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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!!


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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!

Love fall as much as we do? Be sure to check out 10 Great Ways to Have Fun This Fall! Great books, free printables and more to have the best fall ever!

The Best Fall Bucket List Free Printables

I saw this book and had to read it! Written and illustrated by Jennifer Thermes Grandma Gatewood is just one of many books that this fabulous author and illustrator has on the market!

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!

Grandma Gatewood by Jennifer Thermes mother-and-daughter-hiking-in-the-woods
Good memories! Loved those hikes!

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!

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!

mirror-lake-in-the-Adirondack State Park
The Adirondacks
Grandma Gatewood mother-daughter-hiking-crossing-water-by-walking-on-a-log

(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 AllTrails and search to find the perfect hike! website landing page cover

I think we should move this one...!

Nature Scavenger Hunt instant digital download

2. Interview your Grandmother

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

Grandma Tell Me Your Story by Susan Branch journal

Grandma, Tell Me Your Story 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!

Manhattan Mapping the Story of an Island by Jennifer Thermes

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

Best Fall Scavenger Hunt Free Printable

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
Charles Darwin's Around the World Adventure by Jennifer Thermes
Helen Keller's Best Friend Belle
Horse Power How Horses Changed the World Picture book by Jennifer Thermes

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!

April and Cenzia My Kidz Bookshelf

Nature Scavenger Hunt printable My Kidz Bookshelf download

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Fall bucket list free printables

Need to put all of your fun fall ideas in once place? Check out our Free Fall Printable Bucket Lists! Plenty of inspiration for more fall fun!

Looking for a fun fall picture book with great ideas to go along with it? Check out this fun book feature with ideas and activities to go along with it!!

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originally published 10/15/2019 updated 10/05/2023


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