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Journey Along the Appalachian Trail

October 9, 2013

The Rey Center will present the final lecture of its summer series on Friday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. in Waterville Valley’s Town Square.  Join Brenda and Preston Conklin for their presentation, “Journey Along the Appalachian Trail.”   The Conklin’s will share their very personal experience doing what so many of us only dream of doing – hiking the iconic Appalachian Trail.

Brenda hiked the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail during parts of 2010, 2011, and 2012.  She camped out about 30% of the time, and her husband, Preston, provided drop-off and pick-up service and supplies for the remainder.  This enabled them both to enjoy local meals and lodging. Their experiences and pictures include flowers, animals, scenic vistas, and oddities both on and off the trail from Maine to Georgia.

Preston & Brenda Conklin Waterville Valley NH

The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The trail goes through 14 states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.  Known as the “AT,” it has been estimated that 2-3 million people visit the trail every year and about 1,800–2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the trail. People from across the globe are drawn to the AT for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people or deepen old friendships, or to experience a simpler life. The AT was completed in 1937 and is a unit of the National Park system. The AT is managed under a unique partnership between the public and private sectors that includes, among others, the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, an array of state agencies, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and 31 local trail-maintaining clubs.

Brenda and Preston are Waterville Valley residents and very active in the community.  They volunteer with the NH Music Festival, the Margret & H.A. Rey Center, and the Waterville Valley Athletic & Improvement Association.  They also find time to spend outdoors.  In addition to the AT, they have hiked the 67 peaks over 4,000 feet in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Rey Center Friday Night Lecture Series is a great night out especially if you include dinner at one of our great local restaurants. All lectures are held in the Margret and H.A. Rey Center Art Gallery on the second floor in Town Square. Lectures are free for Rey Center members and only $5 for non-members. For more information on Rey Center programming or becoming a member visit or email at The “Trails and Tales From the Wilderness” lecture series is generously sponsored by Wayne and Barbara Thornbrough.

Brenda & Preston

Brenda & Preston

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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