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Trail Magic is streaming!

7 May

We’re happy to announce that our Award winning, Emmy-nominated film, TRAIL MAGIC: THE GRANDMA GATEWOOD STORY, is now available for streaming so you can watch it on your computer or mobile device! For only $8.99 you can rent the documentary and enjoy it at your leisure.

For those of you who still prefer to get a DVD, copies are still available.

Happy Indoor Hiking!

Please be aware we’ve been having some e-mail issues.  If you e-mail us directly and do not receive an answer within a day, please use our contact formScreen Shot 2020-05-06 at 9.29.31 PM

Trail Magic- Winner Best Local Documentary

7 Oct

The Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival provided the team from “Trail Magic” with IMG_2258a magical night at their Awards Ceremony. The festival is celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary. The founder and director of the festival, Mary Ann Ponce, inspired by her son David, who passed away from cancer, endeavored to honor his memory and legacy with a wonderful festival. Friends and neighbors have worked together over the 10 years to make the festival one of the top 50 small film festivals in the world!

We showed the film at Federated Church to nearly 200 people along with “Against the Wall” featuring Kevin Foster. After the film we did a Q&A. Later that evening we attended the festivals award ceremony. Screen writer Kelly Boyer-Sagert, Producer Bette Lou Higgins, and Director Peter Huston were in attendance.IMG_1155

This film could not have been made with out the creative team of Peggy Foley, producer and editor, Directors of Photography Bruce Lundeen and Tom Whaley. A special thanks to our presenting sponsors Buckeye Trail Association and Watterson Associates.

This process spanned nearly 10 years, but is testament to the “evergreen” content of “Trail Magic, the Grandma Gatewood Story”.

Thanks to Ohio History Connection and all our project supporters for helping us make this film.

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival 10/2-6 UPDATE

6 Aug

See the Emmy-nominated documentary, TRAIL MAGIC: THE GRANDMA GATEWOOD STORY on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. at the Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival at The Federated Church, 76 Bell St., Chagrin Falls. Tickets are $12.00 and can be purchased at the Festival Office 440-247-1591 or online.

This film tells the true story of Grandma Emma Gatewood who was the first woman to solo thru-hike the 2,050 mile Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67 after raising 11 children and surviving domestic abuse!  As if that wasn’t enough, she went back and did it two more times (becoming the first person — man or woman — to hike it three times) and she hiked the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail in 1959.  A founder of Ohio’s Buckeye Trail, this remarkable woman’s life will inspire you!

Can’t make it to the festival? You can arrange for a screening for your group!  Simply contact Eden Valley Enterprises and we’ll help you arrange for a special event in your neighborhood!

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Continuing lessons from the trail- by Peter Huston

25 Aug

Thanks to NYT Bureau Chief Katharine Seelye’s recent obit, Emma “Grandma” Gatewood’s story continues to demonstrate firsthand that her inspiration is “evecropped-scan0002rgreen”.

Seeing “evergreen” happen, has been the most amazing part of our experience while making our EMMY nominated film “Trail Magic, the Grandma Gatewood Story”. Recently the New York Times New England Bureau Chief Katharine Seelye wrote an op ed piece “Overlooked No More, Emma Gatewood, First Woman to Conquer the Appalachian Trail Alone”.


This was an over due obituary notice that the New York Times does to honor famous and notable achievers like Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, in her case 40 years later. I had no idea that back in 2008 when we first started this trek interviewing Emma’s youngest daughter Lucy Seeds, that we would be on a long ever enlightening transit from obscurity to recognition for “Grandma Gatewood”.


Along the way author Ben Montgomery joined us on the journey with his award winning book “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” and together we have shared Emma’s story with thousands of people in church basement, lecture halls and movie theaters.


Perhaps our experience has mirrored the public’s interest in this fascinating and brave woman who survived a 33 year abusive marriage while raising 11 children to become the first woman to solo through hike the Appalachian Trail. She did this in 1955 at the age of 67. When we started our project, her story seemed best known by the people that were most familiar with the AT, the thousands of annual hikers who vicariously learned about her on their own Appalachian Trail hike.

A few years ago Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods” was made into a film starring Nick Nolte and Robert Redford. That film and “Wild” featuring Reese Witherspoon have continued to refocus people’s interest on hiking and ultimately Emma and her inspiring story. We are excited to see this interest in Emma continue to broaden and deepen. Thank you Emma for all you did and continue to do, inspiring others to reach for new opportunities.

Overlooked No More, Grandma Gatewood and the NY Times

29 Jun

The New York Times review important peoples lives and sometimes discover that they had never done an obituary for them. So the follow up with a nice article that gives a great overview of her life and accomplishments. Click on the link to read the entire article.

Happy New Year Emma!

31 Jan

Emma Gatewood’s story is just as relevant today as it was in 1955 when she completed the Appalachian Trail for the first time. If you haven’t seen the film “Trail Magic, the Grandma Gatewood Story” you can order as DVD on line. Just click on Trail Magic DVD and it will take you to the order page.

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Hope to see you on the trail in 2018!



“Beantown” Trail Magic Showing 10/17 and 10/18

12 Oct

We’re excited to let you know that “Trail Magic, the Grandma Gatewood Story” documentary will be shown in Boston Massachusetts at the Jimmy Fund Theater, 35 Binney Street, Boston, MA Tuesday October 17th at 6pm and again at 11:30am on October 18th. Come join us for a special presentation that includes


LizaVollPhotography-3842-2AT through hiker and filmmaker Kori Feener (Hard Way Home) . Kori is a great storyteller and inspired hiker.So if you have hiked the AT or a portion of it or just want to learn more about the journey, Kori will share insights from her hike.

More information and free tickets at


Up Maine Way – August 6th, 7pm

21 Jul

de0787558451414d8515b8cb8e5d13f2It’s been two years, two months, and 6 days since we premiered “Trail Magic, The Grandma Gatewood Story” in Sheffield Ohio at the True North Cultural Arts Center. Since then we have presented “Trail Magic” multiple times around the country, many close by to the Appalachian Trail. We have been (in no particular order) in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia(North Carolina), Tennessee, Pennsylvania, West Virginia (Maryland), New Jersey (Pennsylvania), Massachusetts (New York), Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Now we’ve finally made it to Maine. When we first started this journey Bruce Grant, president of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club and featured in our film, mentioned that MATC would be hosting the ATC conference the summer of 2017. That seemed so far off at the time, but now here we are finally headed to Maine to show “Trail Magic” Sunday August 6th at 7pm. at Colby College near Waterville, New Hampshire.

cropped-scan0002Without Bruce Grant’s help and Tony Barrett’s encouragement (as we labored through this project) we might never have made it to this peak! Being able to show “Trail Magic” in Maine is a very special opportunity for us. This is where much of Emma’s trail stories came from in the film and book.

So after miles and miles on the road, from church basements to 500 seat movie theaters we are excited to share “Trail Magic” with the AT conference attendee’s coming to Maine. We sure hope you join us for a special showing in the intimate setting of Colby College.

If you can’t join us in Maine the film is “Emmy Nominated” and being distributed by NETA (National Educational Television Association) for PBS so we are able to share Emma’s story nationwide (Call your local station to request). You can also get your own copy by ordering on-line at or click this link for the video to get a copy!

Journey to the Emmy Awards

11 Jun

FilmAffects and Eden Valley Enterprises are excited to be attending the 48th Annual Emmy awards thunnamedis Saturday June 17th in Cleveland. Directed by Peter Huston and produced by Peter and Bette Lou Higgins, the story of Emma “Grandma” Gatewood was a project that took 6 years to research, shoot and write. Thanks to the help and encouragement of Darren LaShelle, now Content Director at KRCB (formerly WGTE) we began the project by filming an oral history interview of Lucy Seeds, Emma’s youngest daughter ( then 82) in 2009. The project continued on with a few grants here and there we were able to hire Kelly Sagert to write a narrative based on the journal’s and diaries of Emma Gatewood. We are honored to be considered for this award which recognizes the effort and love that was put into the project. For more information about our project we have a blog page and a “grandmagatewood” facebook page as too. You can buy a DVD of the documentary at

Emma’s Emmy Nominated

28 Apr
Filmaffects and Eden Valley Enterprises are excited to announce that their film “Trail Magic, the Grandma Gatewood Story” was officially nominated April 27th for a Regional National Association of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Emmy Award in the “Best Documentary, Historical” category. Directed by Peter Huston of FilmAffects, The story of Emma Gatewood’s solo through hike on the Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67 still resonates with hikers across the country. The film captures Emma Gatewood’s challenging life that led to her historic hike on the AT.  Her hike and the subsequent publicity spurred interest in trail hiking across America. According to Director Huston, Emma’s story propelled boomers in the late 60’s and 70s to get out in nature and many chose to attempt the Appalachian Trail.
The film explores the idea of “Grandma (Gatewood) on the trail” and how that changed the way we look at personal fitness and outdoor adventure. The film, which features Appalachian Trail Conservancy CEO Ron Tipton and several other ATC staff, was first shown to the AT Communities gathering in 2015 and first aired in Ohio on PBS TV stations WVIZ and WOUB in 2016. Since then it has been distributed to PBS stations across the country by National Education Television Association ( Check with your local PBS station to request it. You can also purchase a DVD from the Eden Valley Enterprises. Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 4.37.31 PM.png