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Recent Projects

2018: Earl’s Appalachian Trail Poetry

In 2018, the Foundation completed a two-year project to publish Earl Shaffer’s Appalachian Trail-related poetry. This richly-illustrated collection is titled Not Too Distant Trails: Appalachian Trail poems, songs, meditations. It is available in print or e-book editions from

2018: Celebration of 70 Years of Appalachian Trail Thru-hiking

Coincident with the 100th anniversary of Earl Shaffer’s birth, this festive event at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania was co-sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Museum. Guest speakers included Sandra “Sandi” Marra, Ron Tipton, Larry Luxenberg, David Donaldson, Maurice Forrester, and Kimberly Shaffer, Earl’s grandniece. An article published by Penn Live including videos from the event, as well as a written account, can be found here. 

2018: Appalachian Trail Community Library Project

To increase local appreciation and awareness of the “AT”, the Foundation began donating copies of The Appalachian Trail: Calling Me Back to the Hills to public libraries in communities along the Appalachian Trail, beginning with the libraries in Mt. Holly Springs, Carlisle, and Palmerton, Pennsylvania.

Future Projects

E-Books and Audio Books:

Today’s long-distance hikers place a high value on reducing the weight of their gear. They are frequently seen wearing ear buds or lightweight earphones, listening to music, podcasts, or e-books on their smart phones as they hike. The smart phones also function as their cameras, GPS locators, maps, trail guides, on-line journals, and audio-video recorders.


There is something very special about hiking the Appalachian Trail and reading or listening to accounts of those who have gone before, sharing their experiences and knowledge of the very same places where you are. Books, however, add weight and are prone to damage from water and spills. As more and more hikers rely on smart phones, the Earl Shaffer Foundation wants to make Earl Shaffer’s books, poems, and songs available as e-books and audio books. In that way, hikers and campers will be able to enjoy them without additional weight or concern. Also, once available on-line in e-format, Earl’s works will be available worldwide and freed from limitations of time, distance, shipping cost, and depleted inventories.


We look forward to the production of e-book and audio book versions of Earl’s classic account of his famous 1948 hike: Walking with Spring.

Annual Trail Poetry Contest:

The Earl Shaffer Foundation plans to establish an annual, juried competition of poetry related to hiking and the Appalachian Trail. There will be both a youth competition and an adult competition with prizes awarded to the winners.

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