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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.

Want to have a special presentation for your group or organization?Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 7.57.22 PM

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

Trail Magic, Friday 1/27 8pm, Carter Caves State Resort Park, Kentucky

26 Jan

There is a great article about Grandma Gatewood, Written by Dave Lavendar in the Huntington, WV Herald Dispatch this week.

Dave will be at the Winter Adventure Weekend at Carter Caves this weekend as well. You can join director Peter Huston for his presentation of “Trail Magic, the Grandma Gatewood Story” this Friday evening 1/27 8pm at the Carter Caves State Resort Park in Kentucky at the Winter Adventure Weekend. For more information go to:…/detai…/winter-adventure-weekend/20241/

Come to Dayton Appalachian Trail Conservancy Membership Drive & Special showing of “Trail Magic” 11/17

16 Nov
unnamedPresented by: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Dayton Hikers and Five Rivers MetroPark.

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2016

Zorniger Education Center at Cox Arboretum MetroPark, 6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton, OH 45449. Ample free parking.

Cost: $35.00 ticket. Limited Number of Tickets. Buy online.

What’s included in the ticket price? A one-year, individual membership, in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Regular price is $40. Current members can give a gift membership.

Admission for one to the Cox Arboretum event on November 17, 2016.

One mug of White Blaze Ale (alcoholic) or one mug of Grandma Gatewood Cream Ale (non-alcoholic).
Slice of pizza.
A raffle ticket to win fabulous prizes.

Special showing of “Trail Magic, The Grandma Gatewood Story” presented by director Peter Huston

Additional beer, pizza and raffle tickets will be sold during the event. Your ticket price includes admission for one. Buy more tickets and bring friends. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy an evening with fellow Appalachian Trail enthusiasts and learn more about Grandma Gatewood and the Trail!

Are you already a member of the ATC You can still join the fun! With your ticket you can give a gift membership to a friend or family member. Current Appalachian Trail Conservancy members are encouraged to attend. Sorry, tickets cannot be used for membership renewals.

Your membership or gift membership is processed as soon as your ticket is purchased. Start enjoying the benefits of being a ATC member today! <change as needed for ATC wishes>

Ohio History Connection “Trail Magic” Special Presentation Sunday 10/16, 1pm

11 Oct

imgresThis Sunday October 16th at 1pm we have the rare privilege to show “Trail Magic” at the Ohio History Center in Columbus, Ohio (800 E 17th Ave).  It really doesn’t seem that long ago (May, 2015) that we had our premiere of “Trail Magic, the Grandma Gatewood Story” in Sheffield Village at TrueNorth Cultural Arts Center. What an amazing year we have had.

In 2013 the Ohio History Connection awarded us the first ever State of Ohio History Fund matching grant. The grant was funded by donations from State of Ohio income tax refunds. Over the past year we have presented “Trail Magic” from Florida to New Hampshire, Tennessee to Vermont and dozens of amazing places in scan0002between. Being able to share Emma Gatewood’s Story in Columbus is a special opportunity for us.

Without the Ohio History grant we might never have gotten the film completed. Thanks to Andy Verhoff and the staff at the Ohio History Connection (then known as the Ohio Historical Society) we now we have the opportunity to share  our film at the Ohio History Connection. We hope you can join us. For more information go the Ohio History website at