cover of book

Pathfinder: Blazing a New Wilderness Trail in Modern America
by Ron Strickland
Oregon State University Press, 2011
Paper: 978-0-87071-603-4 | eISBN: 978-0-87071-070-4
Library of Congress Classification GV191.52.S77A3 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.50973


Ron Strickland has spent a good deal of time walking. He hiked the 1200 miles of the Pacific Northwest Trail in 1983. In 2004, he completed the Pacific Crest Trail, with a 1500-mile hike from the Mojave Desert to the Columbia River. In 2009, he hiked the length of the New England Trail.

He has also held a longtime dream of showcasing the best hiking of the Rockies, Purcells, Okanogan, Cascades, Olympics, and Wilderness Coast. He spent years raising funds, recruiting volunteers, cutting brush, digging dirt, and lobbying landowners, officials, and politicians—and in 2009, the Pacific Northwest Trail, which runs from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, traversing three National Parks and seven National Forests, was finally declared a National Scenic Trail.

In this adventurous and moving memoir, Strickland—known in the backcountry as “Pathfinder”—shares his insider view of the joys and adventures of long-distance hiking. He intersperses colorful portraits of memorable trail characters and lush descriptions of hikes he knows firsthand. He also describes the experience of conceiving and establishing the Pacific Northwest Trail, detailing the setbacks and triumphs along the way.

Pathfinder offers the rich insights and experiences of a longtime hiker, inspiring readers to the wonder of hiking and the outdoors.

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