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Earl Shaffer is best known as a trailblazer of the Appalachian Trail, the first known thru-hiker, and a strong advocate for conservation and community building along the Trail.

Did you know that while he hiked, he was also writing poetry and music along the Trail?

Many of these poems are published in his poetry books - including in his best-known hiking memoir, Walking With Spring, the photo book Calling Me Back to the Hills, Not Too Distant Trails, and more.

Earl also set many of these to song, sang and played on his guitars at Appalachian Trail gatherings and more. We are happy to share that the Earl Shaffer Foundation has digitized and uploaded Earl's songs to our website for the public to enjoy!

On our website, you can download and listen to some of his best-known songs for free, and sample even more. We are working on making music videos and uploading these to Youtube, too!

Have you heard Earl perform in person?

And have any of you written or performed songs about the Appalachian Trail?

Let us know, and we'd love to share your songs with our community, too! We'd especially love to do some covers of Earl's songs.. this is a call for musicians in our community - let us know if you have Appalachian Trail music to share!

Happy Trails and Music-Making,

The Earl Shaffer Foundation

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Mark your calendars!

The Earl Shaffer Foundation is attending this year's ALDHA (Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association) Gathering, from October 8-11, 2021. We will be in attendance with a table, multimedia, books, and more - come visit, and see you soon!

Here is the link to register and attend the ALDHA Gathering this year. Click to register, and find out more about ALDHA!

Happy Trails,

The Earl Shaffer Foundation Board

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We are excited to announce that our Spring 2021 Newsletter has been published! In this issue, you can read Board Member David Donaldson's account of his 1998 thru hike, during which he got to meet, hike with, and form a long-lasting friendship with Earl.

Board Member Dan Shaffer's article about Earl's Native American advocacy highlights a little-known side of Earl's work to support local Native American tribes and communities. And finally, we included poetry excerpts that illustrate Earl's focus on the Kinzua tribe in particular, including "The Question of Kinzua" and "Kinzua Death Chant".

We hope you enjoy this issue of the ESF newsletter. Feel free to reach out if you would like to learn more about Earl's work, and send us your own submissions to be featured in future newsletters. We are always looking for Appalachian Trail and hiking related poetry, art, and articles to feature in our newsletters.

Read our newsletter here:

Find a reduced file size for easier downloads here:

Send us your newsletter submissions here:

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