Study Guide

A Walk in the Woods Visions of the Appalachian Trail

By Bill Bryson

Visions of the Appalachian Trail

Understatement of the year: the Appalachian Trail is pretty cool. Stretching over 2,100 miles along the east coast of the United States, this is one of the greatest hiking trails in the world, much less the country. You get quality time spent with beautiful, untouched nature. You get that magical Zen-like state only possible on long (and, frankly, boring) trips like this.

And, as it happens, you also get a mini-tour of small town America as you explore the quirky communities littered beside the trail. All in all, we'd wager that a few months spent on the mighty Appalachian Trail would an experience you'd never forget… but so is reading A Walk in the Woods.

Questions About Visions of the Appalachian Trail

  1. How has the Appalachian Trail changed over the course of its lifespan?
  2. Compare and contrast Bryson's depiction of the North and the South.
  3. Is there a right way to hike the Appalachian Trail?
  4. What does Bryson's depictions of small towns say about America as a whole?

Chew on This

The most impressive thing about the Appalachian Trail is the fact that it has survived for so long, practically unchanged, amidst an era of massive change.

Bryson prefers to immerse himself in the Appalachian Trail because it helps him lose his sense of self and get in touch with nature.

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