CLARK, US Cartoonist, 1911-81

We become the stories we tell ourselves.
—MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM, A Home at the End of the World, 1990

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, British Prime Minister, (1874-80), 1804–81

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

It has been proven over and over again that a trail with an organized constituency will succeed while others may not. Without public awareness of and involvement in it, there is no trails system.
—STEVE ELKINTON, quoted in Glenn Scherer’s A Seed Takes Hold: The National Trails System Act Turns Forty, American Hiker, Fall 2008

The downstream effects are unknown. Do your best and hope for the best. If you’re improving the world—however you define that—consider your job well done.
—TIMOTHY FERRISS, The 4-Hour Workweek, 2007

The greenway concept has spread across the state [North Carolina] to almost every major municipality.… I think that one of the things that’s impressive is that the energy is coming from the citizens rather than the government units.
—CHUCK FLINK, President of Greenways Inc., as quoted in Corridors of Green, Wildlife in North Carolina, 1988

Change is not progress.
—HENRY FORD, US Industrialist, 1863–1947

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
—ANNE FRANK, German Jewish Diarist, 1929-45; The Diary of a Young Girl, 1947

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
—BUCKMINISTER FULLER, US Architect, Inventor, Scientist, Teacher, Philosopher, 1895-1983

He who plants trees loves others besides himself.
—THOMAS FULLER, English Clergyman, 1608-61

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
—MAHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

Almost anything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
—MAHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
—MAHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

People who have committed to a service/advocacy role will tell you that some of the sublimest pleasure they have ever experienced comes in the context of that work. You get way more than you give.
—CHARLES GARFIELD, Peak Performers, 1986

The future is not someplace we are going to, but a place we are creating. The paths to it are not found, they are made.
—JANE GARVEY, Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration (1993–97)

I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.

Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed).
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL (DR SEUSS), Oh! The Places You’ll Go! 1990

Great things do not just happen by impulse but as a succession of small things linked together.
—VINCENT VAN GOGH, Dutch Artist, 1853-90

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
—JANE GOODALL, British Primatologist, 1934-

…we cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well—for we will not fight to save what we do not love (but only appreciate in some abstract sense).
—STEPHEN JAY GOULD, Eight Little Piggies: Reflections In Natural History, 1993

Many things are lost for want of asking.
—GEORGE HERBERT, English Clergyman, Poet, 1593-1633

I know no safe depository of the ultimate power of society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.
—THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
—DALAI LAMA, Tibetan Religious Leader, 1935-

A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.
—JOHN LE CARRÉ, English Writer, 1931–

When, through automation, a man’s job has become unchallenging, boring and just a way to obtain purchasing power, if he is to keep that yeastlike feeling of being a prime mover in the world, he must do something of value with his spare time.
—RAY LOWES, founder of Canada’s Bruce Trail, in a June 1964 speech to the Appalachian Trail Conference in Vermont

My own doctrine of organization is that any body of people coming together for a purpose (whatever it may be) should consist of persons wholly wedded to said purpose and should consist of nobody else. If the purpose be Cannibalism (preference for Ham a la Capitalism) then nobody but a Cannibal should be admitted. There should be plenty of discussion and disagreement as to how and the means but none whatever as to ends.
—BENTON MACKAYE in a letter to Bob Marshall discussing membership for newly formed Wilderness Society, December 12, 1935

Off your seats and on your feets.
—GEORGE MASA, Japanese born US Photographer, 1881-1933

It was all prices to them: they never looked at it: why should they look at the land?

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.
—MARSHALL McLUHAN, Canadian Scholar, 1911-80

In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.
—HENRY MILLER, American Author 1891-1980

The real leader has no need to lead — he is content to point the way.
—HENRY MILLER, American Author 1891-1980

Unless someone truly has the power to say no, they never truly have the power to say yes.
—DAN MILLMAN, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, 1985

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
Inspired by A.A. MILNER, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, 1996

If people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Man is always and everywhere a blight on the landscape.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Find a way or make one.
—ADMIRAL ROBERT E. PEARY, US Explorer, 1856-1920

The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, First Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

The environmental movement for the past quarter of a century has made no more profound error than to misunderstand the mission of religion and the churches in preserving the Creation.
CARL POPE, Executive Director, Sierra Club, 1998

A first-rate trails system can only be created by people.

We believe that the place to start … is in our communities. Americans living together and joining in associations across the country—this is where the tremendous strength and vision of our people will be tapped. We recommend a prairie fire of local action to sweep the nation, encouraging investment in outdoor recreation opportunities and rededication to the protection of our great natural heritage.

People don’t change under governments. Governments change. People remain the same.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935

Thank heavens we don’t get all the government we pay for.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935

There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.
—ROBERT W. SERVICE, British-Canadian Poet, Writer, 1874-1958

Learn about the agency. The better you understand the agency, the more effective you will be.
—JOAN SHAW, editor, Citizens and Natural Resources: A Perspective on Public Involvement, 1973

One of the best tactics for citizens who want power is simply to obtain good information and persistently and repeatedly articulate their views in public involvement procedures.
—JOAN SHAW, editor, Citizens and Natural Resources: A Perspective on Public Involvement, 1973

…for those who can, one of the things to do is not to move. To stay put. That doesn’t mean don’t travel; it means have a place and get involved in what can be done in that place. That’s the only way we’re going to have a representative democracy in America. Nobody stays anywhere long enough to take responsibility for a local community.
—GARY SNYDER, US Poet, 1930-

The fight for free space—for wilderness and for public space—must be accompanied by a fight for free time to spend wandering in that space. Otherwise the individual imagination will be bulldozed over for the chain-store outlets of consumer appetite, true-crime titillations, and celebrity crises.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

Too often, the advocates of trails and linear parks along rights-of-way come up against officials who recognize only one kind of park—the squared-off kind that comes in chunks; and one kind of recreation—the supervised kind known as ‘organized sweating.’ Such officials refuse to acknowledge that there has been a change in US recreation trends, reflected in the phenomenal growth of hiking, biking, and horseback riding….
—CONSTANCE STALLINGS, Let’s Use Our Rights-of-Way, Reader’s Digest, 1970

The most ominous of fallacies—the belief that things can be kept static by inaction.
—FREYA STARK, French Adventurer, 1893-1993

‘Wilderness is a resource that can shrink but not grow,’ Aldo Leopold once remarked, and went on to observe that it takes intellectual humility to understand the cultural value of nature unaltered and unimproved. Nobody ever accused a government agency of intellect or humility (or, for that matter, the capacity to manage land), but we have reached a point in our historical development when stale jokes about the ‘Forest Circus’ and the ‘Bureau of Livestock and Mining’ and the principles of ‘multiple abuse’ and ‘sustained greed’ no longer serve to mask bemusement with amusement.
—PAGE STEGNER, Outposts of Eden, 1989

I am what is around me. [First line of the poem Theory]
—WALLACE STEVENS, US poet, 1879-1955

For the next century, we’ve got to put together what we so carelessly tore apart with so little concern for those who were gonna follow us. … You’ve got to sound off.
—STUDS TERKEL, US Interviewer, Writer, 1912-2008

Ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things, and that’s what it’s all about. They must count.
—STUDS TERKEL, US Interviewer, Writer, 1912-2008

The answer is to say ‘No!’ to authority when authority is wrong.
—STUDS TERKEL, US Interviewer, Writer, 1912-2008

It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is what are you busy about?
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

There is no comparison between an overwide trail or a flattened, well-used camping site and a clear-cut forest or a strip-mined mountainside. The real threats to the wilderness come from logging, mining, overgrazing, dams, downhill ski resorts, mass tourism developments, and other large-scale projects. Who opposes these schemes? Often it is people who have learned to love wild places by walking and camping in them, by treating them softly and leaving little trace of their passing.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

What we need now is a culture that deeply loves the wild earth.
—JACK TURNER, The Abstract Wild, 1996

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer and Humorist, 1835–1910

Society as we know it is almost a conspiracy against human health. One of the main forces working to counteract that is the trailsman.
—STEWART UDALL, former Secretary of the Interior from 1961–69 and former Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Board Member, 1998

Public participation is an instrument act by which citizens influence their government….
—SIDNEY VERBA, America: Political Democracy and Social Equality, 1972

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
—VOLTAIRE, French Writer, Philosopher, 1694-1778

All glory comes from daring to begin.
—EUGENE FITCH WARE, US Journalist, Politician, Poet, 1841-1911

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.
—JOHN WAYNE, US Actor, 1907-79

Find something that matters deeply to you and pursue it. Question. Stand. Speak. Act. Make us uncomfortable. Make us think.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

…the choices and decisions we make in terms of how we use the land ultimately affect our very DNA. Environmental issues are life issues.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

Our power lies in our love of our homelands.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, The Open Space of Democracy, 2004

The heart is the path to wisdom because it dares to be vulnerable in the presence of power.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, The Open Space of Democracy, 2004

As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
—WOODROW WILSON, Twenty-eight US President (1913–21), 1856–1924

If you choose the quick and easy path … you will become an agent of evil.
—YODA, in Star Wars movie, 1977

Do or do not. There is no try.
—YODA, in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back movie, 1980

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Backpacking Quotes

Backpacking is the art of knowing what not to take.
—SHERIDAN ANDERSON, Baron Von Mabel’s Backpacking, 1980

Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!
—JANE AUSTIN, English Writer, 1775-1817

The fascinating quality of all sorts of wilderness and backcountry travel lies in the reduction of life to its essentials: food, shelter, beauty; the confrontation with forces and circumstances which are at once comprehensible, mysterious, and so powerful that they will not be denied.
—RAYMOND BRIDGE, America’s Backpacking Book, 1973

I never imagined that existence could be so simple, so uncluttered, so Spartan, so free of baggage, so sublimely gratifying. I have reduced the weight of my pack to 35 pounds and yet I can’t think of a single thing I really need that I can’t find, either within myself, or within my pack.
—DAVID BRILL, As Far as the Eye Can See, 1990

Backpacking forces one, by necessity, to walk the balance line, the edge of the sword, between disciplined deprivation and hedonistic gratification: a tiring, sweat-soaking day ends with a plunge into a cool stream; an arduous, lung-bursting climb is followed by a magnificent panoramic sweeping view; and there is the continuous contrast between life on the trail and civilized pleasures—a warm meal, a hot shower, clean dry clothes. It is by walking this line between sacrifice and satisfaction that one finds fulfillment.
—ROBERT BROWNE, The Appalachian Trail: History, Humanity, and Ecology, 1980

By the backpacking boom of the 1960s and 1970s, the model of the lone hiker would compete directly with organized hiking and threaten to undermine the dominance of the country’s strongest and most active hiking clubs.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

The more you know, the less you need.
—YVON CHOUINARD, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, 2005

I feel so independent now. I can get anywhere I want to. I have the few essentials I need, and the few other things I need or want I can derive from the land. (on starting his 200-mile solo trek through the Brooks Range)
—DAVID COOPER, Brooks Range Passage, 1982

To walk well, you hike light—light on yourself, light on your budget, light on the land.
—MARLYN DOAN, Hiking Light, 1982

Hanging over our planning was the ever present problem of weight; if everything was to be carried on our backs, it must be pared to the last ounce.
—PAUL FINK, Backpacking Was the Only Way, 1975

Our outfits were never the same from trip to trip, for between each time something new had been seen, heard of, or devised that seemed to offer promise of improvement. The perfect outfit was ever an elusive goal to be sought, but never reached.
—PAUL FINK, Backpacking Was the Only Way, 1975

Our plans were seldom adhered to, and generally much altered en route. That mattered little to us, for all our needed supplies were in the packs on our backs; we could make camp in one place just as well as in another.
—PAUL FINK, Backpacking Was the Only Way, 1975

I found myself feeling sorry for any man who was not free to abandon whatever futility detained him and to walk away into the desert morning with a pack on his back.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Thousand-Mile Summer, 1964

Even in these mercifully emancipated decades, many people still seem quite seriously alarmed at the prospect of sleeping away from officially consecrated campsites, with no more equipment than they can carry on their backs. When pressed, they babble about snakes or bears or even, by God, bandits. But the real barrier, I’m sure, is the unknown.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker, 1968

Although the vast majority of walkers never even think of using a walking staff, I unhesitatingly include it among the foundations of the house that travels on my back.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

Frankly, I fail to see how going for a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains can be judged less real than spending six months working eight hours a day, five days a week, in order to earn enough money to be able to come back to a comfortable home in the evening and sit in front of a TV screen and watch the two-dimensional image of some guy talking about a book he has written on a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

Mostly, two miles an hour is good going.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

Under most conditions, the best roof for your bedroom is the sky. This commonsense arrangement saves weight, time, energy, and money.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

The man who goes afoot, prepared to camp anywhere and in any weather, is the most independent fellow on earth.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

The man with the knapsack is never lost. No matter whither he may stray, his food and shelter are right with him, and home is wherever he may choose to stop.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

Think what a great world revolution will take place when … [there are] millions of guys all over the world with rucksacks on their backs tramping around the back country….
—JACK KEROUAC, The Dharma Bums, 1958

It is an old custom of these people to pick up a stone and toss it on the pile. Perhaps it is a symbolical lightening of the load they carry, perhaps a small offering to the gods of the trails.
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, The Lonesome Gods, Western Writer, 1908–88

A gadget industry pads the bumps against nature-in-the-raw; woodcraft becomes the art of using gadgets.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Then came the gadgeteer, otherwise known as the sporting-goods dealer. He has draped the American outdoorsman with an infinity of contraptions, all offered as aids to self-reliance, hardihood, woodcraft, or marksmanship, but too often functioning as substitutes for them. Gadgets fill the pockets, they dangle from neck and belt. The overflow fills the auto-trunk and also the trailer. Each item of outdoor equipment grows lighter and often better, but the aggregate poundage becomes tonnage.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Long walks with a pack on one’s back are necessary in time of war, but I do not see why a man should go on marching in times of peace.
—ROBERT LYND, The Blue Lion, 1923

Walk in joy, friends.
—HARVEY MANNING, Backpacking: One Step At a Time, 1975

The rule of thumb for the old backpacking was that the weight of your pack should equal the weight of yourself and the kitchen range combined. Just a casual glance at the full pack sitting on the floor could give you a double hernia and fuse four vertebrae. After carrying the pack all day, you had to remember to tie one leg to a tree before you dropped it. Otherwise you would float off into space. The pack eliminated the need for any special kind of ground-gripping shoes, because your feet would sink a foot and a half into hard-packed earth, two inches into solid rock.
—PATRICK MCMANUS, A Fine and Pleasant Misery, 1978

‘I think,’ said Christopher Robin, ‘that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so we shan’t have so much to carry.’
—A.A. MILNE, Winnie-the-Pooh, 1954

Every morning, the [thru] hiker’s options are reduced to two: walk or quit. Once that decision is made, all the others (when to eat, where to sleep) begin to fall into place.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

I made these Sierra trips, carrying only a sackful of bread with a little tea and sugar, and was thus independent and free….
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

My meals were easily made, for they were all alike and simple, only a cupful of tea and bread.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grass and the gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy nooks.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home, in towns and cities.
—NESSMUK (G.W. SEARS), Woodcraft, 1963

Two questions we have been asked repeatedly all through the South: ‘You-all get paid for doing this, don’t you?’ and, ‘Are you working for the government?’ That we should be carrying heavy packs, sticking to the mountain trails, and camping out as we go, doing no hunting along the way, merely for fun, is of course completely incomprehensible! All through this region, nearly every man or boy encountered is carrying a gun; most of them say they would not think of venturing into the mountains without one.
—GEORGE OUTERBRIDGE, Maine to Georgia—All the Way, Hiking the Appalachian Trail, edited by James Hare, 1975

Long distance hiking is not a vacation, it’s too long for that. It’s not recreation, too much toil and pain involved. It is, we decide, a way of life, a very simplified Spartan way of living … life on the move … heavy packs, sweating brow; they make you appreciate warm sunshine, companionship, cool water. The best way to appreciate these things that are precious and important in life it is take them away.
—CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada, 1987

When you stay out there long enough, you learn that sooner or later the rain stops and the sun comes out, actually and metaphorically. You become stronger. You persevere. The hardship passes.
—CINDY ROSS, The World is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education, 2018

Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.
—CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada, 1987

Got my pack on. Have to keep going.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

He who would travel happily must travel light.
—ANTOINE de SAINT-EXUPÉRY, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939

Carry as little as possible. But choose that little with care.
—EARL SHAFFER, first uninterrupted solo-hike of the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (1948), 1918-2002

Carry on your back and between your ears what is appropriate for your trip objectives and the conditions.
—ANDREW SKURKA, The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide, Second Edition, 2017

My most successful backpacking trips have been those for which I had honest, accurate, and well-informed answers to three questions: 1) What are my objectives, in terms of the time I will spend hiking relative to camping? 2) What environmental and route conditions will I likely encounter, such as temperatures, precipitation, and biting insects? 3) What gear, supplies, and skills will best help me achieve my objectives and keep me safe and comfortable in those conditions?
—ANDREW SKURKA, The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide, Second Edition, 2017

People pack their fears.
—ANDREW SKURKA, The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide, Second Edition, 2017

During the first day or so of any tour there are moments of bitterness, when the traveler feels more than coldly towards his knapsack, when he is half in a mind to throw it bodily over the hedge…
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Walking Tours, 1876

It’s a good day to start a long walk. It’s a good day to go back to the wild places.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

There is an intense but simple thrill in setting off in the morning on a mountain trail, knowing that everything you need is on your back. It is a confidence in having left the inessentials behind and of entering a world of natural beauty that has not been violated, where money has no value, and possessions are a dead weight. The person with the fewest possessions is the freest. Thoreau was right.
—PAUL THEROUX, The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific, 1992

More backpacking trips are ruined by sore feet than by all other causes combined. Pounded by the ground below and the weight of you and your pack above, your feet receive harsher treatment than any other part of your body.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Backpacker’s Handbook, 1996

The key to my success in completing the entire [Appalachian] trail was due to never overestimating my own abilities and rarely underestimating the difficulty of the trail.
—BILL WALKER, Skywalker: Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail, 2008

The most important quality a [long distance] thru-hiker posses is the determination to succeed. Resolve and even courage are needed to get through the tough times: rain, snow, scorching sun, insects, unfavorable terrain. The rewards are the good times: beautiful scenery, outdoor life, increased feeling of self-worth, new friends.
—CHRISTOPHER WHALEN, The Appalachian Trail: Workbook for Planning Thru-Hikes, 1992

When you walk, you know the distance you’ve covered in your tired bones, and it’s impossible to go so far that you lose the thread of continuity between “there” and “here.”
—KELLY WINTERS, Walking Home: A Woman’s Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail, 2001

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Trails and Greenway Benefits Quotes

Our suicidal poets (Plath, Berryman, Lowell, Jarrell, et al.) spent too much of their lives inside rooms and classrooms when they should have been trudging up mountains, slogging through swamps, rowing down rivers. The indoor life is the next best thing to premature burial.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

It’s all still there in heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure—they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days and years to come.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Beyond the Wall, 1984

Trails have multiple values and their benefits reach far beyond recreation. Trails can enrich the quality of life for individuals, make communities more livable, and protect, nurture, and showcase America’s grandeur by traversing areas of natural beauty, distinctive geography, historic significance, and ecological diversity. Trails are important for the nation’s health, economy, resource protection and education.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

Why Trails?
• Trails promote health and fitness by providing an enjoyable and safe place for bicycling, walking, and jogging, removed from the hazards of motor vehicles.
• Trails contribute to economic vitality, increased property values and increases in regional tourism.
• Trails help protect resources and preserve open space by defining zones free of human habitation and development.
• Trails educate young and old Americans alike about the value and importance of the natural environment.
• Trails offer an alternative to motorized vehicles, connecting homes with schools, offices, and shopping areas and contribute to a healthier environment, with cleaner air and less traffic congestion.
• 155 million people walk for pleasure, 93 million bicycle, 41 million hike, trails provide access to 43 million for nature study, photography, small game hunting or primitive camping, 10 million ride horses on trails, 5 million backpack, and 11 million ski on trails.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

Always in big woods, when you leave familiar ground and step off alone to a new place, there will be, along with feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the unknown, and it is your bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. You are understanding the first experience, not of the place, but of yourself in that place. It is the experience of our essential loneliness, for nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes common ground, and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.
—WENDELL BERRY, The Unknown Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, 1971

Trails encourage us to socialize and have meaningful human contact, because they get us out of our steel-encapsulated driving machines.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1998), 1947-2017

Recreation in the open is of the finest grade. The moral benefits are all positive. The individual with any soul cannot live long in the presence of towering mountains or sweeping plains without getting a little of the high moral standard of Nature infused into his being … with eyes opened, the great story of the Earth’s forming, the history of a tree, the life of a flower or the activities of some small animal will all unfold themselves to the recreationist….
—ARTHUR CARHART, USDA Forest Service’s first Landscape Architect (1919), 1892–1978

…the most distinctive and perhaps the most impressive characteristic of American scenery is its wildness.
—THOMAS COLE, US Romantic Landscape Painter, 1801-48

When we are distressed, going outside for some fresh air, taking a walk in the park, or wandering deep into the woods quickens our attention, bringing us instantly into the present. Being outdoors provides mental space and clarity, allowing our bodies to relax and our hearts to feel more at ease. Putting ourselves in the midst of something greater than our personal dramas, difficulties and pain—as we do when we walk in the open plains, hike in rarefied mountain air, or ramble on an empty beach—can give us a sense of space and openness, lifting us out of our narrow selves. Similarly, gazing up at the vast night sky helps us see our problems and concerns with greater context and perspective. The natural world communicates its profound message: things are okay as they are; you are okay just as you are; simply relax and be present.
—MARK COLEMAN, Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self Discovery, 2006

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

Foot and horse trails offer the best opportunities for large numbers of people to escape the pressures of mechanized urban life and to enjoy the finest kind of healthful outdoor recreation in unspoiled natural environments.
—GRANT CONWAY, Hearing to Establish a Nationwide System of Trails, held March 6-7, 1967

Mountains have a decent influence on men. I have never met along the trails of the high mountains a mean man who would cheat and steal. Certainly most men who are raised there or who work there are as wholesome as the mountains themselves. Those who explore them or foot or horseback usually are open, friendly men.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice, Avid Hiker, 1898–1980

The thrill of tramping alone and unafraid through a wilderness of lakes, creeks, alpine meadows, and glaciers is not known to many. A civilization can be built around the machine but it is doubtful that a meaningful life can be produced by it.… When man worships at the feet of avalanche lilies or discovers the delicacies of the pasque flower or finds the faint perfume of the phlox on rocky ridges, he will come to know that the real glories are God’s creations. When he feels the wind blowing through him on a high peak or sleeps under a closely matted white bark pine in an exposed basin, he is apt to find his relationship to the universe.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice, Avid Hiker, 1898–1980

I learned early that the richness of life is found in adventure. Adventure calls on all the faculties of mind and spirit. It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. But man is not ready for adventure unless he is rid of fear. For fear confines him and limits his scope. He stays tethered by strings of doubt and indecision and has only a small and narrow world to explore.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Of Men and Mountains, 1950

When man ventures into the wilderness, climbs the ridges, and sleeps in the forest, he comes in close communion with his Creator. When man pits himself against the mountain, he taps inner springs of his strength. He comes to know himself.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Of Men and Mountains, 1950

A walk in the woods … is one of the secrets for dodging old age.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

The influence of fine scenery, the presence of mountains, appeases our irritations and elevates our friendships.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Culture, The Conduct of Life, 1860

Details of the many walks I made along the crest have blurred, now, into a pleasing tapestry of grass and space and sunlight.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher, 1989

The trail has taught me much. I know now the varied voices of the coyote—the wizard of the mesa. I know the solemn call of herons and the mocking cry of the loon. I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear a coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me—I am happy.
—HAMLIN GARLAND, Hitting the Trail, McClure’s, February 1899

As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.
—STEPHEN GRAHAM, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1926

People need immediate places to refresh, reinvent themselves. Our surroundings built and natural alike, have an immediate and a continuing effect on the way we feel and act, and on our health and intelligence. These places have an impact on our sense of self, our sense of safety, the kind of work we get done, the ways we interact with other people, even our ability to function as citizens in a democracy. In short, the places where we spend our time affect the people we are and can become.
—TONY HISS, The Experience of Place, 1990

Whenever we make changes in our surroundings, we can too easily shortchange ourselves, by cutting ourselves off from some of the sights and sounds, the shapes or textures, or other information from a place that have helped mold our understanding and are now necessary for us to thrive. Overdevelopment and urban sprawl can damage our own lives as much as they damage our cities and countryside.
—TONY HISS, The Experience of Place, 1990

The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human.
—VICTOR HUGO, French Poet, Novelist, Dramatist, 1802–85

It’s just a plain, bottom-level love of nature. I think that’s a primal instinct we all have, maybe I just have more of it. I’ve lived it, I know how much being in the wilderness can enrich my life.
—RAY JARDINE, Go-Light Backpacking Advocate, 1948-

Retaining a feeling of significance is becoming ever more difficult in our society of giant enterprises, directed by bureaucracy in which man becomes a smaller cog in a bigger machine. In too many cases they live and die without having confronted the fundamental realities of human existence. Their fragmented and piecemeal lives do not teach them the wholeness, unity and purpose that they need in order to be satisfied and secure. Outdoor recreation experiences can help mold into people the wholeness concept and the balance that is essential to a satisfying life. The outdoors embodies something that cannot be found anywhere else. It is not merely the scenery, or the mountain breeze, or the open spaces that delight us. The outdoors embody history, primitive experiences, and elements capable of lifting the spirit.
—CLAYNE JENSEN, Outdoor Recreation in America, 1985

It is important both to our economy and to the promotion of healthy lifestyles to encourage people, especially young people, to paddle a river, take a bike trip or a hike, cast a line in a lake, or connect in other ways with nature and the great outdoors.
— SALLY JEWELL, US Secretary of the Interior (2013), 1956-

What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more, to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes, or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.
—JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, US Poet, Essayist, Diplomat, 1819-91

People are different on a path. On a town sidewalk strangers may make eye contact, but that’s all. On a path like this [Stowe, VT] they smile, say hello, and pet one another’s dogs. I think every community in American should have a greenway.
—ANNE LUSK, Vermont Greenway Advocate, 1990

Life for two weeks on the mountaintops would show up many things about life during the other fifty weeks down below.
—BENTON MACKAYE, An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 1921

However useful may be the National Parks and Forests of the West for those affording the Pullman fare to reach them, what is needed by the bulk of the American population is something nearer home.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Progress Toward the Appalachian Trail, Appalachia, 1922

We know that trails are more than remote footpaths; they are also retreats found within heritage corridors and urban areas, which are accessible and critical to the mental and physical well-being of our citizens.
—FRAN MAINELLA, Director, National Park Service, 2003

Forests give a universal feeling of good will.
—ENOS MILLS, US Naturalist, 1870-1922

The trail compels you to know yourself and to be yourself, and puts you in harmony with the universe. It makes you glad to be living. It gives health, hope, and courage, and it extends that touch of nature which tends to make you kind.
—ENOS MILLS, US Naturalist, 1870-1922

It is impossible to fully appreciate the value of a trail until you have been forced to walk through the wilderness without one.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

Without trails, we would be lost.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

It is impossible to overestimate the value of wild mountains and mountain temples as places for people to grow in, recreation grounds for soul and body.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The tendency nowadays to wander in wilderness is delightful to see. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

Trails consistently remain the number one community amenity sought by prospective homeowners.

Greenways and trails offer a new way of looking at how a community’s cultural, historic, recreational and conservation needs fit into an overall picture that also includes economic growth. With their emphasis on connections, greenways and trails allow community leaders to consider how existing parks and open spaces can become part of a network of green that supports wildlife, pleases people, and attracts tourists and clean industry.
—OFFICE of GREENWAYS and TRAILS, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT of ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, Thinking Green: A Guide to the Benefits and Costs of Greenways and Trails, 1998

It is a scientific fact that the occasional contemplation of natural scenes of an impressive character…is favorable to the health and vigor of men and especially to the health and vigor of their intellect.
—FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, US Landscape Architect, 1822–1903

In, summary, this study indicates that concerns about decreased property values, increased crime, and a lower quality of life due to the construction of multi-use trails are unfounded. In fact, the opposite is true. The study indicates that multi-use trails are an amenity that help sell homes, increase property values and improve the quality of life. Multi-use trails are tremendously popular and should continue to be built to meet the ever-growing demand for bicycle facilities in Seattle.
—BRIAN PUNCOCHAR & PETER LAGERWAY, Evaluation of the Burke-Gilman Trail’s Effect on Property Values and Crime report, 1987

The biggest lesson I learned on the Camino [de Santiago] was that I need to slow down. It was the most difficult thing to learn.
—JOYCE RUPP, Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino, 2005

Whenever I step on the trail, I am hit with a giant wave of relief. This is my home.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

In a world dominated by hijackings, hostages, banana republic wars, atom bombs, and superpower posturings, we all yearn for something that makes sense to us as individuals. That something, for an increasing number of Americans, can be a hands-on involvement in a program that plants trees, builds trails, restores streams and streambanks, and creates a sense of ‘natural place’ in their communities.
—NEIL SAMPSON, Editorial: National Action on Greenways, American Forests, Sept/Oct 1987

It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and ask of himself, “Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?”
—CARL SANDBURG, US Poet, Writer, 1878-1967

Studies show that trail development stimulates local economies, increases local tax revenue, attracts tourists seeking new recreational opportunities and revitalizes business districts. In addition, multi-use trails are considered critical amenities for home buyers. Corporations seek attractive communities that offer trails and open space when choosing where to locate new plants and offices.
—GIL SCHAMESS, ISTEA & Trails: Enhancement Funding for Bicycling and Walking, 1995

In a world of constant change and flux where being in the moment seems increasingly harder to attain, there is also something about the notion of traveling along a pathway—under our own power—that reconnects us, and indeed binds together all humanity…
—ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO, 2001

Go outside. Feel your feet on the earth, notice the sun, the clouds that make you grateful for it, and take a deep breath. It will change the world.
—ELLEN SEVIGNY, Founder of Yoga in Your Park, 2016

I have a basic belief that outdoor recreation in a natural environment is good for people and is good for society at large. Anything that will bring more people to outdoor recreation, I therefore consider a ‘friend.’ Problems that derive from this philosophy are what keep me and others like me in business as recreation managers.
—RICHARD SPRAY, USDA Forest Service employee, 1986

Continually.… I think back on the pleasures that I’ve had on the trail and the teachings that it has imparted to me, and how those pleasures and those teachings have given me happiness and a greater understanding of how to bring fullness and richness into my life.
—ANN and MYRON SUTTON, The Appalachian Trail: Wilderness on the Doorstep, 1967

I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

The modern world is fast, complex, competitive, and always concerned with what happens next. There is always more to do than there is time. The landscape and even the light are mostly artificial. This can be exciting, but all too often it is frustrating, stressful, and exhausting. In contrast, hiking for weeks or months at a time in an unspoiled natural environment is a simple, repetitive activity that leads to calmness and psychological well-being, a feeling of wholeness, of being a complete person. Each day follows the same pattern, linking in with natural rhythms—walk in the light, sleep in the dark, eat when hungry, take shelter from storms. Only the details are different. I get a great pleasure from this simplicity, from the basic pattern of walk and camp, walk and camp. It is good to escape the rush of the modern world and for a period of time to live a quieter, more basic life. Problems and worries subside as the days go by; they are put into perspective by the elemental activity of putting one foot in front of the other hour after hour, day after day. And on returning from the wilds, restored and revitalized by the experience, I find civilization can be much easier to deal with; indeed, aspects of it can seem very desirable.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

Hikers, hunters, birdwatchers, technical rock climbers, anglers, skiers, canoeists—all these and many more turn to the outdoors to find challenge, not ease; uncertainty, not security….
—LAURA and GUY WATERMAN, Wilderness Ethics, 1993

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Bicycling Quotes

Few articles ever used by man have created so great a revolution in social conditions as the bicycle.
—1900 United States Census Report

Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

Doctor Sarvis, laboring on his bicycle up the long grade of Ninth South toward his home on 23rd East, was not unaware of the pressure of the traffic accumulating in his rear, the clamor of horns pounded by impatient fists, the motorized hatred fermenting at his back. But he thought, ‘Fuck ’em.’ Let ’em wait. Let ’em fester. Let ’em walk. Let ’em ride a bike like me, would do me and them and everybody a world of good. Cleanse our city’s air, reinvigorate the blood, tone up the muscles, strengthen the heart, burn up that surplus fat, stave off arteriosclerosis, cut down on bypass operations, eliminate transplants, lower the cholesterol count, prolong lives.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Hayduke Lives! 1989

Bicycle facility planning is commonly thought of as the effort undertaken to develop a separate bikeway system composed completely of bicycle paths and lanes all interconnected and spaced closely enough to satisfy all the travel needs of bicyclists. In fact, such systems can be unnecessarily expensive and do not provide for the vast majority of bicycle travel. Existing highways, often with relatively inexpensive improvements, must serve as the base system to provide for the travel needs of bicyclists. Bicycle paths and lanes can augment this existing system in scenic corridors or places where access is limited. Thus, bicycle transportation planning is more than planning for bikeways and is an effort that should consider many alternatives to provide for safe and efficient bicycle travel.
—AASHTO, Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 1991

When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamoring of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart.
—DIANE ACKERMAN, US Author, 1948-

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat [a women] knows she can’t get into harm while she us on her bicycle and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.
—SUSAN B. ANTHONY, US Crusader for Women’s Suffrage, 1820–1906

It’s something I find enjoyable. Whether it is a road bike or mountain bike or tandem bike. I enjoy riding a bike.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, 7 Time Tour de France Winner, 2012 banned for life and stripped of titles for doping, 1971-

I’ve said it before and I will repeat it: I believe that I am the most tested athlete on this planet. I have never had a single positive doping test, and I do not take performance-enhancing drugs (2004).
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, 7 time Tour de France winner, 2012 banned for life and stripped of titles for doping, 1971-

Ride like you just stole something (said to teammate Floyd Landis in the 2004 Tour de France).
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, 7 time Tour de France winner, 2012 banned for life and stripped of titles for doping, 1971-

You can have all the heart in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you’ve got the legs.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, 7 Time Tour de France Winner, 2012 banned for life and stripped of titles for doping, 1971-

If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, Every Second Counts, 2003

I’ll die when I’m done living, but until then I intend to ride my bike—and I’ll probably keel over on it.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, 2001

Why does any kid love a bike? It’s liberation and independence, your first set of wheels.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, 2001

Just as the ideal of classic Greek culture was the most perfect harmony of mind and body, so a human and a bicycle are the perfect synthesis of body and machine.
—RICHARD BALLANTINE, Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book, 2001

Possibly the tragedy of the bicycle is that it was invented too close in time to the car. In the historical scheme, pedal power hardly got under way before the combustion engine appeared and, not only took over the roads, but changed our view of machines. We’ve forgotten that pedal power is a potent form of energy.
—RICHARD BALLANTINE, Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book, 2001

The bicycle is its own best argument. You just get a bike, try it; start going with the thing and
using it as it suits you. It’ll grow and it gets better and better and better.
—RICHARD BALLANTINE, Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book, 2001

A bicycle ride is a flight from sadness.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; the Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

Exploration comes easy on a bicycle, the unknown is everywhere.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; The Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

I eat to ride, I ride to eat. At the best of moments, I can achieve a perfect balance, consuming just the right amount of calories as I fill up at bakeries, restaurants, or ice cream parlors. On the road, I can get about twelve miles to the quart of milk and a piece of baker’s apple tart.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; The Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

I suppose that was what attracted me to the bicycle right from the start. It is not so much a way of getting somewhere as it is a setting for randomness; it makes every journey an unorganized tour.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; the Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

The bicycle is a vehicle of revolution. It can destroy the tyranny of the automobile as effectively as the printing press brought down despots of flesh and blood. The revolution will be spontaneous, the sum total of individual revolts like my own. It may have already begun.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; The Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

The world lies right beyond the handlebars of any bicycle that I happen to be on anywhere from New York Bay to the Vallee de Chevreuse. Anywhere is high adventure, the walls come down, the cyclist is a loner, it is the only way for him to meet other loners. And it works. One seldom exchanges anything but curses or names of insurance companies with another driver, the car inhibits human contacts. The bicycle generates them; bikes talk to each other like dogs, they wag their wheels and tinkle their bells, the riders let their mounts mingle.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN,The Man Who Loved Bicycles; the Memoirs of an Autophobe,  1973

You never have the wind with you—either it is against you or you’re having a good day.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; the Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

Every rider crashes.
—EDWARD “EDDIE B” BORYSEWICZ, former US Olympic Cycling Coach, 1939-

The advantages? Exercise, no parking problems, gas prices, it’s fun. An automobile is expensive. You have to find a place to park and it’s not fun. So why not ride a bicycle? I recommend it. (when asked why he rides a bike)
—STEPHEN G. BREYER, US Supreme Court Justice (1994- ), 1938-

If you really want to experience the world, get on a bicycle.
JULIANA BUHRING, This Road I Ride: Sometimes It Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself, 2016

You must do three things: Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike.
—FAUSTO COPPI, Italian Racing Cyclist, 1919-60

On a bike you go at nature-speed.
—DAN BURDEN, US Walkability and Bikeability Advocate, 1944-

With the bike, and later my feet, I began to explore everything rural, everything urban, to appreciate what made each unique and distinct.
—DAN BURDEN, US Walkability and Bikeability Advocate, 1944-

The more I think about our US domestic transportation problem from this vantage point [China] the more I see an increased role for the bicycle in American life. I am convinced after riding bikes an enormous amount here in China, that it is a sensible, economical, clean form of transportation and makes enormous good sense.
—GEORGE BUSH, US Liaison Office, Beijing, China, 1975

Bike racing is art. Art is driven by passion, by emotions, by unknown thoughts…. It’s the same for every athlete. And that’s why we do this.
—CHRIS CARMICHAEL, Former US Olympic Cyclist, current Cycling Coach, 1961-

Women are attracted to cycling because they can compete with men. What women lack in muscle mass can be compensated for by savvy, willpower, and endurance. The bike is the great equalizer because the strongest are not always the best.
—CONNIE CARPENTER-PHINNEY, US 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1957-

Without question, bicycling is an efficient, economical and environmentally sound form of transportation and recreation. Bicycling is a great activity for families, recreational riders and commuters. Hillary, Chelsea and I have bicycles….
—BILL CLINTON, Forty-second US President (1993-2001) in Bicycling magazine, 1992

One of the things that I wound up loving about being involved with a bike racer was learning how to bike and how that really creates solitary time for you to reflect on things and nobody can get a hold of you. (talking about her [ex]-life with Lance Armstrong, July 13th 2005)
—SHERYL CROW, US Singer, 1962-

The truly extraordinary feature of the bike is that, like the very greatest teacher, it encourages you to find the answers from somewhere deep down inside yourself and not merely take them from someone else. When I began my adventure into myself on my bike I did not need to be told that I had to eat more of the right kind of food. I just knew I had to do it or else my legs would not work. I had never listened to or cared about those long terrifying lectures about the evils of smoking—complete with coloured slides of blackened lungs—but I did know, after some time in the saddle, that I just had to give up cigarettes. I did not need the expensive psychiatrist to tell me why I was depressed since, after a brisk ride, I was depressed no more.
—TOM DAVIES, Merlyn the Magician and the Pacific Coast Highway, 1982

Cycling is the sport of usefulness.
—FRED DELONG, DeLong’s Guide to Bicycles and Bicycling, 1978

Everything’s possible when you’re seeing the world from a bike seat—even changing your life.
—DOUG DONALDSON, Bicycling Magazine’s Guide to Bike Touring, 2005

Rolling outside on a bike knocks you out of your routine and can even alter the way you see the world.
—DOUG DONALDSON, Bicycling Magazine’s Guide to Bike Touring, 2005

A good cyclist does not need a high road.
—SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, Scottish Writer, Creator of Sherlock Holmes, 1859-1930

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.
—SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, Creator of Sherlock Holmes, in Scientific American, January 18, 1896

I thought of that [the theory of relativity] while riding my bicycle.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

Life is like riding a bicycle—in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

A bicycle does get you there and more….And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive. Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal. And getting there is all the fun.
—BILL EMERSON, On Bicycling, Saturday Evening Post, 29 July 1967

Consider the problems a bicycle solves: health, economy, environment. Peace of mind.
—DARYL FARMER, Bicycling beyond the Divide: Two Journeys into the West, 2008

Part of the joy of bicycle touring was not having to plan ahead, to just sleep where the daylight ended.
—DARYL FARMER, Bicycling beyond the Divide: Two Journeys into the West, 2008

For city bicycling to catch on we need a revolution in our society’s infrastructure. Right now a city rider needs to be a road warrior, and the bike needs to be cheap and ugly so it won’t get stolen. That’s not a bike friendly culture.
—GARY FISHER, Founder and CEO of Fisher Bicycles, one of the inventors of the mountain bike, 1950-

Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.
—JOHN FORESTER, Effective Cycling, 1976

People like to travel: that is why the grass is greener over the fence. We are walkers—our natural means of travel is to put one foot in front of the other. The bicycle seduces our basic nature by making walking exciting. It lets us take 10-foot strides at 160 paces a minute. That’s 20 miles an hour, instead of 4 or 5… It is not only how fast you go—cars are faster and jet planes faster still. But jet-plane travel is frustrating boredom—at least the car gives the pictorial illusion of travel. Cycling does it all—you have the complete satisfaction of arriving because your mind has chosen the path and steered you over it; your eyes have seen it; your muscles have felt it; your breathing, circulatory and digestive systems have all done their natural functions better than ever, and every part of your being knows you have traveled and arrived.
—JOHN FORESTER, Effective Cycling, 1976

The bicycle … has been responsible for more movement in manners and morals than anything since Charles the Second. Under its influence, wholly or in part, have wilted chaperones, long and narrow skirts, tight corsets, hair that would come down, black stockings, thick ankles, large hats, prudery, and fear of the dark; under its influence, have blossomed weekends, strong nerves, strong legs, strong language, knickers, knowledge of make and shape, knowledge of woods and pastures, equality of sex, good digestion, and professional occupation—in four words, the emancipation of women.
—JOHN GALSWORTHY, English Novelist, Playwright, 1867-1933

The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.
—WILLIAM GOLDING, English Novelist, 1911-93

The only regret I have in my life is never learning to ride a bicycle.
—HELEN HAYES, US Actress, 1900-93

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up them and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.
—ERNEST HEMINGWAY, US Writer, 1899–1961

The bicycle riders drank much wine, and were burned and browned by the sun. They did not take the race seriously except among themselves.
—ERNEST HEMINGWAY, The Sun Also Rises, 1926

I have started many stories about bicycle racing but have never written one that is as good as it is both on the indoor and outdoor tracks and on the roads.
—ERNEST HEMINGWAY, A Moveable Feast, 1964

Cycling is my life. I can still win. I am still one of the best. And I’m clean.
—GEORGE HINCAPIE and CRAIG HUMMER, The Loyal Lieutenant: My Story, 2014

My religion was cycling improvement and success.
—GEORGE HINCAPIE and CRAIG HUMMER, The Loyal Lieutenant: My Story, 2014

The way I looked at it, boiled down to its essence, cycling could be simplified to an equation of who could train the longest and hardest, and once in a race, who could best withstand the intensity of the pain.
—GEORGE HINCAPIE and CRAIG HUMMER, The Loyal Lieutenant: My Story, 2014

The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.
—JOHN HOWARD, The Cyclist’s Companion, 1984

Man on a bicycle can go three to four times faster than the pedestrian, but uses five times less energy in the process. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well… The bicycle lifted man’s auto-mobility into a new order, beyond which progress is theoretically not possible…the use of the bicycle allows people to create a new relationship between their life-space and their lifetime, between their territory and the pulse of their being, without destroying their inherited balance.
—IVAN ILLICH, Energy and Equity, 1974

The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man’s metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well.
—IVAN ILLICH, Energy and Equity, 1974

The bicycle had, and still has, a humane, almost classical moderation in the kind of pleasure it offers. It is the kind of machine that a Hellenistic Greek might have invented and ridden. It does no violence to our normal reactions: It does not pretend to free us from our normal environment.
—J.B. JACKSON, US Writer, 1909-96

Next to a leisurely walk I enjoy a spin on my tandem bicycle. It is splendid to feel the wind blowing in my face and the springy motion of my iron steed. The rapid rush through the air gives me a delicious sense of strength and buoyancy, and the exercise makes my pulse dance and my heart sing.
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

As a means of pleasure, cycling stands in the foremost rank, but in common with all the great pleasures, it may easily stand in the foremost in abuse. The desire to ride at an unreasonably high speed may become morbid…The ever lasting scorcher, bent like a hoop, and with sunken cheeks, ought to be quite sufficient warning against this abuse.
—L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

Cyclers see considerable more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to. (K.K. Doty of New York)
— L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

Cycling fills the remotest cells of the lungs with outdoor air. The pores are opened and the dead secretions are thrown off. It aids the peristaltic movement of the bowels…
—L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

I expect to see the day when not to ride a wheel will be a mark of a defective education, and people will say to such a person, ‘Why, where have you been brought up?’ (Rev. W.J. Petrie of Chicago)
—L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

I fear that the universal adoption of cycling would be bad for the doctors. (J.A. Chase, a doctor from Pawtucket)
— L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

If were not a man, I would like to be a bird. As I am a man, I do the next best thing, and ride a bicycle. (Rev Maltie of Baltimore)
—L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

All creatures who have ever walked have wished that they might fly. With highwheelers a flesh and blood man can hitch wings to his feet.
—KARL KRON, Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle, 1887

With the heaps of overly specialized gear—gloves, shoes, and biking jerseys—most cyclists realize that every day on the road is Halloween. Plain and simple, it’s wearing a costume each time out of the gate.…We’re neon signs, stylistically impaired wonders blinding pedestrians and fooling small children into thinking that the circus has come back to town.
—JOE KURMASKIE, Metal Cowboy: Ten Years Further Down the Road Less Pedaled, 2010

He walked in a nonchalant fashion, and his bicycle went with him as if it were alive thing.
—D.H. LAWRENCE, Sons and Lovers, 1913

As a kid I had a dream—I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bikes in the backyard at
night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it by my bed. Funny, although it was important to me then, I can’t remember what finally happened to it.
—JOHN LENNON, English Singer, Songwriter, 1940-80

Ride. Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.
—EDDY ‘the Cannibal’ MERCKX, Belgian Professional Bicycle Racer, 1945-

I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle; I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride my bike; I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride it where I like…; I don’t believe in Peter Pan, Frankenstein or Superman; All I wanna do is bicycle, bicycle, bicycle…(1978)
—FREDDIE MERCURY, British Singer, Lead Singer of Queen, 1946-91

After a time, habituated to spending so many hours a day on my bike, I became less and less interested in my friends. My wheel had now become my one and only friend. I could rely on it, which is more than I could say about my buddies. It’s too bad no one ever photographed me with my friend. I would give anything now to know what we looked like.
—HENRY MILLER, My Bike and Other Friends, 1978

I took care of my wheel as one would look after a Rolls Royce. If it needed repairs I always brought it to the same shop on Myrtle Avenue run by a negro named Ed Perry. He handled the bike with kid gloves, you might say. He would always see to it that neither front nor back wheel wobbled. Often he would do a job for me without pay, because, as he put it, he never saw a man so in love with his bike as I was.
—HENRY MILLER, My Bike and Other Friends, 1978

The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.
—CHRISTOPHER MORLEY, The Romany Stain, 1926

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.
—IRIS MURDOCH, The Red and the Green, 1965

Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with a seat missing, but it hurts.
—LESLIE NIELSEN in the film Naked Gun 2 ½ (1991), 1926-

Don’ts for Women Wheelers
Don’t be a fright.
Don’t carry a flask.
Don’t wear a golf hose.
Don’t faint on the road.
Don’t wear a man’s cap.
Don’t wear tight garters.
Don’t stop a road houses.
Don’t forget your tool bag.
Don’t attempt a “century.”
Don’t coast. It is dangerous.
Don’t say, “Feel my muscle.”
Don’t criticize people’s “legs.”
Don’t boast of your long rides.
Don’t wear loud-hued leggings.
Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit.
Don’t wear jewelry while on tour.
Don’t powder your face on the road.
Don’t wear rubber soled cycling shoes.
Don’t go to church in your bicycle costume.
Don’t imagine everybody is looking at you.
Don’t tempt fate by riding too near the curbstone.
Don’t ask. “What do you think of my bloomers?”
Don’t try to ride in your brother’s clothes “to see how it feels.”
Don’t overdo things. Let cycling be a recreation, not a labor.
—OMAHA DAILY BEE (Omaha, Nebraska), September 1, 1895

Mankind has invested more than four million years of evolution in the attempt to avoid physical exertion. Now a group of backward-thinking atavists mounted on foot-powered pairs of Hula-Hoops would have us pumping our legs, gritting our teeth, and searing our lungs as though we were being chased across the Pleistocene savanna by saber-toothed tigers. Think of the hopes, the dreams, the effort, the brilliance, the pure force of will that, over the eons, has gone into the creation of the Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Bicycle riders would have us throw all this on the ash help of history.
—P.J. O’ROURKE, US Writer, 1947-

When you’re turning the crankset, you’re riding the bike. When you’re coasting, you’re just along for the ride.
—NED OVEREND, winner of first-ever Mountain Bike World Championships (1990), 1955-

Bike riding helps develop a person’s sense of discovery. Many cyclists are drawn to discover every street, path, alley, trail, abandoned railroad, bridge, tunnel, and highway in their area.
—DAVID B. PERRY, Bike Cult: The Ultimate Guide to Human-Powered Vehicles, 1995

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
—EMO PHILIPS, US Comedian, 1956-

The best routes are the ones you haven’t ridden. You could pedal the same loops year after year. Many people do, literally or figuratively. But to grow, you need new rides. Risks. Turn down lanes you’ve long seen but never traveled. Get lost once or twice, then double back to where you started and try again. Live like this and you come to see unknown territory not as threatening, but as intriguing.
—MARK REMY, Bicycling Magazine, September 2001

Cycling is a slower way to move across the land. It creates opportunities to connect to people.
—CINDY ROSS, The World is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education, 2018

If the constellations had been named in the twentieth century, I suppose we would see bicycles.
—CARL SAGAN, US Astronomer, 1934-96

I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saintly or sinful, who can resist the bicycle.
—WILLIAM SAROYAN, The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, 1952

Moving the legs evenly and steadily soon brings home to the bike-rider a valuable knowledge of pace and rhythm…. Out of rhythm come many things, perhaps all things.
—WILLIAM SAROYAN, The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, 1952

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.
—CHARLES M. SCHULZ, US Cartoonist, creator of Peanuts, 1922-2000

A bike is an ideal compromise between walking and a car. A bike triples the speed of walking yet doesn’t zoom over the landscape, so that what is passed isn’t passed unseen.
—STEVE SHERMAN, Bike Hiking, 1974

…. the bicycle boom is not a fad. It comes at (or is symptomatic of) a time when traffic jams are intolerable to commuters, heart disease kills too many sedentary executives, the population grows ever more pollution-aware and ecology-minded, and millions of people are looking to the simple pleasures of life.
—STEVE SHERMAN, Bike Hiking, 1974

Think about it. When was the last time you met a grouchy bike rider?
—STEVE SHERMAN, Bike Hiking, 1974

Society is singularly in debt to the bicycle, since bicycle mechanics developed the airplane as well as the automobile.
—JAMES E. STARRS, The Noiseless Tenor: The Bicycle in Literature, 1982

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.
—JAMES E. STARRS, The Literary Cyclist, 1997

[A bicycle is] an paralleled merger of a toy, a utilitarian vehicle, and sporting equipment. The bicycle can be used in so many ways, and approaches perfection in each use. For instance, the bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon. A person pedaling a bike uses energy more efficiently than a gazelle or an eagle. And a triangle-framed bicycle can easily carry ten times its own weight – a capacity no automobile, airplane or bridge can match.
—BILL STRICKLAND, The Quotable Cyclist, 1997

Life’s too long to not realize life’s too short to not go for a bike ride.
—BILL STRICKLAND, Editor, Bicycling magazine, August, 2015

The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.
—ANN STRONG, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895

The [Appalachian] Trail itself even seems to have a therapeutic value, as if, by toughing it, by walking along it, we absorb the magic of its freedom, the freshness of its air, the inspiration of the forest rebirth. Like Antaeus, we are renewed.
—ANN and MYRON SUTTON, The Appalachian Trail: Wilderness on the Doorstep, 1967

Cycling satisfies so many needs. If you’re in a gregarious mood, you can go out with a group. OR you can go alone- solo. If you’re in an aggressive mood, you can go fast, or if you’re tired and want to unwind you can go slow. A bicycle doesn’t discriminate in age, either.
—GEORGENA TERRY, founded women’s bicycling company 1985

The sport of cycling changed my life. Everything I do is based on the passion I learned from the Tour de France.
—JOHN TESH, US TV Producer, Radio Personality, Musician/Songwriter, 1952-

I feel that I am entitled to my share of lightheartedness and there is nothing wrong with enjoying one’s self simply, like a boy. [In response to criticism for learning to ride a bicycle at age 67]
—LEO TOLSTOY, Russian Writer, 1828-1910

Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it. If you live.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

The bicycle, in the hands of a novice, is as alert and acute as a spirit-level in the detecting of delicate and vanishing shades of difference in these matters. It notices a rise where your untrained eye would not observe that one existed.
— MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), Taming the Bicycle, short essay 1884

My bike is the most valuable thing that I have because it incorporates everything that I believe in—science, technology, engineering, fitness. But what my bike really means to me is independence. I haven’t been able to play basketball in 30 years, but I can ride my bike. With one step, one crank, one time around the block, one little hill, one giant mountain. My bike inspires me; it makes me feel fantastic.
—BILL WALTON (Retired US Basketball Player), Men’s Journal, April 2016

In the past two decades, thousands of miles of trails have been paved in the United States, but many of them look as if they were designed by someone who’d never ridden a bike. By consulting more with people who do a lot of travelling under their own power, transportation planners ought to be able to come up with imaginative schemes for making roads, paths and sidewalks more usable to them, and maybe help cut down a bit on our reliance on the automobile.
—WASHINGTON POST Op-ed, Trouble on the Trail, May 18, 1993

Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls.
—BOB WEIR, US Singer, 1947-

Cycle trails will abound in Utopia.
—H.G. WELLS, English Novelist, 1866–1946

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.
—H.G. WELLS, English Novelist, 1866–1946

After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow.
—H.G. WELLS, The Wheels of Chance, 1896

To ride a bicycle properly is very like a love affair—chiefly it is a matter of faith. Believe you can do it, and the thing is done; doubt, and, for the life of you, you cannot.
—H.G. WELLS, The Wheels of Chance, 1896

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.
—ELIZABETH WEST, Hovel in the Hills, 1977

Let us bequeath our children more than the gadgets that surround us. If bicycling can be restored to the daily life of all Americans, it can be a vital step toward rebuilding health and vigor in all of us.
—DR PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US Cardiologist, 1886–1973

We’ve been trying to sell cyclists of all ages and abilities on very detailed and demanding education and training programs designed to make them more like motorists. Bicyclists have shown they don’t want this. What cyclists repeatedly tell us they do want is more safe places to ride, and it is time we listened to that message.
—BILL WILKINSON, Executive Director, Bicycle Federation of America, 1991

I begin to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all learn to ride, or fall into the sluiceways of oblivion and despair. That which made me succeed with the bicycle was precisely what had gained me a measure of success in life—it was the hardihood of spirit that led me to begin, the persistence of will that held me to my task, and the patience of will that was willing to begin again when the last stroke had failed. And so I found high moral uses in the bicycle and can commend it as a teacher without pulpit or creed. She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.
—FRANCES WILLARD, A Wheel within a Wheel; How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, 1895

In the matter of two days… I had raised myself master of the most remarkable, ingenious, and inspiring motor [bicycle] ever devised upon the planet.
—FRANCES WILLARD, A Wheel within a Wheel; How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, 1895

Sighing for new worlds to conquer, I determined that I would learn the bicycle.
—FRANCES WILLARD, A Wheel within a Wheel; How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, 1895

Tens of thousands who could never afford to own, feed and stable a horse, had by this bright invention enjoyed the swiftness of motion which is perhaps the most fascinating feature of material life.
—FRANCES WILLARD, A Wheel within a Wheel; How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, 1895

When I’m riding my bicycle I feel like a Buddhist who is happy just to enjoy his mundane existence.
—ROBIN WILLIAMS, US Comedian, Actor, 1951-2014

Since the bicycle makes little demand on material or energy resources, contributes little to pollution, makes a positive contribution to health and causes little death or injury, it can be regarded as the most benevolent of machines.
—S. S. WILSON, Bicycle Technology, Scientific American, March 1973

To men, the bicycle in the beginning was merely a new toy, another machine added to the long list of devices they knew in their work and play. To woman, it was a steed upon which they rode into a new world.
—WOMAN AND THE WHEEL, Munsey’s Magazine, May 1896

Explore. Make friends. Feel like a kid again. Tone your body. Improve your health. Hop aboard a bicycle this summer and you’ll be amazed where it will take you.
SELENE YEAGER, Joy Ride, Prevention magazine, July 2013

Be at one with the universe. If you can’t do that, at least be at one with your bike.
—LENNARD ZINN, US Bike Designer, Builder, 1958-

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Classics Quotes

The dogs may bark … but the caravan moves on!

Glory to your feet.

Mother of Marvels, mysterious and tender Nature, why do we not live more in thee.
—HENRI FRÉDÉRIC AMIEL, Swiss Writer, 1821–81

What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.
—ARISTOTLE, Greek Philosopher, 384–322 BC

If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.
—SAINT AUGUSTINE, Christian Bishop, Theologian, 354–430

When the people lead, the leaders will follow.

It’s easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top.
—ARNOLD BENNET, English Writer, 1867–1931

The virtuous man is happy in this world, and he is happy in the next; he is happy in both. He is happy when he thinks of the good he has done; he is still more happy when going on the good path.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

I follow nature as the surest guide, and resign myself with implicit obedience to her sacred ordinances.
—MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, Roman Orator, 106–43 BC

A man of wisdom delights in water.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

He who needs only coarse food, water and drink, and as pillow his folded arms will find happiness without further search.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth for ever. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

God is at home, it’s we who have gone out for a walk.
—MEISTER ECKHART, German Christian Mystic, 1260-1327

You become what you think about all day long.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
—SAINT FRANCIS of ASSISI, Italian Friar, 1181–1226

Who never climbed high never fell low.
—THOMAS FULLER, Gnomologia, 1732

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world—but in being able to remake ourselves.
—MAHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
—MAHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

There is more to life than increasing its speed.
—MAHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—GENESIS 13:17

…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

The path up and down is one and the same.
—HERACLITUS, Greek Philosopher, 540-480 BC

There is nothing permanent except change.
—HERACLITUS, Greek Philosopher, 540-480 BC

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. Seize today, and put as little trust as you can in the morrow.
—HORACE, Latin Lyric Poet, 65–8 BC

To linger silent among the healthful woods, musing on such things as are worthy of a wise and good man.
—HORACE, Epistles, 20 BC

Remember when life’s path is steep, keep your mind even.
—HORACE, Latin Lyric Poet, 65–8 BC

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings…
—ISAIAH 52:7

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

…speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—JOB 12:8

Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—JOHN 12:35

The beginning is in the end and the end is in the beginning.

Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Meandering leads to perfection.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese philosopher, 604–531 BC

The way is simple but the crooked path is more popular.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Montani semper liberi—Mountaineers are always free.

…a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—LUKE 12:15

Because it is there [famous explanation for wanting to climb Mount Everest].
—GEORGE MALLORY, English Mountaineer, 1886–1924

Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit… (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—NUMBERS 35:3 4

Skills vary with the man. We must tread a straight path and strive by that which is born in us.
—PINDAR, Odes, 5th c. BC

We have met the enemy and he is us.
—POGO, 1972, comic strip character by Walt Kelly, 1913–73

Prayer of the Woods
I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights, the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun, and my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie, and the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle, the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the floor of beauty. Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: harm me not.
—First used in the PORTUGUESE FOREST RESERVES more than 1,000 years ago. Now used on nature trails throughout the world.

If you pick’em up, O Lord, I’ll put’em down.
—PRAYER of the Tired Walker

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths: (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

Where there is no vision, the people perish: (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 23:4

Teach me thy way, LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 27:11

The mountains shall bring peace to the people… (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 72:3

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 119:105

I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 121:1

Let us walk honestly, as in the day… (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—ROMANS 13:13

Find a path or make one.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

He who is everywhere is nowhere.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

There’s some end at last for the man who follows a path: mere rambling is interminable.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

To move the world we must first move ourselves.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

All that glitters is not gold. All who wander are not lost.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, English Dramatist, Poet, 1564–1616

There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, English Dramatist, Poet, 1564–1616

To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, English Dramatist, Poet, 1564–1616

The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Venus and Adonis, 1593

…not all those who wander are lost…
—J.R.R. TOLKIEN, English Writer, 1892-1973

The woods please us above all things.
—VERGIL, Eclogues, 37 BC

Good company in a journey makes the way seem the shorter.
—IZAAK WALTON, English Biographer, 1593-1683

In the landscape of Spring, there is neither better nor worse. The flowering branches grow naturally, some long, some short.

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Trails and Greenway Conflict Resolutions Quotes

Compromise, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.
—AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1881-1911

You ask people why they’re adamant about banning cyclists from a particular trail and what it usually comes down to is they just don’t want to share. It’s preschool all over again.
—TIM BLUMENTHAL, Executive Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association, 1995

Then their land [Great Britain] is threaded with paths which invite the walker, and which are scarcely less important than the highways. I heard of a surly nobleman near London who took it into his head to close a footpath that passed through his estate near his house, and open another one a little farther off. The pedestrians objected; the matter got into the courts, and after protracted litigation the aristocrat was beaten. The path could not be closed or moved. The memory of man ran not to the time when there was not a footpath there, and every pedestrian should have the right of way there still.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

Trails urge people to slow down, not to speed up.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1996), 1947-2017

Different recreational activities carried out in close proximity can interfere with one another and with other, nonrecreational uses of forests and rangelands. Hikers scare horses on narrow mountain trails; horses muddy trails for hikers. Boaters scare fish and anger anglers: campers leave gates open and cattle stray. Common sense and courtesy can go a long way in resolving such conflicts, but because these can be in short supply and sheer numbers can make solutions difficult, land managers often step in for the sake of the greatest good and the least damage.
—PHILIP CAFARO, Teaching Disrespect; The Ethics of Off-Road Vehicle Use on America’s Public Lands, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

The only way you can expect someone to understand your point of view is to provide them with the substance from which your outlook was developed. Essentially then, the task is education and not argumentation.
—HERB COHEN, You Can Negotiate Anything, 1980

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

Bikers, hikers, and equestrians are really about 80 percent aligned. But without some common enemy [like development] to take aim at, they fight constantly over the last 20 percent.
—JIM JACOBSEN, Bicycle Trails Council of Marin, 1998

There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few we can solve by ourselves.
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908–73

Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.
—SAMUEL JOHNSON, Rasselas, 1759

Trails management is 3 things: 1. Managing the water (off the tread) 2. Managing vegetation 3. Managing users. Of these, managing users is certainly the hardest.
—WOODY KEEN, Trailbuilder, Advocate, 1959-

There are many kinds of trail users: hikers, horseback riders, bicyclists, motorcyclists, ski tourers, snowshoers, snowmobilers, all-terrain-vehicle riders, joggers, and more recently, mountain bicyclists.
Because different types of trail users often utilize the same trails, there is a potential for conflict. Satisfaction is often affected by the type of users encountered and how they behave. Encountering large groups is particularly disruptive of others’ solitude. All four of the major types of trail users (hikers, horseback riders, bicycle riders, and motorcycle riders) usually enjoy meeting hikers, but hikers prefer not to meet any other types.
Furthermore, horseback riders and bicyclists are not particularly fond of motorcycle riders. Similarly, cross-country skiers prefer not to meet snowmobilers. This would argue for the separation of trails users, particularly motorized users, whenever possible.
—EDWIN KRUMPE and ROBERT LUCAS, Literature review paper, President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

In the high-use areas, there were flowing rivers of humanity, and the campsites looked like bomb zones….
—DON LANE, USDA Forest Service Wilderness Manager, explaining why tighter restrictions were imposed in California’s Desolation Wilderness Area near Lake Tahoe during the summer of 2000

For many years, outdoor recreation proved to be a popular way of expressing such cultural values as thrift, hard work, and self-reliance. Today, we also see outdoor recreation reflecting the more contemporary values of conspicuous consumption, immediate gratification, peer-group acceptance, and the easy life. This suggests that outdoor recreation is, if not a battle ground, at least a focal point for cultural clashes.
—WILBUR LAPAGE, Cultural Fogweed and Outdoor Recreation Research, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

Recreation is a perpetual battlefield because it is a single word denoting as many diverse things as there are diverse people. One can discuss it only in personal terms.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

…we have here the old conflict between preservation and use, long since an issue with respect to timber, water power, and other purely economic resources, but just now coming to be an issue with respect to recreation.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
—ABRAHAM MASLOW, US Psychologist, 1908-70

Trail conflicts can and do occur among different user groups, among different users within the same user group, and as a result of factors not related to users’ trail activities at all. In fact, no actual contact among trail users need occur for conflict to be felt.
—ROGER MOORE, Conflicts on Multiple-Use Trails: Synthesis of the Literature and State of the Practice, 1994

Twelve principles for minimizing conflicts on multiple-use trails:
1. Recognize Conflict as Goal Interference – Do not treat conflict as an inherent incompatibility among different trail activities, but rather as goal interference attributed to another’s behavior.
2. Provide Adequate Trail Opportunities – Offer adequate trail mileage and provide opportunities for a variety of trail experiences. This will help reduce congestion and allow users to choose the conditions that are best suited to the experiences they desire.
3. Minimize Number of Contacts in Problem Areas – Each contact among trail users has the potential to result in conflict. So, as a general rule, reduce the number of user contacts whenever possible. This is especially true in congested areas and at trailheads.
4. Involve Users as Early as Possible – Identify the present and likely future users of each trail and involve them in the process of avoiding and resolving conflicts as early as possible, preferably before conflicts occur.
5. Understand User Needs – Determine the motivations, desired experiences, norms, setting preferences, and other needs of the present and likely future users of each trail. This ‘customer’ information is critical for anticipating and managing conflicts.
6. Identify the Actual Sources of Conflict – Help users to identify the specific tangible causes of any conflicts they are experiencing. In other words, get beyond emotions and stereotypes as quickly as possible, and get to the roots of any problems that exist.
7. Work with Affected Users – Work with all parties involved to reach mutually agreeable solutions to these specific issues. Users who are not involved as part of the solution are more likely to be part of the problem now and in the future.
8. Promote Trail Etiquette – Minimize the possibility that any particular trail contact will result in conflict by actively and aggressively promoting responsible trail behavior.
9. Encourage Positive Interaction Among Different Users – Trail users are usually not as different from one another as they believe. Providing positive interactions both on and off the trail will help break down barriers and stereotypes, and build understanding, good will, and cooperation.
10. Favor ‘Light-Handed Management’ – Use the most ‘light-handed approaches’ that will achieve objectives. This is essential in order to provide the freedom of choice and natural environments that are so important to trail-based recreation. Intrusive design and coercive management are not compatible with high-quality experiences.
11. Plan and Act Locally – Whenever possible, address issues regarding multiple-use trails at the local level. This allows greater sensitivity to local needs and provides better flexibility for addressing difficult issues on a case-by-case basis.
12. Monitor Progress – Monitor the ongoing effectiveness of the decisions made and programs implemented.
—ROGER MOORE, Conflicts on Multiple-Use Trails: Synthesis of the Literature and State of the Practice, 1994

Yielding, by the way, doesn’t always require that you must dismount [your mountain bike], move off the trail, and kowtow to others as they pass by. Many trails are wide enough to allow trail users to pass one another safely. Yielding does mean slowing way down and assuring a wide enough avenue for others to pass without feeling confronted or alarmed. If there is any question whatsoever, stop and move over.
—PETER OLIVER, Bicycling: Touring and Mountain Bike Basics, 1995

…maybe we need to start offering classes to hikers and bikers and equestrians and everyone else on how to just play nice together outside.
—TOM PRICE, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, 1999

A simple equation exists between freedom and numbers: the more people, the less freedom.
—ROYAL ROBBINS, Basic Rockcraft, 1971

It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint, and he understands ours, than we can sit down and work out our differences.
—HARRY S. TRUMAN, Thirty-third US President (1945–53), 1884–1972

Splintering the outdoor user groups is playing into the hands of those interests that would exploit or destroy the resource we’re all preoccupied with saving. The Davids of the world have a tough job already. If we continue to sling rocks at each other, the Goliaths will walk or ride all over us. Let’s build trails, not walls between each other.
—JOHN VIEHMAN, Mountain Bikes: Let’s Build Trails, Not Walls, Backpacker, August 1990

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Trails and Greenway Connections Quotes

We are kindred all of us, killer and victim, predator and prey, me and the sly coyote, the soaring buzzard, the elegant gopher snake, and trembling cottontail, the foul worms that feed on our entrails; all of them, all of us. Long live diversity, long live the earth!
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

While land conservation and preservation are important in their own right, it is through America’s system of trails that the American people actually get to access and experience these places—whether it’s a scenic National Park or an urban trail that wanders along a riverfront.
—AMERICAN HIKING SOCIETY, Hiking Trails in American: Pathways to Prosperity, 2015

Trails consolidate and connect communities, rather than encourage them to expand and fragment.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1997), 1947-2017

We believe that people are genuinely excited about building a nationwide system of interconnected trails and greenways.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1997), 1947-2017

….due to some quirks of history that won’t be repeated, we do have one last chance to save urban land—linear open space—in rather large chunks and weave them into a connected system of trails and greenways … it is an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (2000), 1947-2017

Trails not only connect us with each other, they connect us with ourselves. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted knew this, and designed his pathways for reverie: gentle, winding, and somehow private. Communities with no place to daydream are communities without imagination.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (2001), 1947-2017

The common goal of completing a trail could unite hiking clubs from multiple states and regions, often with assistance from federal and state agencies. Long days of shared labor were required in scouting, clearing, building, and maintaining the trails, and a shared philosophy of trail construction ensured at least a minimal level of uniformity. The result was a close-knit community of men and women with a shared culture of hiking and trail building.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Imagine a network of Millennium Trails connecting every community in America; carving a path through urban and rural areas; carrying us along our landscape; making it possible to walk or bike to work and school; helping us to understand and celebrate our history and culture. Millennium Trails will be very tangible gifts to our future. They will be accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Together they represent a commitment and an investment in the kind of country we want to create in the next century.
—FIRST LADY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, National Trails Day Message, The White House, June 5, 1999

I could never resist the call of the trail.

Sooner or later, wittingly or unwittingly, we must pay for every intrusion on the natural environment.
—BARRY COMMONER, Science and Survival, 1966

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
—JOHN DONNE, English clergyman, poet 1572-1631, Devotions XVII, 1624

For bicycle and pedestrian facilities to be truly functional as routes between work, home, school, libraries, parks and shopping areas, they must be part of an interconnected network.
—AMANDA EAKEN and JOSHUA HART, Tunnels on Trails: A Study of 78 Tunnels on 36 Trails in the United States, 2001

Greenways are … about connections: connections between people and the land, between public parks, natural areas, historic sites, and other open spaces, between conservation and economic development, and between environmental protection and our quality of life.

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
—ANATOLE FRANCE, French writer, 1844–1924

To follow a trail is to establish a link with the history of man. It is at once the most primitive and the most civilized of activities. A trail may well have been followed first by animals seeking food and water; Indians following the game wore it a little wider. Explorers followed the same paths, to be followed in turn by soldiers and settlers and men who poured concrete over footpaths. The concrete now goes just about every place we need to go. But we now have the leisure to travel just for the sake of traveling, and there is no better way to do it than by trail.
—LENNON HOOPER, National Park Trails, 1973

There is an art to wandering. If I have a destination, a plan—an objective—I’ve lost the ability to find serendipity. I’ve become too focused, too single-minded. I am on a quest, not a ramble. I search for the Holy Grail of particularity, and miss the chalice freely offered, filled full to overflowing.
—CATHY JOHNSON, On Becoming Lost: A Naturalist’s Search for Meaning, 1990

Everything is connected to everything else.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of eons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts. To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.
—ALDO LEOPOLD and LUNA LEOPOLD, Round River: From the Journals of Aldo Leopold, 1953

They should form a framework of parks and forests connected by a series of paths and trails for general outdoor living.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

We need nature as much in the city as in the countryside. In order to endure we must maintain the bounty of that great cornucopia which is our inheritance. It is clear that we must look deep to the values which we hold. These must be transformed if we are to reap the bounty and create that fine visage for the home of the brave and the land of the free. We need, not only a better view of man and nature, but a working method by which the least of us can ensure that the product of his works is not more despoliation.
—IAN MCHARG, Design With Nature, 1969

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
—JOHN MUIR, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911

A connected system of parks and parkways is manifestly far more complete and useful than a series of isolated parks. Report to the Portland [OR] Park Board, 1903.
—FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, US Landscape Architect, 1822–1903

In a time of both great wealth and difficult challenges, trails offer a rare chance to connect the past, present and future. It is possible to envision a system of trails that is as extensive and interconnected as the interstate highways and railroads.
—JEFF OLSON, Millennium Trails: Honor the Past, Imagine the Future, ITE Journal, November 2000

Greenways can draw people together in their communities to provide open spaces for all close to their own homes. They have the potential to be this country’s most important land-based effort for conservation and recreation in the next several decades.
They can draw private and local entities into lead roles in provision of recreation opportunities. They can capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans and give pride of accomplishment and responsibility to millions of people in every community. They can protect vital water, fish, wildlife, and recreation resources as integral parts of the growth of cities and communities.
And, if greenways truly capture the imagination and boldness of the American spirit, they could eventually form the corridors that connect open spaces, parks, forests, and deserts—and Americans—from sea to shining sea.
—PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

Imagine walking out your front door, getting on a bicycle, a horse … or simply donning your backpack and within minutes of your home, setting off along a continuous network of recreation corridors that could lead across the country.

We can tie this country together with threads of green that everywhere grant us access to the natural world.

Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors…disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

The strength and spiritual connection wild places hold for the human soul is a value that cannot be measured in forest plans, fiscal budgets, and biological surveys. It dwells in the very root of the Earth’s existence, and thus, in ours. When we cease to have a connection with nature, and start to accept its imitations as true, we risk losing something in ourselves, a little piece of our heart.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

A well-connected regional trail network promises to transform public life by linking diverse communities, promoting healthy lifestyles and building sustainable local economies.
—LIZ THORSTENSEN, Vice President of Trail Development, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 2017

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love. If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
—WALT WHITMAN, A Song of Myself (1892 version), US Poet, 1819-92

By linking open spaces we can achieve a whole that is better than the sum of the parts.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

There are all sorts of opportunities to link separated [open] spaces together, and while plenty of money is needed to do it, ingenuity can accomplish a great deal. Our metropolitan areas are crisscrossed with connective strips. Many are no longer used, … but they are there if we only look.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

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Trails and Greenway Conservation Quotes

Let us leave a splendid legacy for our children … let us turn to them and say, this you inherit: guard it well, for it is far more precious than money … and once destroyed, nature’s beauty cannot be repurchased at any price.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

Protect the land that I have photographed, so that it may be experienced by your children’s children.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

Today, we must realize that nature is revealed in the simplest meadow, wood lot, marsh, stream, or tidepool, as well as in the remote grandeur of our parks and wilderness areas.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

Our Earth is in need of care. Generally governments and most citizens have a cavalier attitude towards nature. We use it, we play in it, we admire it, we exploit it, we talk about it, we enjoy it, but we seldom actively care for it.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find a Path, 2004

I would argue that practices that destroy ecosystem always destroy jobs. (2000)
—BRUCE BABBITT, US Secretary of Interior (1993-2001), 1938-

Our values are etched in the landscape. That is our enduring legacy. (2000)
—BRUCE BABBITT, US Secretary of Interior (1993-2001), 1938-

Land is life.
Whether it is land that grows food or land that serves as the conduit for water we drink, whether it gives identity to our communities or provides us the means of livelihood, whether it is our pathway to adventure or a vehicle to create community—land is the basis of our survival and our prosperity.
—BAY AREA [San Francisco] GREENSPACE PROJECT, Working Together, 1996

In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it’s unenvironmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature.
—MOLLIE BEATTIE, Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, (1993-96), 1947-96

What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.
—MOLLIE BEATTIE, Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, (1993-96), 1947-96

Whether we like it or not, the natural and the human environment are inseparable.
—WENDELL BERRY, US Farmer, Writer, 1934-

Soil is not usually lost in slabs or heaps of magnificent tonnage. It is lost a little at a time over millions of acres by the careless acts of millions of people. It cannot be saved by heroic feats of gigantic technology, but only by millions of small acts and restraints, conditioned by small fidelities, skills, and desires. Soil loss is ultimately a cultural problem; it will be corrected by cultural solutions.
—WENDELL BERRY, Decolonizing Rural America, Audubon, March-April 1993

Roosevelt’s brand of conservation set the course that others would follow for decades. Its focus was responsibility and restraint in managing natural resources, and its opponent within the camp was preservationism (led by John Muir), which favored protecting the earth from the hand of man. The tension between management and preservation is present to this day in both natural resource agencies and the environmental movement itself.
—PETER BORELLI, Crossroads, 1988

The most unhappy thing about conservation is that it is never permanent. Save a priceless woodland or an irreplaceable mountain today, and tomorrow it is threatened from another quarter.
—HAL BORLAND, New York Times Book Review, 25 February 1964

Preserve … that’s where it’s at.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952–69), 1912-2000

There is no business to be done…on a dead planet.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952–69), 1912-2000

There is a limit to the number of lands of shoreline on the lakes; there is a limit to the number of lakes in existence; there is a limit to the mountainous areas of the world, and … there are portions of natural scenic beauty which are God-made, and … which of a right should be the property of all people.
—ARTHUR CARHART, USDA Forest Service’s first landscape architect, in a memorandum to Aldo Leopold, 1919

Conservation is a cause that has no end. There is no point at which we say, ‘Our work is finished.’
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

The land belongs to the future … that’s the way it seems to me. How many names on the county clerk’s plat will be there in fifty years? I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother’s children. We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it—for a little while.
—WILLA CATHER, US Writer, 1873-1947

God keeps on making children but he has quit making land.

In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.
—BABA DIOUM, Senegalese Conservationists, 1937–

It’s important for agency officials to understand that trails are a conservation tool as well as a recreation facility and considering the duality in purpose for trail facilities lays the foundation for better resource management and better trail experiences.
—RICH EDWARDS, International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Trail Specialist, 2007

[directed the BLM to manage the public lands] …so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people.

Friends at home! I charge you to spare, preserve and cherish some portion of your primitive forests; for when these are cut away, I apprehend they will not easily be replaced.
—HORACE GREELEY, Editor of the New York Tribune, 1811-72

The Earth belongs in use to the living… No generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.
—THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

The house of America is founded upon our land and if we keep that whole, then the storm can rage, but the house will stand forever.
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908–73

It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources. It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

What is commonly called conservation will not work in the long run because it is not really conservation at all but rather, disguised by its elaborate scheming, only a more knowledgeable variation of the old idea of a world for man’s use only. That idea is unrealizable. But how can man be persuaded to cherish any other ideal unless he can learn to take some interest and some delight in the beauty and variety of the world for its own sake, unless he can see a value in a flower blooming or an animal at play, unless he can see some use in things not useful?
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

When a tree falls there is no shade.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Conservation viewed in its entirety, is the slow and laborious unfolding of a new relationship between people and land.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Conservationists have, I fear, adopted the pedagogical method of the prophets: we mutter darkly about impending doom if people don’t mend their ways. The doom is impending, all right; no one can be an ecologist, even an amateur one, without seeing it. But do people mend their ways for fear of calamity? I doubt it. They are more likely to do it out of pure curiosity and interest.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The key to intelligent tinkering is to keep all the parts.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The road to conservation is paved with good intentions that often prove futile, or even dangerous, due to a lack of understanding of either land or economic land use.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of the land. Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort to understand and preserve this capacity.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Man always kills the thing he loves, and so we the pioneers have killed our wilderness. Some say we had to. Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Laws change; people die; the land remains.
—ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Sixteenth US President (1861–65), 1809–65

I have observed over the years that the primary conservation impulse—the effort to make one’s place livable, workable, and productive—is a kind of “back yard” impulse. That is, it relates to the land within one’s own ken—not land in the abstract.
—CHARLES LITTLE, The Land Between in The American Land, 1979

The good news is that Americans will, in increasing numbers, begin to value and protect the vast American landscape. The bad news is that they may love it to death.
—CHARLES LITTLE, The Land Between in The American Land, 1979

Earth Day is the first holy day … and is devoted to the harmony of nature … The celebration offends no historical calendar, yet it transcends them all.
—MARGARET MEAD, US Anthropologist, 1901–78

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches and a thousand tempests and floods. But He cannot save them from fools.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Greenbelts, dozens of miles deep, of private woodlands and farms used to extend east and west all along the Blue Ridge…. Now these buffers are being roaded, subdivided, sold off, and… replaced by a spreading sequence of homes and commercial strips that replicates any other American urbzone.
—STEVE NASH, Blue Ridge 2020, An Owner’s Manual, 1999

I have explored on this rocky bit of shore the great concept that nothing stands alone and everything, no matter how small, is part of a greater whole.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness Advocate, 1899–1982

Conservation is the foresighted utilization, preservation and/or renewal of forests, waters, lands and minerals, for the greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, First Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

Conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of men.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, First Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

Unless we practice conservation, those who come after us will have to pay the price of misery, degradation, and failure for the progress and prosperity of our day.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, First Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

I see an America whose rivers and valley and lakes, hills and streams and plains, the mountains over our land…are protected as the rightful heritage of all the people.
—FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Thirty-second US President (1933-45), 1882-1945

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
—FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Thirty-second US President (1933-45), 1882-1945

Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of ensuring the safety and continuance of the Nation.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

I believe that the natural resources must be used for the benefit of all the people, and not monopolized for the benefit of a few.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it. Keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you. (about the Grand Canyon)
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

Nothing short of defending this country in wartime compares with the great central task of leaving the land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

The underlying principle of conservation has been described as the application of common sense to common problems for the common good.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

…there is none which compares in importance with the central task of leaving this land even better land for our descendants than it is for us.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

We have gotten past the stage, my fellow-citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation; whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

For in the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy.
—JOHN SAWHILL, President & CEO, The Nature Conservancy 1990-2000

All our landscapes, from the city park to the mountain hike, are imprinted with our tenacious, inescapable obsessions.
—SIMON SCHAMA, Landscape and Memory, 1995

The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues—self-restraint.
—EDWIN WAY TEALE, Circle of Seasons, 1953

A town is saved, not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

I would not have … every part of a man cultivated, any more than I would have every acre of earth.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal, October 15, 1859

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

A land ethic for tomorrow should be as honest as Thoreau’s Walden, and as comprehensive as the sensitive science of ecology. It should stress the oneness of our resources and the live-and-help-live logic of the great chain of life. If, in haste to ‘progress,’ the economics of ecology are disregarded by citizens and policy makers alike, the result will be an ugly America.
—STEWART UDALL, US Secretary of the Interior (1961–69); 1920–2010

Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.
—STEWART UDALL, US Secretary of the Interior (1961–69); 1920–2010

[We stand] today poised on a pinnacle of wealth and power, yet we live in a land of vanishing beauty, of increasing ugliness, of shrinking open space and of an overall environment that is diminished daily by pollution and noise and blight. This, in brief, is the quiet conservation crisis.
—STEWART UDALL, The Quiet Crisis and the Next Generation, 1963

I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.
—ANDY WARHOL, US Artist, 1928–87

You can be just as faithful to a place or a thing as you can to a person.
—ANDY WARHOL, US Artist, 1928–87

What we’re really after is conservation of things we value, and thus I have been trying the term ‘conservation easement.’ Another term may well prove better, but ‘conservation easement’ has a certain unifying value: It does not rest the case on one single benefit—as does ‘scenic easement,’ but on the whole constellation of benefits—drainage, air pollution, soil conservation, historic significance, control of sprawl, and the like.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, Securing Open Space for Urban America: Conservation Easements, 1959

It’s no longer enough to save wild places from people—now groups are saving them for people.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

…trees might be our single best tool for urban salvation.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

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Trails and Greenway Construction Quotes

In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
—MARGRET ATWOOD, Bluebird’s Egg, 1983

A trail and its markings do not constitute any intrusion upon naturalness of the forest wilderness. Trails should be marked and maintained in a manner to eliminate the necessity of labor and uncertainty in finding one’s route. They should be an open course, a joy for travel. In that manner, without concern for route finding, the traveler will derive full benefit from his surroundings. This is what we have sought to accomplish in our constant and unending emphasis on the indicated standards of Appalachian Trail marking and maintenance.
—MYRON AVERY, final report to the Appalachian Trail Conference, 1952

Nail it up. [On installation of Appalachian Trail summit sign on Katahdin on August 19, 1933]
—MYRON AVERY, Chairman Appalachian Trail Conference 1931-52, 1899-1952

Trail building is not like hanging drywall. It’s more like commissioning a piece of artwork.
—CHRIS BERNHARDT, International Mountain Bicycling Association staffer, 2015

I am happy, however, just to go into the forest and put a new handrail on a bridge or putter over a few rods of trail, for, above everything, I am a trail man.
—CHARLES BLOOD, helped construct the White Mountain Trail System in New Hampshire, 1930

The laying of a trail … becomes not only a pleasure in itself, but an inducement to plan a better way of life, to construct worth-while things, or to weave a better product in the loom of our being.
—EARLE AMOS BROOKS, A Handbook of the Outdoors, 1925

We have overbuilt many roadways in America. We can afford to do that. We cannot afford to overbuild our trails. For in making them ‘better,’ we make the experience worse.
—DAN BURDEN, Florida Bicycle Facilities Planning and Design Handbook, 1997

The design, layout, and construction of trails revealed deeply held ideas about the purpose of trails, their use, and the role of man-made features in the wilderness.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

No factor in trail construction is more important than proper drainage, and many sections of good trail are damaged and destroyed by erosion which could have been prevented.
—CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, Construction of Trails Handbook, 1937

Trail building starts by getting on your hands and knees. Look at your soil material. Find out what it is composed of and what it does in the rain. Find out where the water comes from before it gets to your trail and where it goes when it leaves. Your prime consideration is slowing and directing the water runoff from your trail surface.
—MARK EDWARDS, Trails Coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, in Signs, Trails, and Wayside Exhibits by Suzanne Trapp, 1994

…my own observations lead me to believe that the greatest trail damage is caused by (1) improper trail design (i.e., trails installed at too steep a grade), (2) inadequate maintenance (i.e., failure to install water bars or other devices to divert the flow of water off the trail bed), (3) the utterly indefensible practice of some hikers in taking short cuts on graded trails.
—EDWARD GARVEY, Appalachian Hiker II, 1978

Of trail making there are three stages: There is dreaming the trail, there is prospecting the trail, there is making the trail. Of the first one can say nothing—dreams are fragile, intangible. Prospecting the trail—there lies perhaps the greatest of the joys of trail work. Making trails is the more plodding work; yet it has reliefs and pleasures of its own.
—NATHANIEL GOODRICH, paper delivered to New England Trail Council, 1917

A lot of learning takes place when you slosh over a wet trail in a downpour and watch what the water is doing and how your drains and structures are holding up.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

It is much more important to understand how the forces of water and gravity combine to move dirt than it is to actually dig dirt, install waterbars, or build puncheon.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

Remember that the two most common injuries in rock work are pinched (or smashed) fingers and tweaked (or blown out) backs. Both sets of injuries are a direct result of using muscles first and brains last. High-quality rock work is almost always a methodical, even tedious task. Safe work is ALWAYS faster than taking time out for a trip to the infirmary.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

The ultimate compliment paid to a trail crew is to say, ‘It doesn’t look like you had to do much work to get through here.’ Avoid the Bulldozer Bob look. Make your trail ‘just happen.’
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

Understanding WHY things are done is at least as important as HOW. If you know why something is happening, you’ll figure out a way to build a structure to match a need. Soak up the core concepts. Experiment and keep track of the results. Be curious. Add new techniques and tactics to your bag of tricks. Get dirty and HAVE FUN!
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

As a rule, try to hurt the earth as little as possible.
—RAY JARDINE, The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker’s Handbook, 1998

Hiker trails should be designed primarily for scenic enjoyment, as an opportunity for aesthetic experiences. Seeking out views, vistas, the enchanting little spots, and environmental variety should predominate over engineering efficiency. The shortest distance need not and generally should not be followed. A good trail does not necessarily have to lead to specific destination; trails can be and end in themselves…
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

Planning and building trails takes lots of time, money and labor—always scarce commodities.
—ROBERT LUCAS & ROBERT RINEHART, The Neglected Hiker, in Backpacker, 1976

Trails are a precious resource, and we shouldn’t shy away from the cost of building and maintaining them. They’re a way for people to get out of the traffic, and into our green spaces and wilderness. Most important of all trails help keep a little green on the map.
—JOHN MCKINNEY, The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way, 2005

Certain trails are so elegant that they seem to lie sleeping just beneath the surface of the earth. Rather than being created by us, it is as if these trails unveil themselves through us.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

Managing people and managing water, it turns out, are the twin challenges of designing a sustainable trail.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

There is a crucial difference between a trail that “lies lightly on the land,” as trail-builders like to say, and a wide footpath lined with handrails and park benches: the former allows us to experience the complexity and roughness of the world beyond us, while the latter gives us the impression that the world was put here for us.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

User created trails. Long-lasting trails, then, must be of use.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

What unites the wisest trails, I have found, is a balance of three values: durability, efficiency, and flexibility.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

The engineer needs to be an artist in laying out and designing new trails. His task is to subtly blend his own accomplishments with the naturalness of the surroundings and avoid any indication of contrivance.
—STAN MURRAY, Appalachian Trail Conference Chairman, encouragement to AT maintainers, 1971

A man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his hands and his brains is a craftsman. A man who works with his hands, brains, and heart is an artist.
—LOUIS NIZER, US Trail Lawyer, 1902–94

Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for.
—FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, US Landscape Architect, 1822–1903

High quality trail design is primarily a balance between beauty and function. Natural features and scenery exist ideally in creative juxtaposition with the continuity, efficiency, and durability of a proposed route.
—ROBERT PROUDMAN & RUEBEN RAJALA, Trail Building and Maintenance, 1981

The focus should be on maintaining basic passage, rather than creating a manicured trail corridor. A more natural look is desired. Smaller blow-downs that can be easily stepped over might be left. Because we are striving for a natural environment, resource protection is the key. The overall goal should be to keep the wilderness experience as natural as possible through trail work that is simple and that blends in.
—RUBEN RAJALA, in American Hiker, magazine of the American Hiking Society, 1989

Let’s get one thing straight: Trails weren’t put there by the Supreme Being of your choice. They were cut my human beings just like you and me.
—ALLEN ST. JOHN, Bicycling for Dummies, 1999

In trail making, as in all other activities, progress and improvement are inevitable; time marches on.
—L.F. SCHMECKEBIER and HAROLD ALLEN, Shenandoah National Park: The Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trail, Appalachia, 2(7), 1936

A trail is not a route from here to there. It is a place to reconnect. In building trails, we need to think about the trail experience. What does the trail look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like, taste, and sound like? Does the experience challenge the mind? Challenge the body? Does it touch a chord that resonates the soul? A good trail will do that!
—ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO, 2001

Building a trail should be an environmentally healing process. We always need to think about how the trail can inspire the stewardship of the lands around it, while being sure that we preserve and heal the corridor that hosts the trail. In other words, it should be more than a trail, it should be a greenway.
—ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO, 2001

A path is a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

We forget that trail construction is more common sense than engineering. Thorough knowledge of the country, love for that kind of work, instinct of a dog to know which way to get home, and last but not least, disregard for the time of day, are the principal requisites. A man with a tripod, transit, and level has no business on trails. Personally I would consider him a nuisance. We put too much stress on technical knowledge in simple matters where only good common sense should prevail. In my experience, wild animals solved many problems for me. Good experienced engineers will see the point and agree with me. We are handicapped so much by inexperienced technical knowledge that it takes sometimes ten men to decide whether a certain shrub or tree should be taken out where a dozen could be taken out without injury to the landscape or nature. In conclusion, I want to thank you all in the Park Service. I regret to leave you, but law must take its course and I am leaving after 42 years of service to the nation. [letter to National Park Service Director]
—GABRIEL SOVULEWSKI, Supervisor of Yosemite National Park from 1906–14

The trail is good. It hasn’t been over used, nor is it worn deeply into the ground like some trails. It’s narrow and faint, soft on the tread. It twists and turns through the clearings and the forest as if a deer had made it.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

Any other feature of construction may be improved from month to month or from year to year, but if the grade is not properly established the trail must in time be abandoned. Thus not only may time and money be wasted, but the trail while in use will be unsatisfactory.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Trail Construction on the National Forests, 1915

Trail location and construction is relatively a simple job. Money, proper workmanship, common sense, abundant energy, and simple tools and equipment are the only requisites to good work. The employment of location and supervising engineers and specially organized survey parties, and the use of precise methods involving technical practices such as accurate leveling, transit work, detailed field notes, and profile maps of location, have no place in the trail program.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Forest Trail Handbook, 1935

Trail design should seek to accomplish three objectives. These are satisfaction of user needs, protection of the resource, and cost effectiveness.
—JOSEPH WERNEX, The Development of Trailbike Trail System, in Forest Environment in Planning for Trailbike Recreation, 1978

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Trails and Greenway Definitions Quotes

In its simplest and most effective form, a nature trail is a narrow path leading through sections of park or woodland chosen for the richness and variety of the natural history materials flanking it and one made alluring by a succession of well-written non-technical labels which name the specimens and give important information regarding them. In other words, a nature trail is a roofless museum the width of a foot-path, a mile or so long.
—WILLIAM ALEXANDER, Recreation on the Nature Trail, Recreation, 1932

Partnership: a relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, for the achievement of a specified goal.

.…a trail is a linear corridor, on land or water, with protected status and public access for recreation or transportation. Trails can be used to preserve open space, provide a natural respite in urban areas, limit soil erosion in rural areas, and buffer wetlands and wildlife habitat along waterways. Trails may be surfaced with soil, asphalt, sand and clay, clam shells, rock, gravel or wood chips. Trails may follow a river, a ridge line, a mountain game trail, an abandoned logging road, a state highway. They may link historic landmarks within a city. Trails may be maintained by a federal, state, or local agency, a local trails coalition, or a utility company.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

The AMC [Appalachian Mountain Club] is an association of volunteers organized to cultivate public respect for the environment and to provide opportunities for enjoyment of its natural beauty and for wise stewardship of its use [AMC Purpose and Goals].

The conservationist, then, is the man more concerned about what certain natural resources do for his soul than for his bank balance. Every man is a conservationist part of the time in his thinking, if not in his action.
—DAVID BROWER, Wildlands in Our Civilization, 1964

A trail offers its users awareness of surroundings. Trails preserve vistas. Trails preserve ecosystems which allow natural sounds to drown out urban sounds. Trails invite touch and discovery. Trails protect and preserve fragrance. The trail experiences offer users feelings of bigness and connection with the earth. Trails unfold mystery, offer surprise, preserve the detail. In fact, well designed trails offer the hikers, bicyclists, skaters or other adventurers new sensations each time they are used.
—DAN BURDEN, Florida Bicycle Facilities Planning and Design Handbook, 1997

An Adventure is never an adventure when it happens. An adventure is simply physical and emotional discomfort recollected in tranquility.
—TIM CAHILL, US Travel Writer, 1944-

…any path must flow from place to place in a continuous manner, like a stream or river. It must connect places with each other. And it must begin someplace and end somewhere else; it must have a clear origin and destination, and provide a strong sense of direction. These characteristics—continuity, connection and an origin and destination—are fundamental to the development of any path.
—CHRISTINE CARLSON et al, A Path for the Palouse: An Example of Conservation and Recreation Planning, Landscape and Urban Planning, 17, 1989

Greenways—Networks of natural spaces which provide corridors connecting areas such as neighborhoods, parks, and schools. These passageways typically include trails for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. They are a link to nature for the enjoyment of the community.

Leisure is the time available to an individual when the disciplines of work, sleep, and other basic needs have been met.

Recreation consists of any pursuit engaged upon during leisure time, other than those to which people are normally ‘highly committed.’

A greenway is a corridor of protected open space that is managed for conservation and/or recreation. The common characteristic of greenways is that they all go somewhere. Greenways follow natural land or water features, like ridges or rivers, or human landscape features like abandoned railroad corridors or canals. They link natural reserves, parks, cultural and historic sites with each other and, in some cases, with populated areas. Greenways not only protect environmentally sensitive lands and wildlife, but also can provide people with access to outdoor recreation and enjoyment close to home.
—FLORIDA GREENWAYS COMMISSION, Creating a Statewide Greenway System for People … for Wildlife … for Florida, 1994

Greenways are linear corridors of protected open space managed for conservation and/or recreational purposes. They often follow rivers, stream valleys, ridges, railroad corridors, utility rights-of-way, canals, scenic roads or other linear features.
—GEORGIA DEPARTMENT of NATURAL RESOURCES, Georgia Recreation Planning Manual, 1993

Trails are routes on land or water, used for recreational purposes such as walking, jogging, hiking, bicycling, equestrian activities, mountain biking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and vehicular travel by motorcycle, four-wheel drive or all-terrain off-road vehicles.
—GEORGIA DEPARTMENT of NATURAL RESOURCES, Georgia Recreation Planning Manual, 1993

A greenway is a continuous strip of vegetated land protected for special uses, extending through an urban area or area targeted for future development. Various segments of a greenway should perform one or more of the following functions: beautify the City, preserve open space, maintain wildlife habitat, provide paved foot trails/bikeways, manage floodplains and stormwater, control sedimentation, provide a park-like environment, provide access to surface drainage systems and service distribution lines, reduce air pollution, absorb noise, and cool the urban atmosphere.

A practical working definition for greenways is: a landscape linkage designed to connect open spaces to form protected corridors that follow natural and man-made terrain features and embrace ecological, cultural, and recreational amenities where applicable.
—KEITH HAY, Greenways and Biodiversity, Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity, 1991

Recreation trails are for people. They allow us to go back to our roots. Trails help humans make sense of a world increasingly dominated by automobiles and pavement. They allow us to come more closely in touch with our natural surroundings, to soothe our psyches, to challenge our bodies, and to practice ancient skills.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

There is much confusion between land and country. Land is the place where corn, gullies, and mortgages grow. Country is the personality of land, the collective harmony of its soil, life, and weather…. Poor land may be rich country, and vice versa. Only economists mistake physical opulence for riches. Country may be rich despite a conspicuous poverty of physical endowment, and its quality may not be apparent at first glance, nor at all times.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Greenway: 1. A linear open space established along either a natural corridor, such as a riverfront, stream valley, or ridgeline, or overland along a railroad right-of-way converted to recreational use, a canal, scenic road, or other route. 2. Any natural or landscaped course for pedestrian or bicycle passage. 3. An open-space connector linking parks, nature reserves, cultural features, or historic sites with each other and with populated areas. 4. Locally, certain strips or linear parks designated as parkway or greenbelt.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

.…if you take a syllable from each of these terms—green from greenbelt and way from parkway, the general idea of greenway emerges: a natural, green way based on protected linear corridors which will improve environmental quality and provide for outdoor recreation.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

I learned that the soul of a trail—its trail-ness—is not bound up in dirt and rocks; it is immaterial, evanescent, as fluid as air. The essence lies in its function: how it continuously evolves to serve the needs of its users.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

A ‘recreational greenway’ is a linear open space that contains a trail(s). Although a greenway trail can take any form, the term generally refers to a high-standard paved trail that accommodates multiple uses.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Backcountry trails, sometimes called ‘single-track’ or primitive trails, are generally unsurfaced natural routes that range from narrow treadways to carefully planned and elaborately constructed (but natural-looking) thoroughfares. Attention to slopes and effective drainage is essential for the long-term stability of this type of trail.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Multiple-use recreation trails or ‘multi-use trails’ are generic terms for what many people call trails or greenways. These trails are built to high standards, are usually 10-feet wide, asphalt or concrete paved, and designed for many types of use. Bicycling, walking, running, in-line skating, and other nonmotorized uses are typical on multi-use trails, and they are frequently very heavily used.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Rail-trails are trails constructed on abandoned railroad corridors converted to recreational use or ‘railbanked’ for possible future rail use. They can be very short to hundreds of miles long. Typically surfaced in crushed stone or paved, their moderate grades make rail-trails popular with bicyclists, walkers, and others.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Water trails: Many people consider any corridor of open water used for recreational travel or string of lakes connected by portage to be a water trail. Camping accessibility by water along the route makes multi-day travel possible. Canoeing, kayaking, and, in some areas, personal-watercraft use are all popular ways to enjoy water trails.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

The term management is used here to include the over-all policy, planning, and design of recreation development at all levels of government, as well as the operational aspects of administration.

A greenway is a corridor of open space. Greenways vary greatly in scale, from narrow ribbons of green that run through urban, suburban, and rural areas to wide corridors that incorporate diverse natural, cultural, and scenic features. Greenways can be land- or water-based, running along stream corridors, shorelines or wetlands. Some follow old railways, canals, ridge tops, or other features. They can incorporate both public and private property. Some greenways are primarily recreational corridors, while others function almost exclusively for environmental protection and are not designed for human passage. Greenways differ in their location and function, but overall, a greenway network will protect natural, cultural, and scenic resources, provide recreational benefits, enhance the natural beauty and the quality of life in neighborhoods and communities, and stimulate economic development opportunities.

Greenways have been described as linear parks within towns and cities. These parks are usually found along flood-prone rivers and streams, often the only undeveloped land left within cities. When trails are constructed through these parcels, however, they become popular recreation areas for walking, jogging or even bicycling. They also provide linkage between neighborhoods and public areas such as schools or shopping centers, and even help maintain wildlife habitat and unique natural areas.
—JANE ROHLING, Corridors of Green, Wildlife in North Carolina, 1988

A path is a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape, and to follow a route is to accept an interpretation, or to stalk your predecessors on it as scholars and trackers and pilgrims do. To walk the same way is to reiterate something deep; to move through the same space the same way is a means of becoming the same person, thinking the same thoughts.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

When you work in a bureaucracy, trying to make program changes sometimes seems like trying to slow dance with a cow: it’s not much fun, it annoys the cow and you step in a lot of manure.
—BETH TIMSON, From Waterbars to Polygons: The Evolution of a State Trails Program, Trends, 33(2), 1996

A Trail is a linear feature constructed for the purpose of allowing the free movement of people, stock, and OHVs.

A trail is a narrow highway over which a pack animal can travel with safety during the usual period when the need for a highway exists.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Trail Construction on the National Forests, 1915

Recreation is usually defined as some sort of diversion, exercise, or activity that refreshes, relaxes, and pleases the participant. Recreation may take place anywhere, in almost any environment, for the experience is primarily a personal phenomenon, but one that may be shared with family or friends. The recreation experience can usually be enhanced by and may depend on the setting in which it takes place. For many, much of the pleasure of outdoor recreation is the respite it provides from urban densities and pressures and the opportunity to renew our ties with nature.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, National Forest Landscape Management, Recreation, Volume 2, Chapter 2, 1987

A linear route manage for human-powered, stock, or OHV forms of transportation or for historic or heritage values.
—USFS/NPS/BLM Interagency definition of a trail

Sustainability: the ability of the travel surface to support current and anticipated appropriate uses with minimal impact to the adjoining natural systems and cultural resources. Sustainable trails have negligible soil loss or movement and allow the naturally occurring plant systems to inhabit the area, while allowing for the occasional pruning and removal of plants necessary to build and maintain the trail. If well built, a sustainable trail minimizes seasonal muddiness and erosion. It should not normally affect natural fauna adversely nor require re-routing and major maintenance over long periods of time.
—USDI NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Natural Resources Management Guideline, 1997

Sustainability on natural surface trail corridors is defined as the characteristic of a travel surface to support currently planned and future uses with minimal impact to the natural systems of the area. Sustainable trails have negligible soil loss or movement while allowing the naturally occurring plant systems to inhabit the area, recognizing required pruning and eventual removal of certain plants over time. Sustainable trails will not adversely affect the naturally occurring fauna. Sustainable trail design will accommodate existing and future uses while only allowing appropriate uses. The sustainable trail will require little rerouting and minimal maintenance over extended periods of time.
—USDI NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Rocky Mountain Region, January 1991

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Equestrian Quotes

Man was created to complete the horse.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

…and God took a handful of southerly wind, blew his breath over it and created the horse…

All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.
—DANIEL BOONE, US Frontiersman, 1734-1820

God first made Man. He thought better of it and made Woman. When He got time He made the Horse, which has the courage and spirit of Man and the beauty and grace of Woman.

No one ever came to grief—except honorable grief—through riding horses. No hour of life is lost (or wasted) that is spent in the saddle. Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing horses, but never through riding them; unless of course they break their necks, which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die.
— WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

May your belly never grumble
May your heart never ache
May your horse never stumble
May your cinch never break

When your horse has died, it’s time to get off his back.

God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses.
—ROBERT B. CUNNINGHAM, British Writer, Politician, 1852-1936

A canter is the cure for every evil.
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, The Young Duke, 1831

A good horse makes short miles.
—GEORGE ELIOT, (pen name of MARY ANN EVANS), English Novelist, 1819–80

As the traveler who has lost his way, throws his reins on his horse’s neck, and trusts to the instincts of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through this world.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

It’s the way you ride the trail that counts.
—DALE EVANS, US Film Star, Singer, Songwriter, 1912-2001

A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.
—IAN FLEMING, London Sunday Times, October 9, 1966

If you ride a horse, sit close and tight. If you ride a man, sit easy and light.
—BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1732-57

If an ass goes traveling, he’ll not come home a horse.
—THOMAS FULLER, English Clergyman, 1608-61

A good horse should be seldom spurred.
—THOMAS FULLER, Gnomologia, 1732

I had rather ride on an ass that carries me than a horse that throws me.
—GEORGE HERBERT, Jacula Predentum, 1651

He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
—IMMANUEL KANT, German Philosopher, 1724-1804

The saddle is a place for dreaming when there’s hours of trail ahead….
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, Chancy, Western Writer, 1908–88

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river.
—ABRAHAM LINCOLN, reply to the National Union League, June 9, 1864

People on horses look better than they are. People in cars look worse than they are.
—MARYA MANNES, More in Anger, 1958

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.
—MEXICAN Proverb

Show me your horse and I will tell you what you are.

The Code of the West
1) Live each day with courage.
2) Take pride in your work.
3 )Always finish what you start.
4) Do what has to be done.
5) Be tough, but fair.
6) When you make a promise, keep it.
7) Ride for the brand.
8) Talk less and say more.
9) Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
10) Know where to draw the line.
—JIM OWEN, Cowboy Ethics: What It Takes to Win at Life, 1995

I want to leave the world a better place for horses and people.
—MONTY ROBERTS, The Man Who Listens to Horses, 1997

Horses are our silent partners. When we learn their language. This partnership grows strong.
—MONTY ROBERTS, The Man Who Listens to Horses, 1997

Always work to cause your horse to follow the path of least resistance. Then place an opening for him to pass through so that the path of least resistance becomes the direction you want him to go in.
—MONTY ROBERTS, Horse Sense for People, 2001

I cannot imagine my life without horses. They have been my teachers, my friends, my business partners and my entertainment.
—MONTY ROBERTS, Horse Sense for People, 2001

The horses are talking … just listen.
—MONTY ROBERTS, Horse Sense for People, 2001

When you’re young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you’re my age and you fall off, you splatter.
—ROY ROGERS, US Actor, Singer (born LEONARD FRANKLIN SLYE) 1911-98

There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain’t a thing.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935

Whoever said a horse is dumb, is dumb.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935

A man that don’t love a horse, there is something the matter with him.
—WILL ROGERS, US cowboy humorist, 1879–1935, New York Times, August 17, 1924

There will never be a time when the old horse is not superior to any auto ever made.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935, syndicated column, September 11, 1932

The country has gone sane and got back to horses.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935, New York Times, May 12, 1933

It is a well-known fact that viewing the world from the back of a horse gives even the scrawniest man a new outlook and feeling of importance.
—GLEN ROUNDS, The Cowboy Trade, 1972

Spending that many hours in the saddle gave a man plenty of time to think. That’s why so many cowboys fancied themselves Philosophers.
—CHARLES M. RUSSELL, Western Artist, 1864–1926

You can see what man made from the seat of an automobile, but the best way to see what God made is from the back of a horse.
—CHARLES M. RUSSELL, Western Artist, 1864–1926

Holden Caulfied: Take most people, they’re crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they’re always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that’s even newer. I don’t even like old cars I mean they don’t even interest me. I’d rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God’s sake.
—J. D. SALINGER. The Catcher in the Rye, 1951

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

He doth nothing but talk of his horse.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Merchant of Venice, 1600

I have had mystical experiences with horses. I felt they were communicating with me in horse communication.
—WILLIAM SHATNER, Television, Film Actor, 1931-

A horse is worth more than riches.
—SPANISH Proverb

He who would venture nothing must not get on a horse.
—SPANISH Proverb

A man on a horse is spiritually as well as physically bigger than a man on foot.
—JOHN STEINBECK, US Writer, 1902-68

Sit loosely in the saddle of life.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Scottish Author, Poet, 1850–94

There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse.
—ROBERT SMITH SURTEES, Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour, 1853

There is more to lose than land. A way of life and an understanding of who we are is also at stake. Horsemanship is important to our country’s history and lore. It teaches us responsibility and stewardship and how to care for another life form. When we protect this, it enriches our communities.
—JOHN TURNER, President and CEO, Conservation Fund, 1997

Fortunate indeed is the rider of a good trail horse; for nothing he possesses will provide a more liberal and constant opportunity to explore and become thoroughly familiar with the open range lands, forests, mountains and wilderness areas of America.
—CHARLES VOGEL, Trails Manual, 1968

Ride with a smile, a light hand, and lightly upon the land.
—GENE WOOD, Clemson University Professor, at Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference, Clemson, SC, 2001

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Trails and Greenway Fitness Quotes

Walking provides, at least for some, the most simple and straight-forward way to the self and the world. It puts us back in touch with our faithful old friends—our feet, which truly do deserve a daily walk and a nightly rub.
—JOSEPH A. AMATO, On Foot: A History of Walking, 2004

Of all the causes which conspire to render the life of a man short and miserable, none have greater influence than the want of proper exercise.
—WILLIAM BUSCHAN, Scottish Physician, 1729-1805

Nothing compares to getting your heart rate up to 170-something, riding hard for an hour-twenty, getting off and not hurting, as opposed to 24 minutes of running, at the end of which I hurt. When you ride a bike and you get your heart rate up and you’re out, after 30 or 40 minutes your mind tends to expand; it tends to relax. (May 2004)
—GEORGE W. BUSH, Forty-third US President (2001-09 ), 1946-

For the majority of human existence, exercise was the norm or the baseline and being sedentary was the exception.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, The Pursuit of Endurance, 2018

Education has no more serious responsibility than the making of adequate provision for enjoyment of recreative leisure not only for the sake of immediate health, but for the sake of its lasting effect upon the habits of the mind.
—JOHN DEWEY, US Educator, Philosopher, 1859-1952

Hiking a ridge, a meadow, a river bottom, is as healthy a form of exercise as one can get.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice, Avid Hiker, 1898–1980

When Sir Edmund Hillary made the first conquest of Mt. Everest in 1953, his Sherpa bearers were almost all barefooted, even well above the snow line.
—RICHARD FRAZINE, The Barefoot Hiker, 1993

After dinner sit a while; after supper walk a mile.
—THOMAS FULLER, English Clergyman, 1608-61

I get faster as I get older.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

Most people are pantywaists. Exercise is good for you.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

When health is absent wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot become manifest, strength cannot be exerted, wealth is useless and reason is powerless.
—HEROPHILIES, Greek Physician, 335-280 BC

True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are united.
—ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT, German Naturalist, Traveler, 1769-1859

Without health there is no happiness. An attention to health, then, should take the place of every other object.
—THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

…So here’s my advice to city planners. Make your city runnable. Runners are the first wave of troops bringing human activity back to the urban core of any city. Where we go, others will follow. The connection between runnability and livability is so clear (at least to me), that it’s surprising that new developments consistently leave pathways out of the plans…
—DON KARDONG, Pathways to Vitality, Runner’s World, February 27, 2004

We are under-exercised as a nation. We look instead of play. We ride instead of walk. Our existence deprives us of the minimum of physical activity essential for healthy living.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, address to National Football Foundation, New York City, December 5, 1961

Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise.
—THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

As the life of the horse is in his legs, so the life of the traveler is in his feet, and good care should be taken of them.
—JULIETTE DE BAIRACLI LEVY, Traveler’s Joy, 1979

It is not God, but people themselves who shorten their lives by not keeping physically fit.
—CARL LINNAEUS, Swedish Botanist, Explorer, 1707–78

Fresh air, great exercise, communion with nature … hiking offers all this—and more.
—JOHN MCKINNEY, The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way, 2005

There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym.
—BILL NYE, The Science Guy, 1999

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a difference of 100 calories of exercise per person per day, the equivalent of 20 minutes of walking, could eliminate the obesity epidemic we are now experiencing.
—MICHAEL P. O’DONNELL, Editor in Chief and President, American Journal of Health Promotion, Sept/Oct 2003

Imagine someone telling you that by taking a certain drug you could win a single event and be three times richer, famous for life in your country—and it won’t hurt anyone. What would you say? There’s a wide range of ethics among the riders.
—NED OVEREND, winner of first-ever Mountain Bike World Championships (1990), 1955-

Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.
—ALEXANDER POPE, Essay on Man, 1734

Many people believe that dealing with overweight and obesity is a personal responsibility. To some degree they are right, but it is also a community responsibility. When there are no safe, accessible places for children to play or adults to walk, jog, or ride a bike, that is a community responsibility.
—DAVID SATCHER, Surgeon General, Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, 2001

If life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving.
—JERRY SEINFELD, US Comedian, Actor, 1954-

We ought to take outdoor walks, to refresh and raise our spirits by deep breathing in the open air.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

Taste your legs, sire: put them into motion.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Sir Toby Belch, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene 1

The best treatment for feet encased in shoes all day is to go barefoot. One-fifth of the world’s population never wears shoes—ever! But when people who usually go barefoot usually wear shoes, their feet begin to suffer. As often as possible, walk barefoot on the beach, in your yard, or at least around the house. Walking in the grass or sand massages your feet, strengthens your muscles and feels very relaxing…If you can cut back on wearing shoes by 30 percent, you will save wear and tear on your feet and extend the life of your shoes.
—STEPHANIE TOURLES, Natural Foot Care, 1998

There is delight, too, in the physical fitness that comes only after weeks and weeks of walking. The body works at its best when used every day, and the feeling this gives is tremendous.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

Increased access to open space and scenic resources, and increased participation in outdoor recreation activities have been linked to better physical fitness leading to decreased public health care costs; reduced social service and police/justice costs; as well as reduced self-destructive and anti-social behavior.
—USDI NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails, and Greenway Corridors, 1995

Physical fitness is vital for the optimal function of the brain, for retardation of the onset of serious arteriosclerosis which is beginning to appear in early adult life, and for longevity, and a useful and healthy life for our older citizens.
—DR. PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US Cardiologist, 1886–1973

But are not exercise and the open air within the reach of us all?
—WALT WHITMAN, US Poet, 1819–92

There’s a better solution: go outside.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

Your body is built for walking.
—GARY YANKER, US Author, 1947-

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Trails and Greenway Funding Quotes

Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money was not scarce?
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Fiscally we are budgeted for the 1950’s while our problems are those of the 1970’s.
—E.H. KETLEDGE and R.E. LEONARD, The Impact of Man on the Adirondack High Country, The Conservationist, 25(2), 1970

Greenway-making is as much a matter of scrounging as it is of making genteel applications to government and foundation funding sources. The fact is, scroungers make by far the best greenway leaders simply because, by rooting around, they somehow find the grants, the in-kind services, donated materials, and significantly, the gifts of land. There is no way to provide tips for the art of scrounging; scroungers are born, not made.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

The best way to save land is to buy it outright….
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

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Greenway Quotes

….let us build many more golf course developments, but for the most part without the golf courses themselves—substituting community greens for putting greens and greenways for fairways.
—RANDALL ARENDT, Conservation Design for Subdivisions, 1996

Greenways are many things to many people. And that’s one of their virtues.
—CHRIS BROWN, Chief, National Park Service, River, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, 1994

To leave for our children what our grandparents enjoyed as children … trees, streams, and that quiet place from which to draw strength.

By preserving land in its natural state you allow the natural system as God designed it to function. If you think of greenways as a means to provide a place for biological communities in their natural state to be maintained, and if at the same time you provide human access to the greenway corridor, you have given people a means to look at our world in a different way (1988).
—CHUCK FLINK, Founder and President Greenways Inc. since 1986

The greenway design should ensure accessibility to all whether disabled by a physical handicap or by the weight of carrying parcels from market to home (1991).
—CHUCK FLINK, Founder and President Greenways Inc. since 1986

….linear open space has significantly more perimeter or edge than traditional consolidated parks. This edge may be used to buffer competing land uses, and soften the urban image.
—BILL FLOURNOY, Capital City Greenway: A Report to the City Council on the Benefits, Potential, and Methodology of Establishing a Greenway System in Raleigh (NC) report, 1972

We need to bring open space to the people, instead of expecting them to journey to find it. That’s where greenways are contributing.
—GILBERT GROSVENOR, Vice Chairman, President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, 1987

The dream is to spiderweb this entire nation with so many green threads, principally along streams and ridges, that every citizen would be only minutes away from one.
—NOEL GROVE, Land & People, 1994

Linkage is the central theme and goal of the greenway concept—to reconnect and preserve natural land and water habitats, thus reversing the biologically destructive effects of landscape fragmentation that inevitably result from urbanization.
—KEITH HAY, Greenways and Biodiversity, Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity, 1991

The building of greenway systems takes time, money, patience, technical knowledge, and partnerships. Without dedicated people, the greenway corridors that protect the habitat linkages so essential for biodiversity would not happen.
—KEITH HAY, Greenways and Biodiversity, Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity, 1991

It is easy to fall into the assumption that everything we do harms the environment. Our relationship with nature is complex and it is unfair to over-emphasize our harmful impacts. Indeed, greenways represent our desire to foster a healthy and responsible attitude toward nature.
—JONATHAN LABAREE, How Greenways Work: A Handbook on Ecology, 1992

Protecting environmental corridors through establishing and managing greenways represents one method (to be used in conjunction with other approaches) to safeguard vital ecological processes.
—JONATHAN LABAREE, How Greenways Work: A Handbook on Ecology, 1992

A highway takes your car to the country, a greenway your mind.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

If the greenway movement can help us get back a bit of honest natural beauty and our heritage of historic place, we shall owe it much.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

….[The greenway story] is the story of a remarkable citizen-led movement to get us out of our cars and into the landscape—on paths and trails through corridors of green that can link city to country and people to nature….
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

The ‘linkage of urban and rural spaces’: this is what makes the greenway idea so fresh and compelling.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

To make a greenway … is to make a community. And that, above all else, is what the movement is all about.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

Greenways are ‘the paths to the future’ as they link people to the outdoors. They meet an ever growing need, a need to leave the hectic city (if only for a moment) and to experience earth beneath your feet and fresh air in your lungs—to feel life and to feel alive.
—VICTORIA LOGUE, Backpacking in the ‘90s, 1995

Anatomically, greenways are long and skinny yet they can get fat when they go through a park. Emotionally, they return to a town the ‘front porch’ socializing rudely taken away by the car. Morally, they can stand as hometown environmental monuments for future generations. Greenways deserve to be anthropomorphized, for they’re the country’s healthiest brainchild since the conception of national parks.
—ANNE LUSK, Vermont Greenway Advocate, 1990

A greenway is the great equalizer. Everyone, young and old, rich and poor, healthy and sick, can use it in order to have the opportunity to enjoy the out-of-doors. A greenway just says, here I am.
—ANNE LUSK, Stowe, Vermont, Builds a Greenway, Small Town, Nov/Dec 1989

Greenways are popular now for some very good and lasting reasons. They remind us that our urban environment is not just a fume-choked freeway or boulevard of billboards.
We may go out of our way to despise the city rather than see it as our own habitat, however unnatural. Here we work, consume, sleep—but we also grow, play, and learn. Few of us live near the rainforests or Arctic wilderness that attract so much environmental attention. We experience our lives as urban people—by the year 2000, over 80% of Americans will live in cities or suburban areas. And yet there is wildness, if not Wilderness by bureaucratic designation, in our urban areas.
As conservationists, greenways, as places where the natural world lives in the midst of cities, deserve more of our attention. Most of us have an image of a greenway as a river plus a trail. Those are the typical ingredients in greenway systems—some as large and complex as the Hudson River, others as small as the nameless creek through a townhouse project. Other greenway corridors include road and utility rights-of-way, abandoned rail lines, drainageways and canals.
All these combine the natural with the industrial, provide recreation and wildlife habitat, and link utilities and living streams. In short, greenways are linear parks that borrow the power in our minds of the River, the Forest, and the Journey.
The importance of greenways lies in this diversity. While greenways provide some very tangible benefits to the urban world, they also make appealing environmental projects….
—STUART MACDONALD, Greenways: Preserving our Urban Environment, Trilogy, 1991

Greenways provide more bang for the recreational buck by taking advantage of otherwise unbuildable landscapes like floodplains and ridgelines, and by linking lands already in public ownership.
—ED MCMAHON, Director, American Greenways Program, 1998

Greenways allow us to treat land and water as a system, as interlocking pieces in a puzzle, not as isolated entities.
—ED MCMAHON, Director, American Greenways Program, 1999

…greenways are features that tie a bigger system of park components together, and they emphasize harmony with the natural environment, provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and help create an interconnected park system.
—JAMES MERTES and JAMES HALL, Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Guidelines, 1996

Greenway corridors have three standard features: they are linear pieces of land, they are under some form of long-term protection and they connect one area to another.
—TERESA MOORE, Greenscapes and Greenways—Maryland’s Green Infrastructure, Trends, 33(2), 1996

Greenways provide a wide range of benefits for people, wildlife and the economy, and a system of greenways and larger greenscapes offers many, long-term ecological benefits.
• preserve biodiversity
• provide wildlife corridors
• protect water quality
• direct growth
• maintain character/sense of place
• serve as outdoor classrooms
• provide outdoor recreation
• contribute to high quality of life
• enhance surrounding property values
• stimulate tourism and related business ventures
• offer alternative transportation
• reduce public expenditures to correct environmental problems (flooding, water/air treatment, etc.)
—TERESA MOORE, Greenscapes and Greenways—Maryland’s Green Infrastructure, Trends, 33(2), 1996

No other single conservation opportunity offers so many advantages. No single environmental solution serves so many purposes. Publicly or privately owned, following rivers or ridges, greenways can link the nation in a network of green.
—PATRICK NOONAN, President, Conservation Fund, 1993

Greenways are a bold idea with the magic to stir people to action. Greenways themselves are not new. We want to encourage their spread across the American landscape, by focusing on their values to communities. A nationwide network could ultimately grow from local action in thousands of communities across America.
—PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

Communities [should] establish Greenways, corridors of private and public recreation lands and waters, to provide people access to open spaces close to where they live, and to link together the rural and urban spaces in the American landscape.

We have a vision for delivering outdoor recreation opportunities close to home for all Americans: a network of Greenways, created by local action, linking private and public recreation areas in linear corridors of land and water. Greenways can bring access to the natural world to every American, and can eventually, if we act now with speed and with foresight, link our communities and our recreation areas together across the nation.

Greenways are terribly important in the urban environment because they provide an edge, which means you have more people connected to the greenway itself, to the system of connections. Also, they’re practical. In many areas, we can’t get more ‘big fat guys’—parks in the traditional sense. But by restoring rivers and other corridors, we can save the skinny ones.
—WILLIAM SPITZER, former Acting Assistant Director, National Recreation Programs, National Park Service, 1998

In essence, the Appalachian Trail is about getting away from it all. We see the East Coast Greenway as a way for people to get back into it all.
—Eric Weis, East Coast Greenway Alliance, Trails Program Coordinator, 2013

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Trails and Greenway Health Quotes

Industrial tourism is a threat to the national parks. But the chief victims of the system are the motorized tourists. They are being robbed and robbing themselves. So long as they are unwilling to crawl out of their cars they will not discover the treasures of the national parks and will never escape the stress and turmoil of the urban-suburban complexes which they had hoped, presumably, to leave behind for a while.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

Walking is understood as the principle antidote against being fat in the United States, where two-thirds of the population is considered overweight.
—JOSEPH A. AMATO, On Foot: A History of Walking, 2004

As long as I could move, I was healthy.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, 2001

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

When I’m in turmoil, when I can’t think, when I’m exhausted and afraid and feeling very, very alone, I go for walks. It’s just one of those things I do. I walk and I walk and sooner or later something comes to me, something to make me feel less like jumping off a building.
—JIM BUTCHER, Storm Front, 2000

Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.
—ÉMILE COUÉ, French Psychologist, 1857-1926

As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself.
—ADELLE DAVIS, US Author, Nutritionist, 1904-74

I took one step after another. My breathing fell into a rhythm, and after hiking a mile, all of the anxiety that I had experienced at the car vanished. I felt better than I had in weeks. I felt at home.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph, 2013

A walk barefoot on the beach or grass brings the feet into contact with the earth and energies that flow through it, and provides a revitalizing, energizing, and natural massage.
—INGE DOUGANS, Reflexology: Complete Illustrated Guide, 2002

A fact bobbed up from my memory, that the ancient Egyptians prescribed walking through a garden as a cure for the mad. It was a mind-altering drug we took daily.
—PAUL FLEISCHMAN, Seedfolks, 1997

What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?
—E.M. FORSTER, English Novelist, 1879-1970

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
—KAHLIL GIBRAN, Lebanese –US Poet, 1883-1931

We are learning, too, that the love of beauty is one of Nature’s greatest healers.
—ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON, US Geography Professor, 1876-1947

To be fully human, we must participate in the natural world; to be fully alive, we must experience the living beauty of the natural world.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The longer I stay on the trail, the better I feel.
—JOHN MACKEY, Whole Foods CEO, 2016

If the reason for taking a hike (if indeed a reason be necessary!) is the hope for mental-spiritual-physical rejuvenation, or to take time to contemplate where you’ve been and where you’re going in this confusing world, then a hike in nature can help make sense of it all.
—JOHN MCKINNEY, The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way, 2005

The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.
—PARACELSUS (born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim), Swiss German Renaissance Physician, Alchemist, 1493-1541

A healthy state can exist only when the men and women who make it up lead clean, vigorous, and healthy lives.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

If I am good to my feet, my feet will be good to me.
—JOYCE RUPP, Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino, 2005

I was walking an average of about two and a half miles a day, which is still more than most Americans. Most Americans don’t even walk that.
—MORGAN SPURLOCK, US Documentary Filmmaker, 1970-

The wild places will fill you up. Let them.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

In society you will not find health, but in nature… Society is always diseased and the best is the sickest. There is no scent in it so wholesome as that of the pines, nor any fragrance so penetrating and restorative as that of everlasting in high pastures.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal, December 31, 1841

The Appalachian Trail and the outdoor life definitely offer the opportunity for great fulfillment and happiness.
—BILL WALKER, Skywalker: Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail, 2008

Our feet are our body’s connection to the earth.
—ANDREW WEIL, US Physician, Author, 1942-

Distilling what I learned, I came up with a kind of ultrasimple coda: Go outside, often, sometimes in wild places. Bring friends or not. Breathe.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

Thanks to a confluence of demographics and technology, we’ve pivoted further away from nature than any generation before us. At the same time, we’re increasingly burdened by chronic ailments made worse by time spent indoors, from myopia and vitamin D deficiency to obesity, depression, loneliness and anxiety, among others.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from. (Testimony Before the Senate Subcommittee on Forest & Public Lands Management Regarding the Utah Public Lands Management Act of 1995, July 13, 1995)
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

Today we are almost always separated from the earth electrically. We are wearing rubber-soled shoes, live and work in high rises, have wood floors or carpets. We are in cars and planes. All of these things are non-conductive. A lot of problems develop because we are not in contact with the earth. One of the best things you can do is take your shoes off and walk and get in the sand. Lay in the sand! Get connected to the actual earth. The earth’s surface is negatively charged. And the atmosphere is positively charged. When you’re exposed to too many positive ions, evidence continues to indicate that you age more quickly. You want to be as negatively charged as possible or alkaline as possible.
—DAVID WOLFE, US Raw Food Advocate, 1970-

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Hiking Quotes

However, some of us do walk best under duress. Or only under duress. Certainly my own most memorable hikes can be classified as Shortcuts that Backfired.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

May your trail be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied—it speaks in silence to the very core of your being. There are some that love not to listen but the disciples are drawn to the high altar with magnetic certainty, knowing that a great Presence hovers over the ranges.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

To explore the interesting places in the vicinity, to become acquainted to some extent at least, with the natural history of the localities, and also to improve the pedestrian powers of the members.
—objectives of ALPINE CLUB OF WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, America’s first organized hiking club, 1863

The sole criteria is to walk with the senses, with hands that feel, ears that hear, and eyes that see.
—ROBERT BROWNE, The Appalachian Trail: History, Humanity, and Ecology, 1980

Americans viewed hiking as an opportunity to escape regimentation, slow down, enjoy the scenery, restore energy, test one’s will, and even worship God.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

…by 1968 the authority of traditional hiking clubs was on the decline and more than a century of American hiking culture had begun to dissolve. The typical American hiker evolved from a net producer—of information, maps, well-maintained trails, advocacy, outings, and club culture—to a net consumer—of equipment, national magazines, and federally subsidized trails.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Hiking allowed many Americans to feel a deep sense of connection to the natural world—a sense of authenticity and primal knowledge—without really changing the way they lived their daily lives.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Hiking culture has always been about investing the simple act of walking with a variety of meanings, from religion and patriotism to health and communal ties.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Hiking was—and is—a means of experiencing nature that replenished the body and soul so as to better carry on the business of modern life.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

If concepts of religion, health, patriotism, and community motivated hikers and helped them forge a culture of hiking, then trails served as the tangible rallying point for that culture. Trails were something physical over which hikers could take ownership—either literally or in spirit. They were a manifestation of the various impulses that had guided the hiking community since its earliest days, including the pastoral ideal of wedding human artifice with wild nature. Despite their importance, however, trails led the hiking community toward a less tenable culture that celebrated solo “through” hikers and, in the postwar period, provided access to thousands of new recreationist who bypassed club membership and took the creation of trails for granted.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

The traditional hiking community had relied on clubs as net producers of hiking culture but evolved into a loose gathering of millions of Americans consuming equipment, information, and physical trails produced by private businesses, professional environmental groups, and government.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

When [hiking] club members come together they are motivated by many of the same ideas that have always invested hiking with meaning. Many hike for health, for an outlet from modern life, for socialization with like-minded folks, for the natural beauty and curious places through which they pass, and—yes—some continue to think of hiking as a religious experience, as a means of experiencing God.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Hiking is a hobby that meets you at every phase of life. If you’re searching for answers, look to the woods. If you want a challenge, then Mother Nature can—and will—provide one. If you desire community, the trail can foster deep bonds and uninterrupted conservations. And if you simply need a beautiful place to sit and be still, the wilderness is there for you.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, Hoof It. Our State – North Carolina, October, 2015

Hiking is, by definition, simply walking in a natural setting. But in reality, it is far more than that. It is a time of preparation and renewal. And in my opinion, the more fast-paced and over-stimulated the world becomes, the more important it will be to take a walk in the woods.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph, 2013

Hikers have two primary teachers: nature and other hikers.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, The Pursuit of Endurance, 2018

I dream of hiking into my old age. I want to be able even then to pack my load and take off slowly but steadily along the trail.
—MARLYN DOAN, Hiking Light, 1982

Walking revitalizes me. After one day on the trail I become different from the way I am at home. I am in touch with the seasons, the weather, the varied hours of each day. I see more keenly. I am aware of the details.
—MARLYN DOAN, Hiking Light, 1982

It’s much better to be a smart hiker than a strong hiker.
—WARREN DOYLE, since 1973 has hiked Appalachian Trail 16 times, 1950-

You can never go too slowly up a hill.
—WARREN DOYLE, since 1973 has hiked Appalachian Trail 16 times, 1950-

There is nothing more natural than hiking through nature barefoot. The soles of your feet and toes are wonderful sensory organs and the myriad of feelings from earth, grass, moss, pine-needles, and mud are wonderful. Many could not see hiking any other way.
—RICHARD FRAZINE, The Barefoot Hiker, 1993

Hiking takes more head than heel.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

Uphill walking is easier than going down.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

Dear Lord, if you pick ‘em up, I’ll put ‘em down.

Take a hike; it’ll do you good.
—GARRISON KEILLOR, US Humorist, Radio Performer, 1942-

When you walk in the open, exposed to beauty and grandeur and our common mortality, no words can quite suffice, but one must keep trying. It’s a good life in a paradise of a world. Inscribe this in your heart, reader: Whenever you feel sad or bored, get out and take a hike.
—GARRISON KEILLOR, US Humorist, Radio Performer, 1942-

….unless we begin to protect existing hiking trails and provide new ones to cope with projected demands, the hiker faces a grim future—more and more hikers with fewer and fewer places to hike.
—ROBERT LUCAS & ROBERT RINEHART, The Neglected Hiker, Backpacker, 1976

Hiking is the best workout! … You can hike for three hours and not even realize you’re working out. And, hiking alone lets me have some time to myself.
—JAMIE LUNER, US Actress, 1971-

When a climber (hiker) is injured, he apologizes to his friends. When a climber (hiker) is killed, his friends apologize for him.
—MAXIM from the Alps

Hiking is one of the most natural forms of exercise, a gregarious activity for those desiring companionship, and a contemplative one for those seeking solitude.
—JOHN MCKINNEY, The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way, 2005

Truth is, the simple act of taking a hike can be a life-changing activity, one step at a time.
—JOHN MCKINNEY, The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way, 2005

In the morning: more miles to walk. Always, more miles.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

Why do we hike? I have asked many hikers this same question, and I have never received a fully satisfying answer. It seems there are many overlapping reasons: to strengthen our bodies, to bond with friends, to submerge ourselves in the wild, to feel more alive, to conquer, to suffer, to repent, to reflect, to rejoice. More than anything, though, I believe what we hikers are seeking is simplicity—an escape from civilization’s garden of forking paths.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

The more that’s done for hikers in the forests and woods and mountains, in that far do they fail to get the most out of it…. We must retain the challenging character of the wilderness.
—WALTER O’KANE, Guidebook Writer, 1935

So, good luck to you fellow-hiker, wherever you go! May you never run out of tobacco or songs; may the trees be great and old and the girls young and comely. May the sun shine upon your cheek and the shade lie upon the back of your neck. May you find wood and strawberries and sassafras. But he who flingeth away the bottle and hindereth not the picnic paper, he that carveth the beech bole and she that expects others to carry her coat, camera and pack, may their socks be lumpy, and farm dogs bite their calves!
—DONALD CULROSS PEATTIE, The Joy of Walking, The New York Times Magazine, April 1942

To the untrained eye, selfish or ego climbing and selfless climbing may appear identical.… Both kinds of climber place one foot in front of the other. Both breathe in and out at the same rate. Both stop when tired. Both go forward when rested. But what a difference! The ego climber is like an instrument that’s out of adjustment. He puts his foot down an instant too soon or late. He’s likely to miss a beautiful passage of sunlight through the trees. He goes on when the sloppiness of his step says he’s tired. He rests at odd times. He looks up the trail trying to see what’s ahead even when he knows what’s ahead because he just looked a second before. He goes too fast or too slow for the conditions and when he talks his talk is forever about something else. He’s here but he’s not here. He rejects the here, is unhappy with it, wants to be further up the trail but when he gets there will be just as unhappy because then it will be ‘there.’ What he’s looking for, what he wants is all around him. But he doesn’t want that because it is all around him. Every step is an effort, both physically and spiritually because he imagines his goal to be external and distant.
—ROBERT PIRSIG, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, 1974

If you pick’em up, O Lord, I’ll put’em down.
—Prayer of the Tired Walker

You’ve heard this before, my friend, but I have to say it again because this is my last chance to say it. You’re not going out there to prove anything. You’re not going out there to rough it. You’re going to smooth it. You get it rough enough every day!
—HARRY ROBERTS, Movin’ On, 1977

Take nothing for granted. Not one blessed, cool mountain day or one hellish, desert day or one sweaty, stinky, hiking companion. It is all a gift.
—CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada, 1987

Almost 48 million Americans over age 15 went hiking in 1994. Hiking’s popularity has increased considerably, up 93% since 1984. Over the same periods, the number of backpackers increased by 73%—from 9 to 15 million and interest in primitive area only camping increased 58%—from 17 to 28 million.

Hiking was, and always is, a great adventure…
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

The hiker can go without combing his hair or shaving and will be accepted as perfectly normal. He can get dirty and his friends will still speak to him jovially. His clothes may be in tatters, and people will think nothing of it. If there happens to be a little rock dust on his shirt or trousers, or if his clothes are a trifle torn, so much the better. Of such stuff are hiking heroes made. The hiker doesn’t have to have to talk very much, say witty things, hold a glass in his hands, or laugh lightly at banalities. His is a world of opposites, and no one cares or worries about it.
—ANN and MYRON SUTTON, The Appalachian Trail: Wilderness on the Doorstep, 1967

I would, as always, be going alone. I know well the arguments that solo hiking in a remote wilderness is foolhardy, dangerous, even irresponsible, but I know even more the great rewards that await the lone wanderer, rewards that can only be glimpsed by those who walk in groups.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, Walking the Yukon: A Solo Trek Through the Land of Beyond, 1993

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Historic Trails Quotes

I think none of us have realized until now the perils of this undertaking…
—MARGARET A. FINK, Oregon Trail Pioneer, 1850

…trails are America’s colorful link with its historic past, and…the walking for pleasure boom facing the nation has developed into a demand for trails that retrace historic pathways of our founding fathers.
Proceedings: National Symposium on Trails, Washington DC, June 2-6, 1971

This route is the greatest one for wrangling, discord and abuse of any other place in the world I am certain.
—ABIGAIL SCOTT, Oregon Trail Pioneer, 1852

I am very weary of this journey, weary of myself and all around me, I long for the quiet of home where I can be at peace once more.
—AGNES STEWART WARNER, Oregon Trail Pioneer, August 21, 1853

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Trails and Greenway Humor Quotes

If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies’ territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time will harvest a few trespassers.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The tourists drift in and out of here like turds floating through the sewer.
—EDWARD ABBEY, writing about Arches National Monument in 1956, 1927-89

—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

Put the park rangers to work. Lazy scheming loafers, they’ve wasted too many years selling tickets at toll booths and sitting behind desks filling out charts and tables in the vain effort to appease the mania for statistics which torments the Washington office. Put them to work. They’re supposed to be rangers—make the bums range; kick them out of those overheated airconditioned offices, yank them out of those overstuffed patrol cars, and drive them out on the trails where they should be, leading the dudes over hill and dale, safely into and back out of the wilderness. It won’t hurt them to work off a little office fat; it’ll do them good, help take their minds off each other’s wives, and give them a chance to get out of reach of the boss—a blessing for all concerned.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
—FRED ALLEN, US Entertainer, Radio Comedian, 1894-1956

I love nature, I just don’t want to get any of it on me.
—WOODY ALLEN, US Film Actor, Director, Writer, 1935-

Nature and I are two.
—WOODY ALLEN, US Film Actor, Director, Writer, 1935-

It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.
—DAVE BARRY, US Humor Writer, Columnist, 1947-

Camping: nature’s way of promoting the motel industry.
—DAVE BARRY, Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need, 1991

Never journey without something to eat in your pocket. If only to throw to dogs when attacked by them.
—E.S. BATES, US Writer, 1879-1939

There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the fault of his feet.
—SAMUEL BECKETT, Waiting for Godot, Act 1, 1952

She travels grubbiest who travels light.
—ERMA BOMBECK, Humor Columnist, 1927-96

Two great talkers will not travel far together.
—GEORGE BORROW, English Author, 1803-81

After all, what is a pedestrian? He is a man who has two cars—one being driven by his wife, the other by one of his children.
—ROBERT BRADBURY, The New York Times, September 5, 1962

What an odd thing tourism is. You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home, and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile attempt to recapture the comforts that you wouldn’t have lost if you hadn’t left home in the first place.
—BILL BRYSON, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, 1991

I hadn’t asked him why he wanted to come [hike the Appalachian Trail]. Katz was the one person I knew on earth who might be on the run from guys with names like Julio and Mr. Big. Anyway, I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to have to walk alone.
—BILL BRYSON, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering American on the Appalachian Trail, 1998

Nearly everyone I talked to has some gruesome story involving a guileless acquaintance who had gone off hiking the trail with high hopes and new boots and come stumbling back two days later with a bobcat attached to his head or dripping blood from an armless sleeve and whispering in a hoarse voice, ‘Bear!’ before sinking into a troubled unconsciousness.
—BILL BRYSON, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering American on the Appalachian Trail, 1998

What’s with these recumbent bicycles? Listen, buddy, if you wanna take a nap, lie down. If you wanna ride a bike, buy a >#*%^* bicycle.
—GEORGE CARLIN, US Comedian, 1937-2008

I like longs walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
—NOEL COWARD, English Playwright, Actor, Composer, Director, 1899-1973

A lot of hikers love maps; they love to carry maps, they love to look at their maps throughout the day, and they love to figure out the specific distances and elevations separating different points on the maps. I don’t particularly care for maps.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail, 2010

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-five now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.
—ELLEN DEGENERES, Comedian, Actor, Writer, 1958-

Walking isn’t a lost art—one must, by some means, get to the garage.
—EVAN ESAR, US humorist, 1899-1995

I always carry with me soy sauce, bacon bits, Parmesan cheese, curry, olive oil, garlic powder, bouillon, and oregano. With those items, I figure I can make a tasty meal out of dirt and grass if necessary.
—JOHN FAYHEE, Along the Arizona Trail, 1998

A near tragedy—the first week out on the expedition someone lost the bottle opener, and for the rest of the trip we had to subsist on food and water.
—W.C. FIELDS, US Comedian, 1880–1946

All other things being equal, choose a john with a view.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The New Complete Walker, 1974

A pedestrian ought to be legally allowed to toss at least one hand grenade at a motorist every day.
—BRENDAN FRANCIS, Irish Writer, 1923-64

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get to the office.
—ROBERT FROST, US Poet, 1874-1963

[America] is the only country in the world where we pay $150,000 for a house and then leave it for two weeks every summer to go sleep in a tent.
—LEWIS GRIZZARD, US Humorist, 1946–94

Life is like a dogsled team.… If you’re not the lead dog, the scenery never changes.
—LEWIS GRIZZARD, US Humorist, 1946–94

My idea of camping out is being out of half-and-half for my coffee in the morning.
—LEWIS GRIZZARD, US Humorist, 1946–94

Some people spend a lot of money on camping equipment and spend weeks in the wilderness when they could save themselves a lot of trouble simply by occasionally going out in their backyards to pee.
—LEWIS GRIZZARD, US Humorist, 1946–94

If you took a leave of absence and hiked the Appalachian Trail for six months and came back to work with a full beard, would anybody notice that you had been away, or, if you’re female, remark how it’s not every day that you see a woman with a full beard?
—LEWIS GRIZZARD, Shoot Low, Boys—They’re Ridin’ Shetland Ponies, 1985

Walk out the door and find good health. There is no fever that a 10-mile hike can’t cure.
—GARRISON KEILLOR, US Humorist, Radio Performer, 1942-

One kind of walking which I do not recall seeing mentioned anywhere in the literature of the subject is imaginary walking.
—EDWIN V. MITCHELL, The Pleasures Of Walking, 1948

The man who walks alone is soon trailed by the F.B.I.
—WRIGHT MORRIS, US Novelist, 1910-98


The phrase “I know a shortcut” should strike fear in the heart of any serious walker.
—GEOFF NICHOLSON, The Lost Art of Walking, 2008

A civil servant is sometimes like a broken cannon—it won’t work and you can’t fire it.
—GEORGE S. PATTON, US Army General, 1885–1945

I represent what is left of a vanishing race, and that is the pedestrian. That I am still able to be here, I owe to a keen eye and a nimble pair of legs. But I know they’ll get me someday.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935

Having a sense of humor saved us from many a tough day. It unleashed stress and brought a return of enthusiasm so we were not smothered by our own dashed hopes and expectations. Humor enlarged our view and helped us to see that a new day followed, that we didn’t have to be right all the time, that our mistakes could be forgotten and our hope regained. This lesson is a valuable one for all who take themselves too seriously or who live from day to day in a situation that threatens to overwhelm them. Three cheers for a sense of humor.
—JOYCE RUPP, Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino, 2005

The American people never carry an umbrella. They prepare to walk in eternal sunshine.
—ALFRED EMMANUEL SMITH, US Statesman, 1873-1944

My advice for grizzlies is to try to maintain sphincter control.
—KERRY SNOW, volunteer trail manager with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, 1990

God bless the Snickers bar! Not too bad. I’ll have another.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

Buy land; they are not making it anymore.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

There are three kinds of lies—lies, damned lies and statistics.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity there ain’t nothing can beat teamwork.
—MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Puddin’head Wilson, 1893

The US Forest Service received these actual comments from backpackers after wilderness camping trips:
• Too many bugs and spiders. Please spray the area to get rid of these pests.
• Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
• Chairlifts are needed so we can get to the wonderful views without having to hike to them.
• A McDonald’s would be nice at trailhead.
• Too many rocks in the mountains.
• The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a lost map.
—MORT, GREG and BRIAN WALKER, Beetle Bailey, March 14, 2007

Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.
—E.B. WHITE, Fro-Joy, One Man’s Meat, 1944

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Long Distance Trails Quotes

…the Appalachian Trail, a ridiculous footpath 2,000 miles long, running the length of the Appalachian Mountains, up and down a thousand peaks, in and out of a thousand valleys, across a thousand meadows, through a thousand forest glades…the idea—the idea!—of some year actually getting into harness and walking the entire Trail has always haunted me at the back of my mind. It’s one of those outdoor dream adventures we all dream and very few have the nerve to realize.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The ideal mountain trail is one which has no end. The ideal trail journey is one which never turns back, but leads forever onward to discover what lies around the next bend and beyond the next crest. Such a trail is the Appalachian [Trail], and such is the kind of journey that, better than on any other trail in existence, may be made upon it.
—ELMER ADAMS, Walking in the Clouds, 1939

The purpose of this organization shall be first to promote, construct, and maintain a connected trail, with related trails, to be called The Appalachian Trail, and to preserve and restore the natural environment of the Trail and its adjacent lands; and to provide an educational opportunity to enjoy the Appalachian Trail, related trails and adjacent lands. This Trail shall run, as far as practicable, over the summits of the mountains and through the wild lands of the Atlantic Seaboard and adjoining states from Maine to Georgia, so as to render accessible for hiking, backpacking, and other forms of primitive travel and living, the said mountains and wild lands, and shall be a means for conserving and developing, within this region, the primeval environment as a natural resource.

And what is the [Appalachian] Trail?… It always was a place for people. People who care for land and tend a simple footpath as if it were their garden.

.…opportunities for observation, contemplation, enjoyment and exploration of the natural world; a sense of remoteness and detachment from civilization; opportunities to experience solitude, freedom, personal accomplishment, self-reliance, and self-discovery; a sense of being on the height of the land; opportunities to experience the cultural, historical, and pastoral elements of the surrounding countryside; a feeling of being part of the natural environment; and opportunities for travel on foot, including opportunities for long-distance hiking.
—APPALACHIAN TRAIL CONFERENCE, defining the Appalachian Trail experience, 1997

This Trail might well, instead of ‘Appalachian Trail,’ have been termed, ‘The Anonymous Trail,’ in recognition of the fact that many, many people … have labored on [it]. They have asked for no return nor recognition nor reward. They have contributed to the project simply by reasons of the pleasure found in trail-making and in the realization that they were, perhaps, creating something which would be a distinct contribution to the American recreational system and the training of American people.
—MYRON AVERY, Chairman Appalachian Trail Conference 1931-52, 1899-1952

To those who would see the Maine wilderness, tramp day by day through a succession of ever delightful forest, past lake and stream, and over mountains, we would say: Follow the Appalachian Trail across Maine. It cannot be followed on horse or awheel. Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, it beckons not merely north and south but upward to the body, mind and soul of man.
—MYRON AVERY, In the Maine Woods, 1934

Those of us, who have physically worked on the [Appalachian] Trail, know that the Trail, as such, will never be completed.
—MYRON AVERY, Appalachian Trail Conference meeting in Gatlinburg, TN, 1937

The Appalachian Trail derives much of its strength and appeal from its uninterrupted and practically endless character. This is an attribute which must be preserved. I view the existence of this pathway and the opportunity to travel it, day after day without interruption, as a distinct aspect of our American life.
—MYRON AVERY, final report to Appalachian Trail Conference, 1952

Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, it [the Appalachian Trail] beckons [or leads] not merely north and south but upward to the body, mind and soul of man.
—MYRON AVERY, final report to Appalachian Trail Conference, 1952; also attributed to Harold Allen, one of the early AT volunteers

It seems to me that what this day and this occasion is all about is the way trails connect not just land and ecosystems, but people.
—BRUCE BABBITT, Secretary of Interior, at completion of Pacific Crest Trail, 1993

…hiking a 2000- or 3000-mile trail is a massive achievement. Unlike the Olympics or pro sports, it is achievable by ordinary people. Anyone in reasonable health can hike a long trail. The key ingredient is desire.
—KAREN BERGER, Hiking the Triple Crown, 2001

…the [Appalachian] trail and its protective corridor stand as public domain. The trail has no user fees or barriers to entry. It is a democratic enterprise, rooted in American volunteerism. A refuge for hikers, the AT gives them the legal right to pass through the heart of the eastern mountains unimpeded, via an intentional synthesis between the natural and the human.
—SUSAN POWER BRATTON, The Spirit of the Appalachian Trail: Community, Environment, and Belief on a Long-Distance Hiking Path, 2012

…the [Appalachian] trail is a human community, comprised not just of hikers but also of the people they encounter along the way. The trail is maintainers and trail clubs, hostel managers, outfitters, forest rangers, ridge runners, hut crews, and country store clerks. In the center is the hiker culture, sometimes entirely self-absorbed, sometimes strongly interactive with the business and organizations outside the official trail corridor.
—SUSAN POWER BRATTON, The Spirit of the Appalachian Trail: Community, Environment, and Belief on a Long-Distance Hiking Path, 2012

…the Appalachian Trail is a state of being—a merger of ancient mountains, flowing rivers, caring companions, human endeavor, and individual growth and change. Nothing is merely human, and nothing is merely natural. The essence of both intertwines in a long thread, woven north to south, and back again.
—SUSAN POWER BRATTON, The Spirit of the Appalachian Trail: Community, Environment, and Belief on a Long-Distance Hiking Path, 2012

If you go out on the Appalachian Trail, you have to bring so much more equipment—a tent, sleeping bag—but if you go hiking in England, or Europe, generally, towns and villages are near enough together at the end of the day you can always go to a nice little inn and have a hot bath and something to drink.
—BILL BRYSON, Anglo-American Humor Writer, 1951-

. . . it was really [Myron] Avery’s [Appalachian] trail. He mapped it out, bullied and cajoled clubs into producing volunteer crews, and personally superintended the construction of hundreds of miles of path. He extended its planned length of 1,200 miles to well over 2,000, and before it was finished he had walked every inch of it. In under seven years, using volunteer labor, he built a 2,000 mile trail through mountain wilderness. Armies have done less.
—BILL BRYSON, Anglo-American Humor Writer, 1951-

I think if I could walk through a country I should not only see many things and have adventures that I should otherwise miss, but that I should come into relations with that country at first hand, and with the men and women in it, in a way that would afford the deepest satisfaction.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

To maintain and defend for the benefit and enjoyment of nature lovers the Pacific Crest Trailway as a primitive wilderness pathway in an environment of solitude, free from the sights and sounds of a mechanically disturbed nature.
—CLINTON CLARKE, mission of the Pacific Crest Trail, 1932

In few regions of the world—certainly nowhere else in the United States—are found such a varied and priceless collection of the sculptured masterpieces of nature as adorn, strung like pearls, the mountain ranges of Washington, Oregon and California. The Pacific Crest Trailway is the cord that binds this necklace.
—CLINTON CLARKE, founder of the Pacific Crest Trail, 1945

Pledge for Nature Lovers: To maintain and defend for the benefit and enjoyment of nature lovers the Pacific Crest Trailway as a primitive wilderness pathway in an environment of solitude, free from the sights and sounds of a mechanically disturbed nature.
—CLINTON CLARKE, The Pacific Crest Trailway, 1945

The only way to learn how to hike all day, every day, is to go into the woods and do just that.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail, 2010

Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery—one a dreamer, the other a doer—gave more of themselves to the Appalachian Trail than any other duo in history and the fact that they were frequently and bitterly at odds is testament to the trail’s history, one filled with controversy and conflicting personalities.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, The Pursuit of Endurance, 2018

The Appalachian Trail is a way, continuous from Maine to Georgia, for travel on foot through the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. It is a means of sojourning among these lands, such that visitors may experience them by their own unaided efforts.
In practice, the Trail is usually a simple footpath, purposeful in direction and concept, favoring the heights of land, and located for minimum reliance on construction for protecting the resource. The body of the Trail is provided by the lands it traverses, and its soul is in the living stewardship of the volunteers and partners of the Appalachian Trail Cooperative Management System.
—Definition of the Appalachian Trail, from the Appalachian Trail Management Principles, 1977

The Appalachian Trail is my measure of growth. The reason I hike the Appalachian Trail again and again (16 times by 2010) is the same reason I waltz the same way over and over, because it is beautiful; because it is what I feel is right; and because it can’t get any better.
—WARREN DOYLE, since 1973 has hiked Appalachian Trail 16 times, 1950-

The trail knows neither prejudice nor discrimination. Don’t expect any favors from the trail. The trail is inherently hard. Everything has to be earned. The trail is a trial.
—WARREN DOYLE, since 1973 has hiked Appalachian Trail 16 times, 1950-

Walking the AT [Appalachian Trail] is not recreation. It is an education and a job. And walking the entire AT is not ‘going on a hike,’ but a journey with deeper ramifications.
—WARREN DOYLE, since 1973 has hiked Appalachian Trail 16 times, 1950-

After the hard life I have lived, this [Appalachian] trail isn’t so bad.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

I did it. I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it. [after she summited Katahdin]
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

I want to see what’s on the other side of the hill—then what’s beyond that.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

We felt we were still connected in some way with every point along the trail.
—WILLIAM R. GRAY, The Pacific Crest Trail, 1975

The Appalachian Trail. Those are magic words to anybody who has ever so much as spent a night in the woods.
—PAUL HEMPHILL, Me and the Boy, 1986

We celebrate not the trail, but the wild places it passes through.
—RAY JARDINE, The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker’s Handbook, 1996

How can a book describe the psychological factors a person must prepare for … the despair, the alienation, the anxiety and especially the pain, both physical and mental, which slices to the very heart of the hiker’s volition, which are the real things that must be planned for? No words can transmit those factors, which are more a part of planning than the elementary rituals of food, money, and equipment, and how to get them.
—CHUCK LONG, Pacific Crest Trail Hike Planning Guide, 1979

…I think we should resist an over fascination with grandiose National Trails running on for hundreds or thousands of miles. These trails have a monumental aura about them, and are impressive on a map. They are an interesting part, but only a small part, of the diverse system needed. They are no substitute for shorter trails near population concentrations or for trail networks in interesting places that may be somewhat more distant from population centers.
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

After more than two thousand miles on the [Appalachian] trail, you can expect to undergo some personality changes. A heightened affinity for nature infiltrates your life. Greater inner peace. Enhanced self-esteem. A quiet confidence that if I could do that, I can do and should do whatever I really want to do. More appreciation for what you have and less desire to acquire what you don’t. A childlike zest for living life to the fullest. A refusal to be embarrassed about having fun. A renewed faith in the essential goodness of humankind. And a determination to repay others for the many kindnesses you have received.
—LARRY LUXENBERG, Walking the Appalachian Trail, 1994

It is the love of country, the love of primal nature and of human nature, the lure of crestline and comradeship, which we like to think of as being indigenous to our own homeland. In short, the object of the Appalachian Trail is to develop the Indigenous America.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

The Appalachian Trail is conceived as the backbone of a super reservation and primeval recreation ground covering the length (and width) of the Appalachian Range itself, its ultimate purpose being to extend acquaintance with the scenery and serve as a guide to the understanding of nature.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

The old pioneer opened through the forest a path for the spread of civilization. Now comes the great task of holding this life in check—for it is just as bad to have too much urbanization as too little. It is just as vital today to open up our overcrowded areas as it was a century ago to open up the overwooded areas. Hence the Appalachian Trail.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

Let us assume the existence of a giant standing high on the skyline along these [Appalachian] mountain ridges, his head just scraping the floating clouds. What would he see from this skyline as he strode along its length from north to south…? First, he notes the opportunities for recreation…vast areas of secluded forests, pastoral lands, and water courses, which, with proper facilities and protection, could be made to serve as the breath of a real life for the toilers in the bee-hive cities along the Atlantic seaboard and elsewhere.
—BENTON MACKAYE, An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 1921

What is suggested, therefore, is a ‘long trail’ over the full length of the Appalachian skyline, from the highest peak in the north to the highest peak in the south—from Mt. Washington to Mt. Mitchell.
—BENTON MACKAYE, An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 1921

Our ultimate aim is more than just a trail—it is a whole system of them, a cobweb planned to cover the mountains of the eastern country. It is not ‘to turn the people loose in there’ and give vent to the vandal, but just the other way—to turn them loose to kill the vandal. Here is where the planning comes, for a playground and a living ground—well equipped, well cared for, and well used.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Progress Toward the Appalachian Trail, Appalachia, 1922

High and dry above the stupendous detail of our job we should hold the reason for it all. This is not to cut a path and then say—‘Ain’t it beautiful’ Our job is to open a realm. This is something more than a geographical location—it is an environment.
—BENTON MACKAYE, on the vision of the Appalachian Trail, 1925

.…ultimate purpose is to conserve, use, and enjoy the mountain hinterland which penetrates the populous portion of America from north to south. The Trail (or system of trails) is a means for making the land accessible. The Appalachian Trail is to this Appalachian region what the Pacific Railway was to the Far West—a means of ‘opening up’ the country. But a very different kind of ‘opening up.’ Instead of a railway we want a ‘trailway’…
But unlike the railway the trailway must preserve (and develop) a certain environment. Otherwise its whole point is lost. The railway ‘opens up’ a country as a site for civilization; the trailway should ‘open up’ a country as an escape from civilization…. The path of the trailway should be as ‘pathless’ as possible; it should be the minimum consistent with practical accessibility.
—BENTON MACKAYE, founding meeting of the Appalachian Trail Conference, March 2-3, 1925

The Appalachian Trail as originally conceived is not merely a footpath through the wilderness but a footpath of the wilderness.
—BENTON MACKAYE, address to the members of the Seventh Appalachian Trail Conference, held at Skyland, VA, June 22, 1935

It was a clear day, with a brisk breeze blowing. North and south, sharp peaks etched the horizon. I felt as if atop the world, with a sort of planetary feeling. I seemed to perceive peaks far southward, hidden by old Earth’s curvature. Would a footpath some day reach them from where I was then perched? Little did I dream….
—BENTON MACKAYE, (Founder of the Appalachian Trail), relating his climb to the summit of Stratton Mountain, VT, summer of 1900, in a letter to the general meeting of the Appalachian Trail Conference, 1964

The Appalachian Trail is a wilderness strip; it could be very wide—several miles wide—if possible. It is not a trailway. Actually, the trail itself could be a strip no wider than space for a fat man to get through. And that’s the trouble: ‘Trailway’ is a very unfortunate word; it gives the impression of a Greyhound bus and a great cement, six-lane highway, which is just the opposite of what the trail is supposed to be. The idea is a foot trail, and if there is a wheel on it at all, there is no point in the Appalachian Trail. People should get that through their heads….
—BENTON MACKAYE, AIA Journal interview where he bluntly repudiated the Trailway concept as adopted by the Appalachian Trail Conference, 1971

To walk; to see and to see what you see.
—BENTON MACKAYE, on the ultimate purpose for hiking on the Appalachian Trail, 1971

The creation of the ATC (Appalachian Trail Conference) was one of two pivotal events in the history of the trail; the other was the signing of the National Trails System Act in 1968. The first provided a parent organization for clubs whose members work at maintaining the trail; the second provided federal protection for it. Achieving this protected status is the result of the enthusiasm and concern of a host of hikers during half a century. Perhaps it is unrivaled by any other single feat in the development of American outdoor recreation.
—BENTON MACKAYE, foreword, The Appalachian Trail, 1972

…our definition of a long distance trail is a named trail that can be walked in a few days to a few weeks.
—ROBERT and MARTHA MANNING, Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, 2013

Myron [Avery] left two trails from Maine to Georgia. One was of hurt feelings and bruised egos. The other was the A.T. [Appalachian Trail]. The first will disappear, the second will last.
—BILL MERSCH, speaking of Myron Avery, Chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference from 1931 to 1952

The [Appalachian] trail was designed to have on end, a wild place on which to be comfortably lost for as long as one desired. In those early days, nobody fathomed walking the thing from beginning to end in one go. Section hikes, yes. Day hikes, too. But losing yourself for five months, measuring your body against the earth, fingering the edge of mental and physical endurance, wasn’t the point. The trail was to be considered in sections, like a cow is divided into cuts of beef. Even if you sample every slice, to eat the entire beast in a single sitting was not the point. Before 1948, it wasn’t even considered possible.
—BEN MONTGOMERY, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, 2014

I had expected the [Appalachian] trail to be a refuge for loners like me; the sense of community that formed among us scattered thru-hikers took me by surprise, and then grew to be one of the hike’s nectarine joys.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

It was possible, I gathered, to spend one’s life doing little else but walking. Life on the trail being exceedingly cheap, a handful of full-time hikers have managed to live for years or even decades off meager savings and seasonal work. These wanderers reminded me of mendicant monks, slipping free of the gravitational pull of society to live plainly, outdoors.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

My spiritual path, to the extent that I had one, was the [Appalachian] trail itself. I regarded long-distance hiking as an earthy, stripped down, American form of walking meditation.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

There are moments when you cannot help but feel that your life is being controlled by some not-entirely-benevolent god. You skirt down a ridge only to climb it again; you climb a steep peak when there is an obvious route around; you cross the same stream three times in the course of an hour, for no apparent reason, soaking your feet in the process. You do these things because someone, somewhere, decided that that’s where the [Appalachian] trail must go.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

These [Appalachian Trail] “thru-hikers” were easy to spot: They introduced themselves with odd “trail names,” ate ravenously, and walked with a light, lupine gait.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

[Benton] MacKaye felt it proper that government agencies administer the land but essential that volunteers, through the clubs, maintain and protect the [Appalachian] Trail.
—DAVID MUENCH, Uncommon Places, 1991

By dramatizing the long trail as the key to the Appalachian Empire, as he loved to call it, [Benton] MacKaye incited hundreds of others to participate in the laying out of the route, achieving by purely voluntary cooperation and love what the empire of the Incas had done in the Andes by compulsory organization.
—LEWIS MUMFORD, US social philosopher and urban planner, 1895–1990

We emerge then, with some of the philosophy of the ‘long trail.’ Basically the formula is simple. You start with a geological feature, such as a mountain range, that is not too highly developed yet close enough to the people that will use it. You clear a trail along it for recreational use, and mark the route with some standard marking. You build simple overnight shelters close to a supply of good, natural drinking water, and protect the land nearby so that you can keep the kind of trail you want. You tell the people about it and give them a guidebook to help them plan a safe and comfortable journey. The area encompassing a long trail may be too long and narrow to be managed efficiently by one single organization or agency, and a cooperative program of many groups may be needed.
—STAN MURRAY, The Appalachian Trail, National Parks Magazine, December 1966

I’d become one with the [Appalachian] trail, ready to take whatever else it threw at me… with a smile.
—KYLE ROHRIG, Lost on the Appalachian Trail, 2014

We also come out here to learn about ourselves. The biggest prize in long-distance hiking is the gift of time. Time to look. Time to think. Time to feel. All those hours you spend with your thoughts. You don’t solve all of your problems, but you come to understand and accept yourself.
—CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada, 1987

The most important piece of equipment you have on the trail is your mind. You can’t walk tens of miles, let along thousands, if you aren’t wired for perseverance. You either have it, develop it, or go home.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

At trail’s end no fertile valleys, no gold mines, no thriving ports are reached. The Pacific Crest Trail, like the other National Scenic Trails, is not a corridor to an economic end but rather is a process for individual change and growth. Although the trail’s end is a desirable goal, it is not a necessary one, for the traveler is enriched in a nonmaterial sense with every step he takes along the way.
—JEFFREY SCHAFFER & DRS. BEV & FRED HARTLINE, The Pacific Crest Trail, Volume 2, 1979

The Long Cruise was finished. Already it seemed like a vivid dream, through sunshine, shadow, and rain—Already I knew that many times I would want to be back again—On the cloud-high hills where the whole world lies below and far away—By the wind-worn cairn where admiring eyes first welcome newborn day—To walk once more where the white clouds sail, far from the city clutter—And drink a toast to the Long High Trail in clear, cold mountain water. Beside me as I stood there, happy yet sad, was another weatherbeaten sign, on a post held up by a heap of gathered stones.
—EARL SHAFFER, atop Katahdin, upon completing first uninterrupted solo-hike of the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (1948) 1918-2002

It’s mostly mental. The saying is if you can get out of Georgia, you can get to Maine. It takes about a week to get out of Georgia. In 1977 (first attempted an AT thru-hike), I was tired, I was sick, but that’s the whole point. It’s a journey, an adventure, I highly recommend it.
—MORGAN SOMMERVILLE, Southern Regional Director, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2015

I read about this [Appalachian] trail three years ago in a magazine, and the article told about the beautiful trail, how well marked it was, that it was cleared out, and that there were shelters at the end of a good day’s hike. I thought it would be a nice lark. It wasn’t. There were terrible blowdowns, burnt-over areas that were never re-marked, gravel and sand washouts, weeds and brush to your neck, and most of the shelters were blown down, burned down, or so filthy I chose to sleep out of doors. This is no trail. This is a nightmare. For some fool reason they always lead you right up over the biggest rock to the top of the biggest mountain they can find. I’ve seen every fire station between here and Georgia. Why, an Indian would die laughing his head off if he saw those trails. I would never have started this trip if I had known how tough it was, but I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t quit.
—October 10, 1955 Sports Illustrated article about EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail

Though new as an ‘endless footpath through the wilderness,’ the [Appalachian] Trail itself seems age-old, so naturally does it fit into its surroundings. Just a path, now through old clearings sweet scented with grasses in the sun, through dim forests, then up through scrub and out over bare mountain ledges, it seems it’s been since the beginning; it seems it will be till the end.
—JEAN STEPHENSON, Impressions of the Maine Wilderness, Appalachian Trailway News, 1941

One man told me I could run [the Appalachian Trail] right through his house if I wanted to; his explanation was that he had met his wife on the Trail.
—MURRAY STEVENS, negotiating for Appalachian Trail to cross private property, 1927

…I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.
—CHERYL STRAYED, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, 2012

The [Appalachian] Trail is an entity of public and private hope—public because its establishment and perpetuation represent a curious maturity of civilization and private because the average hiker still has certain portions of the Trail he’s never seen and wants to hike as soon as he can.
—ANN and MYRON SUTTON, The Appalachian Trail: Wilderness on the Doorstep, 1967

Hike your own hike.
—THRU-HIKER adage [Appalachian Trail]

The challenge of long-distance hiking goes beyond fitness; a connection also develops between the body and the land.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

Each [national scenic trail] should stand out in its own right as a recreation resource…be built to harmonize with the natural areas they cross…and afford the visitor closeup instruction in nature and her ways. The entire length of each, together with sufficient land area on both sides to safeguard adequately and preserve its character, should be protected in some form of public control. Federal and state agencies should modify timber harvesting, livestock grazing, and special permit practices to protect trail quality … and the natural and scenic qualities and historic features along and near national scenic trails must be protected.
—USDI BUREAU of OUTDOOR RECREATION, Trails for America: Report on the Nationwide Trails Study, 1966

….for travel on foot through the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. It is a means of sojourning among these lands, such that visitors may experience them by their own unaided efforts.
In practice, the [Appalachian] Trail is usually a simple footpath, purposeful in direction and concept, favoring the heights of land, and located for minimum reliance on construction for protecting the resource. The body of the Trail is provided by the lands it traverses, and its soul is the living stewardship of the volunteers and workers of the Appalachian Trail community.
—USDI NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Comprehensive Plan for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, 1981

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Trails and Greenway Maintenance Quotes

A trail in good repair after a hundred years has obviously been greatly valued by humans as a much needed route for trade, transportation, recreation, or pilgrimage.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find a Path, 2004

Like the human heart, a trail, too, if abandoned and unmaintained, will succumb to bush and bramble, vine and thistle, weather and erosion, and will lose its identity and distinctiveness.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find a Path, 2004

Ten years ago…the job of the Trail Crew was to make passage through the mountains easier for the people who hiked. Now the main concern of the Trail Crew is to lessen the impact on the environment that great numbers of people make.
—APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB trail crew leader, 1971

A slow and steady stream of water will, in time, erode the hardest rock…
—DAVID CAMPBELL, If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else, 1974

The first priority for trail work is to correct truly unsafe situations. This could mean repairing impassable washouts along a cliff, or removing blowdown from a steep section of a packstock trail.
The second priority is to correct things causing significant trail damage—erosion, sedimentation, and off-site trampling, for instance.
The third priority is to restore the trail to the planned design standard. This means that the ease of finding and traveling the trail matches the design specifications for the recreational setting and target user. Actions range from simply adding ‘reassurance markers’ to full-blown reconstruction of eroded tread or failed structures.
Whatever the priority, doing maintenance when the need is first noticed will help prevent more severe and costly damage later.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

.…the rangers know how to locate trails wisely on a gradual traverse upslope instead of going straight up and down; they know how to put in water bars at regular intervals to shunt the water flow off the trails onto the forest floor where it can be slowly absorbed. To a great extent we already have the technical know-how, though admittedly we have yet to devise aesthetically pleasing techniques to preserve the naturalistic settings along the trails. What we frankly don’t have is the necessary staff of trail rangers to handle the upkeep problems created by the hordes of recreationists now exploring the mountain slopes.
—E.H. KETLEDGE and R.E. LEONARD, The Impact of Man on the Adirondack High Country, The Conservationist, 25(2), 1970

Some study has … been given to the differentiation of normal and abnormal erosion. This seems a question of academic rather than practical interest. If erosion is taking away land heretofore untouched, at a rate which will destroy that land within a generation, and if that erosion looks in any degree preventable, the first step is to prevent, not classify.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

A well-maintained trail is fun to hike on. With a broad, well-marked path free of debris, hikers can concentrate more on their surroundings and less on the footpath.
—VICTORIA LOGUE, Backpacking: Essential Skills to Advanced Techniques, 2000

A trail is as serviceable as its poorest link.
—BENTON MACKAYE, An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 1921

A trail through the mountains, if used, becomes a path in a short time, but, if unused, becomes blocked by grass in an equally short time.
—MENCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 372-289 BC

Erosion, whether caused by boots, hooves, or bike tires, is still erosion.
—PETER OLIVER, Bicycling: Touring and Mountain Bike Basics, 1995

We have to get away from looking at [trail] maintenance as a ‘duty’ and as ‘work,’ and start selling it as a fun sport separate from hiking with its own types of equipment, styles, methods, approaches, rewards, etc. Why is the maintainer looking up to the hiker? Why is the greater dream to walk 2000 miles and not to maintain the perfect 5-mile section?
—JOHN SCHOEN, member of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, 1981

The desired standards of trail upkeep are those which are necessary to maintain the standard of construction established herein. Well-balance work, not polish, is wanted. To underdo maintenance is bad. To overdo it is worse, because a dollar unspent remains available to correct mistakes, while more dollars spent than necessary are simply wasted.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Forest Trail Handbook, 1935

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Motivational Quotes

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

Society is like a stew. If you don’t keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

THIS IS WHAT YOU SHALL DO: Be loyal to what you love, be true to the earth, fight your enemies with passion and laughter.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly up hill. May the wind bring rain for the slickrock potholes fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge. May God’s dog serenade your campfire, may the rattlesnake and the screech owl amuse your reverie, may the Great Sun dazzle your eyes by day and the Great Bear watch over you by night.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Beyond the Wall, 1984

We need no more words on the matter. What we need now are heroes. And heroines. About a million of them. One brave deed is worth a thousand books. Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Beyond the Wall, 1984

Failure is impossible.
—SUSAN B. ANTHONY, US Crusader for Women’s Suffrage, 1820–1906

Its attack until they crack, or I do.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, 2001

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, 7 time Tour de France winner, 2012 banned for life and stripped of titles for doping, 1971-

Great things are done when men and mountains meet;
This is not done by jostling in the street.
—WILLIAM BLAKE, English Poet, 1757–1827

Begin where you are. Act into your goals. When you are hiking cross-country, it is often necessary to get to the top of one hill or plateau before you can see the next peak. From the starting point, you couldn’t have seen the peak that now stands before you. You had to get on the trail first. Always go as far as you can, based upon your current understanding. This creates a positive force of momentum. The more invested you are in the outcome, the less likely you are to turn back when the going gets rough. Go to the highest peak you can, and see what you can see from there.
—LAURENCE BOLDT, Zen and the Art of Making a Living, 1991

There’s magic in you. Let it out.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952–69), 1912-2000

The only thing that separates successful people from the ones who aren’t is the willingness to work very, very hard.
—HELEN GURLEY BROWN, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan magazine (1965-1997 ), 1922-2012

All things are possible until they are proved impossible—and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.
—PEARL S. BUCK, A Bridge for Passing, 1962

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

Leap and the net will appear.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decided to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
—NOLAN BUSHNELL, US Innovator, Founder Atari Corporation, 1943-

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood, and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans: aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram, once recorded, will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watch-word be order and your beacon beauty.
—DANIEL BURNHAM, US Architect, City Planner, 1846-1912

For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
—ALBERT CAMUS, French Writer, 1913-60

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
—DALE CARNEGIE, US Lecturer, 1888–1955

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.
—EMILE CHARTIER, French Philosopher, 1868-1951

It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.
—G. K. CHESTERTON, English Novelist, Poet, 1874-1936

If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved.
—MAURICE CHEVALIER, French Entertainer, 1888-1972

Success is a journey, not a destination.
—DEEPAK CHOPRA, US (Indian-born) Holistic Healing Advocate, 1947-

I like things to happen; and if they don’t happen, I like to make them happen.
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

Never, never, never, never give up.
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
—FRANK A. CLARK, US Politician, 1860-1936

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
—CALVIN COOLIDGE, Thirtieth US President (1923–29), 1872–1933

We must go and see for ourselves.
—JACQUES COUSTEAU, French Underseas Explorer, 1910-97

Work is much more fun than fun.
—NOEL COWARD, English Playwright, Actor, Composer, Director, 1899-1973

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
—CHARLES E. DEDERICH, Synanon Founder, 1914-97

Turn off that TV and go outside and play!
—HARVEY & MARILYN DIAMOND, Living Health, 1987

The Possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.
—EMILY DICKINSON, US Poet, 1830-86

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence, when you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.
—WALT DISNEY, Motion Picture Producer, 1901–66

The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.
—WALT DISNEY, Motion Picture Producer, 1901–66

The secret of success is constancy of purpose.
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, British Prime Minister, (1874-80), 1804–81

The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, British Prime Minister, (1874-80), 1804–81

The mountains can be reached in all seasons. They offer a fighting challenge to heart, soul and mind, both in summer and winter. If throughout time the youth of the nation accept the challenge the mountains offer, they will keep alive in our people the spirit of adventure. That spirit is a measure of the vitality of both nations and men. A people who climb the ridges and sleep under the stars in high mountain meadows, who enter the forest and scale the peaks, who explore glaciers and walk ridges buried deep in snow—these people will give the country some of the indomitable spirit of the mountains.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice, Avid Hiker, 1898–1980

Efficiency is concerned with doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.
—PETER DRUCKER, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, 1974

If there is a faith that can move mountains, it is the faith in one’s own power.
—MARIE VON EBNER-ESCHENBACH, Austrian Writer, 1830-1916

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
—THOMAS EDISON, US Inventor, 1847-1931

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for others?
—GEORGE ELIOT, (pen name of MARY ANN EVANS), English Novelist, 1819–80

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
—T.S. ELIOT, English (US-born) Poet, 1888–1965

Be bold about your actions. All life is an experiment.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Be very careful what you set your heart upon, for you will surely have it.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

I like people who can do things.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is to you.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

That which we persist in doing becomes easier—not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability has increased.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

The invariable mark of a dream is to see it come true every day.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

We are always getting ready to live, but never living.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Circles, Essays, First Series, 1841

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Self-Reliance, Essays: First Series, 1841

Life is eating us up. We all shall be fables presently. Keep cool: it will be all one a hundred years hence.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Self-Reliance, Essays: First Series, 1841

Speak what you think today in words as hard as cannonballs, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Self-Reliance, Essays: First Series, 1841

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better or worse as is his portion; that though the universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Self-Reliance, Essays: First Series, 1841

But if you judge safety to be the paramount consideration in life you should never, under any circumstances, go on long hikes alone. Don’t take short hikes alone, either – or, for that matter, go anywhere alone. And avoid at all costs such foolhardy activities as driving, falling in love, or inhaling air that is almost certainly riddled with deadly germs. Wear wool next to the skin. Insure every good and chattel you possess against every conceivable contingency the future might bring, even if the premiums half-cripple the present. Never cross an intersection against a red light, even when you can see all roads are clear for miles. And never, of course, explore the guts of an idea that seems as if it might threaten one of your more cherished beliefs. In your wisdom you will probably live to be a ripe old age. But you may discover, just before you die, that you have been dead for a long, long time.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success.
—HENRY FORD, US Industrialist, 1863–1947

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a process; working together is success.
—HENRY FORD, US Industrialist, 1863–1947

The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the others willing to let them.
—ROBERT FROST, US Poet, 1874–1963

If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL, (better known as DR SEUSS), 1904–91

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL, (better known as DR SEUSS), 1904–91

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL, (better known as DR SEUSS), The Lorax, 1971

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL, (better known as DR SEUSS), Oh! The Places You’ll Go!, 1990

Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.
—DAVID LLOYD GEORGE, British Orator, Politician, 1863-1945

A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.
—ANDRE GIDE, Journals, 1922

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

The moment avoiding failure becomes your motivation, you’re down the path of inactivity. You stumble only if you’re moving.
—ROBERTO GOIZUETA, CEO of Coca-Cola Co. (1981-97), 1931-97

Exceed expectations. We are not driven to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.
—CHARLES GORE, English Bishop, Theologian, 1853–1932

Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.
—DAG HAMMARSKHJOLD, Secretary General of the United Nations, (1953–61), 1905–61

Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top.
—DAG HAMMARSKHJOLD, Secretary General of the United Nations, (1953–61), 1905–61

To will is to select a goal, determine a course of action that will bring one to that goal, and then hold to that action till the goal is reached. The key is action.
—MICHAEL HANSON, US Mathematician, 1863-1908

The best antidote to fear is confidence—confidence that what you are working for is truly important. And it is!
—PETER HARNICK, Converting Rails to Trails, 1989

Adventures don’t begin until you get into the forest. That first step is an act of faith.
—MICKEY HART, US Percussionists, 1943-

Never confuse movement with action.
—ERNEST HEMINGWAY, US Writer, 1899–1961

The mountains were there and so was I.
—MAURICE HERZOG, French Mountaineer, 1919-2012

Well, we knocked the bastard off!
—SIR EDMUND HILLARY, on climbing Everest May 29, 1953, 1919–2008

It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.
—SIR EDMUND HILLARY, first to summit Everest (1953), 1919–2008

Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it.
—SIR EDMUND HILLARY, first to summit Everest (1953), 1919–2008

People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.
—SIR EDMUND HILLARY, first to summit Everest (1953), 1919–2008

You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things, to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.
—SIR EDMUND HILLARY, first to summit Everest (1953), 1919–2008

A man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, can never regain its original dimension.
—OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, US Physician, Poet, Humorist, 1809–94

As life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time, at the peril of being not to have lived.
—OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, US Physician, Poet, Humorist, 1809–94

We do not quit playing because we grow old; we grow old because we quit playing.
—OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, US Physician, Poet, Humorist, 1809–94

Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow.
—HORACE, Latin Lyric Poet, 65–8 BC

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
—VICTOR HUGO, French Poet, Novelist, Dramatist, 1802–85

Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then, by God, do something. Don’t just stand there, make it happen.
—LEE IACOCCA, US Automobile Executive, 1924-

Live as you climb mountains—at a pace that is slow and deliberate but purposeful and regular.
—ULRICH INDERBINEN, Swiss Mountain Guide, 1900-2004

Sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.
—WILLIAM JAMES, US Psychologist, Philosopher, 1842–1920

When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.
—HENRY J. KAISER, US Industrialist, 1882-1967

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men who experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

We can do anything we want if we stick to it long enough.
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

I think I am in this world to find beauty in lonely places.
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, Jubal Sackett, Western Writer, 1908–88

The workman is known by his work.
—LA FONTAINE, Fables, 1668-79

People usually fail when they are on the verge of success so give as much care to the end, as the beginning.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Remember, success is a journey, not a destination. Have faith in your ability.
—BRUCE LEE, Hong Kong American Martial Artist, 1940-73

Nonconformity is the highest evolutionary attainment of social animals….
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you’re sure to awaken someone.

I’ve never been interested in just doing with less. I’m interested in doing more with less. We don’t have to become vegetarians and ride bicycles to save the Earth.
—AMORY LOVINS, Smithsonian, April 1990

To pursue is to explore, and the first step is to seek the mountain top.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

There is no safe place. Give up that quest. Growth happens when you are under stress, when you are being challenged. That is an opportunity. You have to show up.
—JOHN MACKEY, Whole Foods CEO, 2016

What we get from this adventure [climbing Mount Everest] is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.
—GEORGE MALORY, English Mountaineer, 1886–1924

Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.
—NELSON MANDELA, Long Walk to Freedom, 1995

Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult…
—OG MANDINO, US Motivational Author, Lecturer, 1923-96

What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—MARK 11:24

I love the woods and solitude. I should hate to spend the greater part of my lifetime in a stuffy office or in a crowded city.
—BOB MARSHALL, Co-founder, Wilderness Society, 1901–39

Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
—MARGARET MEAD, US Anthropologist, 1901–78

The wise man bridges the gap by laying out the path by means of which he can get from where he is to where he wants to go.
—J.P. MORGAN, US Financier, 1837-1913

Life is what you make it, always has been, always will be.
ANNE MARY ‘GRANDMA’ MOSES, US Folk Painter, 1860-1961

Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The mountains are calling me and I must go…
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The power of imagination makes us infinite.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Life always gets harder toward the summit—the cold increases, responsibility increases.
—FRIEDRICH WILHELM NIETZSCHE, German Philosopher, Poet, Critic, 1844-1900

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.
—BARACK OBAMA, Forty-fourth US President (2009-17), 1961–

…you can’t always choose the path that you walk in life, but you can always choose the manner in which you walk it.
—JOHN O’LEARY, On Fire, 2016

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what needs to be done and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
—GEORGE S. PATTON, US Army General, 1885–1945

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
—LINUS PAULING, US Chemist Pacifist, 1901-94

Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.
—WILLIAM PENN, US Quaker Religious Leader, 1644-1718

Only asset is the human imagination.
—TOM PETERS, Tom Peter’s Seminar, 1994

I woulda done some really cool stuff, but my boss wouldn’t let me.
—TOM PETERS, Reinventing Work, 1999

Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers.
—COLIN POWELL, US Statesman, Retired Four-Star General, 1937-

There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN or you’re OUT. There’s no such thing as life in-between.
—PAT RILEY, NBA Basketball Coach, 1945–

Action is everything.
—ANTHONY ROBBINS, Personal Power, 1989

It’s not what happens. It’s what you do that makes the difference.
—ANTHONY ROBBINS, Personal Power, 1989

Live with passion.
—ANTHONY ROBBINS, Personal Power, 1989

The past does not equal the future.
—ANTHONY ROBBINS, Personal Power, 1989

Enthusiasm was understood by the ancient Greeks to mean ‘God within us.’ And so it is that when we open ourselves to enthusiasm we receive something from above that makes us capable of achievements otherwise beyond our powers. Enthusiasm is the burning spirit within that says, ‘I can!’ It is the indomitable ‘Yes!’ without which nothing worthwhile is ever accomplished.
—ROYAL ROBBINS, US Climber, Retailer, 1935–2017

If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.
—JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, US Oil Industrialist, Philanthropist, 1839-1937

Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.

If God be for us, who can be against us? (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—ROMANS 8:31

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
—ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, US Diplomat, Politician, 1884-1962

Do what you can with what you have, where you are.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it, if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

Never before have we had so little time to do so much. New ideas can be good and bad, just the same as old ones. One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment. If it doesn’t turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.
—FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Thirty-second US President (1933-45), 1882-1945

Fortune favors the audacious.
—DESIDERIUS ERASMUS ROTERODAMUS, Dutch Humanist, Theologian, 1466-1536

If we head in the direction of our dreams and accept the winds and rains that will test our resolve, we can experience the deep satisfaction of looking back upon the path of a life well lived.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is my appreciation and encouragement.
—CHARLES SCHWAB, CEO, Charles Schwab and Co., 1937-

The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.
—ALBERT SCHWEITZER, German Medical Missionary, 1875-1965

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community … and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.
—GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Irish Dramatist, 1856–1950

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they cannot find them, make them.
—GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Irish Dramatist, 1856–1950

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
—GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Irish Dramatist, 1856-1950

Self-respect is a product of doing difficult things, and doing them well.
—GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Irish Dramatist, 1856–1950

Some see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.
—GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Irish Dramatist, 1856–1950

When I was young, I observed that nine out of every 10 things I did failed, so I did 10 times more work.
—GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Irish Dramatist, 1856–1950

Everybody lives by selling something.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Scottish Author, Poet, 1850–94

Too many folks ask me why I do these long walks. Of course, I usually answer the why question with my one word answer: “Freedom.”
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top, it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others—it rises from your heart.
—JUNKO TABEI, first woman to summit Mount Everest (1975), quoted in Women Climbing—200 Years of Achievement, Bill Birkett and Bill Peascod, 1989

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live a life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

In the long run, we only hit what we aim at.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Now or never.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

It’s always further than it looks.
It’s always taller than it looks.
And it’s always harder than it looks.
—The THREE Rules of Mountaineering

It is the job that is never started that takes longest to finish.
—J.R.R. TOLKIEN, English Writer, 1892-1973

Long-distance hiking is at least as much a mental challenge as a physical one. The most important ingredient for successfully completing a long-distance hike is your will to do so. Experience, skill, equipment, money, and time may all play a part, but none of them will be any use if you don’t really want to succeed, if you’re not really determined to finish.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

I am glad I did it, partly because it was well worth it, and chiefly because I shall never have to do it again.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.
—HENRY VAN DYKE, US Poet, 1852–1933

Dream big and dare to fail.
—COL. NORMAN VAUGHAN, American Adventurer, 1905-2005

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
—LEONARDO DA VINCI, Italian Artist, Intellectual, 1452-1519

Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.
—DENIS WAITLEY, Motivational Speaker, Author, 1933-

The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can’t do.
—DENIS WAITLEY, Motivational Speaker, Author, 1933-

Every person has the power to make others happy.
Some do it simply by entering a room;
others by leaving the room.
Some individuals leave trails of gloom;
others, trails of joy/
Some leave trails of hate and bitterness;
others, trails of love and harmony.
Some leave trails of cynicism and pessimism;
others, trails of faith and optimism.
Some leave trails of criticism and resignation;
others, trails of gratitude and hope.
What kind of trails do you leave?
—WILLIAM ARTHUR WARD, US Motivational Speaker, 1921-94

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of crackpot than the stigma of conformity.
—THOMAS J. WATSON, US Businessman (CEO of IBM 1914-56), 1874-1956

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
—ALAN WATTS, interpreter of Eastern Philosophies for the West, 1915-73

Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upward, forward, toward the sun.
—RUTH WESTHEIMER (Dr. Ruth), US Sex Therapist, 1928-

Make voyages. Attempt them. That’s all there is.
—TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, US Playwright, 1911–1983, Camino Real, 1953

When you get right down to it, and when all is said and done, it is how you connect with people on a human, personal level that will ensure your success.
—TERRIE WILLIAMS, US Author, Speaker, 1954-

We are not here merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world, and we impoverish ourselves if we forget this errand.
—WOODROW WILSON, Twenty-eight US President (1913–21), 1856–1924

When we do more than we are paid to do, eventually we will be paid more for what we do.
—ZIG ZIGLAR, US Motivational Author, Speaker, 1926-2012

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Mountain Biking Quotes

Anyone who says that mountain bikers are always occupied with speed and precision doesn’t have a clue.
—TIM BLUMENTHAL, Executive Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association, 1995

Perhaps the key message that can be learned from the evolution of cycling trail access is the importance of personal responsibility. Following trail rules, respecting fellow trail users, and leaving no trace are the simple methods that will help assure the sport’s future.
—TIM BLUMENTHAL, Executive Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association, 1995

There were many steps in the evolution of the mountain bike. There was no single inventor.
—JOE BREEZE, builder of the first frame specifically designed for mountain biking (1977), 1953-

There’s almost nothing more efficient, beautiful or perfect than a bicycle.
—JOE BREEZE, builder of the first frame specifically designed for mountain biking (1977), 1953-

We were just having fun. I always liked that line. It’s true—that’s all we were doing in the late ‘70s. People think there was some marketing genius behind the development of mountain bikes, but we were just having fun.
—JOE BREEZE, builder of the first frame specifically designed for mountain biking (1977), 1953-

When you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall, otherwise you’re not riding hard. (July 2005, following a crash into a bike cop at the G8 summit, Gleneagles, Scotland)
—GEORGE W. BUSH, Forty-third US President (2001-09 ), 1946-

I’ve seen mountain bike rides transform people—not just their bodies, but their way of thinking. Their spirit.
—CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM, US Mountain Biking Pioneer, 1949-

You’re moving through a wonderful natural environment and working on balance, timing, depth perception, judgment… It forms kind of a ballet.
—CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM, US Mountain Biking Pioneer, 1949-

People will point the finger at me and say, ‘He never built a frame in his life.’ You’re damn straight I never did, because I wanted to build a company, and I wanted to create a movement—I didn’t want to get lost in metal therapy, which other guys where.
—GARY FISHER, Founder and CEO of Fisher Bicycles, one of the inventors of the mountain bike, 1950-

The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
—JULIE FURTADO, US Mtn Bike Racer, 1967-

IMBA Rules of the Trail:
1. Ride On Open Trails Only
2. Leave No Trace
3. Control Your Bicycle
4. Yield to Others
5. Never Scare Animals
6. Plan Ahead

I ride because I am addicted to the endorphins and to the adrenaline. I ride because the second my legs start turning circles I become a happier person. I ride because I love to feel the wind on my face and listen to the birds and bugs. I ride because it allows me to take out my aggression and anger. I ride because it stabilizes my life and creates balance. I ride because going downhill at 40 mph makes me feel wild and free. I ride because I can’t cry and pedal at the same time. I ride because it allows me to play with the boys. I ride because I can go alone. I ride because even though I have ridden the route a 1000 times, I never know what is around the next bend.
—EMILY KACHOREK, US Professional Cyclist, 1980-

Now, more than ever, responsible riding is essential to helping ensure the long-term health of mountain biking—and the areas that truly make the mountain biking experience what it is.
—LEAVE NO TRACE INC., Mountain Biking, 2001

Today, mountain biking is one of the most popular forms of trail recreation—not only in North America, but in much of the world. In the US alone, more than 10 million people regularly ride mountain bikes on trails.
—LEAVE NO TRACE INC., Mountain Biking, 2001

Mountain biking is an amazing mix of outdoor adventure, appreciation, thrill, exploration, skill and fitness. On a mountain bike, you can pedal at a pace that promotes intimacy and interaction with the environment, meandering through a section of quiet forest before stopping to take in the beauty around you. Or you can swoop along an open single-track before testing your skill on a steep descent.
—LEAVE NO TRACE INC., Mountain Biking, 2001

I’m lucky that mountain biking wasn’t around when I was 20, because I wouldn’t have won the Tour de France. It’s my kind of sport—hard, individualistic, and not a lot of tactics.
—GREG LEMOND, US Professional Cyclist, 1986 first non-European to win the Tour de France (3 times), 1961-

I like to go fast and use my brakes as little as possible.
—FRANK McCORMACK, US Mtn Bike Racer, 1969-

I try to remember that the great majority of mountain bicyclists aren’t speed-crazy morons hell-bent on tearing up the terrain.
—JOHN MCKINNEY, The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way, 2005

It’s a feeling you get on certain trails, when you’re reacting like you and your machine are just one thing. It’s the feel of physical exertion and speed and technique all wrapped into one.
—NED OVEREND, winner of first-ever Mountain Bike World Championships (1990), 1955-

Mountain biking helps people become environmentalists. A mountain bike is a vehicle to appreciate the backcountry.
—NED OVEREND, winner of first-ever Mountain Bike World Championships (1990), 1955-

I ride for passion. Cycling is too hard to do just for the money.
—PAOLA PEZZO, Italian Mtn Bike Racer, 1969-

Until mountain biking came along, the bike scene was ruled by a small elite cadre of people who seemed allergic to enthusiasm.
—JACQUIE (Alice B. Toeclips) PHELAN, US Mountain Biker, 1955-

Government authorities and public representatives at all levels are supposed to be accountable to all the people, including you and your mountain biking friends. If you have the right arguments and present them reasonably, chances are pretty good you’ll be able to secure or retain access in most cases where you and your bike don’t represent a serious threat to the environment.
—ROB VAN DER PLAS, The Mountain Bike Book, 1990

Gravity is a wicked harsh mistress.
—COSMIC RAY, Fat Tire Tales and Trails: Arizona Mountain Bike Guide, 1995

Riding, for me, has always been about exploring. But because I’m not a natural, it is also the first thing that forced me to live in the present—those fifteen feet or so right in front of us where life happens. If I think too far ahead, I usually crash.
—COSMIC RAY, Fat Tire Tales and Trails: Arizona Mountain Bike Guide, 1995

I does no good to live in unpleasant moments from your past. That’s what’s so great about bikes. You get on them in the present and ride them into the future.
—COSMIC RAY, Arizona Mtn Bike Trail Guide Author, 1947-

The mountain bike has brought me to many wonderful places.
—MIKE STRASSMAN, The Basic Essentials of Mountain Biking, 1989

You can always wear black stockings to cover up the scars!
—MARLA STREB, US Downhill Mtn Bike Racer, 1965-

No model of bike has ever taken the US market the way these [mountain] bikes have.
—BILL WILKINSON, Executive Director, Bicycle Federation of America, 1987

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Trails and Greenway National Forests Quotes

Mostly what the Forest Service does is build roads. There are 378,000 miles of road in America’s national forests…eight times the total mileage of America’s interstate highway system.
—BILL BRYSON, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering American on the Appalachian Trail, 1998

Perhaps the rebuilding of the body and spirit is the greatest service derivable from our forests, for what worth are material things if we lose the character and quality of people that are the soul of America.
—ARTHUR CARHART, USDA Forest Service’s first Landscape Architect (1919), 1892–1978

…there is no higher service that the [National] forests can supply to individual and community than the healing of mind and spirit which comes from the hours spent where there is great solitude.
—ARTHUR CARHART, USDA Forest Service’s first Landscape Architect (1919), 1892–1978

So great is the value of national forest areas for recreation, and so certain is this value to increase with the growth of the country and the shrinkage of the wilderness, that even if the forest resources of wood and water were not to be required by the civilization of the future, many of the forests ought certainly to be preserved, in the interest of national health and well-being, for recreation use alone.
—TREADWELL CLEVELAND, National Forests as Recreation Grounds, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 35(2), March, 1910

The national forests are designed by Congress for ‘multiple’ use. That is the professed policy. I had long suspected that ‘multiple’ use was semantics for making cattlemen, sheepmen, lumbermen, miners the main beneficiaries. After they gutted and ruined the forests, then the rest of us could use them—to find campsites among stumps, to look for fish in waters heavy with silt from erosion, to search for game on ridges pounded to dust by sheep.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, My Wilderness: East to Katahdin, 1961

For the want of a trail, the finest white pine forests in the United States were laid waste and scores of lives lost (speaking of the big fire of 1910).
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, first Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

The earth, I repeat, belongs of right to all its people, and not to a minority, insignificant in numbers but tremendous in wealth and power.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, first Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

There are just two things that matter on this earth—people and natural resources.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, first Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

There are many great interests on the national forests which sometimes conflict a little. They must all be made to fit into one another so that the machine runs smoothly as a whole. It is often necessary for one man to give way a little here, another a little there. But by giving way a little at present, they both profit by it a great deal in the end.
National forests exist today because the people want them. To make them accomplish the most good, the people themselves must make clear how they want them run.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, first Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

The forest reserves should be set apart forever for the use and benefit of our people as a whole and not sacrificed to the shortsighted greed of a few.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

….recreation is a major value of the forests … the woods and mountains should be enjoyed by their owners, the citizens of the United States….
—JOHN SIEKER, Trees, Yearbook of Agriculture, 1949

A ranger must be able to take care of himself and his horses under very trying conditions; build trails and cabins; ride all day and all night; pack, shoot and fight fire without losing his head…. All this requires a very vigorous constitution…. Invalids need not apply!
—USDA FOREST SERVICE help-wanted flyer, 1905

Outdoor recreation ranks today as one of the major resources or utilities of the National Forests, not because of anything the government has done to facilitate or increase this form of use, but because of the demonstrated belief of several millions of people that Forests offer a broad and varied field of recreational opportunity.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Report of the Forester, 1922

Trails will be maintained, reconstructed, and constructed in the interests of: (a) Fire control; (b) administration; (c) grazing; (d) recreation. The objects of trail construction are (a) to provide safe and unobstructed passage of loaded animals and foot travelers at a walking gait and in single file; (b) durability designed to meet expected use and liability of damage from natural causes.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Forest Trail Handbook, 1935

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Trails and Greenway National Reports Quotes

.…a national system is one that is made up of trails in a city or town, those that pass through the countryside, those on private lands and on public lands in state and national parks and forests. Creating a system means learning where trails are and developing connections that link them together into networks and where desirable and necessary, building new trails that also connect. Just as the nation’s roads, whether interstate highways, state roads, county roads or village streets, are seen as a system, developed and managed by various entities and levels of government, so should trails be viewed. A system will result only when individual trails or a community or park or forest trail system are looked at and planned for in the context of a larger system.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

The creation of a true national system of trails begins with all Americans in their own backyards—in neighborhoods and communities, in churches, schools and social organizations, in cities and towns, in every county and state.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

The time for trails is now, if we all act now, we can begin to see results. We can realize the vision of a system of trails, connecting people and communities. This can be the era of the recreational interstate system—with a trail within 15 minutes of most of our homes.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

Trail opportunities should exist within 15 minutes of most American’s homes.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

According to 13 national surveys conducted between 1959 and 1978, trail-related activities consistently rank among the ten most popular outdoor recreation activities. Historically, trails in the United States are not the result of conscious recreation planning decisions. Consequently, many trail routes pass over private property or along public rights-of-way and are subject to disruption and environmental degradation as development threats grow. This susceptibility is of particular concern as public interest in trails continues to grow at a rapid rate.
—LAWRENCE KLAR and JEAN KAVANAGH, Literature review for the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors report, 1986

The National Park Service has a twenty-first century responsibility of great importance. It is to proclaim anew the meaning and value of parks, conservation, and recreation; to expand the learning and research occurring in parks and share that knowledge broadly; and to encourage all Americans to experience these special places. As a people, our quality of life—our very health and well-being depends in the most basic way on the protection of nature, the accessibility of open space and recreation opportunities, and the preservation of landmarks that illustrate our historic continuity. By caring for the parks and conveying the park ethic, we care for ourselves and act on behalf of the future. The larger purpose of this mission is to build a citizenry that is committed to conserving its heritage and its home on earth.
—NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM ADVISORY BOARD, Rethinking the National Parks for the 21st Century, 2001

Government has three basic responsibilities: (1) To insure, either directly or in cooperation with the private sector, that Americans have access to the outdoor environment and an opportunity to benefit from such activities as enjoyment of scenery and wildlife, picnicking, and hiking; (2) to recognize the importance of recreation in the management of its own lands; and (3) to preserve certain outstanding resources for future generations.

The most basic thing that can be done is to encourage the simple pleasures of walking and cycling. It is something of a tribute to Americans that they do as much cycling and walking as they do, for very little has been done to encourage these activities, and a good bit, if inadvertently, to discourage them. We are spending billions for our new highways, but few of them being constructed or planned make any provision for safe walking and cycling. And many of the suburban developments surrounding our cities do not even have sidewalks, much less cycle paths.
Europe, which has even greater population, has much to teach us about building recreation into the environment. Holland is constructing a national network of bicycle trails. In Scotland, the right of the public to walk over the privately owned moors goes back centuries. In Scandinavia, buses going from the city to the countryside have pegs on their sides on which people can hang their bicycles. Car ownership is rising all over Europe, but in the planning of their roads and the posting of them, Europeans make a special effort to provide for those who walk or cycle.
Why not here? Along the broad rights-of-way of our highways—particularly those in suburban areas—simple trails could be laid out for walkers and cyclists. Existing rights-of-way for high tension lines, now so often left to weeds and rubble, could at very little cost be made into a ‘connector’ network of attractive walkways.

The outdoors lies deep in American tradition. It has had immeasurable impact on the Nation’s character and on those who made it’s history…. When an American looks for the meaning of his past, he seeks it not in ancient ruins, but more likely in mountains and forests, by a river, or at the edge of the sea…. Today’s challenge is to assure all Americans permanent access to their outdoor heritage.

More than anything else, we found in Americans a love of the land, and a shared conviction that it is our legacy for the future. We found that recreation is important to people in their daily lives, and that most of them cannot imagine a world in which they did not have access to the outdoors. We found that Americans are willing to work, and to pay, to see that quality outdoor opportunities continue to be available to them, and to their children’s children.

[The Commission recommended that] all Americans be able to go out their front doors and within fifteen minutes be on trails that wind through their cities, town or villages and brings them back without retracing steps. They could travel across America on trails that connect one community to another and stretch from coast to coast, and from border to border.

The Great Outdoors is still great. But we found that we are facing a deterioration of the natural resource base, and of the recreation infrastructure. Accelerating development of our remaining open spaces, wetlands, shorelines, historic sites, and countrysides, and deferred maintenance and care of our existing resources, are robbing future generations of the heritage which is their birthright. We are selling the backyard to buy groceries….

We have the choice of whether we want our communities as they grow to become a jumble of unsightly development and noisy concrete deserts, or whether we will preserve fresh, green pockets and corridors of living open space that cleanse our air and waters and refresh our populations. We have the responsibility and the capacity to choose, for ourselves, our neighbors, and for future generations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in order to preserve, develop, and assure accessibility to all American people of present and future generations such quality and quantity of outdoor recreation resources as will be necessary and desirable for individual enjoyment, and to assure the spiritual, cultural, and physical benefits that such outdoor recreation provides; in order to inventory and evaluate the outdoor recreation resources and opportunities of the Nation, to determine the types and location of such resources and opportunities which will be required by present and future generations; and in order to make comprehensive information and recommendations leading to these goals available to the President, the Congress, and the individual States and Territories, there is hereby authorized and created a bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission.
—PUBLIC LAW 85-470, 1958

The changing population characteristics of the United States point to a multiplying demand for outdoor recreation opportunities of all kinds. An expected two-fold increase in the number of people by the year 2000 will mean at least a three-fold increase in the demand for recreation according to the O.R.R.R.C. (Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission). Trails, with all other forms of outdoor recreation, will be in short supply unless adequate facilities systematically are provided.
—USDI BUREAU of OUTDOOR RECREATION, Trails for America: Report on the Nationwide Trails Study, 1966

Trails near metropolitan centers where a disproportionate share of the increasing population will be located are especially inadequate.
—USDI BUREAU of OUTDOOR RECREATION, Trails for America: Report on the Nationwide Trails Study, 1966

Trails represent a major opportunity to satisfy the demand for outdoor recreation. By their nature, they afford a low-concentration, dispersed type of recreation that is much sought after today. Trails are the means to some of the most beneficial kinds of exercise—walking, hiking, horseback riding, and cycling. Trails enable people to reach prime areas for hunting, fishing, and camping; they lead to areas prized by students of nature and history; they are used by artists and photographers; they help to satisfy the craving many people have for solitude and the beauty of untrammeled lands and water.
—USDI BUREAU of OUTDOOR RECREATION, Trails for America: Report on the Nationwide Trails Study, 1966

Walking for pleasure will increase from 566 million occasions of participation in 1960, to 1,569 million by the year 2000, a 277 percent increase. Hiking will jump 358 percent, from 34 million to 125 million.
—USDI BUREAU of OUTDOOR RECREATION, Trails for America: Report on the Nationwide Trails Study, 1966

Walking, hiking, and bicycling are simple pleasures within the economic reach of virtually all citizens. Horseback riding, even though increasingly expensive for urban dwellers, is available to a large portion of Americans. Opportunities to enjoy these basic activities have become increasingly limited for the American people as the society has urbanized and as economic development has preempted areas which had earlier been devoted to outdoor recreation areas. Today, with more leisure time and with rising amounts of disposable income available for recreation users, more and more Americans are seeking relaxation and physical and spiritual renewal in the enjoyment of the traditional simple pleasures.
—USDI BUREAU of OUTDOOR RECREATION, Trails for America: Report on the Nationwide Trails Study, 1966

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National Trails System Quotes

[Trails] promise the best opportunity yet devised for bringing people into intimate contact with nature and the unspoiled out-of-doors in both wilderness and also in the relatively developed settings… Trails are the most important, the most economical, and the easiest means of providing desirable human access to areas of historic significance, our publicly owned wilderness lands, and areas of scenic beauty.
—STEWART W. BRANDBORG, Executive Director, The Wilderness Society, GPO, 1967, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation… on H.R. 4865 and Related Bills to Establish a Nationwide System of Trails, held March 6-7, 1967

The National Trails System of Act of 1968 was a watershed moment for the hiking and trails movement but also a contributing factor in the decline of the traditional hiking community. As Americans came to expect government to provide accessible trails as a taxpayer-financed service, the volunteer ethic that had defined the hiking community for more than one hundred years was lost. New hikers believed that they were entitled to clean, well-maintained trails. Why, they wondered, should they be asked to do more?
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 9 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, approved December 20, 1944 (58 Stat. 838), is amended by inserting at the end thereof a new subsection to read as follows:
“(d) For the construction and maintenance within the continental United States of a national system of foot or horse trails, not to exceed ten thousand miles in total length, to be devoted solely for foot or horse travel and camping, which activities will develop the physical fitness and self-reliance of, and an appreciation of nature in, the people of this Nation, and serve as a part of the basic training of our youth for service in the armed forces, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated the sum of $50,000 for the first fiscal year for which appropriations are made hereafter for purposes of this subsection, a like amount for each of the second and third years thereafter, and such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year thereafter. The Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture is authorized and directed to construct, develop, and maintain said national system of trails, cooperating with other Federal agencies and with States and political subdivisions thereof in areas where trails of such system cross property under the jurisdiction of such other federal agencies or owned by States and political subdivisions thereof: Provided, That where trails of such system cross lands under the administrative jurisdiction of another Federal agency, or where they cross lands owned by a State or political subdivisions thereof, the Forest Service may perform the functions authorized herein with respect to such lands only with the approval of such other agency. All trails of such system shall be constructed, developed, and maintained in a manner which will preserve as far as possible the wilderness, historic, or scientific values of the areas traversed by the trails of such system. The Forest Service is authorized to acquire such lands and easements as may be necessary for such system and to provide shelters, signs, maps, guidebooks, and other attendant facilities. The Appalachian Trail, a mountain footpath extending from Maine to Georgia for two thousand and fifty miles, and the Pacific Crest Trail, extending from Canada to Mexico through Washington, Oregon, and California, shall be included as trails of the said national system of trails.”
—THE “HOCH BILL” H.R. 5479, 80th Congress, 2d session (As re-introduced in the House of Representatives on February 19, 1948)
(Public Law 90-543, 1968) (16 U.S.C. 1241 et. seq.)

AN ACT To establish a national trails system, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. This Act my be cited as the ‘National Trails System Act.’
SEC. 2. (a) In order to provide for the ever-increasing outdoor recreation needs of an expanding population and in order to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation, trails should be established (i) primarily, near the urban areas of the Nation, and (ii) secondarily, within scenic areas and along historic travel routes of the Nation, which are often more remotely located.
(b) The purpose of this Act is to provide the means for attaining these objectives by instituting a national system of recreation, scenic and historic trails, by designating the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail as the initial components of that system, and by prescribing the methods by which, and standards according to which, additional components may be added to the system.
(c) The Congress recognizes the valuable contributions that volunteers and private, nonprofit trail groups have made to the development and maintenance of the Nation’s trails. In recognition of these contributions, it is further the purpose of this Act to encourage and assist volunteer citizen involvement in the planning, development, maintenance, and management, where appropriate, of trails.
SEC. 3. (a) The national system of trails shall be composed of the following:
(1) National recreation trails, established as provided in section 4 of this Act, which will provide a variety of outdoor recreation uses in or reasonably accessible to urban areas.
(2) National scenic trails, established as provided in section 5 of this Act, which will be extended trails so located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural qualities of the areas through which such trails may pass. National scenic trails may be located so as to represent desert, marsh, grassland, mountain, canyon, river, forest, and other areas, as well as landforms which exhibit significant characteristics of the physiographic regions of the Nation.
(c) National historic trails, established as provided in section 5 of this Act, which will be extended trails which follow as closely as possible and practicable the original trails or routes of travel of national historical significance. Designation of such trails or routes shall be continuous, but the established or developed trail, and the acquisition thereof, need not be continuous on site. National historic trails shall have as their purpose the identification and protection of the historic route and its historic remnants and artifacts for public use and enjoyment. Only those selected land and water based components of a historic trail which are on federally owned lands and which meet the national historic trail criteria established in this Act are included as Federal protection components of a national historic trail. The appropriate Secretary may certify other lands as protected segments of an historic trail upon application from State or local governmental agencies or private interests involved if such segments meet the national historic trail criteria established in this Act and such criteria supplementary thereto as the appropriate Secretary may prescribe, and are administered by such agencies or interests without expense to the United States.
(4) Connecting or side trails, established as provided in section 6 of this Act, which will provide additional points of public access to national recreation, national scenic or national historic trails or which will provide connections between such trails. The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with appropriate governmental agencies and public and private organizations, shall establish a uniform marker for the national trails system.
—from the NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM ACT, as amended, Nov. 17, 1993

The purpose of this Act is to provide the means for attaining … a national system of recreation, scenic and historic trails.
—Section 2(b) of the NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM ACT, 1968

….in selecting the rights-of-way full consideration shall be given to minimizing the [trail’s] adverse effects upon the adjacent landowner or user and his operation. Development and management of each segment of the National Trails System shall be designed to harmonize with and complement any established multiple-use plans for the specific area in order to ensure continued maximum benefits from the land.
—Section 7(2) of the NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM ACT, 1968

If a State, political subdivision, or qualified private organization is prepared to assume full responsibility for management of such [railroad] rights-of-way and for any legal liability arising out of such transfer or use, and for the payment of any and all taxes that may be levied or assessed against such rights-of-way, then the Commission shall impose such terms and conditions as a requirement of any transfer or conveyance for interim use in a manner consistent with this Act, and shall not permit abandonment or discontinuance inconsistent or disruptive of such use.
—Section 8(d) of the NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM ACT, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1247(d) – referred to as railbanking, Amendments of 1983

In the preceding several years numerous new trails have been and are being added to the trails system. At the same time the same Congress has weakened, and continues to weaken, the working provisions and tools of the trails act to the extent that the true workability of most of the trails system is greatly reduced. In the simplest words, we love to designate trails, while at the same time we seriously curtail their workability on the ground…We are indeed deeply in the rut of creating ‘paper trails’— good stuff on paper, but fairly worthless on the ground where they really count.
—KEITH SEBELIUS (R-KS), remarks on the House floor, 1980

A national trail is a gateway into nature’s secret beauties, a portal to the past, a way into solitude and community. It is also an inroad to our national character. Our trails are both irresistible and indispensable.
—STEWART UDALL, US Secretary of the Interior (1961–69); 1920–2010

The establishment of a nationwide system of trails will be an accomplishment worthy of a place beside other major conservation programs…The fundamental objective of a nationwide system of trails is to provide simple, inexpensive recreation opportunities for all people by having an abundance of trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding near home, as well as providing some major historic and scenic interstate trails of national significance.
—STEWART UDALL, in testimony, March 6, 1967

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Native American Trails and Nature Quotes

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.
—CHIEF LUTHER STANDING BEAR of the Oglala Sioux, 1868-1939

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as “wild.” Only to the white man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land “infested” with “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it “wild” for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the “Wild West” began.
—CHIEF LUTHER STANDING BEAR of the Oglala Sioux, 1868-1939

May your moccasins make happy tracks.

We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and we ask that they teach us and show us the way.
—CHINOOK Blessing Litany

One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.
—CRAZY HORSE, War Leader of Oglala Lakota, 1840-77

We will be known by the tracks we leave behind.
—DAKOTA Proverb

Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is!
—BLACK ELK, Oglala Sioux Holyman, 1863–1950

Great Mother Earth, upon you the people will walk; may they follow the Sacred Path with light, not with the darkness of ignorance…. And may they know they are related to all that moves upon the universe.
—BLACK ELK, Oglala Sioux Holyman, 1863–1950

There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.
—LINDA HOGAN, Native American Poet, Writer, 1947-

Listen to the voice of nature.
—HURON Proverb

I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living and countless numbers are still unborn.

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.
—LAKOTA Proverb

Happily may I walk, may it be beautiful before me, may it be beautiful behind me, may it be beautiful below me, may it be beautiful above me, may it be beautiful all around me. In beauty it is finished.

In the house of long life,
there I wander.
In the house of happiness,
there I wander.
Beauty before me,
with it I wander.
Beauty behind me,
with it I wander.
Beauty below me,
with it I wander.
Beauty above me,
with it I wander.
Beauty all around me,
with it I wander.
In old age traveling,
with it I wander.
On the beautiful trail I am,
with it I wander.

On the trail marked with pollen, may I walk.
With grasshoppers about my feet, may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty, may I walk.
—NAVAJO Saying

In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
In beauty will I possess again.
Beautifully birds,
Beautifully joyful birds.
On a trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With wild flowers about my feet may I walk.
With dew about my feet may I walk.
With beauty may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty,
Lively may I walk.
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty,
Living again may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.

We didn’t inherit the earth from our parents, we are borrowing it from our children.

Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins. or
Do not complain about your neighbor until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.

This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood that unites one family. All things are connected.
—CHIEF SEATTLE, leader of the Suquamish Tribe in the Washington Territory, 1790–1866

This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth…. So if we sell you our land, love it as we’ve loved it. Care for it as we’ve cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you take it. And with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children, and love it … as God loves us all.
—CHIEF SEATTLE, leader of the Suquamish Tribe in the Washington Territory, 1790–1866

Whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the earth, he does to himself.
—CHIEF SEATTLE, leader of the Suquamish Tribe in the Washington Territory, 1790–1866

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befall the sons of the earth….
—CHIEF SEATTLE, leader of the Suquamish Tribe in the Washington Territory, 1790–1866

Don’t settle, roam over the prairies.

The path to glory is rough.

Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.
—SIOUX Prayer

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Nature Quotes

To get past the superficial, two-dimensional, merely aesthetic experience you must, eventually, leave the mechanical conveyances behind…
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

All children deserve contact with nature as part of their heritage…. The more our children see and know of the natural world around them, the better equipped they will be to face the basic realities of life and realize the noble potential of existence this planet has to offer.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful, an endless prospect of magic and wonder.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

The clear realities of nature, seen with the inner eye of the spirit, reveal the ultimate echo of God.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

Nature will out.
—AESOP, Fables, 6th Century BC

Nature is the art of God.
—DANTE ALIGHIERI, Italian Poet, 1265-1321

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
—ARISTOTLE, Greek Philosopher, 384–322 BC

Nature does nothing uselessly.
—ARISTOTLE, Greek Philosopher, 384–322 BC

Nature…makes nothing in vain.
—ARISTOTLE, Greek Philosopher, 384–322 BC

Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span upon this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.
—ELIZABETH ASTON, The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, 2005

Nature is only to be commanded by obeying her.
—FRANCIS BACON, Novum Organum, 1620

The attention of a traveler should be particularly turned, in the first place, to the various works of Nature.
—WILLIAM BARTRAM, US Naturalist, 1739–1823

In the country it is as if every tree said to me, ‘Holy! Holy!’ Who can ever express the ecstasy of the woods.
—LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, German Composer, 1770-1827

The woods, the trees and the rocks give man the resonance he needs.
—LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, German Composer, 1770-1827

Our children no longer learn how to read the Great Book of Nature from their own direct experience or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet.
—THOMAS BERRY, The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, 1999

Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions.
—ANTOINETTE BROWN BLACKWELL, US Social Reformer, 1825-1921

The tree that moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule & deformity… & some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. As a man is so he sees.
—WILLIAM BLAKE, English Poet, 1757–1827

We have the peculiar privilege … the freedom to walk this earth, see its beauties, taste its sweetness, partake of its enduring strength.
—HAL BORLAND, US Journalist, Naturalist, 1900–78

Nature…being the source of all beauty, is beauty’s permanent repository.
—CHARLES BRIGHTBILL, Man and Leisure; A Philosophy of Recreation, 1961

The outdoor trail is one of many useful devices through which the teacher-naturalist is able to bring the world of nature closer to children, school groups and adults.
—CARL W. BUCHHEISTER, President, National Audubon Society, 1965

Give me a spark of Nature’s fire. That’s all the learning I desire.
—ROBERT BURNS, Scottish Poet, 1759-96

Hedge or qualify as we will, man is part of nature.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

I do not take readers to nature to give them a lesson, but to have a good time.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US essayist and naturalist, 1837–1921

If I were to name the three most precious resources of life, I should say books, friends and nature: and the greatest of these, at least the most constant and always at hand, is nature. Nature we always have with us, inexhaustible storehouse of that which moves the heart, appeals to the mind, and fires the imagination—health to the body, stimulus to the intellect, and joy to the soul.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

It is not so much what we see in nature but how we interpret what we see.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

To learn something new, take the path you took yesterday.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

Walking brings out the true character of a man. The devil never yet asked his victims to take a walk with him. You will not be long in finding your companion out. All disguises will fall away from him.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

Life involved dialogue between us and nature. We communicate through our actions, and nature responds—sometimes angrily, as with droughts or floods, sometimes tenderly, as with singing birds or leaves dancing in the breeze. By bringing us close to nature, trails promote kinder, gentler conversation. Nature has no quarrel with trails.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (2001), 1947-2017

Education is only second to nature.
—HORACE BUSHNELL, creator of America’s first public park, 1802–76

We go back to nature every time we take a deep breath and stop worrying.
—BLISS CARMEN, The Making of Personality, 1908

The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of Neanderthal age of biology and the convenience of man.
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexations or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living.
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

We still think in terms of conquest. We still haven’t become mature enough to think of ourselves as only a tiny part of a vast and incredible universe. Man’s attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature. But man is a part of nature and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself… Now, I truly believe that we in this generation must come to terms with nature, and I think we’re challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves.
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.
—JIMMY CARTER, Thirty-ninth US President (1977–81), 1924–

Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.
—GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER, US Educator, Agricultural Scientist, 1864-1943

Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.
—GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER, US Educator, Agricultural Scientist, 1864-1943

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
—WILLA CATHER, US Writer, 1873-1947

Nature, which had for most of American history been something to fear and conquer, slowly emerged as an antidote to industrialization.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Those things are better which are perfected by nature than those which are finished by art.
—MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, Roman Orator, 106–43 BC

Time destroys the speculation of men, but it confirms the judgment of nature.
—MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, Roman Orator, 106–43 BC

Whatever befalls in accordance with nature should be accounted good.

And how should a man who has lived in towns and schools know anything about the wonders of the woods?

All my life through, the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a child.
—MARIE CURIE, Polish Physicist, 1867-1934

Growing up, I had always thought that nature was beautiful, but I had never seen myself as a part of nature. I had never seen myself as a part of all that beauty—until I hiked the [Appalachian] trail.
—JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS, The Pursuit of Endurance, 2018

For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.
—CHARLES DICKENS, British novelist, 1812-70

How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!
—EMILY DICKINSON, US Poet, 1830-86

Nature, like man, sometimes weeps from gladness.
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, British Prime Minister, (1874-80), 1804–81

Anytime in your life when you’re feeling out of sorts in any way, go to nature and find your peace.
—WAYNE DYER, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, 2001

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

The green world is our sacred center. In moments of sanity we must still seek refuge there.
—LOREN EISELEY, US Natural Science Writer, 1907-77

A nobler want of man is served by nature, namely, the love of Beauty.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Adopt the pace of nature: Her secret is patience.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever in life, is always a child. In the woods is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods we return to reason and faith.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Nature is made to conspire with spirit to emancipate us.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

We have no wealth but the wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

The knapsack of custom falls off his back with the first step he takes into these precincts.

Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, History, Essays: First Series, 1841

I am not trying to imitate nature, I’m trying to find the principles she uses.
—BUCKMINISTER FULLER, US Architect, Inventor, Scientist, Teacher, Philosopher, 1895-1983

Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil.
—ANATOLE FRANCE, French Writer, 1844–1924

In this twentieth century, to stop rushing around, to sit quietly on the grass, to switch off the world and come back to the earth, to allow the eye to see a willow, a bush, a cloud, a leaf, is “an unforgettable experience”…
—FREDERICK FRANCK, Dutch Author, 1909-2006

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only there does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
—ANNE FRANK, German Jewish Diarist, 1929-45; The Diary of a Young Girl, 1947

Nature is always hinting at us. It hints over and over again. And suddenly we take the hint.
—ROBERT FROST, US Poet, 1874–1963

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
—KAHLIL GIBRAN, The Prophet, 1923

Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our dead branches. Yet it sends out living roots deeper into the living heart of the living earth. Man struggles to find life outside himself, unaware that the life he is seeking is within him. Nature reaches out to us with welcome arms, and bids us enjoy her beauty; but we dread her silence, and rush into the crowded cities, there to huddle like sheep fleeing from a ferocious wolf.
—KAHLIL GIBRAN, The Prophet, 1923

…much earnest philosophical thought is born of the life which springs from close association with nature.
—LAURA GILPIN, US Photographer, 1891-1979

Man may turn which way he please, and undertake any thing whatsoever… he will always return to the path which nature has prescribed for him.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

Nature is the living, visible garment of God.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.
—VINCENT VAN GOGH, Dutch Artist, 1853-90

Painters understand nature and love her and teach us to see her.
—VINCENT VAN GOGH, Dutch Artist, 1853-90

As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.
—STEPHEN GRAHAM, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1926

I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me.
—WILLIAM HAZLITT, English Essayist, 1778-1830

I cannot see the wit of walking and talking at the same time. When I am in the country I wish to vegetate like the country.
—WILLIAM HAZLITT, English Writer, 1778–1830

Let no man be ashamed to kneel in the woods for they were God’s first temples.
—ERNEST HEMINGWAY, US Writer, 1899–1961

When you are close to nature you can listen to the voice of God.
—HERMAN HESSE, Swiss (German-born) Author, 1877-1962

I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see.
—SHERLOCK HOLMES, in The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1926

Nature is always alien and inhuman, and occasionally diabolic.
—ALDOUS HUXLEY, English Writer, 1894-1963

To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall.
—THOMAS HUXLEY, English Biologist, 1825-95

As the leaves of the trees are said to absorb all noxious qualities of the air, and to breathe forth a purer atmosphere, so it seems to me as if they drew from us all sordid and angry passions, and breathed forth peace and philanthropy. There is a severe and settled majesty in woodland scenery that enters into the soul, and dilates and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.
—WASHINGTON IRVING, US Writer, 1783-1859

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—ISAIAH 55:12

You cannot walk fast very long on a footpath.
—RICHARD JEFFERIES, English Naturalist, Novelist, 1848–87

Deviation from nature is deviation from happiness.
—SAMUEL JOHNSON, British Writer, 1709-84

This instinct for a free life in the open is as natural and wholesome as the gratification of hunger and thirst and love. It is Nature’s recall to the simple mode of existence she intended us for.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

Boy, Gramp! Nature’s so much bigger in person than it is on TV.
—HANK KETCHAM, Dennis the Menace cartoon, August 15, 2001

We have invented exercise, recreation, pleasure, amusement, and the rest. But recreation, pleasure, amusement, fun and all the rest are poor substitutes for joy; and joy, I am convinced, has its roots in something from which civilization tends to cut us off. Some awareness of the world outside of man must exist if one is to experience the happiness and solace which some of us find in an awareness of nature and in our love for her manifestations.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

We need some contact with the things we sprang from. We need nature at least as a part of the context of our lives. Without cities we cannot be civilized. Without nature, without wilderness even, we are compelled to renounce an important part of our heritage.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

We who walk the woodland paths know that although all men look, not many see. It is not only to keep the eyes open but to see what is there and to understand.
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, The Warrior’s Path, 1984

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Every woodland or forest in addition to yielding lumber, fuel, and posts, should provide those who frequent it with a liberal education about nature. This crop of wisdom never fails but unfortunately it is not always harvested.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

It must be a poor life that achieves freedom from fear.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

….that only true development in American recreational resources is the development of the perceptive faculty in Americans: that recreational development is a job, not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

To those devoid of imagination, a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Through woods and mountain passes. The wind, like anthems, roll.

Developers and environmentalists, corporate CEOs and college professors, rock stars and ranchers may agree on little else, but they agree on this: no one among us wants to be a member of the last generation to pass on to its children the joy of playing outside in nature.
—RICHARD LOUV, Last Child in the Woods, 2006

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
—JOHN LUBBOCK, British Biologist, Politician, 1834-1913

Let us teach about nature where nature is.
—FRANK LUTZ, Nature Trails An Experiment in Out-door Education, 1926

It’s a great thing these days to leave civilization for a while and return to nature.
—BOB MARSHALL, The High Peaks of the Adirondacks, 1922

Where you find a people who believe that man and nature are indivisible, and that survival and health are contingent upon an understanding of nature and her processes, these societies will be very different from ours, as will be their towns, cities and landscapes.
—IAN MCHARG, Design With Nature, 1969

We are free to be at peace with ourselves and others, and also with nature.
—THOMAS MERTON, English Poet, 1915-68

The world has not to be put in order. The world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.
—HENRY MILLER, Sexus, 1949

Nature understands her business better than we do.
—MICHEL EYQUEM DE MONTAIGNE, French Essayist, 1533-92

There is no single entity or primal state one can point to and call “nature”: it is both everything and nothing.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

And what glorious landscapes are about me, new plants, new animals, new crystals, and multitudes of new mountains…towering in glorious array along the axis of the range…
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail. Like a generous host, she offers her brimming cups in endless variety, served in a grand hall, the sky its ceiling, the mountains its walls…
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Do something for wildness and make the mountains glad.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose we came from the woods originally.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

I have a low opinion of books; they are but piles of stone set up to show travelers where other minds have been, or at least signal smokes to call attention…. No amount of wordmaking will ever make a single soul to know these mountains. As well to seek to warm the naked and frostbitten by lectures on caloric and pictures of flame. One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographer’s plates. No earthy chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul. All that is required is exposure, and purity of material.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Keep close to Nature’s heart, yourself; and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Our crude civilization engenders a multitude of wants, and law-givers are ever at their wit’s end devising. The hall and the theater and the church have been invented, and compulsory education. Why not add compulsory recreation? Our forefathers forged chains of duty and habit, which bind us notwithstanding our boasted freedom, and we ourselves in desperation add link to link, groaning and making medicinal laws for relief. Yet few think of pure rest or of the healing power of Nature.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Society speaks and all men listen, mountains speak and wise men listen.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The battle we have fought, and are still fighting for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the end of it…So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains—mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature’s workshops.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The mountains call and I must go.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Wherever we go in the mountains we find more than we seek.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Wildness is a necessity.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the Mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914, talking about the proposal to dam Hetch Hetchy

But let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life, and that the grave has no victory, for it never fights. All is in divine harmony.
—JOHN MUIR, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf, 1868

Man and other civilized animals are the only creatures that ever become dirty.
—JOHN MUIR, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf, 1868

Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

Emerson says that things refuse to be mismanaged long. An exception would seem to be found in the case of our forests, which have been mismanaged rather long, and now come desperately near being like smashed eggs and spilt milk.
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

If every citizen could take one walk through this [Sierra] reserve, there would be no more trouble about its care; for only in darkness does vandalism flourish.
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

Now away we go toward the topmost mountains. Many still, small voices, as well as the noon thunder, are calling, ‘Come higher, come higher.’ Farewell, blessed dell, woods, gardens, streams, birds, squirrels, lizards, and a thousand others. Farewell, farewell.
JOHN MUIR, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911

Up we climb with glad exhilaration.
—JOHN MUIR, The Yosemite, 1912

Our age is passing from the primeval state of man, marked by his invention of tools and weapons for the purpose of achieving mastery over the forces of nature, to a radically different condition, in which he will not only have conquered nature, but detached himself as far as possible from the organic habitat.
—LEWIS MUMFORD, The Myth of the Machine, 1966

God is in every form of creation. Here you can meet the Creator face to face, if anywhere on earth, yet very few venture into nature with the purpose of making His acquaintance.
—REV. FLOWER A. NEWHOUSE, The Journey Upward, 1978

When wisely trod, the path to God through nature employs every faculty inherent in man. In nature, beauty shines in all its pristine essence before us. It is for us to newly discover and translate this beauty to our spirits and our senses.
—REV. FLOWER A. NEWHOUSE, The Journey Upward, 1978

Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.
—ISAAC NEWTON, English Physicist, 1642-1726

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.
—GEORGIA O’KEEFFE, US Painter, 1887-1986

Without love of the land, conservation lacks meaning or purpose, for only in a deep and inherent feeling for the land can there be dedication in preserving it.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness Advocate, 1899–1982

Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power.
—POPE JOHN PAUL II, 1920-2005

It were happy if we studied nature more in natural things, and acted according to nature, whose rules are few, plain, and most reasonable.
—WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693

All nature is but art unknown to thee.
—ALEXANDER POPE, British Poet, 1688-1744

Learn of the green world what can be thy place.
—EZRA POUND, US Poet, 1885-1972

I do not understand how anyone can live without a small place of enchantment to turn to.

For there are some people who can live without wild things about them and the earth beneath their feet, and some who cannot. To those of us who, in a city, are always aware of the abused and abased earth below the pavement, walking on the grass, watching the flight of birds, or finding the first spring dandelion are the rights as old and unalienable as the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We belong to no cult. We are not Nature Lovers. We don’t love nature any more than we love breathing. Nature is simply something indispensable, like air and light and water, that we accept as necessary to living, and the nearer we can get to it the happier we are.

A forest changes with every step taken into it. It whispers much, but I always sense there is much more held back, much more to be discovered if I can only take the time to stop and stare and listen and sniff. And return again and again, because the forest will be different each time.
—MICHAEL W. ROBBINS, The Hiking Companion, 2003

It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one’s sum of happiness if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.…
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, English dramatist & poet, 1564–1616, Troilus and Cressida

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.
—GARY SNYDER, US Poet, 1930-

Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.
—ST. BERNARD of CLAIRVAUX, French Abbot, 1090-1153

We as a species need to experience nature. Plain and simple.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

Time and space—time to be alone, space to move about—these may well become the greatest scarcities of tomorrow.
—EDWIN WAY TEALE, Autumn Across America, 1950

It takes days of practice to learn the art of sauntering. Commonly we stride through the out-of-doors too swiftly to see more than the most obvious and prominent things. For observing nature, the best pace is a snail’s pace.
—EDWIN WAY TEALE, July 14, Circle of the Seasons, 1953

See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
—MOTHER TERESA (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta), Roman Catholic Nun, Missionary, 1910-97

The natural world will always be there to save me from suffocating in my human problems.
—HUNTER S. THOMPSON, US Journalist, Writer, 1939-2005

A taste for the beautiful is most cultivated out of doors.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

I wish to speak a word for Nature.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

If, then we would indeed restore mankind… let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our own brows, and take up a little life into our pores.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

In short, all good things are wild and free.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Nature, even when she is scant and thin outwardly, satisfies us still by the assurance of a certain generosity at the roots.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Our lives…need the relief of where the pine flourishes and the jay still screams.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Talk of mysteries! Think of our life in nature—daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it—rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! the sold earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? where are we?
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

The evergreen woods had a decidedly sweet and bracing fragrance; the air was a sort of diet-drink, and we walked on buoyantly in Indian file, stretching our legs.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and response of nature.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

In wildness is the preservation of the world [motto of the Wilderness Society].
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Speech at Concord Lyceum, April 23, 1851 and subsequently in Thoreau’s essay Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862

It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal, August 21, 1851

I have a room all to myself; it is nature.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal, January 3, 1853

It is surprising how much room there is in nature—if a man will follow his proper path.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal, January 26, 1853

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness out of it and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience….

The ruin or the blank that we see when we look at nature is in our own eye.

We need the tonic of wildness—to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground…. We can never have enough of Nature.

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862

Nature knows no indecencies: man invents them.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.
—VIRGIL, Roman Poet, 70-19 BC

Men argue; Nature acts.
—VOLTAIRE, French Writer, Philosopher, 1694-1778

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.
—H.G. WELLS, English Novelist, 1866–1946

It’s amazing how quickly nature consumes human places after we turn our backs on them. Life is a hungry thing.

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
—E.B. WHITE, US Writer, 1899-1985

After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on—have found that none of these satisfy, or permanently wear—what remains? Nature remains.
—WALT WHITMAN, US Poet, 1819–92

It seems to me that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little.
—OSCAR WILDE, De Profundis, 1905

There’s no nature like shared nature.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

We don’t experience natural environments enough to realize how restored they can make us feel, nor are we aware that studies also show they make us healthier, more creative, more empathetic and more apt to engage with the world and with each other. Nature, it turns out, is good for civilization.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

We’re animals—mammals. Our deepest memories are of Earth. I think we forget, but reconnect with those ancestral memories when we go out into nature. We remember that everything is interrelated. Nothing stands alone.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.
—WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, British Poet, 1770-1850

Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.
—WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, British Poet, 1770-1850

I believe in God, only I spell it nature.
—FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, US Architect, 1869-1959

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
—FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, US Architect, 1869-1959

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.
—ZENO of ELEA, Greek Philosopher, 490–430 BC

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Off-Highway Vehicle Trails Quotes

Dear Sirs:
I read with interest your two stories in the September issue promoting “Traction” —ORVs or “escape machines,” as your writers call them.
Let me tell you what a lot of us who live out here in the American West think about your goddamned Off-Road Vehicles. We think they are a goddamned plague. Like the snowmobile in New England, the dune buggy on the seashore, the ORV out here in the desert and mesa country is a public nuisance, a destroyer of plant life and wildlife, a gross polluter of fresh air, stillness, peace and solitude.
The fat pink soft slobs who go roaring over the landscape in these over-sized over-priced over-advertised mechanical mastodons are people too lazy to walk, too ignorant to saddle a horse, too cheap and clumsy to paddle a canoe. Like cattle and sheep, they travel in herds, scared to death of going anywhere alone, and they leave their sign and spoor all over the back country: Coors beer cans, Styrofoam cups, plastic spoons, balls of Kleenex, wads of toilet paper, spent cartridge shells, crushed gopher snakes, smashed sagebrush, broken trees, dead chipmunks, wounded deer, eroded trails, bullet-riddled petroglyphs, spray-painted signatures, vandalized Indian ruins, fouled-up waterholes, polluted springs and smoldering campfires piled with incombustible tinfoil, filter tips, broken bottles, etc.
It is not the bureaucrats back in Washington who are trying to stop this motorized invasion of what little wild country still remains in America; on the contrary, the bureaucrats are doing too little. What feeble resistance has so far appeared comes from concerned citizens here and there who are trying to prod and encourage the bureaucrats to do their duty: namely, to save the public lands for their primary purpose, which is wildlife, habitat, livestock forage, watershed protection and non-motorized human recreation.
Thank God for the coming and inevitable day of gasoline rationing, which will retire all these goddamned ORVs and “escape machines” to the junkyards where they belong.
— EDWARD ABBEY, letter to Esquire Magazine, September 11, 1976

One punk slob on a dirt bike makes more noise takes up more space inflicts more damage than a hundred horsemen or a thousand walkers.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Journal entry of September 24, 1984

One man’s noise may be another man’s music.
—MALCOM BALDWIN and DAN STODDARD, The Off-Road Vehicle and Environmental Quality, 1973

It is an easy thing to lock up a piece of ground; it is much harder to provide for multiple use of these lands.
—K. LYNN BENNETT, State Director, BLM Idaho, December 2002

This is not an easy issue (unmanaged off-highway vehicle use) to tackle, but if we wait a day, a week or even a year, the impact on the land and the issues surrounding the problem will become even harder to deal with. We need to address the issue now.
—DALE BOSWORTH, Chief of the US Forest Service, 2003

The fourth threat, in my view, I refer to it as unmanaged outdoor recreation. Mainly what I’m thinking about right now is off-highway vehicles.
—DALE BOSWORTH, Chief of the US Forest Service, 2004

My belief is the day that we can take off-highway vehicles across the national forest, across country, wherever you want, is over. Motorized vehicles need to be limited to designated roads and trails or areas.
—DALE BOSWORTH, Chief of the US Forest Service, 2004

Whenever man with a machine comes in contact either with man without a machine or with nature, the man with the machine is rarely more than inconvenienced, while the man without a machine or nature can suffer anything from inconvenience to extinction.
—RICHARD BUTLER, How to Control 1,000,000 Snowmobiles? Canadian Geographical Journal, 1974

Ethical issues around off-road vehicle (ORV) use center on impacts on nature, impacts on other Recreationists, and impacts on ORV users themselves, all three of which provide strong grounds for strictly limiting such use on America’s public lands.
—PHILIP CAFARO, Teaching Disrespect; The Ethics of Off-Road Vehicle Use on America’s Public Lands, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

Given the abundance of evidence that points to the lasting and profound damage caused by ORVs, an ethical approach would dictate, at a minimum, that ORV users refrain from driving off designated ORV trails and that land managers enforce existing restrictions on public lands.
—PHILIP CAFARO, Teaching Disrespect; The Ethics of Off-Road Vehicle Use on America’s Public Lands, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

We will likely be waiting a long time for a John Muir or Rachel Carson to rise from the ranks of ORV users.
—PHILIP CAFARO, Teaching Disrespect; The Ethics of Off-Road Vehicle Use on America’s Public Lands, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

Racing on the track and riding on the trails are two different things. Stick with the quiet muffler and spark arrestor. Stay on the designated trails and share them with others. When you’re done with that great ride, make sure to clean up and leave the place in even better shape than when you arrived. Help keep America’s trails open by being a right rider.
—RICKY CARMICHAEL, US Motocross Champion, 1979-

.…as baby boomers age and society continues to urbanize, more and more people may turn to off-road vehicles as their primary way of enjoying the great outdoors.
—MIKE DOMBECK, Chief of the US Forest Service, 2000

Technology as manifested through the use of ORV’s and other machines may create a sub-group of outdoor recreationists, mainly interested in things as opposed to experiences. In this case, interest in the machine or equipment becomes the sine qua non of the “thing specialist.” Implicitly, technology may further alienate the wildland recreation user from the natural environment by making the land a convenient way to use machine rather than having machines a convenient way to experience the wildlands. Allowing this mentality to permeate the ORV community will do little to advance a sense of good land stewardship since the land resource becomes a secondary environment and in fact, the more rutted and eroded the landscape the better the ORV riding.
ALAN EWERT, Wildland Management near Large Urban Centers. Contemporary Issues in Outdoor Recreation, 1988 SAF Proceedings

Purpose of this order was to establish policies and provide for procedures that will ensure that the use of off-road vehicles on public lands will be controlled and directed so as to protect the resources of those lands, to promote the safety of all users of those lands, and to minimize conflicts among the various uses of those lands.
—EXECUTIVE ORDER 11644: Use of Off-Road Vehicles on the Public Lands, 1972

The respective agency head shall, wherever he determines that the use of off-road vehicles will cause or is causing considerable adverse effects on the soil, vegetation, wildlife, wildlife habitat or cultural or historic resources of particular areas or trails of the public lands, immediately close such areas or trails to the type of off-road vehicle causing such effects.
—EXECUTIVE ORDER 11989: Use of Off-Road Vehicles on the Public Lands, 1977

What’s lacking is the assurance of tough enforcement and evidence of backbone needed to bring this runaway problem [OHVs] under control.
—JIM FURNISH, former Deputy Chief, US Forest Service, 2007

I hope there is some way we could outlaw all off-road vehicles, including snowmobiles, motorcycles, etc., which are doing more damage to our forests and deserts than anything man has ever created. I don’t think the Forest Service should encourage the use of these vehicles by even suggesting areas they can travel in…. I have often felt that these vehicles have been Japan’s way of getting even with us.
—BARRY GOLDWATER, Senator from Arizona, 1973

I don’t want a pickle,
Just want to ride on my motorsickle.
And I don’t want a tickle,
‘Cause I’d rather ride on my motorsickle
And I don’t want to die
Just want a ride on my motorsickle
—ARLO GUTHRIE, The Motorcycle Song, 1967

Our trails are increasingly peopled with machine users and machine avoiders, each challenging the other’s territoriality.
—WILBUR LAPAGE, Cultural Fogweed and Outdoor Recreation Research, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. There is no other way for land to survive the impact of mechanized man.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

What you permit, you promote. We’ve permitted largely uninhibited access to public lands for so long that it’s come to be seen as a right. We’re putting in a structure to manage motorized use to sustain the quality of the land over time.

What we’re doing now [managing OHV use] is analogous to what happened 70 years ago when there weren’t any laws protecting game animals—and consequently there wasn’t any game. When the Ocala became a no-hunting game preserve, it was during the Depression, and people were doing anything they could to feed themselves. This was a big change, and nobody liked it. But now we’re all thankful. It might take 70 years before people appreciate what we’re doing, but that’s the kind of thing we’re starting today.
—RICK LINT, District Ranger, Ocala National Forest, Florida, 2007

I do not see why public recreation officials need to feel obligated to somehow accommodate anything the engineers can concoct and the advertising men can misrepresent.
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

The alternatives seem to be either banning all mechanized trail travel or allowing it to seriously impair the satisfactions of all other trail users.
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

The new ATV’s almost surely would provoke even more resentment from hikers and horsemen. The conflict appears one-sided; the mechanized travelers do not mind the foot- or horse-travelers, but the latter dislike the machine-users with fervor.
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

Despite years and years of research, we really know very little about the behavior and needs of snowmobilers and off-road recreation (ORV) users.
—STEPHEN MCCOOL, Snowmobilers, Off-Road Recreation Vehicle Users and the 1977 National Recreation Survey, University of Montana, 1978

Regardless of how you define sustainable trails, managing trails for OHVs can be a lot like herding dragons. They’re big, they can cause a lot of damage, and they sure can heat things up.
—KEVIN MEYER, A Comprehensive Framework for Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Management, 2011

We recognize that off-road recreational vehicle use is one of many legitimate uses of federally-owned lands.
—ROGERS C.B. MORTON, Secretary of Interior, 1971

As the number of off-road vehicles has increased, so has their use on public lands…. Increasingly, Federal recreational lands have become the focus of conflict between the newer motorized recreationist and the traditional hiker, camper, and horseback rider…. The time has come for a unified Federal policy toward use of off-road vehicles on Federal lands….
—RICHARD M. NIXON, Thirty-seventh US President (1969-74), message to Congress, 1972, 1913-94

Suiting or gearing up for riding a powerful and noisy all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or snowmobile and putting on a totally enclosing helmet removes a person from any sense of an interdependent relationship with wild nature and with other people.
—DAVID ORTON, Off-Road Vehicles and Deep Ecology, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

The ORV debate is a cultural clash between an industrial, consumeristic, human-centered selfishness that essentially disregards other social and ecological interests, and a new Earth-centered consciousness, informed by deep ecology and considerations of social justice and equality.
—DAVID ORTON, Off-Road Vehicles and Deep Ecology, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

Open cross-country sacrifice areas, where ORVs can drive anywhere, should be discouraged, and the focus should be on creating a sustainable route system that provides reasonable access, not excess. Touring is one thing, but public lands are not a motocross track. Racing and trick riding should be restricted to stadiums or closed courses on private lands.
—DANIEL R. PATTERSON, Raging with Machines; Off-Road Vehicles in the Deserts of the Southwestern United States, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

A significant portion of the American public, in an effort to occupy leisure time with fulfilling activities, has rediscovered the attractions of areas away from permanent human habitation. They are using the products of modern technology to reach into the landscape for a more remote recreational experience with a greater degree of comfort and convenience. The internal combustion engine provides a power source for adventure. The off-road vehicle has come of age.
—JOHN PEINE, Land Management for Recreational Use of Off-Road Vehicles. PhD dissertation, 1972

Motorized recreation has become increasingly controversial because the significant costs associated with it threaten public land resources and the recreational experiences of other visitors. Those costs include noise, air pollution, damage to the land as a result of ever-expanding off-trail use, the size and extent of the road and trail networks, and impact on wildlife.
—THOMAS MICHAEL POWER, Inflating the Benefits; The Misuse of Economics to Promote Unfettered Motorized Recreation, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

Snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, light-weight motorcycles, and similar recreation vehicles are causing conflicts that will require carefully considered management decisions.
—ROBERT PRAUSA, Multiple-Use Management for Recreation in the East, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

In the land use planning process, the question should not be, should we close an area to ORV use? But—can ORV use, in some form, be permitted on the area? One of the primary questions … is generally—How much resource impact can we live with in providing for a recreation activity such as ORVs.

Forest Service policy is to control the use of motorized equipment for off-road travel to the extent necessary to protect visitors, resources, or a wilderness or other special environment.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Outdoor Recreation in the National Forests, 1965

Solitude, the quality of highest value to most visitors in remote areas, can be temporarily shattered by gasoline engines.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Outdoor Recreation in the National Forests, 1965

The use of jeeps, scooters, and other vehicles capable of cross-country travel cannot always be encompassed by a policy of “free and unrestricted use.”
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Outdoor Recreation in the National Forests, 1965

If off-road vehicles are to continue to be used on public lands, they must be effectively controlled and regulated. For strict regulation to be acceptable, it is critical that local communities become more directly engaged in public land management by monitoring the effects of recreation and resource extraction, by restoring damaged areas, and by participating in the land management process itself.
—BETHANIE WALDER, Miles from Everywhere; Roads, Off-Road Vehicles, and Watershed Restoration on Public Lands, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

It is convenient to think of a trailbike trail system as having three basic components. These are:
• An adequate land base.
• Developed areas to start and finish the ride, picnic, and camp, i.e., trailheads and campgrounds.
• An interconnected network of trail loops of varying lengths and degree of difficulty.
—JOSEPH WERNEX, The Development of Trailbike Trail System, Forest Environment in Planning for Trailbike Recreation, 1978

Perhaps the most important thing I have learned is the fact that nothing government agencies can do will go further toward managing trailbike use than developing adequate mileage of high-quality trails. After many years of firsthand experience, it is my belief that no amount of restriction or enforcement can begin to provide the environmental protection achieved through provision of adequate facilities and rider education. When quality trails are built riders use them. When riders use developed trails, environmental impact can be designed for, monitored, and controlled. The key is quality, adequate mileage and competent design.
—JOSEPH WERNEX, A Guide to Off-Road Motorcycle Trail Design and Construction, 1984

The successful [OHV] trail must: 1. satisfy the trailbike enthusiast; 2. provide protection for the environment; and 3. be developed and managed in a cost-effective manner. A trail that does not meet all of the above criteria is a failure. Fortunately, all three criteria can be successfully met by any land manager with a sense of fairness and a willingness to put forth the necessary effort.
—JOSEPH WERNEX, A Guide to Off-Road Motorcycle Trail Design and Construction, 1984

The state of the art in motorized trail planning should be in constant flux. Constantly test new ideas. Implement the best ones. Planners should first acquire an understanding of the recreation and its participants, then develop an analytic approach to developing and managing trails and facilities.
—JOSEPH WERNEX, Off Highway Motorcycle & ATV Trails: Guidelines for Design, Construction, Maintenance and User Satisfaction, 1994

….trailbike and ATV enthusiasts require considerable mileage for a quality outing. It is wise to plan multiple trail systems, each with adequate mileage to provide several full days of riding without having to retrace part of the previous day’s route. The lack of adequate trail mileage for OHV recreation is one of the most serious problems facing public lands managers.
—JOSEPH WERNEX, Off Highway Motorcycle & ATV Trails: Guidelines for Design, Construction, Maintenance and User Satisfaction, 1994

In the end, the problem comes down not so much to the nature of ORV users as to the nature of ORVs. ORVs are designed to go “off road,” where motorized vehicles don’t belong. Their noise is undemocratic, much like second-hand smoke. They need to be removed from our wildest and best public land, not because regulations can’t control them (although they can’t), not because many people hate them (although they do), but because they intrude and usurp.
—TED WILLIAMS, Undemocratic Din; The Commandeering of Public Lands by Off-Road Vehicles, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

The thrillcraft crisis—their invasion and destruction of our public lands—is emblematic of a broader cultural deterioration and a loss of spiritual connection to and reverence for Nature.
—GEORGE WUERTHNER, editor, Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

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Trails and Greenway Open Space Quotes

A world without open country would be universal jail.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

If a label is required, say that I am one who loves unfenced country.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

What makes life in our cities at once still tolerable, exciting, and stimulating is the existence of an alternative option, whether exercised or not, whether even appreciated or not, of a radically different mode of being out there, in the forests, on the lakes and rivers, in the deserts, up in the mountains … we cannot have freedom without leagues of open space…
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

….efforts to develop open space should concentrate not on sheer physical size but on usable space. The linear dimension of the right-of-way trail makes it eminently usable and adds a dimension for hiking and biking that can seldom be realized within the normal park concept….

The towns of to-day can only increase in density at the expense of the open spaces which are the lungs of a city. We must increase the open spaces and diminish the distances to be covered. Therefore, the center of the city must be constructed vertically.
—Le CORUSIER, The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning, 1929

Although urban open space is usually thought of as providing recreation, it serves many other purposes as well. Open space can provide beauty, privacy, and variety; moderate temperature; and create a sense of spaciousness and scale. It can protect a water supply; provide a noise and safety buffer zone around an airport; or substitute for development on unsuitable soils, in flood plains, or in earthquake zones.
—COUNCIL on ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, Environmental Quality, 1973

The need for open spaces—places of solitude and refuge where people can take their families to escape the stress and strain of everyday life—will only increase over time….
—MIKE DOMBECK, Chief of the US Forest Service (1997-2001), 1948-

The soul of a man, given time, can put some revealing marks upon his face. The soul of a people invariable makes an indelible imprint upon their land.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice, Avid Hiker, 1898–1980

Linear open space can connect traditional parks and other activity centers such as schools and shopping centers. They can also accommodate popular recreational activities such as jogging, walking, bicycling, and canoeing which may be incompatible with traditional urban parks. When associated with streams, which are also linear systems, the open space allows flooding to occur without damage to buildings, or disruption of the local economy or individual lives. Environmentally, linear open space acts as a vegetated buffer along streams to protect water quality and fragile natural ecosystems such as wetlands. Further, the urban environment is enhanced through air quality, temperature, and noise moderation resulting from the conservation of vegetation. Finally, these areas function as wildlife corridors, allowing a greater diversity of animals to travel through and survive within urban areas.
—BILL FLOURNOY, Capital City Greenway: A Report to the City Council on the Benefits, Potential, and Methodology of Establishing a Greenway System in Raleigh (NC) report, 1972

We need to increase substantially the amount and usability of open space.
—ALEXANDER GARVIN, Parks, Recreation, and Open Space, 2000

It may not be crowding per se that degrades us, but a lack of relief from crowding—a lack of open space, a lack of green, of nature going its own way.
—CHARLES LITTLE and JOHN MITCHELL, Space for Survival, 1971

The distribution of open space must respond to natural process…. The problem lies not in absolute area but in distribution. We seek a concept that can provide an interfusion of open space and population.
—IAN MCHARG, Design with Nature, 1969

Within National Parks is room—glorious room—room  in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and  plan, to rest and resolve.
—ENOS MILLS, US Naturalist, 1870-1922

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

We want a ground to which people may easily go after their day’s work is done, and where they may stroll for an hour, seeing, hearing, and feeling nothing of the bustle and jar of the streets, where they shall, in effect, find the city put far away from them…. Practically, what we most want is a simple, broad, open space of clean greensward, with sufficient play of surface and a sufficient number of trees about it to supply a variety of light and shade…. We want depth of wood enough about it not only for comfort in hot weather, but to completely shut out the city from our landscapes.
—FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, Public Parks and Enlargement of Towns, 1870

The moral activity of all is creation of space for life to move around.
—ROBERT PIRSIG, Lila: An Inquiry into Morals, 1991

Concern for the environment and access to parks and open space is not frivolous or peripheral, rather, it is central to the welfare of people body, mind, and spirit.
—LAURANCE ROCKEFELLER, US Capitalist, Philanthropist, 1910–2004

As leisure-rich Americans turn increasingly from the teeter-totter and turnpike to trail, and as large, natural open spaces become more and more difficult to acquire, comprehensive inventories of useable rights-of-way must be made available to state, county and local governments; and government must seize these opportunities before they are lost forever. It is no longer enough to remember that trails nurtured the growth of this nation. What is clearly needed now is a national effort to nurture the growth of trails.
—CONSTANCE STALLINGS, Rights-of-Way, Open Space Action, 1969

….as the painter George Catlin had anticipated the national park idea by suggesting a wild prairie reservation, so Thoreau anticipated the more modest urban-open-space idea by suggesting that every community should have its patch of woods where people could refresh themselves. His notion of nature as having healing powers has now the force of revealed truth.
—WALLACE STEGNER, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, 1992

A town is saved, not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it. A township where one primitive forest waves above while another primitive forest rots below—such a town is fitted to raise not only corn and potatoes, but poets and philosophers for the coming ages. In such a soil grew Homer and Confucius and the rest, and out of such a wilderness comes the Reformer eating locusts and wild honey.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862

What I have learned convinces me that there is one overriding consideration for any open space program. It is, simply, that open space must be sought as a positive benefit. Open space is not the absence of something harmful; it is a public benefit in its own right, now, and should be primarily justified on this basis.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, Securing Open Space for Urban America: Conservation Easements, 1959

For most of the people most of the time, the edge of the open space is the open space.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

Our options are expiring. As far as open space is concerned, it doesn’t make a great deal of difference when the projected new population reaches target or whether it is going to be housed in green-belted mega-structures or linear cities or what. The land that is still to be saved will have to be saved within the next few years. We have no luxury of choice. We must make our commitments now and look to this landscape as the last one. For us it will be.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

Per acre linear strips are probably the most efficient form of open space, and there are plenty of practical examples on the ground to bear this out. When they are laid along the routes people travel or walk, or poke into the places where they live, the spaces provide the maximum visual impact and the maximum physical access. They provide us a way of securing the most highly usable spaces in urban areas where land is hard to come by, and, in time, a way of linking these spaces together.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

The only possible way we can save much open space is to use every tool we can get our hands on and use them together. There has to be a unifying plan, and we must be as hard-boiled as the speculator in framing it. We must identify what cannot be saved, what can and should be saved, and tackle the job as though there will be no reprieve.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

To protect your rivers, protect your mountains.
—EMPEROR YU, China, 1600 BC

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Trails and Greenway Outdoor Ethics Quotes

For example, it is a seemingly small act, but really a huge leap, to reach down during a hike and pick up a piece of litter.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find the Path, 2004

Imposing limits on personal behavior is anathema to many Americans. A part of our tradition says, ‘I’ll do what I damn well please, and the rest of the world be damned!’ That ethic, which abhors restraint of any kind, has indeed damned the world by trashing the environment at every self-indulgent turn.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find a Path, 2004

Let no one say and say it to your shame that all was beauty here until you came.

Why do Americans, who love the outdoors so much, do so much to jeopardize its future? Are we oblivious to the insults we scatter in the form of trash along our country roads—or worse yet along trails to our scenic natural sites? How did we ever come to expect others to clean up after us at our campsites? Because we exhibit so little respect for the outdoors, we run the risk of converting our federal, state, and local recreation programs into law enforcement efforts. Enough! We can do better. We need to educate all Americans to their rights to enjoy the outdoors—and their responsibilities to use the outdoors well.
—DERRICK CRANDALL, Director, American Recreation Coalition, 1986

Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

If each of us fears the effects of our impacts on resources more than we fear the law, there will be little need for more regulations.
—pamphlet issued by DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT in Colorado, 1995

Bad guys abuse public lands, good guys save it.
—CLINT EASTWOOD, US Actor, 1930-

If a body takes out to follow a made trail down over the hills, he’d best hold to that trail, for there are not too many ways to go. Most of the trouble a man finds in the mountains is when he tries shortcuts or leaves a known way.
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, Treasure Mountain, 1972

A good walker leaves no tracks.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Good walking leaves no track behind it.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Seven Principles of Leave no Trace
1. Plan ahead and prepare
2. Camp and travel on durable surfaces
3. Dispose of waste properly
4. Leave what you find
5. Minimize campfire impacts
6. Respect wildlife
7. Be considerate to other visitors

It began to be noticed that the greater the exodus, the smaller the per capita ration of peace, solitude, wildlife, and scenery, and the longer the migration to reach them.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

…one of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

We can be ethical in relation to something we can see, feel, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

A land ethic changes the role of homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but latterly often forgotten.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Recreationists need to be educated and then constantly reminded of their responsibility to the outdoors.
—JACK LORENZ, Director, Izaak Walton League of America, 1997

Well. I do not know why our visitors had such good manners on our Trails in 1925 and we can scarcely hope that it will ever be entirely thus but—still—who knows? Perhaps if you ‘jolly’ the public instead of ordering it about, if you explain instead of dictate, if you ask people to help and to be one with you in protecting nature, they may do it. It is worth trying at any rate, especially as the other way clearly does not work in this land of the free.
—FRANK LUTZ, Nature Trails: An Experiment in Out-door Education, 1926

No Sierra landscape that I have seen holds anything truly dead or dull, or any trace of what in manufactories is called rubbish or waste; everything is perfectly clean and pure and full of divine lessons.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

…We all dwell in a house of one room—the world with the firmament for its roof—and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

All we really need to bring to the outdoors is a humble and nonintrusive attitude, a sense of responsibility for one’s own safety, and the goal of returning to the point of entry.
—DAVID ORTON, Off-Road Vehicles and Deep Ecology, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

Rules are for fools.
—PAUL PETZOLDT, Founder, National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), 1908-99, preached outdoor education based on developing understanding and good judgment instead of rules

An outdoor ethic means personal involvement in the outdoors as an essential part of life. It means a sense of appreciation for, and obligation toward the air, land, water and living things of the earth. It includes statesmanship: courtesy for others using the outdoors; and stewardship: our obligation to ensure future generations’ enjoyment of our natural heritage.
—PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

We can’t be light in wilderness and heavy in every other aspect of our lives. Going light has got to be applied right across the board or it ends up just another sentimental gesture.
—ALBERT SAIJO, The Backpacker, 1972

Take only photographs; leave only footprints.

The most dangerous animals in the forest don’t live there.
—SMOKEY BEAR, US mascot created in 1944 to educate public about the dangers of wildfires

It is legitimate to hope that there may be left … the special kind of human mark, the special record of human passage, that distinguishes man from all other species. It is rare enough among men, impossible to any other form of life. It is simply the deliberate and chosen refusal to make any marks at all.
—WALLACE STEGNER, This Is Dinosaur: Echo Park Country and Its Magic Rivers, 1955

For the past 100 years—especially during the past 25—we have emphasized the role of government in conservation and have given little attention to the individual. We have not developed a land ethic in the minds and hearts of citizens in a manner and scale that complements public programs.
—LARRY TOMBAUGH, Michigan State University, President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

Although the real threats to the wilderness come from industry—not hikers—those of us who walk the wild places should do so as lightly as possible, leaving little trace of our passing.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

TREAD Lightly! Pledge:
Travel and recreate with minimum impact
Respect the environment and the rights of others
Educate yourself, plan and prepare before you go
Allow for future use of the outdoors, leave it better than you found it
Discover the rewards of responsible recreation

TREAD Principles:
Travel Responsibly
Respect the Rights of Others
Educated Yourself
Avoid Sensitive Areas
Do Your Part

When I reached the trailhead and started walking through the harmonious association of huge ponderosa pines, incense cedars, and white firs with its apparently endless diversity of wildflowers, shrubs, grasses, songbirds, and insects, I experienced a novel sense of rightness. Growing up in the suburbs had been an experience of fragmentation as roads and buildings dissected the landscape. The thought that this harmony would continue for dozens of miles without interruption was like relief from a headache so habitual I hadn’t known I had it.
—DAVID RAINS WALLACE, The Forever Forests, Greenpeace, 15(5), Sept/Oct 1990

We’re not just about changing behavior, but about empowering people to make informed, responsible Leave No Trace decisions in the backcountry and front country [urban and suburban parks].
—DANA WATTS, Executive Director, Leave No Trace Inc., 2001

…you can go round-and-round fixing trails and campsites, but without education, you’ll never control the problem.
—DANA WATTS, Executive Director, Leave No Trace Inc., 2001

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and, to eat and sleep with the earth.
—WALT WHITMAN, Leaves of Grass, 1855

We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do.
—BARBARA WARD, Only One Earth, 1972

Give a hoot, don’t pollute.
—WOODSY OWL, Mascot created in 1970 by US Forest Service to raise awareness of protecting the environment

Lend a Hand — Care for the Land
—WOODSY OWL, Mascot created in 1970 by US Forest Service to raise awareness of protecting the environment

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Paddling Sports Quotes

As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.
—KATHARINE HEPBURN, US Actress, 1907-2003

Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore.
—HINDU Proverb

One of the best places you can go in a canoe is the wilderness. And what, you may ask, is so great about that? The silence, for one thing.
—ROBERT KIMBER, A Canoeist’s Sketchbook, 1991

The Lord knows what we may find, dear lass, and the Deuce knows what we may do—but we’re back once more on the old trail; our own trail, the out trail; we’re down, hull down, on the long trail—the trail that is always new.
—RUDYARD KIPLING, English Author, 1865–1936

Rule One: Never do a fool thing like paddle a river without first scouting it.
Rule Two: Never do a fool thing like paddle a river you have never scouted, if it’s about to get dark.
—BENJAMIN LONG, Backtracking, 2000

Boats are for work; canoes are for pleasure. Boats are artificial; canoes are natural.
—JOHN BOYLE O’REILLY (1844–90), Canoeing on the Connecticut, Ethics of Boxing and Manly Sport, 1890

The canoe is the American boat of the past and of the future. It suits the American mind: it is light, swift, safe, graceful, easily moved; and the occupant looks in the direction he is going, instead of behind, as in the stupid old tubs that have held the world up to this time.
—JOHN BOYLE O’REILLY (1844–90), Canoeing on the Connecticut, Ethics of Boxing and Manly Sport, 1890

The movement of a canoe is like a reed in the wind. Silence is part of it, and the sounds of lapping water, bird songs, and wind in the trees. It is part of the medium through which it floats, the sky, the water, the shores…. There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace. The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten. It is an antidote to insecurity, the open door to waterways of ages past and a way of life with profound and abiding satisfactions. When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, The Singing Wilderness, 1956

What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other.
—PIERRE TRUDEAU, Canadian Prime Minister (1968-79), 1919-2000

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Trails and Greenway Partnerships Quotes

It seems logical that the people who want trails, will use trails, and who live near trails … should have the opportunity to take part in the planning and management of these trails. This idea is central to the Ridge Trail Council’s philosophy—involvement of the community, building support and stewardship, and establishing a strong and continuing caretaking ethic.
—BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL COUNCIL, Community Trail Planning Workshops: A Training Handbook, 1991

Successful greenways grow out of the grassroots. They depend on local enthusiasm, local money, local leaders, local priorities, local agreements and local governments. They depend on highly motivated volunteers including individuals, groups and businesses. They are dependent, in short, on a strong sense of community responsibility and on the willingness of each community to link its destiny to that of its neighbors.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1996) 1947-2017

All trails work is a partnership. Without vibrant nonprofit organizations, supportive state programs, and the assistance and recognition of local communities, it is almost impossible to bring these trails forward as real places to visit and experience.
—STEVE ELKINTON, CRM and the National Trails System, CRM, 20(1), 1997

The federal [trails] role must evolve along these lines:
1. Working with private groups to bring together clubs, groups, and individuals into compact, influence-wielding confederations;
2. Serving as a clearing house for the latest in trail-planning information, with more ambitious contributions of their trail expertise to citizen groups;
3. Financial assistance for establishing trails, including acquisition and development costs.
—G. DOUGLAS HOFE, American Trails–Rediscovered, Parks & Recreation, March 1971

The A.T. [Appalachian Trail] has shown that greenways, like dreams, can become reality, but only if people are willing to work for them. Government agencies alone can’t create or manage the full scale of new facilities that the public demands, so the public must start building them itself. Recreational opportunities come with a price: those who wish to enjoy them must be ready to accept the challenge to volunteer their time and energy to cooperate with other recreationists, agencies, and fellow citizens.
—JOSEPH KEYSER, The AT; Trailblazing for Tomorrow, American Forests, Sept/Oct 1988

Successful partnerships are ‘win-win’ situations that require give-and-take from all involved…. Partnerships are often fairly easy to establish, but require on-going support and involvement to sustain…. Because forming partnerships can be frustrating, especially in the early stages, successes need to be planned early on as a reward for the time and effort invested.
—KATE KITCHELL & JOE DRAAYENBRINK, Power of Partnerships Handbook, 1992

Partnerships with volunteer organizations offer the agency the advantage of cost savings on recruiting, training and supervising volunteers. Also, volunteer organizations provide continuity year after year. This arrangement offers the volunteers an identity and satisfaction of being able to ‘own’ meaningful responsibilities rather than simply perform disjointed tasks. The volunteer group does, though, need to earn the respect and trust of the agency by running successful programs and managing the continuity of service.
—NELSON OBUS, ROGER MOORE, and THOMAS MARTORELLI, Partnerships for Public Lands, Appalachia, number 182, 1986

Our success depends on the collaborative efforts of volunteers, agencies, and communities working to close the gaps.
—BARBARA RICE, Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, 1993

It’s important for us to understand that legally, the federal agencies cannot turn over their responsibility or authority to the citizen. Thus if direct public involvement is to mean anything, we must in some way achieve partnership by sharing in the decision-making power of the agency. Since the agencies aren’t able to give up the power voluntarily, we need to be persistent, apply considerable pressure and display a fairly sophisticated grasp of the problems to achieve this partnership and a share of power.
—JOAN SHAW, Editor, Citizens and Natural Resources: A Perspective on Public Involvement, 1973

Only get involved with programs that have strong public support.
—WILLIAM SPITZER, former Acting Assistant Director, National Recreation Programs, National Park Service, retired 1996, 1938-2003

Role of the Federal Government: 1) To develop additional trails on Federal lands, especially in or near urban areas. 2) To work with states and local agencies in their planning of trail programs. 3) To encourage local leadership, both public and private. 4) To help local agencies obtain financial assistance to acquire the necessary land.
—USDI BUREAU of OUTDOOR RECREATION, Trails for America: Report on the Nationwide Trails Study, 1966

The success or failure of any long distance trail system depends on the strength and sheer numbers of individuals and organizations involved.
—ROB WEBER, Cumberland Trail State Park: Acquisition and Development Plan, 1999

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Trails and Greenway Philosophy Quotes

Original sin, the true original sin, is the blind destruction for the sake of greed of this natural paradise which lies all around us—if only we were worthy of it.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

No, wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

When we allow the grace of connection to take root in our heart, like a delicate, searching, resilient sappling yearning to live, from that moment on, the trail we thought we knew so well suddenly evolved and becomes the Path.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find a Path, 2004

The earth is what we all have in common.
—WENDELL BERRY, US Farmer, Writer, 1934-

The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.
—DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, German Theologian, 1906-45

A lost trail always extends beyond the evidence, and even the trails we find are only fragments of the trails that lie beyond our comprehension.
—TOM BROWN, The Tracker, 1979

The place where you lose the trail is not necessarily the place where it ends.
—TOM BROWN, The Tracker, 1979

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

People say what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will resonate within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
—JOSEPH CAMPBELL, US Authority on Mythology, 1904-87

All paths lead nowhere, so it is important to choose a path that has heart.
—CARLOS CASTANEDA, The Teachings of Don Juan, 1969

Any path is only a path, and there is not affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you.
—CARLOS CASTANEDA, The Teachings of Don Juan, 1969

Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave—and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another along the way.
—ALICE CHILDRESS, US Playwright, Actress, Director, 1920-94

To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.
—JOSEPH CONRAD, The Mirror of the Sea, 1906

The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can’t be organized or regulated. It isn’t true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth.
—RAM DASS, US Author, Spiritual Teacher, 1931-

We’re all just walking each other home.
—RAM DASS, US Author, Spiritual Teacher, 1931-

What is my fleeting existence in comparison with that decaying rock, that valley digging its channel ever deeper, that forest that is tottering and those great masses above my head about to fall.
—DENIS DIDEROT, French Philosopher, Writer, 1713-84

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
—ANNIE DILLARD, US Author, 1945-

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.
—ANNIE DILLARD, US Author, 1945-

To be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, My Wilderness: East to Katahdin, 1961

I’ve always heard that it’s better to give than to receive, but someone has to receive, and I’ve learned to do it.
—M. J. EBERHART, Ten Million Steps, 2001

First be a good animal.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

The health of the eye demands a horizon.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

We walk alone in the world. Friends, such as we desire, are dreams and fables.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Every walk of life falls under the sway of the Testicular imperative: Either you have the world by them, or it has you.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker IV, 2001

Life is fast, and I’ve found it’s easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I’m slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infused each moment and resides in every one of us.
—ANDREW FORSTHOEFEL, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story At A Time, 2017

If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.
—ANATOLE FRANCE, French writer, 1844–1924

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
—ANATOLE FRANCE, French writer, 1844–1924

Take the gentle path.
—GEORGE HERBERT, English Clergyman, Poet, 1593-1633

Poetry is a vocation. It is not a career but a calling. For as long as I can remember, I have associated that calling, my life’s work, with walking. I love the leisurely amplitude, the spaciousness, of taking a walk, of heading somewhere, anywhere, on foot. I love the sheer adventure of it, setting out and taking off. You cross a threshold and you’re on your way. Time is suspended. Writing poetry is such an intense experience that it helps to start the process in a casual or wayward frame of mind. Poetry is written from the body as well as the mind, and the rhythm and pace of a walk can get you going and keep you grounded. It’s a kind of light meditation. Daydreaming is one of the key sources of poetry—a poem often starts as a daydream that finds its way into language—and walking seems to bring a different sort of alertness, an associative kind of thinking, a drifting state of mind.
—EDWARD HIRSCH, Walking with His Muse, a Poet Becomes His Own Destination, in the Washington Post, April 20, 2008

My philosophy is to think for myself. My goal is my own enjoyment in the wilderness, and that’s based on reality as I find it. No one else can live my life for me, or for you. In the end, you can’t worry about what other people think, you’ve just got to do what you feel is right.
—RAY JARDINE, Go-Light Backpacking Advocate, 1948-

Trails should dance in harmony across their landscape. They should complement, not take away from, the natural beauty of the land base.
—WOODY KEEN, Trailbuilder, Advocate, 1959-

In the school of the woods, there is no graduation day.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

Not to have known–as most men have not–either the mountain or the desert is not to have known one’s self. Not to have known one’s self is to have known no one.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

Living a life is much like climbing mountains—the summits are always further off than you think, but when a man has a goal, he always feels he’s working toward something.
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, The Lonely Man, Western Writer, 1908–88

…trail dust is thicker’n blood….
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, The Daybreakers, Western Writer, 1908–88

Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
—JOHN LUBBOCK, British Biologist, Politician, 1834-1913

Most trails can be fairly simple.
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

I wonder whether there isn’t something deep in our psyche about trails? People like that sense of going somewhere, of seeing the world go by, seeing different places as they go along, even if it’s just going for a stroll in the evening.
—STUART MACDONALD, Colorado State Trails Coordinator, 1989

If you’re a hiker, it’s altogether natural for you to regard life as a long hike with ups and downs and points of interest along the way.
—JOHN MCKINNEY, The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way, 2005

One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
—HENRY MILLER, American Author, 1891-1980

By following it [Appalachian Trail], we streamlined to its conditions: we lost weight, shed possessions, and increased our pace week after week. The same rule applies to our life’s pathways: collectively we shape them, but individually they shape us. So we must choose our paths wisely.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

Complete freedom is not what a trail offers. Quite the opposite; a trail is a tactful reduction of options.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

In bewildering times—when all the old ways seem to be dissolving into mire—it serves us well to turn our eyes earthward and study the oft-overlooked wisdom beneath our feet.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

Books are but stepping stones to show you where other minds have been.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

I care to live, only to entice people to look at nature’s liveliness.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

I’d rather be in the mountains thinking of God, than in church thinking about the mountains.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

We live with our heels as well as head and most of our pleasure comes in that way.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

I am very blessed. The Valley is full of people, but they do not annoy me. I revolve in pathless places and in higher rocks than the world and his ribbony wife can reach.
—JOHN MUIR, To Yosemite and Beyond; Writings from the Years, 1863-75

We do not belong to those who have ideas only among books, when stimulated by books. It is our habit to think outdoors—walking, leaping, climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails become thoughtful.

.…followers of trails and of seasons, breakers of camp in the little dawn wind, seekers of watercourses over the wrinkled rind of the world, o seekers, o finders of reasons to be up and be gone….
SAINT-JOHN PERSE, (pseudonym for ALEXIS SAINT-LÉGER LEGÉR), French Writer, Poet, 1887–1975

Mountain should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.
—ROBERT PIRSIG, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, 1974

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
—ROBERT PIRSIG, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, 1974

Climbing is akin to love. It’s hard to explain; we endure pain for the joy that comes with discovering ourselves and the planet.
—CORY RICHARDS, US Mountaineer, Photographer, 1981-

Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other.

We are born wanderers, followers of obscure trails, or blazers of new ones. The mind, too, is a natural wanderer, ever seeking, and occasionally discovering, new ideas, fresh insights.
—ROYAL ROBBINS, US Climber, Retailer, 1935–2017

No changing of place at a hundred miles an hour will make us one whit stronger, happier, or wiser. There was always more in the world than men could see, walked they ever so slowly; they will see it no better for going fast. The really precious things are thought and sight, not pace. It does a bullet no good to go fast; and a man, if he be truly a man, no harm to go slow; for his glory is not at all in going, but in being.
JOHN RUSKIN, English Art Critic, 1819-1900

If we only focus on the path and where it leads, we miss the beauty and joy all around us.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

To me, complaining about the rocks on a mountain trail would be like going sailing and complaining about the existence of water.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.
—WALLACE STEGNER, US Environmental Writer, 1909–93

Through life, I want to walk gently. I want to treat all of life—the earth and its people—with reverence. I want to remove my shoes in the presence of holy ground. As much as possible, I want to walk in peace.
—ROBERT SWEETGALL, Fitness Walking, 1985

Why do you climb philosophical hills? Because they are worth climbing…. There are not hills to go down unless you start from the top.
—MARGARET THATCHER, British Prime Minister (1979-90), 1925-2013

The pleasure is in the path, the search for something good…
—HUNTER S. THOMPSON, US Journalist, Writer, 1939-2005

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

The tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry into their secrets, and try their effects on our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, perchance, go there. Simple races, as savages, do not climb mountains—their tops are sacred and mysterious tracts never visited by them [on his climb of Katahdin, Maine].
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

What is it that makes it so hard sometimes to determine whether we will walk? I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright. It is not indifferent to us which way we walk. There is a right way; but we are very liable from heedlessness and stupidity to take the wrong one. We would fain take that walk, never yet taken by us through this actual world, which is perfectly symbolical of the path which we love to travel in the interior and ideal world; and sometimes, no doubt, we find it difficult to choose our direction, because it does not yet exist distinctly in our idea.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

…if we allow ourselves contemplative time in nature—whether it’s gardening, going for a walk with the dog, or being in the heart of the southern Utah wilderness—then we can hear the voice of our conscience. If we listen to that voice, it asks us to be conscious. And if we become conscious we choose to live lives of consequence.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

According to quantum mechanics there is no such thing as objectivity. We cannot eliminate ourselves from the picture. We are part of nature, and when we study nature there is no way around the fact that nature is studying itself.
—GARY ZUKAV, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics, 1979

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Trails and Greenway Planning Quotes

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

There is no such thing as a single problem,…all problems are interrelated.
—SAUL D. ALINSKY, Reveille for Radicals, 1969

The user doesn’t need trails. The land does.
—JIM ANGELL, Western Trailbuilder, 1992

The modern urban-industrial complex is based on a series of radical disconnections between body and soul…community and earth.
—WENDELL BERRY, US Farmer, Writer, 1934-

Chicken or egg… focus on getting more people out riding in the absence of bikeways, or focus on developing bikeways to encourage more people to ride.
—MIA BIRK, Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet, 2010

It turns out that it’s not enough to adopt a Bicycle Plan, building code or maintenance practices. We’ve got to retrain all the humans involved, both inside and outside the government. Otherwise, all we’ve got is words on paper.
—MIA BIRK, Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet, 2010

Parks do to the landscape what museums do to painting and sculpture. They embalm it. They tend to elevate us on weekends and holidays rather than enriching our everyday life.
—PETER BLAKE, God’s Own Junkyard: The Planned Deterioration of America’s Landscape, 1964

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
—WARREN BUFFET, US Business Magnate, 1930-

Alice: I was just wondering if you could help me find my way. Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to. Alice: Oh, it really doesn’t matter, as long as… Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.
—LEWIS CARROLL, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865

Intentions compressed into words enfold magical power.
—DEEPAK CHOPRA, US (Indian-born) Holistic Healing Advocate, 1947-

You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.
—ELDRIDGE CLEAVER, US Activist, Writer, 1935-98

Begin with the end in mind.
—STEPHEN R. COVEY, US Leadership, Success Consultant, 1932-2012

If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.
—STEPHEN R. COVEY, US Leadership, Success Consultant, 1932-2012

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
—STEPHEN R. COVEY, Living the Seven Habits, 1992

Good planning does not deal with making future decisions, it deals with the futurity of present decisions.
—PETER DRUCKER, US Management Consultant, 1909-2005

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
—PETER DRUCKER, US Management Consultant, 1909-2005

The future belongs to those who prepare for it.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL, (better known as DR SEUSS), 1904–91

Trails and parks are as necessary to communities as roads, sewer systems and utility grids.
—PETER HARNICK, Converting Rails to Trails, 1989

The three ingredients: plans, action, and money are essential to the success of any trails program.
—G. DOUGLAS HOFE, American Trails–Rediscovered, Parks & Recreation, March 1971

But how were these trails made?… According to one writer, ‘The deer were first; then the elk followed the deer; the buffalo followed the elk; the Indian followed the buffalo; trappers then; then army officers came along and discovered a pass.’
—MATHILDE EDITH HOLTZ and KATHARINE ISABEL BEMIS, Glacier National Park: Its Trails and Treasures, 1917

It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do.
—ELBERT HUBBARD, US Author, Editor, 1856-1915

Too often the number of participants has been our only criteria for evaluation. We count numbers—and after a while only numbers count.
—CLAYNE JENSEN, Outdoor Recreation in America, 1985

Trails are not rocket science, but in some ways they are more complicated. The trail designer has to think about many sciences when designing the trail, and the soft sciences that help understand human nature is perhaps the most important. Understanding what users want in a trail experience is vital information in providing the right kind of trail.
—WOODY KEEN, Trailbuilder, Advocate, 1959-

We need information, we need sources of information, we need a bibliography of printed [trails] material that is out today.
—PHIL LAVELY, at Fourth National Trails Symposium, 1977

Most of the U.S. trails are relics of past programs, mainly fire protection, rather than the product of any recreation planning.
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

The Metropolitan invasion … is spreading, unthinking, ruthless. Its substance consists of tenements, bungalows, stores, factories, billboards, filling-stations, eating-stands, and other structures whose individual hideousness and collective haphazardness present that unmistakable environment which we call the “slum.” Not the slum of poverty, but the slum of commerce.
—BENTON MACKAYE, The New Exploration, 1928

I have all my life been considering distant effects and sacrificing immediate success and applause to that of the future.
—FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, US Landscape Architect, 1822–1903

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
—GEORGE S. PATTON, US Army General, 1885–1945

Plans must be simple and flexible…. They should be made by the people who are going to execute them.
—GEORGE S. PATTON, US Army General, 1885–1945

Plan your work today and every day, then work your plan.
—NORMAN VINCENT PEALE, US Author, Clergyman, 1898-1993

Plans get you into things but you got to work your way out.
—WILL ROGERS, The Autobiography of Will Rogers, 1949

Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When you don’t know what harbor you’re aiming for, no wind is the right wind.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

All truth goes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Then, it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident.
—ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER, German Philosopher, 1788-1860

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.
—ROBERT H. SCHULLER, US Minister, 1926-2015

Some environmentalists and planners are suggesting a note of caution on the development of trails. Perhaps we need fewer but better planned trails. And trail layout and construction, it is now generally agreed, is not something for the general amateur but serious business. A trail once constructed is difficult to obliterate. Trail planning and layout, therefore, is something for the professional.
—JOSEPH J. SHOMAN, Director, Nature Center Planning Division, National Audubon Society, 1971

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.
—GLORIA STEINEM, US Feminist, 1934-

I like being near the top of a mountain. One can’t get lost here.
—WISLAWA, SZYMBORSKA, Polish Poet, 1923-2012

It’s a round trip. Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory.
—ED VIESTURS and DAVID ROBERTS, No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks, 2007

It’s not just sitting on a remote summit that matters. It’s how hard it was to get there. It’s the fact that you got there on your own power, testing your knowledge and experience of the woods trails, your judgment, your physical condition, and most of all your drive and desire to overcome the difficulties.
—LAURA and GUY WATERMAN, Backwoods Ethics, 1979

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Trails and Greenway Poetry Quotes

Modern Girls – Dedicated with profound admiration to “The Three Musketeers”
Away on the Trail at dawn of day,
Away to the North in the murky gray!
Our packs are heavy, our hearts are light,
We’ll stand the gaff from morn till night.
The cry is “North!” The die is cast,
We’ve nailed our colors to the mast.
We’re full of fight, no room for fears.
Make way, make way for the Musketeers!
Three modern girls of ancient blood,
Each with a heavy pack,
March bravely out from Blackinton
On the winding forest track.
Ancestral pride in every stride,
Strong hearts that will not fail,
Fighting Pine Cobble’s steep ascent
At the start of the old Long Trail.

Three modern girls of Viking heart
In the teeth of a mountain gale,
Singing a song as they trudge along,
Defiant of rain and hail;
True of purpose and strong of will,
Nor seeking the sheltering vale,
Fighting their way up the rugged slopes
To conquer the old Long Trail.

Three modern girls,–let the scornful rave
That the race has gone to seed;
Offspring these of a Nordic race,
Babes of the Pilgrim breed;
Along the “Skyline,”—over the “Hump,”
And down the Winooski Vale;
Replenish the grub and heave ahead
To conquer the old Long Trail.
Three modern girls,–and weary ones;
Undaunted they face the height
Where Mansfield pierces the vaulted blue,
Grim in his rugged might;
Up the “Ladder”—over the “Chin,”
Down to the Notch they sail.
Old Whiteface rumbles: “On to the North,
My Queens of the old Long Trail!”
Three modern girls,–on Belvidere;
But the Storm King cries; “Not yet!”
He bars the way but they reach the Notch;
By a cheering crowd they’re met.
They fight their way to the peak of Jay,
And gazing o’er hill and dale,
They see at last their long-sought goal,
The end of the old Long Trail.
Away on the Trail at dawn of day,
Away—three hundred miles away—
Where Jay Peak guards the Northern gate!
Away—‘tis day, they must not wait.
The cry is, “North,” their belts hauled tight,
They’re facing Stratton, and full of fight
We raise our voices in three big cheers:
“Hip, Hip, Hurrah, for the Musketeers!”
—IRVING D. APPLEBY, Completed the first thru-hike of the Vermont Long Trail in 1926, The Three Musketeers were a group of three women (Kathleen Norris, Hilda Kurth, and Catherine Robbins) who thru-hiked the Long Trail in 1927. Appleby enclosed poem in a letter he wrote to Marion Urie (part of the third party of women to thru-hike the Trail) dated June 9, 1933.

When You Come to Where the Trail Ends
When you come to where
the trail ends
and stones begin
to be placed one upon the other
crowding into a wall
that splits the land,
and stumps break
the elegant curve of birch
angling to the emptiness,
when a light mist
turns to cold
drenching rain
and you crawl
into your own
sense of outside:
do you walk into the cleared field
expecting no worse than a gentle admonishing
that your muddy tracks have disturbed
the rows of seed waiting to join
the inevitable harvest,
do you draw back and fold
those earlier steps into a neat deck
of snapshots certain to please
the vicarious roamer
emptying your blood on the path
even as you struggle to alert him
of your intimate presence,
or do you draw open your hood
to the icy rain,
laugh at believing in anything
other than the cold
wet soft murmur of rills
threading the shadowy edge of forest,
and turn again to the darkening trail
as a child to the wind of night.
—JUSTIN ASKINS, in Mountain Passages: An Appalachia Anthology, edited by Robert Manning, 1982

The Peace of Wild Things (in Openings, 1968)
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
—WENDELL BERRY, US Farmer, Writer, 1934-

Paddle Your Own Canoe (in Harper’s Magazine, May 1854)
Voyage upon life’s sea
To yourself be true,
And whatever your lot may be,
Paddle your own canoe.
—SARAH KNOWLES BOLTON, US Writer, 1841-1916

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes—
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,

(from Thanatopsis, 1821)
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature’s teachings,…
—WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, US Romantic Poet, 1794-1878

How to Take A Walk (in Home from the Field, 1997)
This is farm country.
The neighbors will believe
You are crazy
If you take a walk
Just to think and be alone.
So carry a shotgun
And walk the fence line.
Pretend you are hunting.
—LEO DANGEL, US Poet, 1941-

Apostrophe to the Ocean (in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, 1817)
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is a society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
Form these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet can not all conceal.
—GEORGE GORDON (LORD) BYRON, English Poet, 1788-1824

A Cowboy’s Prayer (in Pacific Monthly, 1906)
Forgive me, Lord, if sometimes I forget.
You know about the reasons that are hid.
You understand the things that gall and fret;
You know me better than my mother did.
Just keep an eye on all that’s done and said
And right me, sometimes, when I turn aside.
And guide me on the long, dim, trail ahead
That stretches upward toward the Great Divide.
—BADGER CLARK, US Poet, 1883-1957

We had learned the Appalachian Trail parallels life. It has
peaks and valleys,
joys and sorrows,
exhilarating times and ordinary times,
sunshine and rain,
laughter and tears,
healing and pain,
and, as in life,
the trail has a beginning and an end.
Likewise, the end is a new beginning.
—MADELAINE CORNELIUS, in Katahdin with Love: An Inspirational Journey, 1991

Death Be Not Boring
Spare me the mundane fade of natural causes, the gentle expire in the dark of night.
Take me rudely, in a frantic gnashing of claws and canines in some far wilderness.
Unleash your vipers, your flash floods, your stampeding wildfires.
Give me the awful clarity of freefall, the mad carnival ride of avalanche.
Drag these well-used bones from the trail into one final glorious maelstrom of discovery—and while you’re at it, release the goddamn kraken.
I’ve lived well. I’ve adventured widely. I will not die poorly.
—JONATHAN DORN, Backpacker Magazine, October 2013

Little Gidding
We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.
—T.S. ELIOT, English (US-born) Poet, 1888–1965

Wood-notes (1847)
Whoso walketh in solitude,
And inhabiteth the wood,
Choosing light, wave, rock, and bird,
Before the money-loving herd,
Into that forester shall pass,
From these companions, power and grace.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Trails are not dust and pebbles on a hill,
Nor even grass and wild buds by a lake;
Trails are adventure and a hand to still
The restless pulse of life when men would break
Their minds with weight of thinking. Trails are peace,
The call to dreams, the challenge to ascent;
Trails are the brisk unfolding of release
From bitterness and from discouragement.
Trails are the random writing on the wall
That tells how every man, grown tired at heart
Of things correct and ordered, comes to scrawl
His happy hour down–then goes to start
Life over with new eagerness and zest.
Who builds a trail finds labor that is rest!
—HELEN FRAZEE-BOWER, US Poet, 1896-2000

The Road Not Taken (in Mountain Interval, 1916)
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
—ROBERT FROST, US Poet, 1874-1963

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (in The Poetry of Robert Frost, 1923)
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
—ROBERT FROST, US Poet, 1874-1963

Time Out (1942)
It took that pause to make him realize
The mountain he was climbing had the slant
As of a book held up before his eyes
(And was a text albeit done in plant).
—ROBERT FROST, US Poet, 1874-1963

The Reward of Nature
If you’ll go with me to the mountains
And sleep on the leaf carpeted floors
And enjoy the bigness of nature
And the beauty of all out-of-doors,
You will find your troubles all fading
And feel the Creator was not man
That made lovely mountains and forests
Which only a Supreme Power can.
When we trust in the Power above
And with the realm of nature hold fast,
We will have a jewel of great price
To brighten our lives till the last.
For the love of nature is healing,
If we will only give it a try
And our reward will be forthcoming,
If we go deeper than what meets the eye.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

Just walking the trail for pleasure
For the love of out of doors
For the lovely works our Maker
Displays on forest floors.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

Hills (1935)
God, give me hills to climb,
And strength for climbing!
—ARTHUR GUITERMAN, US Writer, 1871-1943

Cabin Poem (in The Theory and Practice of Rivers, 1989)
I’ve decided to make up my mind
about nothing, to assume the water mask,
to finish my life disguised as a creek,
an eddy, joining at night the full,
sweet flow, to absorb the sky,
to swallow the heat and cold, the moon
and stars, to swallow myself
in ceaseless flow.
—JIM HARRISON, US Writer, Poet, 1937-

T.T.T. (in Grooks 1966)
Put up in a place
where It’s easy to see
the cryptic admonishment

When you feel how depressingly
slowly you climb
it’s well to remember that
Things Take Time!
—PIET HEIN, Danish Scientist, Poet, 1905-96

The Poetry Man (1986)
Embark upon this hallowed trail
Prepare the fabric of your life
While some will make it, most will fail
But all will know both joy and strife
Joy of friendship and challenge met
Strife in hardships to endure
And guaranteed you will think yet
Through much of what you’re hiking for
Consider this from one who’s done
Before you move on down this path
For every three days in the sun
You’ll taste a day of nature’s wrath
When pain rears up its ugly head
You have to walk your way right through
Adventures always lie ahead
Each day is altogether new
But no amount of words can tell
Or ever manage to convince
How once you’ve hiked the whole A.T. [Appalachian Trail]
You live your life with confidence.
—DON HIRSOHN, The Appalachian Tale: The Adventures of the Poetry Man, 1986

Inversnaid (1881)
What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wilderness?
Let them be left,
O let them be left, wilderness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
—GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS, English Poet, 1844-89

Trees (in Trees and Other Poems, 1914)
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain,
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
—JOYCE KILMER, US Writer, Poet, 1886-1918

The War Against the Trees (1944)
The man who sold his lawn to standard oil
Joked with his neighbors come to watch the show
While the bulldozers, drunk with gasoline,
Tested the virtue of the soil
Under the branchy sky
By overthrowing first the privet-row.

Forsythia-forays and hydrangea-raids
Were but preliminaries to a war
Against the great-grandfathers of the town,
So freshly lopped and maimed.
They struck and struck again,
And with each elm a century went down.

All day the hireling engines charged the trees,
Subverting them by hacking underground
In grub-dominions, where dark summer’s mole
Rampages through his halls,
Till a northern seizure shook
Those crowns, forcing the giants to their knees.

I saw the ghosts of children at their games
Racing beyond their childhood in the shade,
And while the green world turned its death-foxed page
And a red wagon wheeled,
I watched them disappear
Into the suburbs of their grievous age.

Ripped from the craters much too big for hearts
The club-roots bared their amputated coils,
Raw gorgons matted blind, whose pocks are scars
Cried Moon! on a corner lot
One witness-moment, caught
In the rear-view mirrors of the passing cars.
—STANLEY KUNITZ, US Poet, 1905-2006

Proverbios y Cantares (1964)
Traveler, your footsteps are
the path, and nothing else;
traveler, there is no path,
a path is made by walking.
Walking makes the path,
and on looking back
we see a trail that never
can be walked again.
Traveler, there is no path,
Only a wake in the sea.
—ANTONIO MACHADO, Spanish Poet, 1875-1939

Design With Nature (25th Anniversary Edition, 1992)
Matter, of this is the cosmos, sun, earth and life made
Sun, shine that we may live.
Oceans—ancient home
Atmosphere, protect and sustain us
Clouds, rain, rivers and streams, replenish us from the sea
Plants—live and breathe that we may breathe, eat and live
Animals, kin.
Decomposers, reconstitute the wastes of life and death
so that life may endure.
Man, seek the path of benign planetary enzyme,
aspire to be the world’s physician.
Heal the earth and thyself.
—IAN MCHARG, Scottish Landscape Architect, Writer, 1920-2001

Departure (in Collected Poems, 1923)
It’s little I care what path I take,
And where it leads it’s little I care;…
I wish I could walk for a day and a night,
And find me at dawn in a desolate place
With never the rut of a road in sight,
Nor the roof of a house, nor the eyes of a face.
—EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY, US Poet, Playwright, 1892-1950

Woodman, Spare That Tree (1830)
Woodman, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,
And I’ll protect it now.
‘Twas my forefather’s hand
That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand,
Thy axe shall harm it not!

That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown
Are spread o’er land and sea,
And wouldst thou hew it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
O, spare that aged oak,
Now towering to the skies!

When but an idle boy
I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy
Here too my sisters played.

My mother kissed me here;
My father pressed my hand—
Forgive this foolish tear,
But let that old oak stand!

My heart-strings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild-bird sing,
And still thy branches bend.
Old tree! the storm still brave!
And, woodman, leave the spot;
While I’ve a hand to save,
The axe shall hurt it not.
—GEORGE POPE MORRIS, US Poet, Songwriter, 1802-64

Song of the Open Road (in Verses from 1929 On, 1959)
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree
Indeed, unless the billboards fall
I’ll never see a tree at all.
—OGDEN NASH, US Poet, 1902-71

Diné Prayer (in Earth Prayers, 1991)
Now Talking God
With your feet I walk
I walk with your limbs
I carry forth your body
For me your mind thinks
Your voice speaks for me
Beauty is before me
And beauty if behind me
Above and below me hovers the beautiful
I am surrounded by it
I am immersed in it
In my youth I am aware of it
And in old age I shall walk quietly
The beautiful trail.

The Path That Leads to Nowhere
There’s a path that leads to Nowhere
In a meadow that I know,
Where an inland river rises
And the stream is still and slow;
There it wanders under willows
And beneath the silver green
Of the birches’ silent shadows
Where the early violets lean.

Other pathways lead to Somewhere,
But the one I love so well
Had no end and no beginning—
Just the beauty of the dell,
Just the windflowers and the lilies
Yellow striped as adder’s tongue,
Seem to satisfy my pathway
As it winds their sweets among.

There I go to meet the Springtime,
When the meadow is aglow,
Marigolds amid the marshes,
And the stream is still and slow;
There I find my fair oasis,
And with carefree feet I tread
For the pathway leads to Nowhere,
And the blue is overhead.

All the ways that lead to Somewhere
Echo with the hurrying feet
Of the Struggling and the Striving,
But the way I find so sweet
Bids me dream and bids me linger—
Joy and Beauty are its goal;
On the path that leads to Nowhere
I have sometimes found my soul.

The Colorado Trail (in The American Songbag, 1927)
Weep, all ye little rains
Wail, winds, wail,
All along, along, along
The Colorado Trail.
—CARL SANDBURG, US Poet, Writer, 1878-1967

Come into the mountains, dear friend
Leave society and take no one with you
But your true self
Get close to nature
Your everyday games will be insignificant
Notice the clouds spontaneously forming patterns
And try to do that with your life.
—SUSAN POLIS SCHUTZ, US Writer, Poet, 1944-

The Men that Don’t Fit In
There’s a race of men that don’t fit in
A race that can’t sit still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest.
—ROBERT SERVICE, British-Canadian Poet, Author, 1874-1958

The Lone Trail (1907)
Ye who know the Lone Trail fain would follow it,
Through it lead to glory or the darkness of the pit.
Ye who take the Lone Trail, bid your love good-bye;
The Lone Trail, the Lone Trail follow till you die.
The trails of the world be countless,
and most of the trails be tried;
You tread on the heels of the many,
till you come where the ways divide;
And one lies safe in the sunlight,
and the other is dreary and wan,
Yet you look aslant at the Lone Trail,
and the Lone Trail lures you on.
And somehow you’re sick of the highway,
with its noise and its easy needs,
And sometimes it leads to the desert,
and the tongue swells out of the mouth,
And you stagger blind to the mirage,
to die in the mocking drought.
And sometimes it leads to the mountain,
to the light of the lone camp-fire,
And you gnaw your belt in the anguish of hunger-goaded desire.
And sometimes it leads to the Southland,
to the swamp where the orchid glows,
And you rave to your grave with the fever,
and they rob the corpse for its clothes.
And sometimes it leads to the Northland,
and the scurvy softens your bones,
and your flesh dints in like putty,
and you spit out your teeth like stones.
And sometimes it leads to a coral reef
in the wash of a weedy sea,
And you sit and stare at the empty glare
where the gulls wait greedily.
And sometimes it leads to an Arctic trail,
and the snows where your torn feet freeze,
And you whittle away the useless clay,
and crawl on your hands and knees.
Often it leads to the dead-pit; always it leads to pain;
By the bones of your brothers ye know it,
but oh, to follow you’re fain.
By your bones they will follow behind you,
till the ways of the world are made plain.
Bid good-by to sweetheart, bid good-by to friend;
The Lone Trail, the Lone Trail follow to the end.
Tarry not, and fear not, chosen of the true;
Lover of the Lone Trail, the Lone Trail waits for you.
—ROBERT SERVICE, British-Canadian Poet, Author, 1874-1958

The Rhyme of the Remittance Man (1921)
I am one of you no longer; by the trails my feet have broken,
The dizzy peaks I’ve scaled, the camp-fire’s glow;
By the lonely seas I’ve sailed in—
yea, the final word is spoken,
I am signed and sealed to nature. Be it so.
—ROBERT SERVICE, British-Canadian Poet, Author, 1874-1958

The flowers bloom, the songbirds sing,
and though it be sun or rain,
I walk the mountaintops with spring
from Georgia north to Maine.
—EARL SHAFFER, first uninterrupted solo-hike of the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (1948) 1918-2002

Fragment, A Wanderer
He wanders, like a day-appearing dream,
Through the dim wilderness of the mind:
Through desert woods and tracts, which seem
Like ocean, homeless, boundless, unconfined.
—PERCY BYSSHE SHELLY, English Romantic Poet, 1792-1822

The Arizona Trail (February 1, 2003)
In the land of Arizona
Through desert heat or snow
Winds a trail for folks to follow
From Utah to Old Mexico
It’s the Arizona Trail
A path through the great Southwest
A diverse track through wood and stone
Your spirit it will test.
Some will push and pedal
And some will hike or run
Others will ride their horse or mule
What else could be more fun?
Oh, sure, you’ll sweat and blister
You’ll feel the miles each day
You’ll shiver at the loneliness
Your feet and seat will pay.
But you’ll see moonlight on the borderlands
You’ll see stars on the Mogollon
You’ll feel the warmth of winter sun
And be thrilled straight through to bone.
The aches and pains will fade away
You’ll feel renewed and whole
You’ll never be the same again
With Arizona in your soul.
Along the Arizona Trail
A reverence and peace you’ll know
Through deserts, canyons and mountains
From Utah to Old Mexico.
—DALE SHEWALTER, Father of the Arizona Trail, 1950-2010

A Walk (1965)
Sunday the only day we don’t work:
Mules farting around the meadow,
Murphy fishing.
The tent flaps in the warm
Early sun: I’ve eaten breakfast and I’ll
take a walk
To Benson Lake. Packed a lunch,
Goodbye. Hopping on creekbed boulders
Up the rock throat three miles
Piute Creek—
In steep gorge glacier-slick rattlesnake country
Jump, land by a pool, trout skitter,
The clear sky. Deer tracks.
Bad place by a falls, boulders big as houses,
Lunch tied to belt,
I stemmed up a crack and almost fell
But rolled out safe on a ledge
and ambled on.
Quail chicks freeze underfoot, color of stone
Then run cheep! away, hen quail fussing.
Craggy west end of Benson Lake—after edging
Past dark creek pools on a long white slope—
Look down in the ice-black lake
lined with cliff
From far above: deep shimmering trout.
A lone duck in a gunsightpass
steep side hill
through slide-aspen and talus, to the east end,
down to grass, wading a wide smooth stream
into camp. At last.
By the rusty three-year-
Ago left-behind cookstove
Of the old trail crew,
Stoppt and swam and ate my lunch.
—GARY SNYDER, US Poet, 1930-

The Vagabond (1895)
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Scottish Author, Poet, 1850–94

Good and Bad Children
If you would grow great and stately,
you must try to walk sedately.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, in A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1885

The Brook, (in Maud and Other Poems, 1855)
I come from haunts of coot and heron:
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.
By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.
Till last by Philip’s farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.
I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying hays,
I babble on the pebbles.
With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.
I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,
And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,
And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.
I steal by lawns and grassy lots:
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows;
I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my creases;
And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.
—ALFRED LORD TENNYSON, British Poet, 1809-92

The Path (1917)
Running along a bank, a parapet
That saves from the precipitous wood below
The level road, there is a path. It serves
Children for looking down the long smooth steep,
Between the legs of beech and yew, to where
A fallen tree checks the sight: while men and women
Content themselves with the road and what they see
Over the bank, and what the children tell.
The path, winding like silver, trickles on,
Bordered and even invaded by thinnest moss
That tries to cover roots and crumbling chalk
With gold, olive, and emerald, but in vain.
The children wear it. They have flattened the bank
On top, and silvered it between the moss
With the current of their feet, year after year.
But the road is houseless, and leads not to school.
To see a child is rare there, and the eye
Has but the road, the wood that overhangs
And underyawns it, and the path that looks
As if it led on the some legendary
Or fancied place where men have wished to go
And stay; till, sudden, it ends where the wood ends.
—EDWARD THOMAS, British Poet, 1878-1917

I like a road that wanders; the King’s Highway is fair,
And lovely are the sheltered lanes that take you here and there;
But best of all I love a trail that leads to God knows where.
—CHARLES HANSON TOWNE, US Writer, Educator, 1877–1949

A Mile With Me (1902)
O who will walk a mile with me
Along life’s merry way?
A comrade blithe and full of glee,
Who dares to laugh out loud and free,
And let his frolic fancy play,
Like a happy child, through the flowers gay
That fill the field and fringe the way
Where he walks a mile with me.

And who will walk a mile with me
Along life’s weary way?
A friend whose heart has eyes to see
The stars shine out o’er the darkening lea,
And the quiet rest at the end o’ the day,—
A friend who knows, and dares to say,
The brave, sweet words that cheer the way
Where he walks a mile with me.

With such a comrade, such a friend,
I fain would walk till journey’s end,
Through summer sunshine, winter rain,
And then?—Farewell, we shall meet again!
—HENRY VAN DYKE, US Author, Poet, 1852-1933

Sing in Praise of Walking (2004)
Sing in praise of walking,
That simple act.
One foot before the other,
Swinging in graceful rhythm
Along a path, or
On a quiet road.
Sing in praise of walking,
That act of faith.
In time you will arrive
And the journey is the thing.
Just sing! The walking brain
Lends itself to song,
In four: four time, or three.
Walk so, waltzing into
Sweet endurance.
Walk with another,
Or walk alone,
Walk now in cities, through
All the bold and joyful flash of
Busy human doings;
Walk now in the arching
Cathedral of an autumn wood
As the sun strikes sideways
Through the yellow leaves.
Sing in praise of walking,
That humble yet exalted act,
Connecting to the Earth itself
With every step.
Come, take my hand, and
Together let us walk.
—ELLEN VANDERSLICE, in Walk This Way: Humor, Myth and the Image of Walking, 2004

All Paths Lead to You
All paths lead to you
Where e’er I stray,
You are the evening star
At the end of day.

All paths lead to you
Hill-top or low,
You are the white birch
In the sun’s glow.

All paths lead to you
Where e’er I roam.
You are the lark-song
Calling me home!

Song of the Open Road (in Leaves of Grass, 1855)
Afoot and light hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth, I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune.
Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, I need nothing. I’m done with indoor complaints, libraries, and querulous criticisms.
Strong and content I travel the open road.
The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and will fill them in return.)
You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.
—WALT WHITMAN, US poet, 1819–92

Laws for Creations (1860)
What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk?
free and own no superior?
—WALT WHITMAN, US poet, 1819–92

Starting Off
Awakened in the dark
by the purling Robins
I set myself deeper
in the frost stiff bag
and sink into sleep
as the day takes hold.

With new melted ice
from a rock bound pool
we wash back the night
from our cobwebbed faces
and breakfast on apples
From my father’s farm.

As the sun breaks free
from the shadowed trees
and the stillness gives way
to the clamor of day
we gather our gear
And make ready to go.

Then with tentative steps
under unaccustomed loads
we set forth out the trail
in the growing light
through the warming air
on the first long trip
of the new found summer.
—ROBERT S. WOOD, in The 2 Oz. Backpacker, 1982

Going Back
When I get back
to the high bright world
of the windblown sun
and the meadowed rock
things will be all right.

When I return
to the mountain wild
on a turning trail
through a summer rain
my rhythm will return.

When I can escape
to the land left wild
on a still starred night
drowned deep in peace
my life will turn around.

When I get back
to the wilds again
and the easy peace
of a dreaming fire
I’ll be content again.
—ROBERT S. WOOD, in The 2 Oz. Backpacker, 1982

The Tables Turned (1798)
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let nature be your teacher.
—WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, British poet, 1770-1850

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Trails and Greenway Politicians Quotes

I am one of those people who deeply resents not having been born in the 19th century, when there were still open places to explore. (quoted in Los Angles Times, March 3, 1987)
—BRUCE BABBITT, AZ Governor (1978-87), 1938-

City parks serve, day in and day out, as the primary green spaces for the majority of Americans.
—BRUCE BABBITT, US Secretary of Interior (1993-2001), 1938-

….I heartily commend all those who have worked so hard to make this dream a reality. Eventually your work will lead to a trail system spanning from coast to coast that will not only provide wonderful recreational opportunities for countless American’s but also help to preserve our nation’s precious natural resources…. (National Trails Day, June 3, 1992)
—GEORGE H. W. BUSH, Forty-first US President (1989-93), 1924-

Good stewardship of the environment is not just a personal responsibility, it is a public value… Our duty is to use the land well, and sometimes not to use it at all. This is our responsibility as citizens, but more than that, it is our calling as stewards of the earth.
—GEORGE W. BUSH, Forty-third US President (2001-09), 1946-

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

Like the railroads that brought us together in the 19th century, these trails will bring us together in the 20th and 21st centuries. (at launch of the National Millennium Trails Program, 1999)

Millennium Trails will be very tangible gifts to the future. We will walk on them and hike on them and bike on them. They will be accessible to people of all ages and abilities. But in a very important way they represent more than the tangible effect of the trail. They represent a commitment and an investment in what kind of country we want in the next century. (at launch of the National Millennium Trails Program, 1999)

I think a current understanding about urban behavior tells us that it’s important that people get out and be able to get away from the concrete jungles and the dense environment where they live for their own mental well-being. If they don’t do this, the costs in human loss and human sickness will be far greater than what we would be expending for these kinds of releases and open spaces. (testimony, US House Interior subcommittee, March 20, 1981)
—BARRY GOLDWATER, Senator from Arizona (1953-65; 1969-87), 1909-98

Many of the green places and open spaces that need protecting most today are in our own neighborhoods. In too many places, the beauty of local vistas has been degraded by decades of ill-planned and ill-coordinated development. (speech on January 12, 1999)
—AL GORE, 45th US Vice President (1993-2001), 1948-

The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride horseback, or bicycle. For them we must have trails as well as highways. Nor should automobiles be permitted to tyrannize the more leisurely human traffic.
Old and youth alike can participate. Our doctors recommend and encourage such activity for fitness and fun.
I am requesting, therefore, that the Secretary of the Interior work with his colleagues in the Federal Government and with state and local leaders and recommend to me a cooperative program to encourage a national system of trails, building up the more than 100,000 miles of trails in our national forests and parks.
There are many new and exciting trail projects underway across the land. In Arizona, a county has arranged for miles of irrigation canal banks to be used by riders and hikers. In Illinois, an abandoned railroad right-of-way is being developed as a prairie path. In New Mexico, utility rights-of-way are used as public trails.
As with so much of our quest for beauty and quality, each community has opportunities for action. We can and should have an abundance of trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding, in and close to our cities. In the back county we need to copy the great Appalachian Trail in all parts of America and to make full use of rights-of-way and other public paths. (National Beauty Message, White House Conference on Natural Beauty, February 8, 1965)
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908-73

The fact that we live in a world that moves crisis by crisis does not make a growing interest in outdoor activities frivolous, or ample provision for them unworthy of the nation’s concern.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

The pay is good and I can walk to work. (on becoming President)
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards.
—ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Sixteenth US President (1861–65), 1809–65

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail, but without it, nothing can succeed.
—ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Sixteenth US President (1861–65), 1809–65

Towering genius distains a beaten path.
—ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Sixteenth US President (1861–65), 1809–65

At the same time it is important for people like me not to succumb to the Potomac Fallacy—that the proper federal program will put everything to rights. These is in fact an opposite view, equally convincing, which is that nothing would have gone wrong in the first place if it hadn’t been for federal programs.
—CHARLES LITTLE, The Land Between in The American Land, 1979

Hiking trails provide the entire American family with perhaps the most economical, most varied form of outdoor recreation. So this new law (The National Trails System Act of 1968) gives us a much needed opportunity to preserve and more widely enjoy many significant parts of our country’s natural heritage….
The goal is to provide all of us, no matter where we live, with easy access to a wide variety of trails suited to our tastes and needs—whether we are grandparents on a Sunday stroll, kids on bikes or horseback, or veteran hikers.
—GAYLORD NELSON, Senator from Wisconsin (1963-81), Founder of Earth Day April 22, 1970, 1916-2005

Trails are relatively inexpensive. A splendid national network of all kinds of trails can be established at less cost than a few hundred miles of super highway.
—GAYLORD NELSON, Senator from Wisconsin (1963-81), Founder of Earth Day April 22, 1970, 1916-2005

Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.
—RICHARD M. NIXON, Thirty-seventh US President (1969-74), 1913-94

[The public lands represent] in a sense, the breathing space of the nation. (environmental message, 1972)
—RICHARD M. NIXON, Thirty-seventh US President (1969-74), 1913-94

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.
—BARACK OBAMA, Forty-fourth US President, (2009-17) 1961-

Far and away the best prize life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations who come after us. This nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets, which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

There is delight in the hardy life of the open. There are no words that can tell of the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

I have rarely seen the government do anything that was effective.
—ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, US (Austrian-born) Actor, Politician, Governor of California (2003-2011), 1947-

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.
—ADLAI STEVENSON, US Political Leader, 1900–65

We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft.
—ADLAI STEVENSON, US Political Leader, 1900–65

I think politicians sometimes badly underestimate the true feelings that Americans have for the land.
—MORRIS UDALL, US Representative from AZ  (1961-91), 1922-98

I’ve been through legislation creating a dozen national parks, and there’s always the same pattern. When you first propose a park, and you visit the area and present the case to the local people, they threaten to hang you. You go back in five years and they think it’s the greatest thing that ever happened.
—MORRIS UDALL, Too Funny to Be President, 1988

Admittedly, we must move ahead with the development of our land resources. Likewise, our technology must be refined. But in the long run life will succeed only in a life-giving environment, and we can no longer afford unnecessary sacrifices of living space and natural landscape to ‘progress.’
—STEWART UDALL, Secretary of Interior (1961–69), 1920-2010

Few of us can hope to leave a work of art, or a poem, to posterity; but together—if we act before it is too late—we can set aside a few more great parks, and round out our system of refuges for wildlife. Or, working at other levels, we can reserve a marsh or meadow, or an avenue of open space as a green legacy for other generations. By a series of such acts of conservation we can do much to save what Thomas Jefferson called the ‘face and character’ of our country. If we do this, surely those who follow, whether or not our names survive, will remember and praise our vision and our works.
—STEWART UDALL, Secretary of Interior (1961–69), 1920-2010

Each generation has its own rendezvous with the land, for despite our fee titles and claims of ownership, we are all brief tenants on this planet. By choice, or by default, we will carve out a land legacy for our heirs. We can misuse the land and diminish the usefulness of resources, or we can create a world in which physical affluence and affluence of the spirit go hand in hand.
—STEWART UDALL, The Quiet Crisis and the Next Generation, 1963

We must think nationally about the [trails] system and act locally to link trails and make the system happen.
—BRUCE F. VENTO, Senator from Minnesota (1977-2000), 1940-2000

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Rails-to-Trails Quotes

At an average of twelve acres per mile, and with widths up to 400 feet, abandoned lines represent a million-acre resource available for many public uses, particularly trails: conservation trails for wildlife protection, nature interpretation, and open space; recreation trails for hiking, biking, walking, skiing, and horseback riding; trails for cultural interpretation and historic preservation; and access trails to rivers and to public lands for camping, hunting, and fishing.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1988), 1947-2017

Besides providing a high-quality, close-to-home recreational experience rail-trails 1) support wildlife, 2) protect adjacent rivers from soil runoff and other forms of pollution, 3) save historic transportation corridors, depots, and other forms of architectural and engineering features of our railroad heritage, and 4) preserve corridors for potential reconversion to rail use in the future. They help make urban areas livable and rural areas accessible.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1988), 1947-2017

It’s truly ironic that this country spends millions of dollars each year building new trail systems while an already-established system of trail corridors along some of our most scenic vistas is melting away before our very eyes [testimony before President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors].
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1987), 1947-2017

Rail-trails are a perfect means of telling community stories.… Their long and colorful history make perfect greenways. They combine that history with a respect for the environment, and recreation, and allow us to live life on a human scale maintaining contact with each other and with nature.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1998), 1947-2017

Since most of the land was donated to the railroads by the American public in the first place, we believe it should be returned to the public.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (1988), 1947-2017

Most rail-trails are the result of a cooperative effort between an active citizen group, a responsive public agency, and a supportive community all of who share a vision for the trail.
—SUSAN DOHERTY, Rail-Trails and Community Sentiment, 1998

We have an opportunity to preserve a dwindling national resource [abandoned rail lines] of close-to-home open space. Let’s not let it slip away.
—GILBERT GROSVENOR, President, National Geographic Society, 1988

Human history and natural history are visible from trails. The old railroad routes through a town can show a lot about how the town developed, what it was like long ago. When you go through a town by bicycle on an old railroad route, the place looks very different than from the customary perspective of the car and the highway.
—PETER HARNICK, Co-founder, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1987

Converting an abandoned rail corridor into a trail is not always an easy task, but it is one whose rewards to your community and region will continue far into the future.
—PETER HARNICK, Converting Rails to Trails, 1989

Of the many hurdles that rails-to-trails advocates confront, the basic one is fear—fear by landowners of outsiders, fear by park managers of unexpected costs or liability, fear by politicians of trying something new. Virtually all these fears have proven groundless….
—PETER HARNICK, Converting Rails to Trails, 1989

Towns which have rail-trails are better places to live, work, recreate and raise a family; towns without these greenways are poorer for the lack of them.
—PETER HARNICK, Converting Rails to Trails, 1989

Thinking back, it is a wonder there have been any rail-trail conversions at all, considering the kinds of problems the pioneer projects had to face. Even without the killers [issues], almost any rail-trail project is a huge challenge, given the large number of jurisdictions and adjoining land users any railroad right-of-way encounters in just a few miles, never mind the typical twenty- to thirty-mile length (or more) of some of the major projects.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

When we first heard about the plans for the Cedar Valley Nature Trail from Waterloo to Cedar Rapids [Iowa], we were less than enthusiastic. We attended the meetings and tried to get laws passed and lawsuits initiated to stop what we felt was a real menace to our well-being. We headed up a group of farmers and took the issue to court. We fought it for a year and finally decided that it wasn’t worth it and that we should negotiate.
In retrospect, it’s funny, ‘cause the trail is the greatest thing going.’ None of the fears have come to pass. There are perhaps 15,000 people using the trail every year. Many of them access the trail through our farm. We have formed many friendships with the trail users, and hear from them throughout the year and at Christmas.
—RICK SPENCE, Farmer, Farmland News, February 1993

Cycling is recycling, and abandonments are not abandonments. The conversion program must be considered a transportation program to preserve railroad right-of-ways for the future reactivation of rail service. Today we will have our trails, but tomorrow we will once again have our rails.
—GLENN TIEDT, From Rails to Trails and Back Again: A Look at the Conversion Program, Parks & Recreation, 1980

Once people have access to a rail-trail, it tends to get used, whether for recreation, commuting, or providing a safe route to their friend’s house. A rail-trail can attract people who otherwise may not have much contact with the natural world.
SALLY TREPANOWSKI, Rails to Trails, American Hiker, 1992

This is one of those ideas that you sit down and ask yourself. ‘Why didn’t we think of this before?’ Here we have a resource [abandoned railroad rights-of-way] that is not being used, thousands of miles of scenic real estate suitable for hiking, biking, and all of the rest for no cost…. We can give them what amounts to a huge injection of excellence in the system of national trails.
—MORRIS UDALL, US Representative from AZ (1961-91), 1922-98

No single individual should be able to unravel the tapestry of railroad corridors in our nation which took generations to weave together, at the expense of the great sweat and toil of American workers.
—STEWART UDALL, former Secretary of the Interior from 1961–69 and former Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Board Member, 1998

We are human beings. We are able to walk upright on two feet. We need a footpath. Right now there is a chance for Chicago and its suburbs to have a footpath, a long one.
The right-of-way of the Aurora electric road lies waiting. If we have courage and foresight, such as made possible the Long Trail in Vermont and the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, and the network of public footpaths in Britain, then we can create from this strip a proud resource.
Look ahead some years into the future. Imagine yourself going for a walk on an autumn day. Choose some part of the famed Illinois footpath. Where the highway crosses it, you enter over a stile. The path lies ahead, curving around a hawthorn tree, then proceeding under the shade of a forest of sugar maple trees, dipping into a hollow with ferns, then skirting a thicket of wild plum, to straighten out for a long stretch of prairie, tall grass prairie, with big blue stem and blazing star and silphium and goldenrod.
You must go over a stile again, to cross a highway to another stile. This section is different. The grass is cut and garden flowers bloom in great beds. This part, you may learn, is maintained by the Chicago Horticultural Society. Beyond the garden you enter a forest again, maintained by the Morton Arboretum. At its edge begins a long stretch of water with mud banks, maintained for water birds and waders, by the Chicago Ornithological Society. You notice an abundance of red-fruited shrubs. The birds have the Audubon Societies to thank for those. You rest on one of the stout benches provided by the Prairie Club, beside a thicket of wild crab apple trees planted by the Garden Club of Illinois.
Then you walk through prairie again. Four Boy Scouts pass. They are hiking the entire length of the trail. This fulfills a requirement for some merit badge. A troop of Scouts is planting acorns in a grove of cottonwood trees. Most of the time you find yourself in prairie or woodland of native Illinois plants. These stretches of trail need little or no upkeep. You come to one stretch, a long stretch, where nothing at all has been done. But university students are identifying and listing plants. The University of Chicago ecology department is in charge of this strip. They are watching to see what time and nature will do.
You catch occasional glimpses of bicycles flying past, along one side. The bicycles entered through a special stile admitting them to the bicycle strip. They cannot enter the path where you walk, but they can ride far and fast without being endangered by cars, and without endangering those who walk.
That is all in the future, the possible future. Right now the right-of-way lies waiting, and many hands are itching for it. Many bulldozers are drooling.
—MAY THEILGAARD WATTS, letter to the editor [This letter led to the creation of the 50-mile Illinois Prairie Path and is generally credited with getting the rails-to-trails movement started], Chicago Tribune, October 2, 1963

It is a rare [railroad] right-of-way which does not have an incredibly complicated legal and political history behind it, and unsnarling questions of title and jurisdiction is difficult under the best of circumstances. It takes a hard core of screwballs to see this kind of project through.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

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Rivers Quotes

I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

Night and day the river flows. If time is the mind of space, the River is the soul of the desert. Brave boatmen come, they go, they die, the voyage flows on forever. We are all canyoneers. We are all passengers on this little mossy ship, this delicate dory sailing round the sun that humans call the earth. Joy, shipmates, joy.
—EDWARD ABBEY, The Hidden Canyon—A River Journey, 1977

River time flows inside me. It becomes who I am: River of spirit … river of hope, river of fears … river of tears, river of passion … river of purpose, river of solitude … river of song, river of truth … river of love, river of dreams, river of life.
—TOM BLAGDEN, The Rivers of South Carolina, 1999

A river is worth saving for what it manifestly is: a corridor of water, rock and land, a zone of life, a place of inexpressible beauty constantly reshaping itself. But the value of rivers exceeds anything most of us can imagine—it encompasses the very essence of planetary life. Healthy rivers are so important they define, in many respects, the health of the planet.
—DAVID BOLLING, How to Save a River: A Handbook for Citizen Action, 1994

What makes a brook or river so special? It is useless to try to answer the question, for he who asks it will never understand the answer. Rivers and brooks are special simply because they are brooks, and they are rivers.
—HAL BORLAND, Beyond Your Doorstep, 1962

Sometimes luck is with you, and sometimes not, but the important thing is to take the dare. Those who climb mountains or raft rivers understand this.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952–69), 1912-2000

I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river.
—RODERICK HAIG-BROWN, Canadian Writer, Conservationist, 1908-76

Everything flows on and on like this river, without pause, day and night.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

The real way to know a river is not to glance at it here or there in the course of a hasty journey, nor to become acquainted with it after it has been partly civilized and spoiled by too close contact with the works of man. You must go to its native haunts; you must see it in youth and freedom; you must accommodate yourself to its pace, and give yourself to its influence, and follow its meanderings withersoever they may lead you.
—HENRY VAN DYKE, US Poet, 1852–1933

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.
—LOREN EISELEY, The Immense Journey, 1946

Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour and is not reminded of the flux of all things.

To protect your rivers, protect your mountains.
—EMPEROR YU, China, 1600 BC

There is nothing like a wilderness journey for rekindling the fires of life. Simplicity is part of it. Cutting the cackle. Transportation reduced to leg—or arm—power, eating irons to one spoon. Such simplicity, together with sweat and silence, amplify the rhythms of any long journey, especially through unknown, untattered territory. And in the end such a journey can restore an understanding of how insignificant you are—and thereby set you free.
—COLIN FLETCHER, River: One Man’s Journey Down the Colorado, Source to Sea, 1998

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.
—KAHLIL GIBRAN, Lebanese –US Poet, 1883-1931

A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself—for it is from the soil, both from its depth and from its surface, that a river has its beginning.
—LAURA GILPIN, US Photographer, 1891-1979

To live by a large river is to be kept in the heart of things.
—JOHN HAINES, US Poet, 1924-2011

In this sometimes turbulent world, the river is a cosmic symbol of durability and destiny; awesome, but steadfast. In this period of deep national concern, I wish everyone could live for a while beside a great river.
—HELEN HAYES, US Actress, 1900-93

You cannot step twice in the same river.
—HERACLITUS, Greek Philosopher, 535-475 BC

The river has taught me to listen; you will learn from it, too. The river knows everything; one can learn everything from it. You have already learned from the river that it is good to strive downwards, to sink, to seek the depths. Siddhartha, 1922
—HERMAN HESSE, Swiss (German-born) author, 1877-1962

My escape is to just get in a boat and disappear on the water.
—CARL HIASSEN, US Novelist, 1953-

A river is more than an amenity—it is a treasure that offers a necessity of life that must be rationed among those who have power over it.
—OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, US Physician, Poet, Humorist, 1809–94

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—ISAIAH 43:2

An unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today. Their flow and vitality have been harnessed by dams and too often they have been turned into open sewers by communities and by industries. It makes us all very fearful that all rivers will go this way unless somebody acts now to try to balance our river development. (remarks on signing the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968)
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908-73

. . . the time has also come to identify and preserve free-flowing stretches of our great rivers before growth and development make the beauty of the unspoiled waterway a memory. (National Beauty Message, White House Conference on Natural Beauty, February 8, 1965)
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908-73

Rivers have what man most respects and longs for in his own life and thought—a capacity for renewal and replenishment, continual energy, creativity, cleansing.
—JOHN KAUFFMANN, Flow East: A Look at Our North Atlantic Rivers, 1973

Finally, I took a walk alone to the levee. I wanted to sit on the muddy bank and dig the Mississippi River; instead of that I had to look at it with my nose against a wire fence. When you start separating the people from their rivers, what have you got? Bureaucracy!
—JACK KEROUAC, On the Road, 1955

I started out thinking of America as highways and state lines. As I got to know it better, I began to think of it as rivers. Most of what I love about the country is a gift of the rivers. . . . America is a great story, and there is a river on every page of it.
—CHARLES KURALT, On the Road With Charles Kuralt, 1995

Rivers run through our history and folklore, and link us as a people. They nourish and refresh us and provide a home for dazzling varieties of fish and wildlife and trees and plants of every sort. We are a nation rich in rivers.
—CHARLES KURALT, On the Road With Charles Kuralt, 1995

…perhaps our grandsons, having never seen a wild river, will never miss the chance to set a canoe in singing waters…
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The good life on any river may … depend on the perception of its music, and the preservation of some music to perceive.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The life of every river sings its own song, but in most the song is long since marred by the discords of misuse.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
—NORMAN MACLEAN, A River Runs Through It, 1976

Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road.
—BOB MARSHALL, Co-founder, Wilderness Society, 1901–39

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
Inspired by A.A. MILNER, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, 1996

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
Inspired by A.A. MILNER, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, 1996

There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet as that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet.
—THOMAS MOORE, Irish Poet, 1779-1852

A river sings a holy song conveying the mysterious truth that we are a river, and if we are ignorant of this natural law, we are lost.
—THOMAS MOORE, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, 1997

We let a river shower its banks with a spirit that invades the people living there, and we protect that river, knowing that without its blessings the people have no source of soul.
—THOMAS MOORE, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, 1997

All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.
—TONI MORRISON, US Novelist, 1931-

Free the rivers.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Rivers flow not past, but through us; tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The Sun shines not on us but in us. The Rivers flow not past, But through us.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Ancient rock paintings remind us that there are no unclaimed lands, that people have always lived here. They are wayposts along the river journey to the interior of the mind and heart.
—LYNN NOEL, Voyages: Canada’s Heritage Rivers, 1995

The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.
—LYNN NOEL, Voyages: Canada’s Heritage Rivers, 1995

As long as there are young men with the light of adventure in their eyes or a touch of wildness in their souls, rapids will be run.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness advocate, 1899–1982

The mist was all gone from the river now and the rapids sparkled and sang. They were still young as the land was young. We were there to enjoy it, and the great machines seemed far away.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness Advocate, 1899–1982

Don’t push the river—it flows by itself.
—FRITZ PERLS, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim, 1969

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.
—ROSS PEROT, US Businessman, Philanthropist, 1930–

Question: What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps?
Answer: A river.

The rivers are our brothers.
—CHIEF SEATTLE, leader of the Suquamish Tribe in the Washington Territory, 1790–1866

No American should go through life without knowing a river, some river, and the wilder the better.
—WALLACE STEGNER, US Environmental Writer, 1909–93

There is no music like a little river’s…. It takes the mind out-of-doors … and … sir, it quiets a man down like saying his prayers.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Scottish Author, Poet, 1850–94

To the lost man, to the pioneer penetrating a new country, to the naturalist who wishes to see the wild land at its wildest, the advice is always the same—follow a river. The river is the original forest highway. It is nature’s own Wilderness Road.
—EDWIN WAY TEALE, US Naturalist, 1879-1980

Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

I was born upon thy bank, river, my blood flows in they stream, and thou meanderest forever at the bottom of my dream.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

It is pleasant to have been to a place the way a river went.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Rivers must have been the guides which conducted the footsteps of the first travelers. They are the constant lure, when they flow by our doors, to distant enterprise and adventure, and, by a natural impulse, the dwellers on their banks will at length accompany their currents to the lowlands of the globe, or explore at their invitation the interior of continents.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

There is something more than association at the bottom of the excitement which the roar of a cataract produces. It is allied to the circulation in our veins. We have a waterfall which corresponds even to Niagara somewhere within us.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with our past, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.
—TED TURNER, in The Rivers of South Carolina, 1999

The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book—a book that was a dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs, looking up at stars, and we didn’t even feel like talking aloud.
—MARK TWAIN, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884

When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and the first of what is still to come.
—LEONARDO DA VINCI, Italian Artist, Intellectual, 1452-1519

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Trails and Greenway Safety Quotes

A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own, and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for Godsake, let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive under avalanches—that is the right and privilege of any free American. But the rest, the majority, most of them new to the out-of-doors, will need and welcome assistance, instruction, and guidance. Many will not know how to saddle a horse, read a topographical map, follow a trail over slickrock, memorize landmarks, build a fire in rain, treat snakebite, rappel down a cliff, glissade down a glacier, read a compass, find water under sand, load a burro, splint a broken bone, bury a body, patch a rubber boat, portage a waterfall, survive a blizzard, avoid lightning, cook a porcupine, comfort a girl during a thunderstorm, predict the weather, dodge falling rock, climb out of a box canyon, or pour piss out of a boot.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

Numerous studies have concluded that trails do not generate crime. Many studies show that, in fact, these facilities usually result in improvements in safety and overall neighborhood aesthetics.
—AMANDA EAKEN and JOSHUA HART, Tunnels on Trails: A Study of 78 Tunnels on 36 Trails in the United States, 2001

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.
—SIR RANULPH FIENNES, English Explorer, 1944-

Bring the earth your love and happiness. The earth will be safe when we feel safe in ourselves.
—THICH NHAT HANH, The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation, 1996

Crime and the fear of crime do not flourish in an environment of high energy and healthy interaction among law abiding community members—the [Island Line] trail may be one of the safest places in the city.
—Lealand Graham, Chief of Police in South Burlington, Vermont, 1997

The most efficient, although involuntary, ‘police’ have been the track men of the University of Texas nearby. Few would-be muggers or other contemporary park villains relish the thought of tangling with a flock of fast-charging runners.
—LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, Hiking and Biking in Austin [TX], 57(1): 44, 1966

….most trails are safer for bicycle and pedestrian use than the major alternatives such as public highways and roads. This point can be put another way: the risks of liability for bicycle and pedestrian use of trails are less than those associated with similar use of streets and highways. The reason is the user is less likely to be hit by a car or to run afoul of the detritus thrown from cars or other vehicles when the user is on a trail were such vehicles are prohibited. Indeed, the relative safety of trails is one of the major reasons that they are so popular with pedestrians and cyclists.
—CHARLES MONTANGE, Preserving Abandoned Railroad Rights-of-Way for Public Use: A Legal Manual, 1989

Fears vanish as soon as one is fairly free in the wilderness.
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

….it is safer to wander in God’s woods than to travel on black highways or to stay at home.
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

No American wilderness that I know of is so dangerous as a city home ‘with all the modern improvements.’
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

One should go to the woods for safety, if for nothing else.
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not therefore to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
—JOHN MUIR, The Mountains of California, 1894

Now, a cautious mountaineer seldom takes a step on unknown ground which seems at all dangerous that he cannot retrace in case he should be stopped by unseen obstacles ahead. This is the rule of mountaineers who live long.
—JOHN MUIR, Sticken, 1897

The people’s safety is the highest law.
—ROMAN Maxim

One thing I absolutely believe is this: you are entirely responsible for your actions in the wilderness. That means constantly assessing everything: your health, your gear, the trail conditions, “plan B” routes in case you need to change plans, your food and water situation, your itinerary (are you still on pace to make your destination without putting yourself at risk?), the current weather and forecast and yes, even what to do if you encounter someone on the trail that needs help.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

Keeping all trail corridors clean and well-maintained increases the feeling of community ownership of the trail and will reduce the incidents or minor crime such as litter, graffiti and vandalism. Prohibiting motorized use of the trail will deter property crime.
—TAMMY TRACY and HUGH MORRIS, Rail-Trails and Safe Communities: The Experience on 372 Trails, 1998

It’s when you are safe at home that you’re having an adventure. When you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.
—THORTON WILDER, US Playwright and Novelist, 1897-1975

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Trails and Greenway Songs

Happy Trails (1951)
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones.
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts.
Here’s a happy one for you.
—DALE EVANS, US Film Star, Singer, Songwriter, 1912-2001

This Land Was Made For You And Me (1940)
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me the golden valley
This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
Saying this land was made for you and me.

Was a high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property,
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing—
[God blessed America for me.]

The sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
As the fog was lifting, a voice was chanting
This land was made for you and me.

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of the steeple
By the Relief Office I saw my people.
As they stood hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me.
—WOODY GUTHRIE, US folk singer, 1912-67

Down By The River (1972)
City life was gettin’ us down,
So we spent a weekend out of town.
Pitched a tent on a patch of ground,
Down by the river.

Lit a fire and drank some wine.
You put your jeans on top of mine.
I said, “Come in, the water’s fine,”
Down by the river.

Down by the river,
Down by the river.
I said, come in, the water’s fine,
Down by the river.

Didn’t feel too good all night,
So we took a walk in the morning light.
And came across the strangest sight,
Down by the river.

A silver fish lay on its side.
It was washed up by the early tide.
I wonder how it died,
Down by the river.

Down by the river.
Down by the river.
Silver fish lay on its side,
Down by the river.

Doctor put us both to bed,
He dosed us up, and he shook his head.
“Only foolish people go,” he said,
“Down by the river.”

“Why do willows weep?” said he,
“Because they’re dying gradually,
From the waste from the factories,
Down by the river.”

Down by the river,
Down by the river.
“Why do willows weep?” said he,
“Down by the river.”

In time, the river banks will die,
The reeds will wilt, and the ducks won’t fly.
There’ll be a tear in the otter’s eye,
Down by the river.

The banks will soon be black and dead,
And where the otter raised his head,
Will be a clean, white skull instead,
Down by the river.

Down by the river,
Down by the river.
The banks will soon be black and dead,
Down by the river.

Down by the river,
Down by the river.
The banks will soon be black and dead,
Down by the river.
Sung by ALBERT HAMMOND, Lyrics by Albert Hammond, English Singer, Songwriter, 1944- and Mike Hazlewood, English Singer, Composer, 1941-2001

Sierra Club Song
When the sun’s behind the mountain and the frost is in the air,
We’re up and off and hiking on our way;
We don’t know where we’re going and we don’t supremely care,
But we’ll be there when the evening ends the day.
Up the rocky slopes we clamber and then down the other side,
Through forests and across the rocky streams,
Through a land of bright enchantment where the vision opens wide,
And we find the wide horizon of our dreams.
—in JOSEPH HAZARD, Pacific Crest Trails, 1946

The Song of the Florida Trail (1989)
There’s a wondrous trail beneath a wondrous sky,
Oh, to wander it alone, just you and I.
As the great heron flies, the Florida Trail winds
From the Everglades cypress to the sweet Georgia pine.
Oh, Florida Trail, I love you, my friend.
I love the way your path winds ‘round the river bend.
A window to the past, o’ver a thousand miles long
With blazes all across our state – The Florida Trail Song!

A spark from founder Kern gently glides across our lands,
Has now become a torch borne by trail workers’ hands.
A child beholds the legacy, standing in the throng:
Come, children of our land, hear the great white egret’s song!
(Repeat Chorus)

Ancient drums and satellite beams, a mockingbird cries:
“Walk with respect upon this earth, look into children’s eyes.”
The past will fade, campfires die, anhingas close their wings,
At night the trail in stillness waits until the morning sings!
(Repeat Chorus)

The Long, Long Trail (1913)
There’s a long, long trail a-winding
Into the land of my dreams,
Where the nightingales are singing
And a white moon beams;
There’s a long, long night of waiting
Until my dreams all come true,
Till the day when I’ll be going down that
Long, long trail with you
—Lyrics by STODDARD KING, 1889-1933 and music by ALONZO ELLIOT, 1891-1964

Big Yellow Taxi (1970)
They paved a paradise
And put up a parking lot.
—JONI MITCHELL, Canadian Singer, Songwriter, 1943-

Don’t Fence Me In (1934)
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in

Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide country that I love
Don’t fence me in

Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in, no
Pop, oh don’t you fence me in
—Music by COLE PORTER, US Composer, Songwriter, 1891-1964, lyrics by ROBERT FLETCHER, US Poet, 1885-1972

The Happy Wanderer
I love to go a-wandering
along the mountain track,
and, as I go, I love to sing,
my knapsack on my back.
Valderi, valdera
Valderi, valdera ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
Valderi, valdera,
My knapsack on my back,

I love to wander by the stream…
that dances in the sun,
so joyously it calls to me,
Come! Join my happy song!
(Repeat Chorus)
I wave my hat to all I see,
and they wave back to me,
and blackbirds all so loud and sweet
from every greenwood tree.
(Repeat Chorus)
O may I go a-wandering
until the day I die.
O may I always laugh and sing
beneath God’s clear blue sky.
—English lyrics by ANTONIA RIDGE, Dutch Writer, 1895-1981; composed by FRIEDERICH-WILHELM MŌLLER, German Composer, 1788-1857

The Appalachian Trail (1974)
Down at Springer Mountain I learned a thing or two,
Just a greenhorn city boy, starting out brand new,
I’d been feeling disconnected, kind of lost along the way,
But the first step that I took, found me coming home that day.
The Appalachian Trail was where it all began,
That’s where this boy first learned, to call himself a man,
It was the wind that taught me how to spread my wings,
It was the path, that led me on to other things.

It’s funny how just spirit will see you through hard times,
The blisters pain and freezin’ rain, and frozen boots were mine,
I look back now and think of how I could have thrown it in,
But the one who stands before you now, just never would have been.
(Repeat Chorus)
I still spend my days out walkin’ with the wind,
Now there’s silver in my beard, my hair is getting’ thin,
They say life is a circle and we’ll all come ’round again,
If that’s so, I’m looking for my Appalachian friends.
(Final Chorus)
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, US Long-Distance Hiker, Song Writer, 1953-2010, Walkin’ Jim Music, BMI

All Along The Great Divide (1984)
The crystal morning is broken with the cooing of a dove
As you head on up the trail to the highlands up above
Where the colors of the rainbow, are the flowers at your feet,
And your heart sings a song with every beat.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, US Long-Distance Hiker, Song Writer, 1953-2010, Walkin’ Jim Music, BMI

Back On The Trail Again (1984)
And I’m back on the trail again,
missed you like some long lost friend,
Sometimes I think I’m just a part of the wind,
When I’m back on the trail again.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, US Long-Distance Hiker, Song Writer, 1953-2010, Walkin’ Jim Music, BMI

On the Crest Trail (1996)
Out on the Crest Trail, there’s a wind a-blowin’,
Mojave wind, blowin’ way my cares,
It’s pushing me northward, that’s where I’m a-goin’,
I’m bound for the border and I’ll soon be there.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, US Long-Distance Hiker, Song Writer, 1953-2010, Walkin’ Jim Music, BMI

The Long Trails (1997)
I’ve been chasing rainbows since I was a kid
Seekin’ out the paths where no others did.
The life of the trail I took to my heart,
Wanderin’ wild, and livin’ the part.
I found my way down that endless track,
It fit me well, this life of the pack,
Out where the world is one, untamed and on the run,
Stretching out into the setting sun.

I walk the long trails, I came of age on the long trails,
I found my place in those wide open spaces
Out there a-walkin’ on the long trails.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, US Long-Distance Hiker, Song Writer, 1953-2010, Walkin’ Jim Music, BMI

Walk in Peace (2008)
Walk in peace, walk in beauty,
Walk in the Spirit of God,


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Trails and Greenway Tools Quotes

Man is a Tool-using Animal….Nowhere do you find him without Tools; without Tools he is nothing, with Tools he is all.
—THOMAS CARYLE, Scottish Essayist, 1795-1881

To do good work, one must have good tools.
—CHINESE Proverb

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work.
—CHARLES KINGSLEY, English Clergyman, 1819-75

Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.
—ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Sixteenth US President (1861–65), 1809–65

We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.
—MARSHALL McLUHAN, Canadian Scholar, 1911-80

Men have become the tools of their tools.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

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Transportation Quotes

Speed shrinks distance. Roads shrivel parks. Keep out the cars and you will make what is now a two-hour routine drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee into something more like a two- or three-day expedition on foot, bicycle or horseback. Set a man on foot at the entrance to the park, at any entrance, with no means to proceed except by his own energy and inclination, and he faces a vista as wild and immense as that which confronted Hernando de Soto, William Bartram or Daniel Boone. What was an excursion becomes an adventure.
—EDWARD ABBEY, talking about the overuse of Great Smokies National Park in Appalachian Wilderness, 1988

Simply put, we must use cars with more awareness of the effect they have on the environment.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find a Path, 2004

Road, n. A strip of land over which one may pass from where it is too tiresome to be to where it is too futile to go.
—AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1881-1911

In an ideal world, we’d put paths all around the city, next to the rivers, on our abandoned and active rail corridors, near highways, or wherever there’s a strip of available land, just so long as the path is separated from the road.
—MIA BIRK, Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet, 2010

What we need is a comprehensive, connected bikeway network that is comfortable, convenient, safe and gets you from where you are to where you want to go.
—MIA BIRK, Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet, 2010

The current tendency in the parks is to limit entrances by upping admission prices, requiring reservations, and so forth. These solutions may be necessary, and I would rather put up with them than see a park destroyed. But usually pressures could be better reduced by getting rid of the motor vehicles. A car takes up more space, makes more noise, pollutes more air, requires more facilities, and carries more trash than a person—or a lot of people. Let the visitors walk or put them on bicycles. That is what the parks are all about anyway. Let them stick their noses in flowers, gawk at the cliffs, wonder at the sunset, and get blisters on their feet. But for God’s sake, let them leave their gasoline engines somewhere else—we need parks, not parking lots.
—RAYMOND BRIDGE, America’s Backpacking Book, 1973

The breakthrough that we need is for the public to support accommodation of pedestrians and bicyclists in all transportation projects where pedestrians and bicyclists reasonably may be expected, and not see these facilities as extras or add-ons.
—CHRISTOPHER DOUWES, Community Planner for the Federal Highway Administration, 2016

The automobile has not merely taken over the street, it has dissolved the living tissue of the city. Its appetite for space is absolutely insatiable; moving and parked, it devours urban land, leaving the buildings as mere islands of habitable space in a sea of dangerous and ugly traffic.
—JAMES MARSTON FITCH, The New York Times, May 1, 1960

It is questionable how much of the destruction wrought by automobiles on cities is really a response to transportation and traffic needs, and how much of it is owing to sheer disrespect for other city needs, uses and functions. Like city rebuilders who face a blank when they try to think of what to do instead of renewal projects, because they know of no other respectable principles for city organizations, again face a blank when they try to think what they can realistically do, day by day, except try to overcome traffic kinks as they occur and apply what foresight they can toward moving and storing more cars in the future. It is impossible for responsible and practical men to discard unfit tactics—even when the results of their own work cause them misgivings—if the alternative is to be left with confusion as to what to try instead and why.
—JANE JACOBS, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961

A person doesn’t learn much driving around in a car, compared with what you can pick up on foot, and that’s a sad fact about the way most of us live.
—GARRISON KEILLOR, US Humorist, Radio Performer, 1942-

Whither goes thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?
—JACK KEROUAC, On the Road, 1955

Saving old railroad corridors as trails is not only good recreation policy, it is good railroad policy. They [abandoned rail corridors] may be appropriate for rail use in the future. If they are destroyed now, we will never be able to reassemble them again.
—ANDREW ‘DREW’ LEWIS, Secretary of Transportation (1981-83) and a former Chairman and CEO for Union Pacific Railroad (1986-97), 1990, 1931-2016

Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.
—LEWIS MUMFORD, US Social Philosopher, Urban Planner, 1895–1990

Perhaps our age will be known to the future historian as the age of the bulldozer and the exterminator; and in many parts of the country the building of a highway has about the same result upon vegetation and human structures as the passage of a tornado or the blast of an atom bomb….
—LEWIS MUMFORD, The Highway and the City, 1953

Let’s work together to get America moving on both legs and on two wheels, and have a good time while we do it!
—FEDERICO PEÑA, US Secretary of Transportation, (1993-97), 1947-

Americans will put up with anything as long as it doesn’t block traffic.
—DAN RATHER, US Journalist, 1931-

Transportation is about more than asphalt, concrete and steel. Ultimately it is about people. It is about providing people with the opportunity for a safer, happier and more fulfilling life.
—RODNEY SLATER, US Secretary of Transportation (1997-2001), 1955-

This is the vision—to create a changed transportation system that offers not only choices among travel modes for specific trips, but more importantly presents these options so that they are real choices that meet the needs of individuals and society as a whole. Making this vision a reality must begin now.
—USDOT FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, The National Bicycling and Walking Study, 1994

Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made.
—LU XUN, Chinese Writer, 1881-1936

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Travel Quotes

During all of this journey we never employed the services of guides or interpreters. Our independence in this regard increased, perhaps, the hardships of the journey, but certainly contributed much toward the object we sought—a close acquaintance with strange people.
—THOMAS GASKELL ALLEN, Jr. and WILLIAM LEWIS SATCHTLEBEN, Across Asia on a Bicycle: Journey of Two American Students from Constantinople to Peking, 1894

To travel is to live.
—HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON, Danish Author, 1805-75

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but, by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
—MAYA ANGELOU, US Poet, 1928-2014

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
—SAINT AUGUSTINE, Christian Bishop, Theologian, 354–430

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars…and they pass by themselves without wondering.
—SAINT AUGUSTINE, Christian Bishop, Theologian, 354–430

Each day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
—MATSUO BASHŌ, Japanese Poet, 1644-94

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
—MIRIAM BEARD, US Historian, 1876-1958

‘Go West,’ said Horace Greeley, but my slogan is ‘Go Anyplace.’
—RICHARD BISSELL, US Writer, 1913-82

The initial mystery that attends any journey is: How did the traveler reach his starting point in the first place?
—LOUISE BOGAN, US Poet, 1897-1970

The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sight-seeing.’
—DANIEL J. BOORSTIN, US Historian, 1914-2004

To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
—BILL BRYSON, Anglo-American Humor Writer, 1951-

All journeys have a secret in which the traveler is unaware.
—MARTIN BUBER, Austrian Philosopher, Theologian, 1878-1965

As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

Then, again, how annoying to be told it is only five miles to the next place when it is really eight or ten!
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.
—TIM CAHILL, US Travel Writer, 1944-

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
—JOSEPH CAMPBELL, US Authority on Mythology, 1904-87

Walking is a virtue, tourism is a deadly sin.
—BRUCE CHATWIN, What Am I Doing Here, 2001

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
—G. K. CHESTERTON, English Novelist, Poet, 1874-1936

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.
—CHINESE Proverb

Real adventure is defined best as a journey from which you may not come back alive, and certainly not as the same person.
—YVON CHOUINARD, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, 2005

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine.
—PAULO COELHO, The Pilgrimage, 1987

When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly…
—PAULO COELHO, The Pilgrimage, 1987

The true traveler is he who goes on foot, and even then, he sits down a lot of the time.
—COLETTE, Paris From My Window, 1944

When one walks, one is brought into touch first of all with the essential relations between one’s physical powers and the character of the country; one is compelled to see it as its natives do. Then every man one meets is an individual.
—ALEISTER CROWLEY, British Occultist, Mystic, Poet, 1875-1947

When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.
—EDWARD DAHLBERG, On Futility, Reasons of the Heart, 1965

Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, British Prime Minister, (1874-80), 1804–81

Travel teaches toleration.
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, British Prime Minister, (1874-80), 1804–81

Those who would see wonderful things must often be ready to travel alone.
—HENRY VAN DYKE, US Poet, 1852–1933

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
—AMELIA EARHART, US Aviator, 1897-1937?

I love to travel but hate to arrive.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

The journey not the arrival matters.
—T.S. ELIOT, English (US-born) Poet, 1888–1965

We must not cease from exploration.
—T.S. ELIOT, English (US-born) Poet, 1888–1965

Most Americans want to be somewhere else, but when they get there, they want to go home.
—HENRY FORD, US Industrialist, 1863–1947

I don’t know where I’m going, but I ain’t staying here.
—ANDREW FORSTHOEFEL, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story At A Time, 2017

I had to set off on a journey, go on a pilgrimage, something.
—ANDREW FORSTHOEFEL, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story At A Time, 2017

The Fool wanders, the wise Man travels.
—THOMAS FULLER, English Clergyman, 1608-61

Before the development of tourism, travel was conceived to be like study, and its fruits were considered to be the adornment of the mind and the formation of the judgment.
—PAUL FUSSEL, Abroad: British Literacy Traveling between the Wars, 1980

Tramping is a way of approach, to Nature, to your fellow man, to a nation, to a foreign nation, to beauty, to life itself.
—STEPHEN GRAHAM, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1926

One of the pleasantest things in the world is going on a journey; but I like to go by myself. I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me. I am never less alone than when alone.
—WILLIAM HAZLETT, English Writer, 1778-1830

The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do, just as one pleases.
—WILLIAM HAZLITT, English Essayist, 1778-1830

You know more of a road by having travelled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
—WILLIAM HAZLETT, English Writer, 1778-1830

Methods of locomotion have improved greatly in recent years, but places to go remain about the same.
—DON HEROLD, US Writer, 1905-60

The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
—OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, US Physician, Poet, Humorist, 1809–94

Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty—his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.
—ALDOUS HUXLEY, English Writer, 1894-1963

To travel alone, I learned, isn’t to rely on yourself. To travel alone is to force yourself to depend on others. It is to fall in love with mankind.
—KEN ILGUNAS, Trespassing Across America, 2016

Adventure is a path. Real adventure—self-determined, self-motivated, often risky—forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind—and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.
—PETER JENKINS, US Writer, 1951–

Mileage craziness is a serious condition that exists in many forms. It can hit unsuspecting travelers while driving cars, motorcycles, riding in planes, crossing the country on bicycles or on foot. The symptoms may lead to obsessively placing more importance on how many miles are traveled than on the real reason for traveling.
—PETER JENKINS, US Writer, 1951–

It was so exciting to find out what was around the next corner, or across the rushing river ahead, or to see who we might meet in the next town or café.
—PETER JENKINS, A Walk Across America, 1979

He that travels in theory has no inconveniences.
—SAMUEL JOHNSON, British Writer, 1709-84

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
—SAMUEL JOHNSON, British Writer, 1709-84

We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move. And we moved!
—JACK KEROUAC, On the Road, 1955

I was a traveler! A word had never tasted so good in my mouth before.
—CHARLES KURALT, A Life on the Road, 1990

If the traveler expects the highway to be safe and well graded, he might as well stay home.
—CHARLES KURALT, A Life On the Road, 1990

The interstate highway system is a wonderful thing. It makes it possible to go from coast to coast without seeing anything or meeting anybody. If the United States interests you, stay off the interstates.
—CHARLES KURALT, A Life On the Road, 1990

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

A journey of a thousand miles starts must begin with a single step.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.
—URSULA K. LeGUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969

I confess my own leisure to be spent entirely in search of adventure, without regard to prudence, profit, self improvement, learning, or any other serious thing.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The thing to remember when traveling is that the trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, US Western Writer, 1908–88

There is an expression—walking with beauty. And I believe that this endless search for beauty in surroundings, in people and one’s personal life, is the headstone of travel.
—JULIETTE DE BAIRACLI LEVY, Traveler’s Joy, 1979

Remember wherever you go, there you are.
—EARL MACRAUGH, The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzi Across the Eighth Dimension (film), 1984

Tourism is the sum total of the travel experience. It is not just what happens at the destination. It involves everything that a person sees and does from the time he or she leaves home until the vacation is over. Getting there can be half the fun, but frequently it is not. There are many great destinations in America, but, unfortunately, there are very few great journeys left, which is why it is in the interest of the tourism industry to encourage the development of greenways, heritage corridor, bike paths, hiking trails, and other forms of alternative transportation.
—EDWARD MCMAHON, Tourism and the Environment: What’s the Connection? Forum Journal, Summer 1999

One of the oldest human needs is to have someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.
—MARGARET MEAD, US Anthropologist, 1901–78

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people you might better stay home.
—JAMES MICHENER, US Writer, 1907-97

The essence of nature guiding is to travel gracefully rather than arrive.
—ENOS MILLS, US Naturalist, 1870-1922

There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find adventure and those who go secretly hoping they won’t.
—WILLIAM LEAST HEAT MOON, Blue Highways: A Journey into America, 1983

What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.
—WILLIAM LEAST HEAT MOON, Blue Highways: A Journey into America, 1983

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
—GEORGE MOORE, English Philosopher, 1873-1958

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast.
—PAUL SCOTT MOWRER, US Newspaper Correspondent, 1887-1971

Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

A traveler to distant places should make no enemies.

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors.
—TERRY PRATCHETT, A Hat Full of Sky, 2004

A Prayer for Travelers
O God, who did call Abraham to leave his home, and did protect him on all his wanderings, grant to those who now travel by land, mountain, sea or river, a prosperous journey, a quiet time, and a safe arrival at their travel’s end. Be to them a shadow in the heat, a refuge in the tempest, a protection in adversity.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
—MARCEL PROUST, French Novelist, 1871-1922

And may you always have some Territory to light out for, my friend, before somebody civilizes you.
—HARRY ROBERTS, Movin’ Out, 1977

I learned a very important lesson on that journey… I need people, I can’t make it in this world alone and I don’t want to try.
—CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada, 1987

In the end, traveling and learning can create more understanding in the world and thus, perhaps more peace.
—CINDY ROSS, The World is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education, 2018

The interior solitude, along with the steady rhythm of walking mile after mile, served as a catalyst for deeper awareness. The solitude I found and savored on the Camino had an amazing effect on me. The busyness of my life slowly settled down as the miles went on. For a good portion of my life I had longed for a fuller experience of contemplation, that peaceful prayer of the heart in which one is able to look intently and see each piece of life as sacred. Ten days into the journey, totally unforeseen, the grace of seeing the world with startling lucidity came to me. My eyes took in everything with wonder. The experience was like looking through the lens of an inner camera—my heart was the photographer. Colors and shapes took on nuances and depths never before noticed. Each piece of beauty appeared to be framed: weeds along roadsides, hillsides of harvested fields with yellow and green stripes, layers of mountains with lines of thick mist stretching along their middle section, clumps of ripe grapes on healthy green vines, red berries on bushes, roses and vegetable gardens. Everything revealed itself as something marvelous to behold. Each was a work of art. I noticed more and more details of light and shadow, lines and edges, shapes, softness, and texture. I easily observed missed details on the path before me—skinny worms, worn pebbles, tiny flowers of various colors and shapes, black beetles, snails, and fat, grey slugs. I became aware of the texture of everything under my feet—stones, slate, gravel, cement, dirt, sand, grass. I responded with wonder and amazement. Like the poet Tagore, I felt that everything ‘harsh and dissonant in my life’ was melting into ‘one sweet harmony.’
—JOYCE RUPP, Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino, 2005

The journey was walking me as I was walking it. I knew I would never be the same again.
—JOYCE RUPP, Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino, 2005

He who has traveled alone can tell what he likes.
—RWANDAN Proverb

Travel light, Arrive quickly.
—SATHYA SAI BABA, Indian Holy Man, 1926-2011

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

There is nothing more exciting than the discovery of a new place. Leave behind your maps and guidebooks, and just follow your intuition.
—VICTOR SHAMAS, The Way of Play: Reclaiming Divine Fun & Celebration, 2011

Just to travel is rather boring, but to travel with a purpose is educational and exciting.
—SARGENT SHRIVER, US Politician, Activist, 1915-2011

The art of learning fundamental common values is perhaps the greatest gain of travel to those who wish to live at ease among their fellows.
—FREYA STARK, Perseus in the Wind, 1956

I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation- a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every state I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move.
―JOHN STEINBECK, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, 1962

Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
—JOHN STEINBECK, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, 1962

We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
―JOHN STEINBECK, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, 1962

Now, to be properly enjoyed, a walking tour should be gone upon alone.… Freedom is of the essence, because you should be able to stop and go on and follow this way or that as the freak takes you…. There should be no cackle of voices at your elbow to jar on the meditative silence of the morning.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Walking Tours, 1876

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Travels with a Donkey in The Cevennes, 1879

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Scottish Author, Poet, 1850–94

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, El Dorado, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881

Tourists don’t know where they’ve been; travelers don’t know where they’re going.
—PAUL THEROUX, US Travel Writer, 1941-

Travel is clamorous in retrospect.
—PAUL THEROUX, US Travel Writer, 1941-

Even the elephant carries but a small trunk on his journeys. The perfection of traveling is to travel without baggage.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

So far as my experience goes, travelers generally exaggerate the difficulties of the way.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, 1849

I have found out there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them [Huck Finn].
—MARK TWAIN, Tom Sawyer Abroad, 1894

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth.
—MARK TWAIN, The Innocents Abroad, 1869

What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man’s breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked.
—MARK TWAIN (Samuel Clemens), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

Travel is about experiencing a place, a country, a culture—and a bicycle, in my opinion, is the best vehicle for it. But without the element of discovery or reflection, a journey, even a bicycle journey, can devolve into getting from point A to point B. That’s not travel. It’s commuting in a foreign land.
—WILLY WEIR, Slow Down, Adventure Cyclist, March 2015

When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.
—THORTON WILDER, US Playwright, 1897-1975

Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America—that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement.
—THOMAS WOLFE, You Can’t Go Home Again, 1940

Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.
—ANDREW ZIMMERN, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World of Food: Brains, Bugs, and Blood Sausage, 2011

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Urban Trails Quotes

You can’t get the best of a city from a taxi or a bus (to say nothing of a subway) … you learn a city only by walking it.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, Is Walking the New Status Symbol? 1964, US Writer, 1893-1970

We walk in order to enjoy what the road has to offer. We ride in order to get quickly to the inn.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, Is Walking the New Status Symbol? 1964, US Writer, 1893-1970

The need is for diversity and variety in trail systems; long and short, hard and easy, close and far, and for different kinds of users. The greatest need at this time, however, is for day-use opportunities, which must be close to or even inside major population centers.
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

As we examine ways to get trails built under uncertain circumstances, there is one fact we must face: no urban trail is going to get built without solid political and community support.
—STUART MACDONALD, Building Support for Urban Trails, Parks & Recreation, 22(11), 1987

The new big issues [facing urban trails] are funding, user fees, and private sector involvement, not planning, programs, and social research.
—STUART MACDONALD, Building Support for Urban Trails, Parks & Recreation, 22(11), 1987

Nothing could do more to give life back to our blighted urban cores than to reinstate the pedestrian, in malls and pleasances designed to make circulation a delight.
—LEWIS MUMFORD, The Highway and the City, 1953

One of the best opportunities for building recreation into the environment is in the housing itself. The typical subdivision of postwar suburbia squandered the recreation potentials; it splattered houses all over the countryside in a rigid pattern of equal size lots, and thereby fouled the very amenities people moved outwards to seek. Lately, a new approach has been tried, and it works. Instead of forcing the developer to cover the whole tract with equal size lots, the community encourages him to cluster the houses into a more cohesive pattern and one far more economical to service with roads and utilities. The developer houses as many people as he would under the old pattern, but now he does not have to cut down all the trees and cover the streams to do it; over half of the tract is left open—for parks, bridle paths, and walkways.

To enjoy city walking to the utmost you have to throw yourself into a mood of loving humanity.
—DONALD CULROSS PEATTIE, The Joy of Walking, The New York Times Magazine, April 1942

If people are going to use trails then they need attractive, safe, accessible, convenient to use, paths and walkways in their neighborhoods. Whether it’s a tree-lined sidewalk in Manhattan or an open space network in suburban Denver, trails need to be a part of everyone’s daily lives. No one should be more than a 5-minute walk from a trail.
—ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO, 2001

Few actions can do more to make urban areas safer, healthier, prettier, and more environmentally balanced than setting aside corridors or trails for walking, biking, wildlife watching, and just plain breaking up the monotony of cars and concrete.
—JAMES SNYDER, Publisher of Environment Today, 1990

The Outdoor Recreation Resources Commission marked a notable point…. The simple, close-to-home activities, it discovered, are by and far away the most important to Americans…. The structure of our metropolitan areas has long since been set by nature and man, by the rivers and hills, and the railroads and highways. Many options remain, and the great task of planning is not to come up with another structure but to work within the strengths we have, and to discern this structure as people experience it in their everyday life.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

City dwellers get most excited about two natural features: water and trees.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

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Trails and Greenway Vision Quotes

Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you … beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

I find that in contemplating the natural world my pleasure is greater if there are not too many others contemplating it with me, at the same time.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The elegant simplicity and dazzling utility of the ban-all-motors solution to park problems may blind some to its feasibility. It is feasible. It can be done. Eventually it will have to be done. All that is lacking at present is the will on the part of the National Park Service officialdom. Or to phrase it more poetically, the guts. All it takes is a little guts. And this, or these, it is the duty of the park-supporting public to supply.
—EDWARD ABBEY, talking about the overuse of Great Smokies National Park in Appalachian Wilderness, 1988

I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful, an endless prospect of magic and wonder.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

If we build the trail, the American people will come. And they will thrive. And they will prosper. And they will pass on a legacy worthy of posterity.
—AMERICAN HIKING SOCIETY, Hiking Trails in American: Pathways to Prosperity, 2015

• Trail opportunities should exist within 15 minutes of most American’s homes;
• The system should be made up of a combination of federal, state, local and private trails, with entities working together to make an interconnected system;
• Trails must be planned as part of the nation’s infrastructure as are sewers, utilities and highways;
• Planning for trail corridors and networks should be a grassroots effort to ensure there is adequate support for their development, management and long-term protection.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
—MAYA ANGELOU, US Poet, 1928-2014

Any trail which is to survive must be in public ownership.
—MYRON AVERY, Appalachian Trailway News, January 1946

The exaltation one can get in the presence of mountains can be a memorable lesson in humility and an aid to self-realization.
—FRED BECKEY, US Mountaineer, 1923-

Technology continues to create more problems than technological thinking can solve, and we are faced with accepting the biblical injunction that, without vision, the people perish.
—FRANK BERGON, Editor of The Wilderness Reader, 1980

It [a decent spiritual and economic connection to the land] will have to be done by making a bond with some place, and by living there—doing the work the place requires, repairing the damage that others have done to it, preserving its woods, building back its ecological health—undertaking, that is, the necessary difficulty and clumsiness of discovering, at this late date and in the most taxing of circumstances, a form of human life that is not destructive.
—WENDELL BERRY, The Unknown Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, 1971

It is not by whining that one carries out the job of a leader.
—NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, French Emperor (1804–15), 1769–1821

Mountain hikes instilled in me a life-long urge to get to the top of any inviting summit or peak.
—PAUL D. BOYER, US Biochemist, 1918-

Your purpose in life is to find your purpose, and then give your whole heart and soul to it.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

Too many cities in America have become places to survive. We need more places to thrive.
—DAN BURDEN, Florida Bicycle Facilities Planning and Design Handbook, 1997

In the nineteenth century we built the railroad system and in the twentieth century we built the highway system. In the 21st century we will reconnect America with a network of trails and greenways. My vision is to change the map of American.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (2000), 1947-2017

Our common goal is the creation of a nationwide network of multi-use trails—local, regional, and national systems—that allow walkers, bicyclists, people with disabilities, equestrians, runners, skiers, hikers, and others to enjoy the beauty of the American landscape.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and WILLIAM SPITZER, Chief, Recreation Resources Assistance Division, National Park Service, 1993

The dreamer and the dream are the same … the powers personified in a dream are those that move the world.
—JOSEPH CAMPBELL, US Authority on Mythology, 1904-87

How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.
—YVON CHOUINARD, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, 2005

The goal of climbing big, dangerous mountains should be to attain some sort of spiritual and personal growth, but this won’t happen if you compromise away the entire process.
—YVON CHOUINARD, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, 2005

A vision without a task is but a dream; a task without a vision is drudgery; a vision with a task is the hope of the world.
—CHURCH INSCRIPTION, Sussex, England, 1730

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
—ARTHUR C. CLARKE, British Science Fiction Writer, 1917-2008

Keep your eye fixed on the path to the top, but don’t forget to look right in front of you. The last step depends on the first. Don’t think you’re there just because you see the summit. Watch your footing, be sure of the next step, but don’t let that distract you from the highest goal. The first step depends on the last.
—RENÉ DAUMAL, French Writer, Mount Analgue, 1952, 1908–44

You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again…. So why bother in the first place? Just this: what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. In climbing, always take note of difficulties along the way; for as you go up, you can observe them. Coming down, you will no longer see them, but you will know they are there if you have observed them well.
One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.
—RENÉ DAUMAL, French Writer, Mount Analgue, 1952, 1908–44

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
—WALT DISNEY, Motion Picture Producer, 1901–66

Laughter is timeless; Imagination has no age; Dreams are forever.
—WALT DISNEY, Motion Picture Producer, 1901–66

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, interviewed by George Viereck, The Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1929

.…we’re at a critical stage in the world. We have reached the point where we need to think about what kind of environmental future we’re going to have. I believe we can live in harmony with our environment; we don’t have to go out and pave every square inch. But we need a new ethic for living in our world. That’s why I do what I do (1988).
—CHUCK FLINK, Founder and President Greenways Inc. since 1986

Our children and grandchildren deserve the opportunity to realize the fulfillment of the recommendations contained within Trails for All Americans [report]: they deserve the opportunity to hike through an old growth forest that has been protected by virtue of its greenway designation; they deserve the opportunity to feel the wind whistle through their hair as they glide across the snow in northern states on their solar powered, modern and quiet snowmobiles. Or as they hike, bike or ride their horse from the Atlantic coast, through the Appalachians, the prairies of the central plains, and across the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra and on to the Golden Gate Bridge. And, they deserve the opportunity to enjoy the quality of life that we have enjoyed as Americans—to walk, run and ride on a national system of trails and greenways that reflects the heritage and pride of our great nation (President, American Trails, 1990).
—CHUCK FLINK, Founder and President Greenways Inc. since 1986

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

In the not-too-distant future, Americans will look back on those who created rail-trail parks with the same gratitude that we today feel for those visionary men and women who created our first national parks. But this ‘second wave’ of park creation must take place now, within the next decade or so, if we are not to lose the opportunity of using the abandoned rail corridors which are rapidly disappearing from the landscape.
—PETER HARNICK, Converting Rails to Trails, 1989

Recreational trails should provide the people of Illinois with opportunities to enjoy physical and social activities … they should provide opportunities to experience the natural, cultural and scenic amenities of the trail corridor … they should reflect landscapes typical of the state’s different regions … they should be accessible to the state’s citizens … they should provide a pleasurable, non-polluting alternative to automobile travel for short trips … they should be economic assets to communities along the trail … and they should contribute to the quality of life in Illinois.
These trails should be developed through partnerships among state, federal, regional and local units of government, constituent organizations and trail users … they should link communities and their parks and extend from cities into the countryside … they should connect Illinois’ diverse regions and with trails in neighboring states’… and they should evolve into a network of trails throughout the length and breadth of Illinois, easily accessible to all Illinoisans for their use and enjoyment.
—ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT of CONSERVATION, Illinois State Trails Plan, 1995

A clear stream, a long horizon, a forest wilderness and open sky—these are man’s most ancient possessions. In a modern society, they are his most priceless.
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908–73

The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but has no vision.
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.

America needs her forests and wild spaces quite as much as her cities and her settled places.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

We can’t all be great explorers, like Perry and Powell, nor great naturalists, like Thoreau and Humboldt. But anyone who prizes the sights and sounds of nature in action, whether robins at the window or muskrat in the stream, or bog born of ages, such a one is, within his measure, an explorer and naturalist. And his job is cut out for him: to make of his region, as seen from its highest hill, a place for taking expeditions.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Expedition Nine: A Return to a Region, 1969

I find in this a note of optimism for our sometimes gloomy world. With pollution and overpopulation spawning a sprawling urban desert, I am encouraged by the knowledge that there are millions in America who care about wilderness and mountains; who go forth for strength to Mother Earth; who defend her domain and seek her secrets. I am proud to have played a role in the birth of the Appalachian Trail. And I am proud of the generations of hikers who have made my dream become a reality.
—BENTON MACKAYE, foreword, The Appalachian Trail, 1972

Little did I dream more than fifty years ago when I sat down with two men in the New Jersey Highlands and outlined to them my idea of a footpath through the Appalachians, that such plans would be translated into the institution that has now come to pass. I did little more than suggest the notion: I set the match to the fuse and set the chain reaction that has come about.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, statement read to Appalachian Trail Conference meeting in Boone, NC, 1975

Let us green the earth, restore the earth, heal the earth.
—IAN MCHARG, Design With Nature, 25th Anniversary Edition, 1992

I firmly believe that everyone deserves to live within walking distance of either beauty or convenience, if not both.
—VICTORIA MORAN, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty, 2001

A pedestrian seems in this country to be a sort of beast of passage—stared at, pitied, suspected and shunned by everyone who meets him…. Every passing coachman called out to me: “Do you want to ride on the outside?” If I met only a farm worker on a horse he would say to me companionably “Warm walking sir,” and when I passed through a village the old women in their bewilderment would let out a “God Almighty!”
—KARL PHILIP MORITZ, Journeys of a German in England, 1782

There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains.
—RICHARD NELSON, The Island Within, 1991

Walk some night on a suburban street and pass house after house on both sides of the same street each with the lamplight of the living room, shining golden, and inside the little blue square of the television, each living family riveting its attention on probably one show; nobody talking; silence in the yards; dogs barking at you because you pass on human feet instead of wheels.
—GEOFF NICHOLSON, The Lost Art of Walking, 2008

Whether you’re hiking, biking, canoeing, or camping—exploring the outdoors is a part of the American life.
—GALE NORTON, Secretary of the Interior (2001-06), 2003, 1954-

All of us are dreamers. Dreams are what started everything. Dreams are the most realistic way of looking at life. Dreamers are not shadowy ephemeral-thinking people. The dreamers are the realists. They are the ones who look through all the facades to all the things that we’re doing to our environment and see the end result as it affects humanity. We are asking ourselves a great question … and all of us interested in wilderness preservation are asking it all the time, and that is: What kind of world do we want?
—SIGURD F. OLSON, speech at Ninth Biennial Wilderness Conference, San Francisco, 1965

We can tie this country together with threads of green that everywhere grant us access to the natural world. Rivers and streams are the most obvious corridors, offering trails on the shores and boating at mid-channel. They could link open areas already existing as national and state parks, grasslands, forests, lakes, and reservoirs, the entire network winding through both rural and urban populations. Thousands of miles of abandoned rail lines should become hiking, biking, and bridle paths. Utility rights-of-way could share their open space not only with hikers and cyclists but also with wildlife. Citizens and landowners, both individual and corporate, can look for opportunities to establish and maintain greenways with the help of volunteer labor. Imagine every person in the U.S. being within easy walking distance of a greenway that could lead around the entire nation. It can be done if we act soon.

We have a vision for allowing every American easy access to the natural world: Greenways. Greenways are fingers of green that reach out from and around and through communities all across America, created by local action. They will connect parks and forests and scenic countrysides, public and private, in recreation corridors for hiking, jogging, wildlife movement, horse and bicycle riding.

Trails in the 21st century will:
• be located, designed, and managed as accessible and appealing to serve all Americans regardless of age, physical ability, cultural background, economic situation, or geographic location
• develop apace with other infrastructure systems to meet the changing needs of a changing nation
• be within easy and safe reach of every American
• form a complete grid criss-crossing the nation, interconnecting at all levels, forming a new infrastructural network
• be characterized by meaningful connections, whereby all Americans will have access to parks, places of employment, and neighboring communities
• provide diverse experiences while respecting both the natural and man-made environments
• provide numerous benefits, including recreation and transportation opportunities while conserving natural and cultural resources
• be built through creative partnerships, relying heavily on citizen initiation, while combining the resources of nonprofit organizations, public agencies, foundations, and private corporations
—RAILS-TO-TRAILS CONSERVANCY, A vision for trails in the 21st century presented at the 12th National Trails Symposium, in Anchorage, Alaska, October 1994

People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it—walk.
—AYN RAND, Russian-born, US Novelist, 1905-82

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
—ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, US Diplomat, Politician, 1884-1962

There are many paths to the top of the mountain. But only one view.
—ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, US Diplomat, Politician, 1884-1962

Leisure, of course, will be greatly extended. A much shorter work week will no doubt prevail in 1980, and another ten or fifteen years will have been added to the average life space…. Not labor but leisure will be the great problem in the decades ahead. That prospect should be accepted as a God-given opportunity to add dimensions of enjoyment and grace of life.
—DAVID SARNOFF, Chairman of RCA, The Fabulous Future, Fortune, 51(1), January 1955

The land is everything.
—BURT SHAVITZ, Co-founder of Burt’s Bees, 1935-2015

I’ll tell you my vision. I’d like for most Americans to be able to reach a trail within walking distance of their home and work place. I would like us all to have available a significant natural corridor where we can stroll, exercise, or socialize with friends. I would like to see the National Trails System be as myriad and diverse as the American people. I would like to see us being committed to preserving enough significant corridors that we could have a trail system that is reflective of various communities of interest—so we are not confused by some as serving a single activity group.
—WILLIAM SPITZER, Chief, Recreation Resource Division, National Park Service, Ninth National Trails Symposium, Unicoi State Park, Georgia, 1988

I dream of a day when one cannot only walk or bike from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but from Hudson Bay to the Caribbean. These routes will vary—some will stick to the back country, some will be on ‘blue’ highways, some through city neighborhoods, some past farms. But all can feature a variety of natural, recreational and cultural experiences which marks our diversity. The American Discovery Trail embraces this diversity, linking hundreds of communities from coast to coast. Would that there will be more American Discovery Trails criss-crossing North America, binding us together as the road system does now, but with an eye for community building, building a sustainable, inhabitable, safe earth for our children to the seventh generation.
—WILLIAM SPITZER, Acting Assistant Director, National Recreation Programs, National Park Service, Trails Connecting Our Communities, Keynote Address at 12th National Trails Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska, October 1994

I think there is something more important than believing: action! The world is full of dreamers; there aren’t enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision.
—W. CLEMENT STONE, US Self-Help Book Author, 1902-2002

Think well to the end.
—LEONARDO DA VINCI, Italian Artist, Intellectual, 1452-1519

Consider first the end.
—LEONARDO DA VINCI, Italian Artist, Intellectual, 1452-1519

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life—think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, and every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.
—SWAMI VIVEKANANDA, Indian Hindu Monk, 1863-1902

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
—KURT VONNEGUT, US Writer, 1922-2007

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Trails and Greenway Volunteers Quotes

Enhancing the other person’s ability to live more beautifully and to grow is an exciting challenge for us. The purpose of life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, would you at least not hurt them?
—LEO BUSCAGLIA, Living, Loving, and Learning, 1983

Most new hikers bypassed club membership and were therefore inexperienced with the realities of trail work or the policies that made the trails possible. The misleading simplicity of trails obscured the significant investment of volunteer time, energy, and wealth provided by traditional hiking clubs. Millions of hikers passed over trails with little concern for how they were created or by whom. They approached trails as consumers—willing to pay taxes for trails and perhaps mail a membership fee to an environmental organization—but not to make hiking membership or trail work an important part of their lives.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

The popularity of hiking in the second half of the twentieth century and relative decline of club membership obscured the volunteer labor that went into producing American hiking culture. Most hikers simply took it for granted—consuming trails, maps, and ideas but not playing a significant role in their creation.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer.
—PETER DRUCKER, US Management Consultant, 1909-2005

Many will be shocked to find
when the day of judgment nears
that there’s a special place in heaven
set aside for volunteers.
Furnished with big recliners, Satin Couches, and footstools,
where there’s no committee chairman,
no group leaders or car pools.
No eager team that needs a coach,
no bazaar and no bake sale.
There will be nothing to fold or mail.
Telephone lists will be outlawed.
But a finger snap will bring
cool drinks and gourmet dinners
and treats fit for a king.

You ask, ‘Who’ll serve these privileged few
and work for all they’re worth?’
Why, all those who reaped the benefits
and not once volunteered on Earth.
Volunteers, God Bless Them, printed in ANN LANDERS’ advice column, May 5, 1999

Here is enormous undeveloped power—the spare time of our population. Suppose just one percent of it were focused upon one particular job, such as increasing the facilities for the outdoor community life. This would be more than a million people, representing over two million weeks a year. It would be equivalent to 40,000 persons steadily on the job.
—BENTON MACKAYE, An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 1921

To those who manage and maintain the trails we walk—thanks for all your work.
—ROBERT and MARTHA MANNING, Walking Distance: Extraordinary hikes for Ordinary People, 2013

We live in a society that always has depended on volunteers of different kinds, some who can give money, others who give time and a great many who will freely give their special skills, full time or part time. If you look closely you will see that almost anything that really matters to us, anything that embodies or deepest commitment to the way human life should be lived and cared for depended on some form―more often, many forms―of volunteerism.
—MARGARET MEAD and RHODA METRAUX, Aspects of the Present, 1980

For volunteers to perform well, they need to have a sense of responsibility. Too often government agencies have seen volunteers as inexpensive, unskilled laborers, not as a tremendous resource waiting to be tapped. Under utilized volunteers rarely develop a solid sense of stewardship or participation.
On the Appalachian Trail, where the clubs are clearly in the hot seat of responsibility, there is a remarkable level of commitment and resolve to do well. Public land managers must be willing to have faith in volunteer organizations with good track records. In some cases specific legislation will be necessary to give volunteer groups significant responsibility.
—LAWRENCE VAN METER, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, in President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

….volunteerism is not a fad but a viable, long term solution to providing many recreation services. The success and importance of volunteer activities today are far exceeded by their potential for the future. Volunteer programs require a great deal of effort to initiate and sustain, and they are not free. However, when approached properly, these programs can have broad long term benefits that far outweigh costs.
—ROGER MOORE, Appalachian Mountain Club, in President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

Volunteers working in our wildlands are important today. In the future, they will become even more important. We volunteers will be needed not only to protect existing trails, but to demonstrate leadership in developing recreation opportunities for the people of the entire nation.
—PAUL PRITCHARD, Director of Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, address to the 102nd annual meeting of the Appalachian Mountain Club, 1977

Young people can accomplish almost anything. Teamwork is essential, but it is also having faith in each other that allows positive things to happen.
—ELIZABETH TITUS PUTNAM, Student Conservation Association Founder, 1955

So much work remains to be done in this unfinished and imperfect world that none of us can justify standing on the sidelines. Especially in a society like ours, volunteering is an expression of democracy in its purest form. For the volunteer is a participant, not a looker-on, and participation is the democratic process.
—EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER, in President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

If you tell enough people what you’re doing, you’ll find someone who will want to help.
—MICHELLE STURM, Programs Coordinator, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, 1990

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Walkable Communities Quotes

Is it possible to live a fulfilling life without a car?
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find the Path, 2004

Walking established intimate contact with place. It attaches us to a landscape—its trees, rocks, hills, and riverbanks. It makes us in good measure the streets and paths we walk. It puts us in contact with local communities.
—JOSEPH A. AMATO, On Foot: A History of Walking, 2004

One can tell the health of a town by the meanness of its dogs. If they snarl and bark, down to the smallest runt, the town is mean and its inhabitants set a poor table for the sojourner. Well fed dogs are content to lie on their porches in the shade and make a ceremonial growl as the stranger passes. That town will have hospitality.
—BARTON BROWN, 2,000-Miler Report to the Appalachian Trail Conference, 1977

Cars are happiest when there are no other cars around. People are happiest when there are other people around.
—DAN BURDEN, US Walkability and Bikeability Advocate, 1944-

Of the 1400 communities I have walked, I have not found one where designing for the car has made it a successful place. Indeed, the most successful villages, towns and cities in America are those designed before the car was invented, and where the least tinkering has been done since.
We tend not to like open, scary places, and we try to get through them quicker. Somehow the canopy effect of tree-lined streets slows traffic.
—DAN BURDEN, US Walkability and Bikeability Advocate, 1944-

There are the places that were built and intended to be built as bedroom communities, and you can’t find a town center, you can’t find a real store, you can’t find anything. But you don’t have to choose to live there. What I have learned is where a lot of America has been destroyed, so much of it is waiting to be recrafted and perfected.
—DAN BURDEN, US Walkability and Bikeability Advocate, 1944-

Indeed, I think it would be tantamount to an astonishing revival of religion if the people would all walk to church on Sunday and walk home again.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

When I see the discomforts that able-bodied American men will put up with rather than go a mile or half a mile on foot, the abuses they will tolerate and encourage, crowding the streetcar on a little fall in the temperature or the appearance of an inch or two of snow, packing up to overflowing, dangling to the straps, treading on each other’s toes, breathing each other’s breaths, crushing the women and children, hanging by tooth and nail to a square inch of the platform, imperiling their limbs and killing the horses—I think the commonest tramp in the street has good reason to felicitate himself on his rare privilege of going afoot. Indeed, a race that neglects or despises this primitive gift, that fears the touch of soil, that has no footpaths, no community or ownership in the land which they imply, that warns off the walker as a trespasser, that knows no way but the highway, the carriage way, that forgets the stile, the footbridge, that even ignores the rights of the pedestrian in the public road, providing no escape for him but in the ditch or up the bank, is in a fair way to far more serious degeneracy.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

Pedestrians create the place and the time for casual encounters and the practical integration of diverse places and peoples. Without the pedestrian, a community’s common ground—its parks, sidewalks, squares, and plazas—become useless obstructions to the car. Pedestrians are the lost measure of community, they set the scale for both center and edge of our neighborhoods.
—PETER CALTHROPE, The Next American Metropolis, 1993

No city should be too large for a man to walk out of in a morning.
—CYRIL CONNOLLY, The Unquiet Grave, 1945

A walkway system can be a showcase of how existing features in a landscape—an abandoned railroad right-of-way, utility corridors, city sidewalks, a canal towpath, a city dock—can be thoughtfully adapted to form a unified and useful outdoor space. It creates a public environment where people want to gather, explore, and learn. That promotes conservation at its most basic level—knowing our World.
—CRAIG EVANS, President, WalkWays Center in Washington, DC, 1989

Everyone is created to walk. But we designed our streets to create barriers to an obvious, efficient activity.
—DARWIN HINDMAN, Mayor of Columbia, MO, 2004

Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! (King James Version of the Holy Bible)

…an unwalked city is a dead city; arguably it is no city at all.
—JANE JACOBS, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961

Notoriously, Americans tend to extremes. They have been more exuberantly committed than any other people to whatever is thought of as modern—whether it be gadgets, clothes, or even social manners. And walking tended to be more completely outmoded here than anywhere else.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities.
—LEWIS MUMFORD, American Social Philosopher, Urban Planner, 1895–1990

.…to bring the pedestrian back into the picture, one must treat him with the respect and honor we now accord only to the automobile: we should provide him with pleasant walks, insulated from traffic, to take him to his destination, once he enters a business precinct or residential quarter.
—LEWIS MUMFORD, US Social Philosopher, Urban Planner, 1895–1990

Europeans are redesigning entire cities to accommodate people on foot, benefiting mind, body, and spirit in the process. It’s high time we took note.
—ZANE SMITH, Rambling: Will American’s Do It? American Forests, January/February 1989

To walk in a sitting and riding society is always, at least potentially, the beginning of a Renaissance.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

A city that outdistances man’s walking powers is a trap for man.
—ARNOLD TOYNBEE, English Historian, Philosopher, 1889-1975

Great walking cities are those with destinations within a 15- to 20-minute walk of each other … varied architecture. Diverse neighborhoods and a lively street life energized by sidewalk vendors, entertainers, and window-shoppers … filled with open spaces and parks … widened sidewalks, auto-restricted zones, and amenities such as benches, signs, and fountains.

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Walking Quotes

There is this to be said for walking: It’s the one mode of human locomotion by which a man proceeds on his own two feet, upright, erect, as a man should be, not squatting on his rear haunches like a frog.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

Whenever possible I avoid the practice myself. If God had meant us to walk, he would have kept us down on all fours, with well-padded paws. He would have constructed our planet on the model of a simple cube, so that that notion of circularity and consequently the wheel might never have arisen. He surely would not have made mountains.
There is something unnatural about walking. Especially walking uphill, which always seems to me not only unnatural but so unnecessary. That iron tug of gravitation should be all the re-minder we need that in walking uphill we are violating a basic law of nature. Yet we persist in doing it. No one can explain why. George H. Mallory’s asinine rationale for climbing a mountain—‘because it’s there’—could easily be refuted with a few well-placed hydrogen bombs. But our common sense continues to lag far behind the available technology.
There are some good things to say about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and therefore more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated and anyone can transport himself anywhere, instantly. Big deal, Buckminster. To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me. That’s God’s job, not ours.
The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. That’s the best thing about walking, the journey itself. It doesn’t matter whether you get where you’re going or not. You’ll get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home. Right where you started.
Which reminds me of circles. Which reminds me of wheels. Which reminds me my old truck needs another front-end job. Any good mechanics out there wandering through the smog?
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll see something, may be. Probably not.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

Let the people walk. Or ride horses, bicycles, mules, wild pigs—anything—but keep the automobiles and the motorcycles and all their motorized relatives out. We have agreed not to drive our automobiles into cathedrals, concert halls, art museums, legislative assemblies, private bedrooms and other sanctums of our culture; we should treat our national parks with the same deference, for they, too, are holy places.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

Today I walk slowly at a pace that permits memories, feelings, and tears to overtake the busyness of my walking.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find the Path, 2004

In the last two centuries, walking on the whole has passed from the realm of necessity into that of choice. It has become more specialized in its forms, having differentiated itself into types of romantic country walking, urban pedestrianism, race walking, hiking, recreational walking, and even mall walking.
—JOSEPH A. AMATO, On Foot: A History of Walking, 2004

Inhabitants of the contemporary world sit more, walk less, and do so with far less effort and far more choice than their forebears. Two of the principal causes for this changed condition, which amounted to nothing less than an irreversible revolution, were wheels and cars.
—JOSEPH A. AMATO, On Foot: A History of Walking, 2004

Inseparable from the foot and the earth it treads, walking is taken to be mundane, ordinary, pedestrian, and even besmirched and polluted—and thus in all ways worthy of being overlooked or disdained.
—JOSEPH A. AMATO, On Foot: A History of Walking, 2004

Walking has been the primary mode of locomotion for humans until very recent times when we began to sit and ride—first on horses and in carriages, then trains and bicycles, and finally cars, trucks, buses, and airplanes—rather than go on foot.
—JOSEPH A. AMATO, On Foot: A History of Walking, 2004

The labyrinth literally reintroduces the experience of walking a clearly defined path. This reminds us that there is a path, a process that brings us to unity, to the center of our beings. In the simple act of walking, the soul finds solace and peace.
—LAUREN ARTESS, Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool, 1995

Walking companions, like heroes, are difficult to pluck out of the crowd of acquaintances. Good dispositions, ready wit, friendly conversation serve well enough by the fireside but they prove insufficient in the field. For there you need transcendentalists—nothing less; you need poets, sages, humorists and natural philosophers.
—BROOKS ATKINSON, in The Art of Walking, edited by Edwin V. Mitchell, 1934

Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
—KARLE WILSON BAKER, Good Company, 1916

Isn’t it really quite extraordinary to see that, since man took his first steps, no one has asked himself why he walks, how he walks, if he has ever walked, if he could walk better, what he achieves in walking…questions that are tied to all the philosophical, psychological, and political systems which preoccupy the world.
—HONORÉ de BALZAC, Theory of Walking, 1833

It seems quite impossible to walk in America.
—ROGER BANNISTER, British Physician, Track Athlete, 1928-

Make your feet your friend.
—J.M. BARRIE, Scottish Writer, Creator of Peter Pan, 1860-1937

If you want to know if your brain is flabby, feel your legs.
—BRUCE BARTON, US Author, Advertising Executive, 1886-1967

A dog is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.
—ORLANDO ALOYSIUS (O. A.) BATTISTA, Canadian-American Chemist, Author, 1917-95

A first walk in any new country is one of the things which makes life on this planet worth being grateful for.
—CHARLES WILLIAM BEEBE, US Explorer, Naturalist, 1877–1962

People seem to think there is something inherently noble and virtuous in the desire to go for a walk.
—MAX BEERBOHM, Going Out for a Walk, And Even Now, 1920

There comes…a longing never to travel again except on foot.
—WENDELL BERRY, US Farmer, Writer, 1934-

All walking is discovery. On foot we take the time to see things whole.
—HAL BORLAND, US Journalist, Naturalist, 1900–78

He who walks may see and understand. You can study all America from one hilltop, if your eyes are open and your mind is willing to reach. But first you must walk to that hill.
—HAL BORLAND, To Own the Streets and Fields, The New York Times Magazine, October 6, 1946

There is a leisure about walking, no matter what pace you set, that lets down the tension.
—HAL BORLAND, To Own the Streets and Fields, The New York Times Magazine, October 6, 1946

We must walk before we run.
—GEORGE BORROW, English Author, 1803-81

I walk regularly for my soul and my body tags along.
—SARAH BAN BREATHNACH, Simple Abundance, 1995

There are different reasons for walking—to increase the heart rate and build strength, to solve a creative problem, to finish that argument with yourself or someone else, to saunter and wake up to the world around you, and to mediate. I walk for all of them, but most days I go on walks for a ‘moving meditation’—fitness of the spirit.
—SARAH BAN BREATHNACH, Simple Abundance, 1995

Life is always opening new and unexpected things for us. There is no monotony in living to him who walks with open and perceptive eyes.
—PHILLIP BROOKS, US Clergyman, 1835-93

Walk on. (His last words to his disciples)
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

We sit, we eat, and we walk.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

I am not going to advocate … the abandoning of the improved modes of travel; but I am going to brag as lustily as I can on behalf of the pedestrian, and show how all the shining angels second and accompany the man who goes afoot, while all the dark spirits are ever looking out for a chance to ride.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

I still find each day too short for the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, US Essayist, Naturalist, 1837–1921

I do not think I exaggerate the importance or the charms of pedestrianism, or our need as a people to cultivate the art. I think it would tend to soften the national manners, to teach us the meaning of leisure, to acquaint us with the charms of the open air, to strengthen and foster the tie between the race and the land. No one else looks out upon the world so kindly and charitably as the pedestrian; no one else gives and takes so much from the country he passes through.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

Man takes root at his feet, and at best he is no more than a potted plant in his house or carriage till he has established communication with the soil by the loving and magnetic touch of his soles to it. Then the tie of association is born; then spring those invisible fibres and rootlets through which character comes to smack of the soil, and which make a man kindred to the spot of earth he inhabits.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

….success in walking is not to let your right foot know what your left foot doeth. Your heart must furnish such music that in keeping time to it your feet will carry you around the globe without knowing it.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

We have produced some good walkers and saunterers, and some noted climbers; but as a staple recreation, as a daily practice, the mass of the people dislike and despise walking.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

.…I dressed and went for a walk—determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.
—RAYMOND CARVER, This Morning, Ultramarine,1986, US Writer, Poet, 1938–88

After breakfast work a while, after lunch rest a while, after dinner walk a mile.
—EDGAR CAYCE, US Psychic Medium, 1877-1945

The transition from walking out of necessity to walking out of desire constituted one of the primary—but not sole—origins of American hiking as a leisure activity.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

I haven’t got any special religion this morning. My God is the God of Walkers. If you walk hard enough, you probably don’t need any other God.
—BRUCE CHATWIN, In Patagonia, 2003

Even when walking in a party of no more than three I can always be certain of learning from those I am with. There will be good qualities that I can select for imitation and bad ones that will teach me what requires correction in myself.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

And what exactly is nature walking? It’s any and every kind of walking you can do in the natural world. The activity encompasses strolling, striding, sauntering, stepping, treading, tramping, traipsing, traversing, rambling, roving, roaming, racewalking, hiking, meandering, wandering, wending, pacing, peregrinating, perambulating … in natural surroundings.
—CHARLES COOK, The Essential Guide to Nature Walking in the United States, 1997

Walking is simple and second nature for most of us. It’s an everyday kind of activity, not something that’s frequently the rage of fashion or touted for its sex appeal. Yet few physical pursuits in this life are ultimately as rewarding. It’s a wonderfully satisfying way to spend an hour, and afternoon, a day, or longer.
—CHARLES COOK, The Essential Guide to Nature Walking in the United States, 1997

[Walking’s] overwhelming advantage is that it can be done by anyone, anytime, anywhere—and it doesn’t even look like exercise.
—DR. KENNETH H. COOPER, US Physician, his Aerobics (1968) helped launch the 1970s fitness craze, 1931-

Now shall I walk or shall I ride? ‘Ride,’ Pleasure said; ‘Walk,’ Joy replied.
—WILLIAM HENRY DAVIES, English Poet, 1871–1940

[There are] only two classes of pedestrian in these days of reckless motor traffic—the quick and the dead.
—LORD DEWAR, British Industrialist, 1864-1930

Walking is a “dying art” in our country; there is a direct correlation between the automobile and large, “unused” thighs.
—HARVEY & MARILYN DIAMOND, Living Health, 1987

If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.
—CHARLES DICKENS, British Novelist, 1812-70

The sum of the whole is this: Walk and be happy, walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.
—CHARLES DICKENS, British Novelist, 1812-70

If it wasn’t for dogs, some people would never go for a walk.
—EMILY DICKINSON, US Poet, 1830-86

One step at a time is all it takes to get you there.
—EMILY DICKINSON, US Poet, 1830-86

People walk for man reasons—for enjoyment, for relaxation, for challenge, for change, to revitalize, to think, to discover particularities usually blotted out by the modern world’s frenetic pace.
—MARLYN DOAN, Hiking Light, 1982

THE PREDICTION: Cities and town will become more livable thanks to the accouterments of walking. We will see a rash of nature paths, arcade malls, and auto-free zones mushrooming in cities large and small throughout the nation.
—RAYMOND DREYFACK, The Complete Book of Walking, 1979

A dog walking down a path sees everything we don’t and not much that we do.
—JOSEPH DUEMER & NANCY LEVINE, A Dog’s Book of Truth’s, 2002

But man’s values change as his life changes. The deeper he plunges into the whirlpool of modern living, with its speeding transport, vexing problems, and harassing pressures, the more he prizes the escape of an adventure as old as mankind itself—a solitary walk in the wilds.
—MIKE EDWARDS, Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail, National Geographic, June 1971

Walking is also an ambulation of mind.
—GRETEL EHRLICH, US Travel Writer, 1946-

A walk in the woods is only an exalted dream.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

It is the best of humanity that goes out to walk. In happy hours, all affairs may be postponed for walking.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

In these divine pleasures permitted to me of walks in the a June night under the moon and stars, I can put my life as a fact before me and stand aloof from its honor and shame.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

The civilized man has built a coach, but he has lost the use of his feet.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Walking has the best value as gymnastics of the mind.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out. He is the richest man who pays the largest debt to his shoemaker.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

Few men know how to take a walk. The qualifications of a professor are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence, and nothing too much.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, from Country Life, the opening lecture of a course given in the Freeman Place Chapel in Boston, MA, in March 1858, first published in Natural History of Intellect and Other Papers, 1904

Some people would never get any exercise at all if they didn’t have to walk to their cars.
—EVAN ESAR, US Humorist, 1899-1995

And the moral of my whole story is that walking is not only a joy in itself, but that it gives an intimacy with the sacred things and the primal things of earth that are not revealed to those who rush by on wheels.
—JOHN FINLEY, Traveling Afoot, essay in The Art of Walking, edited by Edwin Valentine Mitchell, 1934

I find that the three truly great times for thinking thoughts are when I am standing in the shower, sitting on the john, or walking. And the greatest of these, by far, is walking.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The New Complete Walker, 1974

I had better admit right away that walking can in the end become an addiction … even in this final stage it remains a delectable madness, very good for sanity, and I recommend it with passion.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

Walking provides free, immediate, healthful, energy-efficient motion. Evidence shows that when neighborhoods and communities are designed at a human scale to support walking trips, there are increases in community interaction and involvement. There are also reduced costs of transporting the elderly, children, the poor, and the physically challenged. A walking community also greatly increases the success of transit. These increases in walking and transit greatly reduce the congestion of roadways, and hence help maintain the mobility of all.
—FLORIDA DEPARTMENT of TRANSPORTATION, Florida Pedestrian Safety Plan, 1992

…I knew why I was walking: I wanted to learn what it actually meant to come of age, to transform into the adult who would carry me through the rest of my life.
—ANDREW FORSTHOEFEL, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story At A Time, 2017

I woke up the next morning anxious to get walking again, toward what, I didn’t quite know.
—ANDREW FORSTHOEFEL, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story At A Time, 2017

There’s no need to be afraid. Keep walking.
—ANDREW FORSTHOEFEL, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story At A Time, 2017

When we walk, we are brought back to ourselves again, immersing our awareness in the body and all its sensitivities, creating space for the mind to breathe and explore and play.
—ANDREW FORSTHOEFEL, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story At A Time, 2017

It is good to collect things; it is better to take walks.
—ANATOLE FRANCE, French Writer, 1844–1924

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.
—ERIC FROMME, German Social Psychologist, 1900-80

Plants have roots, men have legs.
—BUCKMINISTER FULLER, US Architect, Inventor, Scientist, Teacher, Philosopher, 1895-1983

Never ride when you can walk.
—BILL GALE, The Wonderful World of Walking, 1988

It’s about as nice a thing as anybody can do—walking, and it’s cheap, too!
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

I’ve always done a lot of walking in the woods. The stillness and quiet of the forest has always seemed so wonderful and I like the peacefulness.
—EMMA ‘GRANDMA’ GATEWOOD, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (1955), 1887–1973

Step with care and great tact
And remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL, (better known as DR SEUSS), Oh! the Places You’ll Go! 1990

Keep not standing, fixed and rooted, Briskly venture, briskly roam.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

The heights charm us, but the steps do not; with the mountain in our view we love to walk the plains.
—JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, German Philosopher, Writer, 1749–1832

Going tramping is at first an act of rebellion; only afterwards do you get free from rebelliousness as Nature sweetens your mind. Town makes men contentious; the country smooths out their souls.
—STEPHEN GRAHAM, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1926

It is a gentle art; know how to tramp and you know how to live. Manners makyth man, and tramping makyth manners. Know how to meet your fellow wanderer, how to be passive to the beauty of Nature and how to be active to its wildness and its rigor. Tramping brings one to reality.
—STEPHEN GRAHAM, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1926

Man is not man sitting down: he is man on the move.
—STEPHEN GRAHAM, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1926

Let’s all start walking more and driving less.
—LEWIS GRIZZARD, US Humorist, 1946–94

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
—THICH NHAT HANH, Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, 1990

I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on the earth.
—THICH NHAT HANH, The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation, 1996

Our walking is not a means to an end. We walk for the sake of walking.
—THICH NHAT HANH, The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation, 1996

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.
—THICH NHAT HANH, The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation, 1996

I can remember walking as a child. It was not customary to say you were fatigued. I was customary to complete the goal of the expedition.
—KATHARINE HEPBURN, US Actress, 1907-2003

Walking is man’s best medicine.
—HIPPOCRATES, Greek Physician, 460–377 BC

Happy is the man who has acquired the love of walking for its own sake.
—WILLIAM JACOB HOLLAND, US Minister, Zoologist, 1848-1932

When you stroll you never hurry back, because if you had anything to do, you wouldn’t be strolling in the first place.
—VIRGINIA CARY HUDSON, O Ye Jigs & Juleps!, 1962

My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.
—ALDOUS HUXLEY, English Writer, 1894-1963

The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is best.
—THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. The Europeans value themselves on having subdued the horse to the uses of man; but I doubt whether we have not lost more than we have gained, by the use of this animal.
—THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

Walking is nearly as natural as breathing. Most of us don’t remember learning how—it’s just something that happens. And when it does—one foot in front of the other, one foot in front of the other—thoughts are free to go skipping over the landscape like thistledown on the wind.
—CATHY JOHNSON, Nature Walks, 1994

One thing that you find out when you have been practicing mindfulness for a while is that nothing is quite as simple as it appears. This is as true for walking as it is for anything else. For one thing, we carry our mind around with us when we walk, so we are usually absorbed in our own thoughts to one extent or another. We are hardly ever just walking, even when we are just going out for a walk. Walking meditation involves intentionally attending to the experience of walking itself. This brings your attention to the actual experience of walking as you are doing it, focusing on the sensations in your feet and legs, feeling your whole body moving. You can also integrate awareness of your breathing with the experience.
—JOHN KABAT-ZINN, Creator of US Center for Mindfulness, 1944-

How often have I had this longing for an infinite walk—of going unimpeded until the movement of my body as I walk fell into the flight of streets under my feet—until in my body and the world in its skin of earth were blended into a single act of knowing.
—ALFRED KAZIN, The Open Street, 1948

Your car, comfort though it be, this little den and dining room on wheels, is a prison that deadens your senses, and to feel wholly alive you must go for a walk.
—GARRISON KEILLOR, US Humorist, Radio Performer, 1942-

I would encourage every American to walk as often as possible. It’s more than healthy; it’s fun.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it … if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.
—SÓREN KIERKEGAARD, Danish Philosopher, 1813-55

When I am not walking, I am reading. I cannot sit and think.
—CHARLES LAMB, British Essayist, 1775-1834

These men I have examined around the world who live in vigorous health to 100 or more years are great walkers. If you want to live a long, long time in sturdy health you can’t go wrong in forming the habit of long vigorous walking every day … until it becomes a habit as important to you as eating and sleeping.
—DR LEAF, Executive Health, 1977

Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them. Our own noise blots out the sounds and silences of the outdoor world; and talking leads almost inevitably to smoking, and then farewell to nature as far as one of our senses is concerned. The only friend to walk with is one… who so exactly shares your taste for each mood of the countryside that a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.
—CLIVE STAPLES (C. S.) LEWIS, British Novelist, 1898-1963

.…the brisk exercise imparts elasticity to the muscles, fresh and healthy blood circulates through the brain, the mind works well, the eye is clear, the step is firm, and the day’s exertion always makes the evening’s repose thoroughly enjoyable.
—DAVID LIVINGSTONE, Scottish Explorer in Africa, 1813–93

What really helps motivate me to walk are my dogs, who are my best pals. They keep you honest about walking because when it’s time to go, you can’t disappoint those little faces.
—WENDIE MALICK, US Actress, 1950-

Why Walk? Because it makes you feel good and makes you look good.
—JOHN MAN, Walk!, 1979

Thoughts come clearly while one walks.
—THOMAS MANN, German Writer, 1875-1955

In our increasingly complex and frantic world, walking is a way to simplify our lives.
—ROBERT and MARTHA MANNING, Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, 2013

The deliberate pace of walking allows us to more fully sense the world, to see its richness of detail, to touch, hear, smell, and even taste it.
—ROBERT and MARTHA MANNING, Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, 2013

Walking’s deliberate, human-scale pace encourages a deep understanding and appreciation of nature and culture, and this ultimately leads to preservation of special places.
—ROBERT and MARTHA MANNING, Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, 2013

…we walk because it’s a celebration of our evolutionary heritage, it stimulates our thinking, it’s a form of political expression, it contributes to conservation and sustainability, it deepens our understanding and appreciation of the world, it can be a means to explore spirituality, and it makes us healthier and happier in the process.
—ROBERT and MARTHA MANNING, Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, 2013

My feet are my only carriage.
—BOB MARLEY, Reggae Singer, 1945-81

More walk, less talk.
—GEORGE MASA, Japanese born US Photographer, 1881-1933

A pedestrian is a man in danger of his life. A walker is a man in possession of his soul.
—DAVID MCCORD, US Poet, 1897-1997

A good walk is transcendent, enabling us to cross the bridge between the visible and invisible worlds—and back again. When we get back, we’ve seen things in a new light.
—JOHN MCKINNEY, The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way, 2005

I walk every day, save in blizzards and cloudbursts, between two and three miles across open wheat fields and through cool, tall woods. I pursue the same path, year after year, and neither I nor the dogs ever tire of it. I watch the deer, and the fox, and the rabbits, and the squirrels, and the skunks, and especially the birds, and I have never seen the same scene twice.
—JAMES MICHENER, US Writer, 1907-97

In walking, we acquire more of less.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

On a trail, to walk is to follow. Like prostration or apprenticeship, trail walking both requires and instills a certain measure of humility.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

Walking inspires and promotes conversation that is grounded in the body, and so it gives the soul a place where it can thrive. I think I could write an interesting memoir of significant walks I have taken with others, in which intimacy was not only experienced but set fondly into the landscape of memory. When I was a child, I used to walk with my Uncle Tom on his farm, across fields and up and down hills. We talked of many things, some informative and some completely outrageous, and quite a few very tall stories emerged on those bucolic walks. Whatever the content of the talking, those conversations remain important memories for me of my attachment to my family, to a remarkable personality, and to nature.
—THOMAS MOORE, Soul Mates: Honoring the Mystery of Love and Relationship, 1994

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast.
—PAUL SCOTT MOWRER, US Newspaper Correspondent, 1887-1971

I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

…in every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.
—JOHN MUIR, Steep Trails, 1918

In our entrancement with the motorcar, we have forgotten how much more efficient and how much more flexible the footwalker is.
—LEWIS MUMFORD, US Social Philosopher, Urban Planner, 1895–1990

It is impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy.
—DR. HOWARD MURPHY, US Physician, 1856-1920

For me walking has to do with exploration, a way of accommodating myself, of feeling at home. When I find myself in a new place I explore it on foot.
—GEOFF NICHOLSON, The Lost Art of Walking, 2008

It occurred to me, not exactly for the first time, that psychogeography didn’t have much to do with the actual experience of walking. It was a nice idea, a clever idea, an art project, a conceit, but it had very little to do with any real walking, with any real experience of walking. And it confirmed for me what I’d really known all along, that walking isn’t much good as a theoretical experience. You can dress it up any way you like, but walking remains resolutely simple, basic, analog. That’s why I love it and love doing it. And in that respect—stay with me on this—it’s not entirely unlike a martini. Sure you can add things to martinis, like chocolate or an olive stuffed with blue cheese or, God forbid, cotton candy, and similarly you can add things to your walks—constraints, shapes, notions of the mapping of utopian spaces—but you don’t need to. And really, why would you? Why spoil a good drink? Why spoil a good walk?
—GEOFF NICHOLSON, The Lost Art of Walking, 2008

Tell me how you walk and I’ll tell you who you are.
—GEOFF NICHOLSON, The Lost Art of Walking, 2008

The truth is, the real reason I walk is because I have to. I walk because it keeps me sane.
—GEOFF NICHOLSON, The Lost Art of Walking, 2008

When you walk you’re you own boss.
—GEOFF NICHOLSON, The Lost Art of Walking, 2008

A sedentary life is the real sin against the Holy Spirit. Only those thoughts that come by walking have any value.
—FRIEDRICH WILHELM NIETZSCHE, Twilight of the Idols, 1888

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
—FRIEDRICH WILHELM NIETZSCHE, German Philosopher, Poet, Critic, 1844-1900

Some people walk with both eyes focused on their goal: the highest mountain peak in the range, the fifty-mile marker, the finish line. They stay motivated by anticipating the end of the journey. Since I tend to be easily distracted, I travel somewhat differently—one step at a time, with many pauses in between.
—HANNAH NYALA, Point Last Seen; A Woman Tracker’s Story, 1997

Every day I walk out into the world to be dazzled, then to be reflective.
—MARY OLIVER, US Poet, 1935-

All the great naturalists have been habitual walkers, for no laboratory, no book, car, train or plane takes the place of honest footwork for this calling, be it amateur’s or professional’s.
—DONALD CULROSS PEATTIE, The Joy of Walking, The New York Times Magazine, April 5, 1942

I have often started off on a walk in the state called mad—mad in the sense of sore-headed, or mad with tedium or confusion; I have set forth dull, null and even thoroughly discouraged. But I never came back in such a frame of mind, and I never met a human being whose humor was not the better for a walk.
—DONALD CULROSS PEATTIE, The Joy of Walking, The New York Times Magazine, April 1942

Time is not money; time is an opportunity to live before you die. So a man who walks, and lives and sees and thinks as he walks, has lengthened his life.
—DONALD CULROSS PEATTIE, The Joy of Walking, The New York Times Magazine, April 5, 1942

Walk outdoors and your mood more than lifts. It gets a total transplant.
—JEANNIE RALSTON, Prevention magazine, July 7, 2014

Take a walk on the wild side. [from the song Walk on the Wild Side, 1972]
—LOU REED, US Musician, 1942-2013

Before supper walk a little; after supper do the same.
—DESIDERIUS ERASMUS ROTERODAMUS, Dutch Humanist, Theologian, 1466-1536

How many different pleasures are brought together by this agreeable way of travelling, without counting strengthened health and brightened humor! I have always observed that those who traveled in good smooth-riding vehicles were dreamy, sad, scolding, or ailing, while pedestrians were happy, easygoing, and content with everything. How the heart laughs when one approaches lodging! How savory a coarse meal appears! With what pleasure one rests at the table! What a good sleep one has in a bad bed! When one wants only to arrive, one can hurry in a post-chaise. But when one wants to travel, one has to go on foot.
—JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, French Philosopher, Writer, 1712–78

I can conceive of only one way of travelling that is more agreeable than going by horse. That is going by foot. The traveler leaves at his own good time; he stops at will; he takes as much or as little exercise as he wants. He observes the whole country; he turns aside to the right or the left; he examines all that appeals to him; he stops to see all the views. Do I notice a river? I walk along it. A thick wood? I go beneath its shade. A grotto? I visit it. A quarry? I examine the minerals. Everywhere I enjoy myself, I stay. The moment I get bored, I go. I depend on neither horse nor coachman. I do not need to choose ready-made paths, comfortable roads; I pass wherever a man can pass. I see all that a man can see; and, depending only on myself, I enjoy all the liberty a man can enjoy.
—JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, French Philosopher, Writer, 1712–78

I can only meditate when I am walking. When I stop, I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.
—JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, French Philosopher, Writer, 1712–78

Never did I think so much, exist so much, be myself so much as in the journeys I have made alone and on foot. Walking has something about it which animates and enlivens my ideas. I can hardly think while I am still; my body must be in motion to move my mind.
—JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, French Philosopher, Writer, 1712–78

Part of the pleasure of any kind of walking for me is the very idea of going somewhere—by foot.
—RUTH RUDNER, Forgotten Pleasures: A Guide for the Seasonal Adventurer, 1978

Drink more water and walk in a relaxed manner.
—JOYCE RUPP, Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino, 2005

I used, when I was younger, to take my holidays walking. I would cover 25 miles a day, and when the evening came I had no need of anything to keep me from boredom, since the delight of sitting amply sufficed.
—BERTRAND RUSSELL, English Philosopher, 1872–1970

Unhappy business men, I am convinced, would increase their happiness more by walking six miles every day than by any conceivable change of philosophy.
—BERTRAND RUSSELL, English Philosopher, 1872–1970

Good things happen if you just start walking.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

I like to walk about amidst the beautiful things that adorn the world.
—GEORGE SANTAYANA, Spanish Philosopher, Writer, 1863-1952

The art of walking is obsolete. It is true that a few still cling to that mode of locomotion, are still admired as fossil specimens of an extinct race of pedestrians, but for the majority of civilized humanity, walking is on its last legs.

Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.
—GARY SNYDER, The Practice of the Wild, 1990

When our feet hurt, we hurt all over.
—SOCRATES, Greek Philosopher, 470?-399 BC

I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

.…there are three prerequisites to going out into the world to walk for pleasure. One must have free time, a place to go, and a body unhindered by illness or social restraints.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

Thinking is generally thought of as doing nothing in a production-oriented culture, and doing nothing is hard to do. It’s best done by disguising it as doing something, and the something closest to doing nothing is walking.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

Walking has been one of the constellations in the starry sky of human culture, a constellation whose three stars are the body, the imagination, and the wide-open world, and though all three exist independently, it is the lines drawn between them—drawn by the act of walking for cultural purposes—that makes them a constellation. Constellations are not natural phenomena but cultural impositions; the lines drawn between stars are like paths worn by the imagination of those who have gone before. This constellation called walking has a history, the history trod out by all those poets and philosophers and insurrectionaries, by jaywalkers, streetwalkers, pilgrims, tourists, hikers, mountaineers, but whether it has a future depends on whether those connecting paths are traveled still.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

Walking …is how the body measures itself against the earth.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

Walking shares with making and working that crucial element of engagement of the body and the mind with the world of knowing the world through the body and the body through the world.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

The [English] literary movement at the end of the eighteenth century was obviously due in great part, if not mainly, to the renewed practice of walking.
—LESLIE STEPHEN, in The Art of Walking, edited by Edwin V. Mitchell, 1934

Walking is the natural recreation for a man who desires not absolutely to suppress his intellect but to turn it out to play for a season.
—LESLIE STEPHEN, in The Art of Walking, edited by Edwin V. Mitchell, 1934

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.
—WALLACE STEVENS, US Poet, 1879-1955

I just want to walk.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

Walking is the exercise that needs no gym. It is the prescription without medicine, the weight control without diet, the cosmetic that is sold in no drugstore. It is the tranquilizer without a pill, the therapy without a psychoanalyst, the fountain of youth that is no legend. A walk is the vacation that does not cost a cent.
—AARON SUSSMAN and RUTH GOODE, The Magic of Walking, 1967

For you, as well as I, can open fence doors and walk across America in your own special way. Then we can all discover who our neighbors are.
—ROBERT SWEETGALL, Fitness Walking, 1985

We live in a fast-paced society. Walking slows us down.
—ROBERT SWEETGALL, Fitness Walking, 1985

Virtually all of our township roads, at this date, have been stoned and paved the better to drive on. Few are still fit for walking. When you walk, you walk against traffic, wary, adapting, on the alert, keeping step with a fast-wheeling evolution, for the test of successful pedestrianism is, after all, survival. In the scheme of contemporary reversal such pleasures as walking—the time and the space to walk in—these become the luxuries. And naturally. For where many are riding few will be able to walk. Only those who feel rich can afford it—or those who are, or feel poor….
—WALTER TELLER, Area Code 215, 1962

But the beauty is in the walking—we are betrayed by destinations.
—GWYN THOMAS, Welsh Writer, 1913-81

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

He who walks alone, waits for no-one.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

I go to my solitary woodland walks as the homesick return to their homes.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who have understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks,—who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US writer and naturalist, 1817–62

If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again—if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man, then you are ready for a walk.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

It is great art to saunter.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

It requires a direct dispensation from Heaven to become a walker.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Talk long walks in stormy weather or through deep snow in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

The swiftest traveler is he that goes afoot.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

There is one thought for the field, another for the house. I would have my thoughts, like wild apples, to be food for walkers, and will not warrant them to be palatable if tasted in the house.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal, October 27, 1855

Every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862

My vicinity affords many good walks; and though for so many years I have walked almost every day, and sometimes for several days together, I have not yet exhausted them. An absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and I can still get this any afternoon. Two or three hours’ walking will carry me to as strange a country as I ever expect to see.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862

The walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours … but is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862

When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods: what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or mall?
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862

If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Life without Principle, 1863

Walking is the number one exercise for your feet as well as your body. Barefoot walking is the ideal.
—STEPHANIE TOURLES, Natural Foot Care, 1998

…we love hiking—walking for long stretches of time through the forest, for the sake of nothing more than walking for long stretches of time through the forest.
—PAULS TOUTONGHI, Dog Gone, 2016

One of the problems of modern times is that we are separated from the world that supports us by the speed with which we traverse it. Walking is the best way to know a place, perhaps the only way.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, Walking the Yukon: A Solo Trek Through the Land of Beyond, 1993

Walking is the best way to gain an understanding of a place, to assimilate its rhythms and time scales…. Walking is the best way to know a place, perhaps the only way.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, Walking the Yukon: A Solo Trek Through the Land of Beyond, 1993

After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.
—GEORGE MACAULAY TREVELYAN, British Historian, 1876–1962

I never knew a man go for an honest day’s walk for whatever distance, great or small, and not have his reward in the repossession of his soul.
—GEORGE MACAULAY TREVELYAN, British Historian, 1876–1962

There is no orthodoxy in walking. It is a land of many paths and no-paths, where every one goes his own and is right.
—GEORGE MACAULAY TREVELYAN, British Historian, 1876–1962

I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. When body and mind are out of gear (and those twin parts of me live at such close quarters that the one always catches melancholy from the other) I know that I shall have only to call in my doctors and I shall be well again.
—GEORGE MACAULAY TREVELYAN, Walking, essay in The Art of Walking, edited by Edwin Valentine Mitchell, 1934

How do you live a long live? Take a two-mile walk every morning before breakfast.
—HARRY S. TRUMAN, Thirty-third US President (1945–53), 1884–1972

The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk.
—MARK TWAIN, A Tramp Abroad, 1880

We Americans are a funny people. We say that our favorite outdoor recreation is ‘walking for pleasure’ (or so it is reported in Outdoor Recreation Trends). Yet the average housewife will jump into the family car—or one of them—to go around the corner for a bottle of aspirin and a television guide. The businessman who walks four blocks to an appointment is the exception rather than the rule.
—STEWART UDALL, Go Forth Under the Open Sky, Popular Gardening & Living Outdoors, Summer 1968

I will tell you what I have learned myself. For me, a long five or six mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day.
—BRENDA UELAND, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, 1938

It is only in walks that are a little too long, that one has any new ideas.
—BRENDA UELAND, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, 1938

…when I walk in a carefree way, without straining to get to my destination, then I am living in the present. And is it only then that the creative power flourishes.
—BRENDA UELAND, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, 1938

Walking would teach people the quality that youngsters find so hard to learn—patience.
—EDWARD PAYSON WESTON, Long Distance Pedestrian, 1839-1929

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult, than all the medicine and psychology in the world.
—DR. PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US Cardiologist, 1886–1973

I favor parking a few miles from the office and walking to work. You get the benefit of exercise and besides it is easier to get a parking space.
—DR. PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US Cardiologist, 1886–1973

People don’t think me as queer as they did a while ago. Now I’m stopped on the street by people who tell me proudly they’ve started to walk three miles a day. That’s good. We’re bipeds, you know, and we were given muscles to use!
—DR. PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US Cardiologist, 1886–1973

Walking is easiest, you don’t need a lot of apparatus. Just shoe leather and good feet.
—DR. PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US Cardiologist, 1886–1973

You get most out of walking by going along briskly, swinging the arms and breathing deeply. It also helps promote the circulation of blood to the brain. The Greek philosophers promenaded as they philosophized.
—DR. PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US Cardiologist, 1886–1973

Walking connects you to the land, it sews a seam between you and it that is very hard to unstitch.
—KELLY WINTERS, Walking Home: A Woman’s Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail, 2001

What greater delight and wonder can there be than to leave the straight lines of personality and deviate into these footpaths that lead beneath brambles and thick tree trunks into the heart of the forest where live those wild beasts, our fellow men? That is true: to escape is the greatest of pleasures; street haunting in winter the greatest of adventures.
—VIRGINIA WOOLF, British Novelist, 1882-1941

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.
—STEVEN WRIGHT, US Comedian, 1955-

I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.
—WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Irish Writer, 1865-1939

The Americans never walk. In winter too cold and in summer too hot.
—WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Irish Poet, 1865-1939

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Wilderness Quotes

Love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach. It is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need—if only we had the eyes to see.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The reason we need wilderness is because we are really wild animals. Every man needs a place he can go, to go crazy in peace…. Only then can we return to man’s other life, to the other way, to the order and sanity and beauty of what will somewhere be, unless all visions are false, the human community.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

Wilderness, wilderness…. We scarcely know what we mean by the term, though the sound of it draws all whose nerves and emotions have not yet been irreparably stunned, deadened, numbed by the caterwauling of commerce, the sweating scramble for profit and domination.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

On wilderness preservation: Don’t rely on the Park Service; all they can think of is more asphalt paving, more picnic tables, more garbage cans, more shithouses, more electric lights, more Kleenex dispensers. Those bastards are scared to death of congressmen, who in turn are representatives of and often identical with local chambers of commerce.
—EDWARD ABBEY, June 15, 1956 Journal entry while working at Arches National Park in Utah

A man could be a lover and defender of the wilderness without ever in his lifetime leaving the boundaries of asphalt, powerlines and right-angled surfaces. We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to go there. I may never in my life get to Alaska, for example, but I am grateful that it’s there. We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope; without it life of the cities would drive all men into crime or drugs or psychoanalysis.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

Wilderness complements and completes civilization. I might say that the existence of wilderness is also a compliment to civilization. Any society that feels itself too poor to afford the preservation of wilderness is not worthy of the name of civilization.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Down the River, 1982

Nevertheless, all is not lost; much remains, and I welcome the prospect of an army of lug-soled hiker’s boots on the desert trails. To save what wilderness is left… we are going to need all the recruits we can get.
—EDWARD ABBEY, The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West, 1977

I hesitate to define just what the qualities of a true wilderness experience are. Like music and art, wilderness can be defined only on its own terms. The less talk, the better.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

In truth Wilderness is a state of mind and heart. Very little exists now in actuality.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

Wilderness holds more answers to more questions than we yet know how to ask.
—ANSEL ADAMS and NANCY NEWHALL, This Is the American Earth, 1960

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.
—ALAN ALDA, US Actor, Director, Writer, 1936-

Wilderness is an anchor to windward. Knowing it is there, we can also know that we are still a rich nation, tending our resources as we should—not a people in despair searching every nook and cranny of our land for a board of lumber, a barrel of oil, a blade of grass, or a tank of water.
—CLINTON P. ANDERSON, US Politician (1941-73), 1895-1975 in American Forests, July 1963

In an age of automation, mechanization, and exploitation of our vast natural resources, the amount of public lands shielded from the onslaught of man’s ambition and genius becomes [ever] smaller. Our task in this age has been to stand off and ponder the consequences of that onslaught. I believe that this bill contains our verdict, and I believe that we can all be grateful that the verdict came while we still had wilderness to preserve.
—CLINTON P. ANDERSON, US Politician (1941-73), 1895-1975 in Congressional Record, August 20, 1964

From the point of view of wilderness, perhaps it would be best if the people did perish.
—FRANK BERGON, editor of The Wilderness Reader, 1980

The wilderness is a locale to encounter God’s grandeur and the essence of the original Creation.
—SUSAN POWER BRATTON, The Spirit of the Appalachian Trail: Community, Environment, and Belief on a Long-Distance Hiking Path, 2012

If we lose wilderness, we lose forever the knowledge of what the world was and what it might, with understanding and loving husbandry, yet become. These are islands in time—with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind. In these areas it is as though a person were looking backward into the ages and forward untold years. Here are bits of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting.
—HARVEY BROOME, Co-founder of The Wilderness Society (1935), 1902-68

Without wilderness, we will eventually lose the capacity to understand America. Our drive, our ruggedness, our unquenchable optimism and zeal and élan go back to the challenges of the untrammeled wilderness.
—HARVEY BROOME, Co-founder of The Wilderness Society (1935), 1902-68

The sovereign quality of wilderness is the same wherever encountered.… Each manifestation has an unshackled quality—each stirs untapped longings—each gives a fillip to living—each has an unsurpassed lilt which bursts from the deepest wellsprings of life. These are the realities found in the wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains.
—HARVEY BROOME, Out Under the Sky of the Great Smokies, 1967

True wilderness is where you keep it, and real wilderness experience cannot be a sedentary one; you have to seek it out—not seated, but afoot.
—DAVID BROWER, preface, Going Light—With Backpack or Burro, 1962

Wipe out wilderness and the world’s a cage.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club, (1952–69), 1912-2000

You want a place where you can be serene…that if need be can stir you up as you were made to be stirred up, until you blend with the wind and water and earth you almost forgot you came from.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club, (1952–69), 1912-2000

If we are to have broad-thinking men and women of high mentality, of good physique and with a true perspective on life, we must allow our populace a communion with nature in areas of more or less wilderness condition.
—ARTHUR CARHART, USDA Forest Service’s first Landscape Architect (1919), 1892–1978

The wilderness was beautiful, even enchanting place with its graceful movement and active life.
—SALLY CARRIGHAR, US Naturalist, 1898-1985

Yes, wilderness for its own sake, without any need to justify it for human benefit. Wilderness for wilderness.
—YVON CHOUINARD, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, 2005

One would think America big enough to set aside wilderness preserves for the many of our citizens who seek to escape the incessant crowd, to search for solace in solitude amidst a sanctuary far removed from the banality of beer ads and cigarette commercials.
—FRANK CHURCH, Senator from Idaho (1957-81), speech supporting the Wilderness Act, 1961, 1924-84

The [Wilderness] Bill is of primary importance to westerners. The vanishing wilderness is yet a part of our western heritage. We westerners have known the wilds during our lifetimes, and we must see to it that our grandchildren are not denied the same rich experience during theirs. This is why the West needs a wilderness bill.
—FRANK CHURCH, Senator from Idaho, Congressional Record, September 5, 1961

In this day of man’s increasingly mechanical approach to the outdoors, when thousands experience nature not for what it is through observation but as a playground, there aren’t many places left where one is guaranteed one won’t be run over by a jeep or snowmobile or mountain bike. Preserving those [Wilderness] areas—at the cost of a disgruntled few—seems worth the price.
—DENNIS COELLO, The Complete Mountain Biker, 1989

None know how often the hand of God is seen in a wilderness but them that rove it for a man’s life.
—THOMAS COLE, US Romantic Landscape Painter, 1801-48

I have an appetite for silence.
—EMILY DICKINSON, US Poet, 1830-86

We can turn wilderness into timberland. We can turn timberland into farmland. We can turn farmland into shopping malls. But we can’t create wilderness. (speech at Wilderness 2000 Conference)
—MIKE DOMBECK, Chief of the US Forest Service (1997-2001), 1948-

Wilderness has been characterized as barren and unproductive; little can be grown in its sand and rock. But the crops of wilderness have always been its spiritual values—silence and solitude, a sense of awe and gratitude—able to be harvested by any traveler who visits.
—DAVID DOUGLAS, Scottish Botanist, 1799-1834

We must provide enough wilderness areas so that, no matter how dense our population, man—though apartment-born—may attend the great school of the outdoors, and come to know the joy of walking the woods, alone and unafraid. Once he experiences that joy, he will be restless to return over and over again.… If that is to happen, the places where the goldthread, monkey flower, spring beauty, or starflower flourish in sphagnum moss must be made as sacred as any of our shrines [after climbing Katahdin to complete his hike of the Appalachian Trail, 1958].
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice, Avid Hiker, 1898–1980

Discovery is adventure. There is an eagerness, touched at times with tenseness, as man moves ahead into the unknown. Walking the wilderness is indeed like living. The horizon drops away, bringing new sights, sounds, and smells from the earth. When one moves through the forests, his sense of discovery is quickened. Man is back in the environment from which he emerged to build factories, churches, and schools. He is primitive again, matching his wits against the earth and sky. He is free of the restraints of society and free of its safeguards too.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Of Men and Mountains, 1950

Wilderness has noise as when great winds make treetops roar, setting up the cadence of a pounding surf. Wilderness noise is also the murmur of brooks, the chatter of squirrels, the scolding of camp robbers. Wilderness noise is the sequence of birdcalls just before dawn, the ecstatic music of the whippoorwill at dusk, and the deep quiet of a darkened forest. The noise of wilderness is varied; it has no monotony; it is the music of the earth of which man is an integral part whether he knows it or not. The healing effects of wilderness are well known. Cares slough off; the conscious springs that create tension are relaxed; man comes to an understanding of his relation to the earth from which he came and to which he returns.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, A Wilderness Bill of Rights, 1965

Today, we look backward to a time when there was more wilderness than the people of America needed. Today, we look forward (and only a matter of a few years) to a time when all the wilderness now existing will not be enough.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, foreword, The Wild Cascades, Forgotten Parkland, 1965

I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things. Man was a form of life that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer. So a man of such a faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors. In the East the wilderness has no evil connotation; it is thought of as an expression of the unity and harmony of the universe.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Go East, Young Man, 1974

A road is a dagger placed in the heart of wilderness.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, as quoted in Ghost Grizzlies by David Petersen, 1995

We are not so poor we must destroy our wilderness, nor so rich we can afford to.
—NEWTON DRURY, National Park Director (1940-51), 1889-1978

The word ‘wilderness’ occurs approximately three hundred times in the Bible, and all its meanings are derogatory.
—RENÉ DUBOS, The Wooing of Earth, 1980

The action and tone of his statement leads me to conclude that [Interior] Secretary [James G.] Watt’s idea of wilderness is a parking lot without lines.
—DON EDWARDS, US Representative from California (1963-95), Progressive, March 1981, 1915-2015

When all the dangerous cliffs are fenced off, all the trees that might fall on people are cut down, all of the insects that bite are poisoned … and all of the grizzlies are dead because they are occasionally dangerous, the wilderness will not be made safe. Rather, the safety will have destroyed the wilderness.
—ROGER YORKE EDWARDS, Canadian Environmentalist, 1924-2011

It is commonplace of all religious thought that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and live for a while in the wilderness. If he is of proper sort, he will return with a message. It may not be a message from the god he set out to seek but even if he has failed in that particular, he will have had a vision or seen a marvel and these are always worth listening to or thinking about.
—LOREN EISELEY, The Immense Journey, 1946

The dynamic interplay of linear and area conservation cannot be underestimated. Ideally, the only permanent sign of man in wilderness is the trail that marks his travels… In a real sense, ‘trail country’ is another term for wilderness. As important as is the highway in determining circulation and development patterns of the city, the trail forms the outdoorsman’s relationship to the back country.
—FREDERICK EISSLER, The National Trails System Proposal in Sierra Club Bulletin, June 1966, Vol. 51, No. 6, pp. 16-17

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

How great are the advantages of solitude! How sublime is the silence of nature’s ever-active energies! There is something in the very name of wilderness which charms the ear, and soothes the spirit of man. There is religion in it.
—ESTWICK EVANS, US Author, 1787-1866

When ever the light of civilization faces upon you with a blighting power … go to the wilderness…. Dull business routine, the fierce passions of the marketplace, the perils of envious cities became but a memory…. The wilderness will take hold of you. It will give you good red blood; it will turn you from a weakling into a man…. You will soon behold all with a peaceful soul.
—ESTWICK EVANS, US Author, 1787-1866

Wilderness has little appeal to those who are blind to all except material values. To them it is a resource “poorly used”; the uncut timber, or the grass on inaccessible alpine meadows is going to waste. Well-watered valleys, supporting only salmon or trout, or deer and other wildlife, might better give way to choice dam sites whose development could provide handsome blocks of power for new or expanding farms, industries, and cities.
—BERNARD FRANK, Our National Forests, 1955

Wilderness touches the heart, mind and soul of each individual in a way known only to himself.
—MICHAEL FROME, The National Forests of America, 1968

The exquisite sight, sound, and smell of wilderness is many times more powerful if it is earned through physical achievement, if it comes at the end of a long and fatiguing trip for which vigorous good health is a necessity. Practically speaking, this means that no one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.
—GARRETT HARDIN, The Ecologist, February 1974

If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it. (upon signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964)
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908-73

To the pioneer of history the wilderness was a foe to be conquered, so that he might make farms and pastures out of the endless forests. Today’s pioneer has a new purpose—to preserve some remnants of that wilderness from the onrush of modern civilization. The ax and the plow will not serve us in this struggle. Today’s instruments are more subtle. They are progressive law and informed public opinion—demanding that we maintain our wilderness birthright. (on the Status of the National Wilderness Preservation System, February 14, 1966)
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908-73

In real wilderness, silence is not just quiet, which is the absence of noise. It is the voice of the living earth, unmuddied by aural clutter.
—ROBERT KIMBER, A Canoeist’s Sketchbook, 1991

…in the wilderness you are surrounded by the voices of silence, and they are a greater treasure still.
—ROBERT KIMBER, A Canoeist’s Sketchbook, 1991

The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

Man is not long from the wilderness, and it takes him but a short time to go back to living with it….
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, To the Far Blue Mountains, Western Writer, 1908–88

…I am asserting that those who love the wilderness should not be wholly deprived of it, that while the reduction of the wilderness has been a good thing, its extermination would be a very bad one, and that the conservation of wilderness is the most urgent and difficult of all the tasks that confront us, because there are no economic laws to help and many to hinder its accomplishment.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Is it possible to preserve the element of Unknown Places in our national life? Is it practicable to do so, without undue loss in economic values? I say ‘yes’ to both questions. But we must act vigorously and quickly, before the remaining bits of wilderness have disappeared.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Never did we plan the morrow, for we had learned that in the wilderness some new and irresistible distraction is sure to turn up each day before breakfast. Like the river, we were free to wander.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

No servant brought them meals; they got their meat out of the river or went without. No traffic cop whistled them off the hidden rock in the next rapids. No friendly roof kept them dry when they mis-guessed whether or not to pitch the tent. No guide showed them which camping spots offered a night-long breeze, and which a night-long misery of mosquitoes; which firewood made clean coals, and which only smoke…. The elemental simplicities of wilderness travel were thrills not only because of their novelty, but because they represented complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gave them their first taste of those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts which every woodsman faces daily, but against which civilization has built a thousand buffers. …perhaps every youth needs an occasional wilderness trip in order to learn the meaning of this particular freedom.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The richest values of wilderness lie not in the days of Daniel Boone, nor even in the present, but rather in the future.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Wilderness areas are first of all a series of sanctuaries for the primitive arts of wilderness travel, especially canoeing and packing.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Wilderness is a resource that can shrink but not grow … the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Wilderness, then, assumes unexpected importance as a laboratory for the study of land – health.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Wilderness is a continuous stretch of country preserved in its natural state, open to lawful hunting and fishing, big enough to absorb a two weeks’ pack trip, and kept devoid of roads, artificial trails, cottages, or other works of man.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, The Wilderness and Its Place in Forest Recreational Policy, Journal of Forestry, 1921

Wilderness is the very stuff America is made of.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, Wilderness as a Form of Land Use, The Journal of Land and Public Utility Economics, October, 1925

Ability to see the cultural value of wilderness boils down, in the last analysis, to a question of intellectual humility.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Mechanized recreation already has seized nine-tenths of the woods and mountains; a decent respect for minorities should dedicate the other tenth to wilderness.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization. Wilderness was never a homogenous raw material. It was very diverse. The differences in the product are known as cultures. The rich diversity of the world’s cultures reflects a corresponding diversity. In the wilds that gave them birth.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Solitude is an essential quality of wilderness.
—ROBERT LUCAS, Wilderness: A Management Framework, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, July-August 1974

In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.
—CHARLES A. LINDBERGH, US Pilot, Environmentalist, 1902-74

The only way we can save any wilderness in this country is to make it harder to get into, and harder to stay in once you get there.
—MARTIN LITTON, The Grand Canyon, 1972

One function, at least, of true wilderness is to provide a refuge from the crassitudes of civilization—whether visible, intangible, audible-whether of billboard, of pavement, of auto horn—all of these are urban essences; all are negations of wilderness.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

Wilderness is two things—fact and feeling. It is a fund of knowledge and a spring of influence. It is the ultimate source of health—terrestrial and human.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

For we need this thing wilderness far more than it needs us. Civilizations (like glaciers) come and go, but the mountain and its forest continue the course of creation’s destiny. And in this we mere humans can take part—by fitting our civilization to the mountain.
—BENTON MACKAYE, letter to Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, 1933

For me, and for thousands with similar inclinations, the most important passion of life is the overpowering desire to escape periodically from the clutches of a mechanistic civilization. To us the enjoyment of solitude, complete independence, and the beauty of undefiled panoramas is absolutely essential to happiness.
—BOB MARSHALL, Co-founder, Wilderness Society, 1901–39

…I… shall use the word wilderness to denote a region which contains no permanent inhabitants, possesses no possibility of conveyance by any mechanical means and is sufficiently spacious that a person in crossing it must have the experience of sleeping out. The dominant attributes of such an area are: First, that it requires any one who exists in it to depend exclusively on his own effort for survival; and second, that it preserves as nearly as possible the primitive environment. This means that all roads, power transportation and settlements are barred. But trails and temporary shelters, which were common long before the advent of the white race, are entirely permissible.
—BOB MARSHALL, Co-founder, Wilderness Society, 1901–39

It [wilderness] is the perfect aesthetic experience…vast panoramas…on a scale so overwhelming as to wipe out the ordinary meaning of dimensions…it is the song of the hermit thrush…unique odor of the balsams…the feel of spruce needles underfoot.
—BOB MARSHALL, Co-founder, Wilderness Society, 1901–39

We simply must band together, all of us who love the wilderness. We must fight together—wherever and whenever wilderness is attacked.
—BOB MARSHALL, Co-founder, Wilderness Society, 1901–39

In a civilization which requires most lives to be passed amid inordinate dissonance, pressure and intrusion, the chance of retiring now and then to the quietude and privacy of sylvan haunts becomes for some people a psychic necessity.
—BOB MARSHALL, The Problem of the Wilderness, The Scientific Monthly, 1930

The preservation of a few samples of undeveloped territory is one of the most clamant issues before us today. Just a few more years of hesitation and the only trace of that wilderness which has exerted such a fundamental influence in molding American character will lie in the musty pages of pioneer books… To avoid this catastrophe demands immediate action.
—BOB MARSHALL, The Problem of the Wilderness, The Scientific Monthly, 1930

There is just one hope of repulsing the tyrannical ambition of civilization to conquer every niche on the whole earth. That hope is the organization of spirited people who will fight for the freedom of the wilderness.
—BOB MARSHALL, The Problem of the Wilderness, The Scientific Monthly, 1930

To carry out this program it is exigent that all friends of the wilderness ideal should unite. If they do not present the urgency of their viewpoint the other side will certainly capture popular support. Then it will only be a few years until the last escape from society will be barricaded. If that day arrives there will be countless souls born to live in strangulation, countless human beings who will be crushed under the artificial edifice raised by man.
—BOB MARSHALL, The Problem of the Wilderness, The Scientific Monthly, 1930

The fate of unmodified Nature rests in the activity of its friends. If they continue to be too busy or too indifferent to unite in its defense, then the universe of the wilderness is doomed to early extinction. If, on the other hand, they believe that its preservation is worth the sacrifice of some precious time and energy, and if they will take the trouble to become vociferous, there is no reason why material areas of America should not be kept primitive forever.
—BOB MARSHALL, The Universe of the Wilderness is Vanishing, Nature Magazine, April 1937

The most glorious value of the wilderness is that in it a person may be completely disassociated from the mechanical and dated age of the twentieth century, and bury himself in the timeless oblivion of nature. Its enjoyment depends on a very delicate psychological adjustment…. You have got to be immersed in a region where you know that mechanization is really absent, and where you are thrown entirely on the glorious necessity of depending on your own powers.
—BOB MARSHALL, The Wilderness on Trial, Outdoor America, March 1938

If we create a world without wilderness—and that is precisely what we are doing—then we lose a critical locus for the radical encounter with the divine.
—BILL McKIBBEN, The End of Nature, 1989

One proof of the deep-rooted desire for pristine places is the decision that Americans and others have made to legislate “wilderness” — to set aside vast tracts of land where, in the words of the federal statute, “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Pristine nature, we recognize, has been overwhelmed in many places, even in many of our national parks. But in these few spots it makes a stand. If we can’t have places where no man has ever been, we can at least have spots where no man is at the moment.
—BILL McKIBBEN, The End of Nature, 1989

I’d rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
—STEVE MCQUEEN, US Actor, 1930-80

Throughout the history of this country, it’s been possible to go to a place where no one has camped before, and now that kind of opportunity is running out. We must protect it, even if artificially. The day will come when people will want to visit such a wilderness—saving everything they have to see it, at whatever cost.
—JOHN MCPHEE, Coming into the Country, 1976

Often the difference between a full life and a cramped existence is measured in terms of our opportunities to test our physical strength against the elements of the wilderness.
—W.K. MERRILL, The Hiker’s & Backpacker’s Handbook, 1971

A little pure wildness is the one great present want, both of men and sheep.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

In this silent, serene wilderness the weary can gain a heart-bath in perfect peace.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

….the most distinctive, and perhaps the most impressive, characteristic of American scenery is its wilderness.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

To sit in solitude, to think in solitude with only the music of the stream and the cedar to break the flow of silence, there lies the value of wilderness.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Wilderness is a necessity… They will see what I meant in time. There must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls. Food and drink is not all. There is the spiritual. In some it is only a germ, of course, but the germ will grow
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

You know that I have not lagged behind in the work of exploring our grand wilderness, and in calling everybody to come and enjoy the thousand blessings they have to offer.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

….if I should be fated to walk no more with Nature, be compelled to leave all I most devoutly love in the wilderness, return to civilization and be twisted into the characterless cable of society, then these sweet, free, cumberless rovings will be as chinks and slits on life’s horizon, through which I may obtain glimpses of the treasures that lie in God’s wilds beyond my reach.
—JOHN MUIR, Notes, 1873

In God’s wilderness lies the hope of the world—the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and the wounds heal ere we are aware.
—JOHN MUIR, Alaska Fragment, 1890

All the wilderness seems to be full of tricks and plans to drive and draw us up into God’s light.
—JOHN MUIR, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911

Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.
—JOHN MUIR, Life and Letters of John Muir, 1924

I hope that the United States of America is not so rich that she cannot afford to let these wildernesses pass by. Or so poor that she cannot afford to keep them.
—MARGARET MURIE, known as the Grandmother of the Conservation Movement, 1902-2003

Wilderness itself is the basis of all our civilization. I wonder if we have enough reverence for life to concede to wilderness the right to live on?
—MARGARET MURIE, known as the Grandmother of the Conservation Movement, 1902-2003

…it is really not the wilderness that needs management (it has been doing quite well, after all, for a couple of billion years), but people.
—RODERICK NASH, Wilderness and the American Mind, 1967

…wilderness is not so much a place, but a feeling about one.
—RODERICK NASH, Wilderness and the American Mind, 1967

Freedom of the wilderness means many this to different people. If you really want to enjoy it, you must recognize your responsibilities as adult humans living in a world with others…. Freedom gives no one license to change a heritage that belongs to the ages.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness Advocate, 1899–1982

Not only has wilderness been a force in molding our character as a people, but its influence continues, and will, if we are wise enough to preserve it on this continent, be a stabilizing power as well as a spiritual reserve for the future.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness advocate, 1899–1982

Wilderness can be appreciated only by contrast, and solitude understood only when we have been without it. We cannot separate ourselves from society, comradeship, sharing, and love. Unless we can contribute something from wilderness experience, derive some solace or peace to share with others, then the real purpose is defeated.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness Advocate, 1899–1982

Wilderness to the people of America is a spiritual necessity, an antidote to the high pressure of modern life, a means of regaining serenity and equilibrium.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness Advocate, 1899–1982

I have discovered in a lifetime of traveling in primitive regions, a lifetime of seeing people living in the wilderness and using it, that there is a hard core of wilderness need in everyone, a core that makes its spiritual values a basic human necessity. There is no hiding it…. Unless we can preserve places where the endless spiritual needs of man can be fulfilled and nourished, we will destroy our culture and ourselves.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, speech at Sierra Club conference, 1965

Those of us with a stake in the future of wilderness must begin to develop…an agenda which will place a clear, strong, national focus on the question of the responsibility of the wilderness user to wilderness.
—PAUL PETZOLDT, Founder, National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), 1908-99, preached outdoor education based on developing understanding and good judgment instead of rules

Wilderness enough to be the preservation of the world still exists. We can enjoy it today and save it for coming generations. Invite them to a clean, unspoiled world. If we do, they will want to know about us. That is real immortality. But if we don’t leave our descendants a habitable life-affirming world, we’ll deserve to be forgotten, and their willingness to forget would be our eternal death.
—CALVIN RITSTRUM, Chips From a Wilderness Log, 1978

The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

There are no words that can tell of the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

In addition, there is a composite value in wilderness recreation that cannot be reproduced anywhere short of an authentically rugged and big tract of undeveloped country. It derives from all the activities and experiences one enjoys or doesn’t enjoy—camping, primitive travel, exhaustion, incomparable solitude, miserable weather—in a setting big enough for their simultaneous happenings with elbowroom.
—JOHN SAYLOR, Senator from Pennsylvania, 1962

The basic problem of wilderness is how to enjoy it today and still have it tomorrow.
—SIERRA CLUB first conference on wilderness, 1949

A person with a clear heart and open mind can experience the wilderness anywhere on earth.
—GARY SNYDER, US Poet, 1930-

The wild requires that we learn the terrain, nod to all the plants and animals and birds, ford the streams and cross the ridges, and tell a good story when we get back home.
—GARY SNYDER, The Practice of the Wild, 1990

Better a wounded wilderness than none at all.
—WALLACE STEGNER, US Environmental Writer, 1909–93

How much wilderness do the wilderness-lovers want? Ask those who would mine and dig and cut and dam in such sanctuary spots as these. The answer is easy: Enough so that there will be in the years ahead a little relief, a little quiet, a little relaxation, for any of our increasing millions who need and want it.
—WALLACE STEGNER, This Is Dinosaur: Echo Park Country and Its Magic Rivers, 1955

[I]f I had not been able to periodically renew myself in the mountains … I would be very nearly bughouse. Even when I can’t go into the back country, the thought of the colored deserts of southern Utah, or the reassurance that there are still stretches of prairie…is a positive consolation. The idea alone sustains me. But as wilderness areas are progressively exploited or ‘improved,’ as the jeeps and bulldozers of uranium prospectors scar up the deserts and the roads are cut into the alpine timberlands, and as the remnants of the unspoiled and natural world are progressively eroded, every loss is a little death in me. In us.
—WALLACE STEGNER, Coda: Wilderness Letter, December 3, 1960

Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it. Without any remaining wilderness we are committed wholly, without chance for even momentary reflection and rest, to a headlong drive into our technological termite-life, the Brave New World of a completely man-controlled environment. We need wilderness preserved—as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds—because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed. The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health even if we never once in 10 years set foot in it. It is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity it can bring briefly, as vacation and rest, into our insane lives. It is important to us when we are old simply because it is there—important, that is, simply as idea.
—WALLACE STEGNER, Coda: Wilderness Letter, December 3, 1960

We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.
—WALLACE STEGNER, Coda: Wilderness Letter, December 3, 1960

Wilderness has reminded me of my own humanity. It has stripped me down and made me look at my own frailties. By showing me my weaknesses it has strengthened me.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

Wilderness is a place where things work like they’re supposed to work.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

Wilderness is nature as it was meant to be. It just is. Its birth and being do not revolve around human whims and whiles. Unfortunately, its presence in today’s overpopulated world often does depend on human care. Caring enough to leave it alone.
—WALKIN’ JIM STOLTZ, Walking with the Wild Wind: Reflections on a Montana Journey, 2003

For one that comes [into the wilderness] with a pencil to sketch or sing, a thousand come with an ax or rifle.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

The forest and wilderness furnish the tonics and barks which brace mankind. It is the raw material of life.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US writer and naturalist, 1817–62

We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor … the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees the thunder cloud and the rain … some life pasturing freely where we never wander.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Wildness is out there.
—JACK TURNER, The Abstract Wild, 1996

Without big, wild wilderness I doubt most of us will ever see ourselves as part and parcel of nature.
—JACK TURNER, The Abstract Wild, 1996

Above all, modern man, perplexed and beleaguered in mind and body, needs the wholeness and serenity that come from leisurely association with natural surroundings, particularly with nature it its pure, unadulterated state—true wilderness.
—STEWART UDALL, Secretary of the Interior, address to the Eighth Wilderness Conference, 1963

To some extent wilderness is a link with our heritage of the frontier—an opportunity for a discovery or renewal of something already within us. You might call it an aloneness, a detachment from normal cares and responsibilities, or a renewed feeling of one’s place in nature.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, National Forest Wilderness and Primitive Areas, 1973

There must always be wilderness, a lovely someplace for the young spirits to discover the wonders of nature and the dependence of man on other living things.
—US DEPARTMENT of INTERIOR, In Touch With People, 1973

It is imperative to maintain portions of the wilderness untouched so that a tree will rot where it falls, a waterfall will pour its curve without generating electricity, a trumpeter swan may float on uncontaminated water—and moderns may at least see what their ancestors knew in their nerves and blood.
—BERNARD DE VOTO, US Writer, Editor, 1885-1955

In an age of crowded, dirty cities, the wilderness has come to symbolize a refuge, the last place where man can breathe clean air, drink freely from streams, and get away from other people.
—RICHARD WAGNER, Man and Environment, 1974

Love is a powerful tool, and maybe, just maybe, before the last little town is corrupted and the last of the unroaded and undeveloped wildness is given over to dreams of profit, maybe it will be love, finally, love for the land for its own sake and for what it holds of beauty and joy and spiritual redemption that will make [wilderness] not a battlefield but a revelation.
—T.H. WATKINS, Redrock Chronicles: Saving Wild Utah, 2000

A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.
—WILDERNESS ACT of 1964, Sec. 2c

….there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area … and (except for emergency uses) no temporary road, no use of motor vehicle, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation.

To secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness…

Pristine wilderness is an acquired taste and is incompatible with the enjoyment of some popular tastes such as dirt bikes, snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles. But surely there is no shortage of space in America for persons whose play must involve internal-combustion engines.
—GEORGE WILL, Newsweek, August 16, 1982

Of course, the ultimate paradox is that humans need both wilderness and civilization, and that one makes us all the more poised for the other.
—FLORENCE WILLIAMS, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, 2017

If you know wilderness in the way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go… This is the story of our past and it will be the story of our future.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness, 1996

Without enough wilderness America will change, Democracy, with its myriad personalities and increasing sophistication, must be fibred and vitalized by the regular contact with outdoor growths—animals, trees, sun warmth, and free skies—or it will dwindle and pale.
—WALT WHITMAN, US Poet, 1819–92

We work for wilderness preservation not primarily for the right of a minority to have the kind of fun it prefers, but rather to ensure for everyone the perpetuation of areas where human enjoyment and the apprehension of the interrelations of the whole community of life are possible, and to preserve for all the freedom of choosing to know the primeval if they so wish.
—HOWARD ZAHNISER, US Conservationist, 1906-64

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