EVE & TrueNorth Cultural Arts present a weekend of Trail Magic with Grandma Gatewood

23 Jan

Eden Valley and TrueNorth are planning a special weekend of festivities from Thursday, August 22 through Sunday, August 25, 2013 to introduce you to a remarkable Ohioan: Emma Gatewood. Many people know that “Grandma” Gatewood was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 1955. However, most people don’t know that she did it at the age of 67. Most people don’t know that she raised 11 children and survived an abusive relationship. Most people don’t know that she went on to solo thru-hike the AT two more times, hike the Oregon Trail, and help establish Ohio’s Buckeye Trail. Most people don’t know that by the time she died, she had hiked more than 10,000 miles! Most people don’t know Emma at all and this festival will remedy that!

Though plans are still in development, we are currently working on a schedule to include special hikes, discussion groups, and a poetry reading along with a centerpiece performance of a first-person character program on Saturday night August 24.

Emma wrote poetry throughout her life and to open the festivities there will be a Nature Poetry Workshop led by writer Kelly Boyer Sagert (author of Eden Valley’s storytelling program, “Grandma Gatewood: Ohio’s Legendary Hiker”). The Workshop will be conducted on Thursday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m. Poets who sign up for the workshop will then be invited to share their poetry with the public at a Poetry Reading on Friday, August 23 at 7:30 p.m. The reading will be preceded by a Family Hike from 5 – 6 p.m. and a Dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 24 the festivities will start at 10:30 a.m. with a Senior Physical Fitness Hike. At 6:30 p.m. a Pre-show Discussion on Mental Health and Self-Esteem (and the effects of domestic abuse) will be led by Natalie McCarthy, MSW, LSW. The discussion will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by the premier presentation of a first-person character program featuring “Grandma” Gatewood talking about her life and adventures. This new one-woman play will be written by Kelly Boyer Sagert and will become the backbone for the documentary being put together about Emma by Eden Valley, FilmAffects and WGTE/PBS, Toledo.

Plans are being made to conclude the festivities with a hike on the Lorain County Buckeye Trail on Sunday, August 25. An exhibit of the Buckeye Trail and a Quilt Show (in honor of Emma’s Quilting Activities) are also in the works.

This special event is being funded in part by generous grants from the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation Lorain County and the Gallia County Charitable Foundation. All dates, times and events are in the planning stages and subject to change.

If you want to know more about Emma’s story contact us at Eden Valley Enterprises | 1250 East River St. | Elyria, Ohio 44035 or e-mail: blhiggins

For complete information about the status of this project, see:



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