Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 35
Flower notes by Leonard M. Adkins
Photos by Joe Cook & Monica Sheppard
How lucky are we to get to share a
selection of favorite Appalachian
Trail wildflower photos as selected
by "Mr. A.T.," Leonard Adkins?
Leonard M. Adkins has spent much of his adult life dedicated to two things:
hiking and creating books about those hikes and all their glorious aspects. (Not to
mention, of course, that third thing: wife and hiking companion Laurie.)
Not the least of those apsects of the trail are the wildflowers that decorate the
mountains each year. The third edition of Leonard's "Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail" (one of his 20 books on trails and hiking) is just out from Menasha Ridge
Press and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy ($16.95 paperback). In the book's 222
pages it contains about 100 full-page wildflower color photos, as found along the
2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.
We asked Leonard, a regular contributor to this magazine for 20 years (his "The
Hike" column has in recent years come to be called "The Good Walk"), to pick 10
favorite wildflowers from the Southern Mountains' region of the trail. His comments
appear with the wonderful photography from Joe Cook and Monica Sheppard.
Left: What a joy it is to see
green leaves punching through
late winter's brown forest floor.
Like the appearance of the
spring beauty, this is a
harbinger of milder days to
Right: How can the nearly
ubiquitous mountain laurel not
be a favorite southern
Appalachian Trail wildflower?
The trail often goes through
half-mile-long laurel tunnels,
and the experience becomes
even more exhilarating when
the white flower clusters
appear by the thousands.
March/April 2018 35