Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail! Picture Book Feature + Fun Ideas & Activities!

An AMAZING true story about a grandmother that hiked the Appalachian Trail by sneakers!!

Once you've finished reading this incredible story, go for a hike or enjoy one of the other great ideas inspired by Grandma Gatewood included in our post!


I saw this book and had to read it!

I've always been of the mindset that age is more about how you feel and less about the number on your license!

After reading Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail, I'll think you'll agree with me!

I come from a long line of determined and resilient grandmothers.

They each had their own feisty personalities and zest for life, and that, along with my love of hiking had me grabbing this book off the shelf!

Good memories! Loved those hikes!

Well, fall has come around again and that's my favorite time to hike!

Getting outside, enjoying the sights, views and fresh air are unmatched and have provided our family with a wealth of memories and wonderful photos!

(below: A


(Above) Hiking in the Adirondacks! Crossing water on a log and being really careful! No doubt the water is very cold!

Well, the first thing I did after reading Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail was to excitedly ask my daughter if she wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail with me!

Her response was, "Could we do just a part of it?" Well, fair enough! Add it to the bucket list!

"I did it. I said I'd do it and I've done it.

-  Emma Rowena 'Grandma' Gatewood

Jennifer Thermes' colorful illustrations are imaginatively detailed and give readers a feast for the eyes as they join this fearless woman on her journey!

Emma 'Grandma' Gatewood was sixty-seven when she set out in a pair of sneakers and hiked the Appalachian Trail.

Being a novice hiker, even with my great hiking boots, trail-worthy clothes and gear, I can't imagine doing that 2,160-mile trail by myself!

I've always been a big fan of hiking, but the thought of hiking this trail all by myself in a pair of sneakers is quite daunting!


On our first big hike, my daughter wore her pink rainboots! Even with the pink rain boots, we made it to the summit of Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks.


This fascinating true story comes to life by way of the beautiful illustrations as well as colorful maps, timelines and additional notes about Emma 'Grandma' Gatewood that are included in the book.

Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail is a wonderful non-fiction picture book that begs the reader to put on some good walking shoes and get outside!

Fun Activities to Go Along with Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail!

1. Take a Hike!

It doesn't have to be far away or a huge time commitment. Even a walk in a city park or down a country road will do!

My favorite hikes are the ones that give us views such as this one in the Adirondacks!

Want to get more adventurous but not sure how to proceed? Go to All Trails and search to find the perfect hike!


I think we should move this one...!

2. Interview your Grandmother

....or a neighbor that has stories to tell! (...and we all have stories to tell!)

Grandma, Tell Me Your Story Illustrated by Susan Branch is a fabulous book that has conversation starters, prompts and questions with plenty of pages to write it all down in!

3. Make a Map of your Neighborhood!

Have fun making your own map! Include houses, parks, fire hydrants, special areas like a park or restaurant or really tall tree.

One of the many cool parts of Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail are the maps!

Grandma Gatewood Hikes The Appalachian Trail has beautiful illustrations including maps!

If your reader is into maps, he or she will love that part of this book!


Jennifer Therme's other book, Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island also has fantastic illustrated maps!

4. Go Geocaching!

This modern day treasure hunt is a fun way to get into hiking! You can either use a GPS unit or use a navigation app on your phone.

Here's a fun site to get you started! There are many Geocaching Apps that you can download that show caches all over the world!

You can use an app on the phone or a GPS device to find the caches or treasures that have been hidden!

Considered the world's largest treasure hunt, there are caches hidden everywhere - cities, state parks and hiking trails, neighborhoods, etc.!

You can join or check out a geocaching site or app to find out where these little treasures are hidden!

It's a great way to get kids into hiking or just add a some extra fun to your outdoor adventures!

5. Go On A Photo Scavenger Hunt Hike!

Rather than gather, bring along a list of things you would find in nature and photograph them!

Of course take some selfies and print them out for an album or photo collage. Great times and great memories!

Some ideas for Photo Scavenger Hunt pictures:

  • Leaf

  • Tree

  • Bird

  • Water

  • Mountain

  • Chipmunk

  • Squirrel

  • Bug

  • Interesting rock or pebbles

  • Pinecones

  • Tree bark or roots

  • Flower

  • Acorn

  • Feather

  • Mushroom

  • Spider web

  • Berries

  • Pine Needles

  • Seed

You probably think we're just hugging, but we're actually holding each other up after a really long hike!!

5. Check Out Jennifer Thermes' Other Books!

I always enjoy investigating what other books my favorite authors have published!

Take a peek at some other wonderful picture books that Jennifer Thermes has available:

Manhattan Mapping the Story of an Island

Be sure to Pin this post so you can return to it in the future!


Be like Grandma Gatewood and go for a walk in the woods!

Happy Hiking!


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