Film tells story of southern Ohio hiking legend Grandma Gatewood

An incredible tale of taking to a long-distance trail to wash away the troubles in the real world was birthed in the hills of Southern Ohio.

At age 67, Gallia County, Ohio, native, the late Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, who had overcome decades of spousal abuse, and who was the mother of 11 children and 23 grandchildren, read about the Appalachian Trail in National Geographic.

She was so moved by the beauty of the new trail that Gatewood laced up her Keds sneakers, grabbed a small backpack and become the first woman to thru-hike the now famous trail in 1955.

“One of the things which is kind of important is that when you think about people of her generation, she had a really big impact being out there and going hiking. People were saying, ‘Well if a grandma could do it, I can do it.’ And so in the late 1960s and early 1970s when you had the hiking boom that hit, in some ways, she was instrumental in making some of that really come to fruition.”

The inspirational story of Gatewood will be shared at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in the Grayson Room of the lodge at Carter Caves State Resort Park, as Winter Adventure Weekend presents a special free screening of the film “Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story.” After the film, Peter Huston, the director of “Trail Magic,” will do a Q&A session with the audience.

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