“A Walk in the Woods,” a comedy-adventure biopic film starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, will have its wide release on September 2nd and it is expected to be a box-office hit following the positive reviews the movie received from professional critics during its Sundance screening early this year. I am personally very excited to watch this film as it is primarily set in the wondrous Appalachian region, my favorite hiking Mecca amongst all the trails I’ve traversed, so far.
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The film is based on the travel book by Bill Bryson. The book’s release in 1998 catapulted a sudden surge in hiking activity in the Great Smoky Mountains, which is a major mountain system—and perhaps the most popular—in the Appalachian region. Naturally, the influx would become even more massive when the film version is released as movies typically reach broader audiences than a book usually can. For most people, this could be a huge boon as far as the tourism industry in the states where these mountains are found is concerned. Responsible hiking, however, must be soundly followed to reduce strain in the fragile environment.
All the land managers with responsibility for The Appalachian Trail (including the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and some state parks) are now working closely with The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) on how best to prepare for an increase in use of the spectacular trail.
Image source: britannica.com