taking a break
during his 1998 thruhike.
Great CD by Takoma Tedd
from Earl's Poetry
| ... to the Earl
Shaffer Web Page ... a presentation of the Earl Shaffer Foundation that celebrates the
life and times of Earl V. Shaffer of Pennsylvania ... writer and poet, naturalist,
dedicated environmentalist, and the first person to thruhike the Appalachian Trail from
end to end in one continuous journey. We hope you enjoy your visit!
A GRIP ON THE MANE OF LIFE
The Authorized Biography of Earl Shaffer
by David Donaldson and Maurice Forrester
This long-awaited book is now available and can be ordered online from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
Dave Donaldson began work on the book during Earl's last years before his passing in 2002, and eventually joined
forces with Appalachian Trail activist Maurice Forrester to bring it to completion. The book was published by the Appalachian
Trail Museum in 2014.
Dave was Earl's hiking companion at the end of his 1998 50th anniversary thru-hike of the AT,
and was authorized by Earl to write his biography. Countless hours of tape recordings of Earl telling his story
were combined with extensive research and interviews with people who knew Earl throughout his life. This book
reveals many insights about Earl and how he lived his life before and after his landmark 1948 first successful
thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
CLICK HERE for how to purchase Earl's biography
Earl Shaffer Among First Six Inducted into the A.T. Hall of Fame
Earl's niece, Nancy Shaffer Nofziger, accepted the award on behalf of Earl at the induction banquet held at Boiling Springs, PA
on June 17, 2011. Other inductees that night include Myron Avery, Gene Espy, Ed Garvey, Benton MacKaye and Arthur Perkins.
Of the six, only Gene Espy of Macon, GA, the second person to thru-hike the A.T.,
is still living and was present to accept the award in person. The A.T. Hall of fame is housed at the A.T. Museum at Pine Grove
Furnace State Park in Pennsylvania.
More about the Hall of Fame event.
New Appalachian Trail Museum Now Open to the Public
The long awaited Appalachian Trail Museum celebrated its grand opening on National Trails Day, June 5, 2010.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day the Museum is open every day from noon to 4:00 PM, and in the spring and fall
during the same hours, but only on weekends. Admission is free.
The museum is located
inside a 200-year-old former grist mill at Pine Grove Furnace State
Park in Pennsylvania. The suggestion to locate the museum here was first made to the AT Museum Society by Earl's youngest brother, John Shaffer. Negotiation between
the Appalachian Trail Museum Society and Pine Grove Furnace State Park later resulted in an agreement to house the museum in this historic
building in the park.
Earl lived not far from Pine Grove Furnace State Park for many years before he passed away in 2002,
and had often participated in hiker events held at the park's Iron Master's Mansion located a short walk from the new Museum's location.
One of the featured exhibits at the museum is the reconstructed Peters Mountain A.T. Shelter, which at the time it was dismantled
was the last remaining shelter standing on the A.T. built by Earl. It was one of six shelters that Earl himself constructed during
the 1950s and 60s.
The A.T. Museum welcomes volunteer participation in the operation of the museum. For more information CLICK HERE for more information.
Earl Shaffer's Photos and Papers Accessible at the Smithsonian Institution
Although the Smithsonian Institution's exhibit "Earl Shaffer and the
Appalachian Trail" ended In October, 2009,
an extensive collection of Earl Shaffer's photographs and papers are permanently available for viewing by
visitors to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's Archives in Washington, D.C. An appointment must be scheduled
in advance. (Call 202-633-3270 for an appointment.) Here is an
index of what is available.
BEFORE I WALKED WITH SPRING
This book, written by Earl during World War II but not published until 2008, serves as a prequel to Earl's famous bestselling book, Walking With Spring.
Before I Walked With Spring uses humor and verse to describe in detail the wartime experiences in the U.S. Army that helped propel Earl
to later become the first Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. The main
text of the book is Earl's epic poem "The Doughboy Odyssey," which traces Earl's wide-ranging wartime travels,
first training stateside as a Signal Corpsman, then serving in the Pacific theater for
most of the war.
HOW TO ORDER
Before I Walked With Spring
DVD Video Biography of Earl Shaffer
Earl's younger brother John Shaffer narrates this half hour video biography of Earl featuring Shaffer family photos from Earl's early years through
his military service, his passion for writing poetry and music, and continuing from his historic 1948 first-ever Appalachian Trail thru-hike through
his 50th anniversary thru-hike in 1998. This is a unique and intimate look at the background of the man who invented thru-hiking.
HOW TO ORDER
DVD Video Biography of Earl Shaffer
Shelter Built by Earl Preserved for Display in the Appalachian Trail Museum
On August 2, 2008, an enthusiastic group of volunteers hiked to the site on Peters Mountain
(near Duncannon, PA) where Earl Shaffer
had built a log Appalachian Trail shelter more than 50 years ago. This was the last shelter still standing of
the 6 A.T. shelters that Earl built during his lifetime. Organized by the Appalachian Trail Museum Society, the
group held a ceremony honoring Earl's many contributions to the A.T. community, then carefully
dismantled the shelter and hauled it on foot 3 miles to the nearest forest service road.
More Photos. From there
it was transported to temporary storage where it will await the opening of a new
Museum. Thanks to all the volunteers whose hard work is making possible the preservation of this splendid symbol of
Earl's Recent Book, ODE TO THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL LIMITED EDITION AVAILABLE!
While on his final thruhike of the A.T. in 1998, Earl kept a journal which he wrote in the form of an ode, an ancient form of poetry which Earl loved.
The Earl Shaffer Foundation has just published this journal in a special softcover Limited Edition which is
now available for purchase.
The book is beautifully illustrated with color photos of Earl and the Appalachian Trail contributed by friends of Earl Shaffer.
We welcome your support of the Earl Shaffer Foundation. Profits from all sales currently go towards bringing into publication many more of Earl's works which remain yet unpublished.
HOW TO ORDER Ode to the Appalachian Trail
EARL'S FIRST MUSIC CD: ALWAYS IN APRIL
More than just a long distance hiker, Earl Shaffer was a poet, songwriter, folk singer and guitarist.
The Foundation is excited to announce that a music CD of Earl performing some of his original work
available to order. Entitled Always in April
, the CD contains 17 of Earl's songs, including
Long High Lonesome Trail,
Allegro to the Sky,
Always in April,
Robin in the Rain,
Owl at Twilight,
Garlands of Glee,
Skies Oer the River,
Call of the Turtledove,
Juniata Saga, and
HOW TO ORDER Always in April
SEQUEL TO EARL'S FIRST MUSIC CD: TRAIL OF THE TROPIC MOON
Discovered among a relative's estate, recordings of Earl singing many of the ballads he wrote while he was stationed in the South Pacific
during World War II (and others he wrote after he returned home) have just been released in CD format and are now
available to order. Entitled Trail of the Tropic Moon
, the CD contains 15 of Earl's songs, including
Trail of the Tropic Moon,
Wake of the Sea,
Old Smoky Ramble,
Song of the Timberline,
Skies Over the River,
Didn't Seem to Care,
Kinzua Death Chant
New versions of Midnight Rain, Susquehanna Song, and April Dawn, songs on Earl's first CD, complete the new CD.
HOW TO ORDER Trail of the Tropic Moon
Earl's 1948 Slideshow Now Available on DVD
The Foundation recently produced a DVD featuring Earl's original color slides with Earl's own 80-minute narration of his pioneering 1948 thruhike.
It also contains his 1948 daily trail journal and other interesting items, including video of
several TV interviews conducted during his 1998 50th Anniversary thruhike. The DVD can be ordered from
the Foundation for $24.95 plus shipping, with all proceeds benefiting causes dear to Earl.
Katahdin Art Project
The Katahdin Art Project is a collaboration between the Earl Shaffer Foundation and Crest
Photography Inc. It combines Earl Shaffer's poetry and Bart Smith's photography to create a moving
and lasting tribute to Mt. Katahdin. All proceeds minus costs of $150 per unit will be donated to
the Earl Shaffer Foundation. It was Earl's decision to direct a portion of his Foundation funds to support
the creation of an Appalachian Trail Museum as well as the trail clubs along the A.T. More information is at
Katahdin Art Project.