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Recreation

America’s most visited National Park – The Great Smoky Mountains – is located in Appalachia in the states of North Carolina and Tennessee.  Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is #17 in annual visitors. The Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway also attract thousands of visitors and provide the impetus for the publication of many guide books as well. How specific do they get?  See Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas: A Comprehensive Guide to What You See from the Many Overlooks (2014) by the outstanding photographer, Tim Barnwell. Growing Gills (2011) by David Joy and Hunting from Home (2003) by Christopher Camuto are examples of a books of very personal reflections inspired by fishing and hunting in the region. Books about trapping, camping, rock climbing, rafting, hiking, mountain biking, motorcycling and collecting gems abound. Johnny Mulloy of Johnson City, Tennessee, is certainly one of the best and most prolific authors of regional hiking guides. Books also provide guides to visiting natural arches, caverns, historical sites, and even tourist attractions. Among the many books about Dollywood is a scholarly book in the series, “New Approaches to Appalachian Studies,” Gone Dollywood (2018) by Graham Hoppe.  Very particular interests are covered in Blue Ridge Music Trails (2013) by Fred C. Fussell  and Exploring the Southern Appalachian Grassy Balds by Amy Duernberger!  Sports in the region have inspired an array of books as well, celebrating not just athletes, but also coaches. For example, there are books not only about the University of Tennessee’s super-successful women’s basketball coach, Pat Head Summitt, (1952-2016) but also several by her.

-- George Brosi