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 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trail-magic-documentary-tickets-38389224203cropped-scan0002


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 http://www.edenvalleyenterprises.org 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 http://www.grandmagatewood.com and a “grandmagatewood” facebook page as too. You can buy a DVD of the documentary at http://www.edenvalleyenterprises.org

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 (NETAonline.org). 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:  http://parks.ky.gov/…/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 https://www.ohiohistory.org/participate/event-calendar/ohio-history-center/grandma-gatewood







October (Trail) Magic

28 Sep

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“Trail Magic” screens at Tidewater Appalachian Trail Community, just a bit off the trail but…

19 Sep
The Daily Press
Jonathan BlackContact Reporterjoblack@dailypress.com

Emma Gatewood took on the Appalachian Trail in 1955 with Keds sneakers and a duffle bag thrown over her shoulder.

By the time she finished it, 146 days after she started her hike, she was a national phenomenon. Gatewood wasn’t only the first woman to finish the hike solo — she did it at 67 years old.

With “Grandma Gatewood” in mind, the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club (TATC) will celebrate Family Hiking Day Saturday at the Noland Trail followed by a screening of the documentary of Gatewood, “Trail Magic.”

Maintaining trails

The TATC is a Hampton Roads-based group whose purpose is to give people exposure to the outdoors and maintain a 10-plus mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

And since the trail is about three and half hours from Hampton Roads, the TATC will host a hike at Noland Trail. “We’re bringing the spirit of the Appalachian Trail here,” said TATC board member Bill Leber.

Leber is a longtime hiker and found out about the club after volunteering to help with trail maintenance at Gloucester’s Beaverdam Park.

“I knew the Appalachian Trail from when I grew up but I never knew a trail group was here,” Leber said.

The TATC is one of 31 trail groups for the 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Eight of those groups are in Virginia.

With TATC being the farthest away from the trail of the Virginia groups, it means upkeep must be well planned out.

“The Roanoke section, they have people that live right where the parking lot for the section starts, so if there’s a problem,” Leber said, there’s someone there to manage it.

If a problem occurs, like a fallen tree, the TATC will send out an email blast to ask if any of the 100 or so members who are heading up to the mountains.

Regular trail maintenance is scheduled for twice a year. It involves members walking the 10-mile stretch and marking down what work needs to be done like cleaning up vegetation, checking on stonework and cleaning the two shelters within its portion.

“You basically time your evenings to reach a shelter before it gets dark,” Leber said.

Because TATC is so far from their base of operation, they contribute as volunteers for many of the trails in the Hampton Roads area, including the Noland Trail.

Volunteers are necessary to the Noland Trail’s success, as there is only a single staff person of the Mariners’ Museum devoted to the trail, according to park operations manager Dave Kennedy.

“Priorities are established from discussions with the park operations manager and Noland Trail technician at the end of each week for the next week of service work,” Kennedy said via email. “Whenever possible, volunteer individuals or groups are inserted into the maintenance plan.”

On family hiking day, participants can choose between three-mile hikes, or shorter loops.

Geocaching, an activity in which participants use a GPS or mobile device to hide and seek containers, is available at the trail.

Following Emma

Peter Huston, the director and co-producer of “Trail Magic,” will introduce the documentary before it’s showing Saturday.

The film was released in 2015, about seven years after Huston first heard the story. He heard the story when Lucy Seeds, Gatewood’s youngest daughter, wanted to pass along her mother’s diaries and journals.

Seeds connected with Bette Lou Higgins, the film’s producer and a professional storyteller who focuses on important women in Ohio, where Gatewood lived. After hearing from Seeds, Higgins contacted Hurston.

The story captured Huston’s interest.

“She wasn’t a hiker but she walked every day. She never had a driver license,” Hurston said. “At 67, to think you can go and take on the Appalachian Trail was a pretty bold idea.”

Gatewood tackled the trail so late in life because other obstacles were in the way. She raised 11 children with a husband who beat her. Once the last child left the home, Gatewood was able to divorce him after 32 years of marriage.

With abuse being such an integral theme in Gatewood’s life, Huston and the other producers have taken the documentary to domestic violence shelters to share her story.

“She stood with the marriage because she was worried about the children,” Huston said. “In the 1930s and 1940s divorce wasn’t something available to a woman, certainly not to the abused. When she did finally get a divorce, that was a big, big move.”

Gatewood read about how no woman had completed the entire trail in an issue of National Geographic. She decided to change that.

After one failed attempt, the Ohio resident attempted to tackle the trail once again, in 1955.

“Back at that point it was men wearing heavy boots and old pants and wood-framed backpacks that weighed 60 pounds,” Huston said. “Here’s this older lady walking down the trail in high tops with a bag over her shoulders. It captured people’s imagination.”

Gatewood had a background in herbal medicine and was well versed what plants were edible. On top of that, she had no problem asking for stranger’s help.

“In 1955, hospitality was a lot different. You could knock on somebody’s door and they would feed you and let you in,” Huston said. “She didn’t have any problem going to a house or a cabin along the trail if she was hungry or needed shelter.”

Gatewood would complete the hike two more times: in 1960 and again in 1963.

A book detailing Gatewood’s story was completed in 2014, “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail,” by Ben Montgomery.

“Been a filmmaker for 30 some odd years and this has been the one story that’s taken on a life of its own,” Huston said.

Black can be reached by phone at 757-247-4607.

Family Hike Day activities

Noland Trail Hike

Email localtrails@tidewateratc.com to join the Tidewater Appalachian Trail club on its hike.

When: 12:45 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Mariners’ Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News.

‘Trail Magic’ screening

Newport News: 4 p.m. Saturday in room 1022 at Christopher Newport University’s Forbes Academic Building.

Norfolk: 5 p.m. Sunday in room 1012 at Old Dominion University‘s Batten Arts and Letters Building.

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