BOSTON (August 4, 2015) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) will co-host a special screening of the new Robert Redford film, “A Walk in the Woods,” at the Loews Boston Common 19 Theatre in Boston, Mass. on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. The film, scheduled to be released nationwide on Sept. 2, follows the hike of two friends and their journey along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).
“A Walk in the Woods,” based on the Bill Bryson novel, follows the hike of Bryson and his friend Stephen Katz, both of whom seem like a long-shot to complete their journey along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Hilarity ensues in this comedy as Bryson and Katz encounter hard to navigate pieces of the Trail, over talkative thru-hikers, and hungry bears along the way. While the film is not exclusively about the Trail, it emphasizes the life-changing impact the A.T. can have on those who hike it. The film will be released nationwide on Sept. 2, and is rated R for language and some sexual references.
The film will present both opportunities and challenges for the volunteers and managers of the A.T. Increased attention on the A.T. will expose people from all walks of life to the natural beauty of the Trail, boosting awareness of why the ATC’s mission of preserving and managing the A.T. is so vital. On the other hand, it is just as important to educate hikers about proper etiquette along the Trail, as well as disperse hikers as much as possible, in order to keep the A.T. in pristine condition.
Hawk Metheny, New England regional director, will discuss the opportunities the film presents to the organization, the ATC’s involvement in the film, and the organization’s proactive approach to limit any damage caused by the expected increase in usage on the Trail. John Judge, president of AMC, will speak on AMC’s long history of involvement with the trail, its role in supporting and educating trail users, and regional trails initiatives in Massachusetts and beyond.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is very excited about ‘A Walk in the Woods’ and the positive attention it will bring to the Appalachian Trail experience,” said Tipton. “At the same time we are planning for how to manage the surge of new hikers we anticipate.”
Enthusiasm for the A.T. is at an all-time high, with both the number of hikers and volunteers increasing significantly in recent years. The number of thru-hikers traversing the A.T. has increased by approximately 20 percent this year to more than 3,000 hikers, and in 2014 nearly 5,700 volunteers contributed more than 240,000 hours to maintain the Trail. On average, an estimated 3 million people hike the A.T. annually.
“At AMC, our mission is to connect people to the outdoors, and we see this movie as a catalyst for engaging more people in the Appalachian Trail and trails in general,” said John D. Judge, President and CEO of the Appalachian Mountain Club. “As the trail maintaining club for the Appalachian Trail in the Mahoosucs, White Mountains, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and part of Pennsylvania, we will be working closely with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and agency partners to make sure new trail users are educated about responsible use and protection of the trail and surrounding natural areas.”
Date: Aug. 13, 2015
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: Loews Boston Common 19, 175 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02111
Passes: Visit http://appalachiantrail.ticketleap.com/a-walk-in-the-woods-boston/
For more information about the film, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/AWalkintheWoods.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Em: [email protected]
About the Appalachian Mountain Club
Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America's Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. AMC helps people of all ages and abilities to explore and develop a deep appreciation of the natural world. With chapters from Maine to Washington, D.C., guidebooks and maps, and unique lodges and huts, AMC helps people get outdoors on their own, with family and friends, and through activities close to home and beyond. AMC invites the public to support its conservation advocacy and research, youth programming, and care of 1,800 miles of trails. More information is available at www.outdoors.org.
Em: [email protected]