"If these people were on the skyline, and kept their eyes open, they would see the things that the giant could see."
- Benton MacKaye, 1921

Did MacKaye's Vision come True?


James Neill, 2003

Did MacKaye's Vision come true?

Of the 4 proposals, we can briefly say that:


1. The trail-building has happened it seems quite marvelously, even beyond expectation, with the continuous Appalachian Trail constructed and extended through to Georgia and there is now work going on to extent the trail into Canada.  The trail has captured the hearts and minds of many who have walked its entire length (and even more who desire to do so), which takes approximately nine months.  The trail has been featured in National Geographic and it has inspired the creation of long trails around the world.  Bill Bryson has written a best-seller about walking the AT ("A Walk in the Woods"). 

2. We can also observe that an intrinsic part of the success of the trail creation it seems has been the planning, construction, use of, and maintenance of the trail shelters and the work of trail building and trail maintenance by volunteer groups


So, it seems fair to say that at least in these two respects, MacKaye's visions have, remarkably, been manifested. 


3. It may also be possible to find some examples of successful community groups as suggested by MacKaye, but these are less apparent, and there is much less evidence that

4. the concept of food and farm camps has taken hold.  It would be interesting to examine this concept is more detail, such as the Benton MacKaye Center (http://www.nynjtc.org/partners/bmc.html).