Park People Share Their Favorite Books About Parks and Public Lands

by | Sep 8, 2017 | Adventure Community, National Parks and Public Lands

This week, Park People focuses on participant’s favorite books about parks and public lands. Each submission includes why each participant considers their book to be a favorite. Also, each image is an affiliate link. My plan for Park People was to not include affiliates, but it was actually the easiest legal way for me to incorporate images. So, without further ado, this week’s Park People and their favorite books:


Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park by Lee H. Whittlesey

“I downloaded Death in Yellowstone on my Kindle after reading about a Portland man who died in a hot spring. I was curious on how and why such a horrible thing could happen, and discovered such grisly deaths happen more often than I previously thought. I selected this book to share because the cautionary tales about what to do and what not to do in national parks seriously changed my perspective. Today, I have far more reverence for public wilderness areas thanks to this book.”

Submitted by Anne Trent from // Connect with her online via TwitterInstagramFacebookGoogle+, or on her blog.


National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States by National Geographic

The National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States is my go-to primer on the 59 National Parks. The book provides a great overview with enough information to peak your interest and lead you to the important attractions while also suggesting some things off the beaten track. It gets you started and then lets your fascinations, interests and desires take over.”

Submitted by Bill Sycalik from Running the Parks// Connect with him online via TwitterInstagramFacebook, YouTube, or on his website.


A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

“It follows an overweight author who attempts to through hike the AT. It is both humorous and informative at the same time. I have not seen the movie version.”

Submitted by Grant and Bonnie from Our Wander-Filled Life // Connect with their via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or on their blog.




Hiking Trails of Nova Scotia by Michael Haynes

“Mike penned the original bible of Nova Scotia trails, and has published several new editions since. I met my first copy of this book many years ago, borrowed from a friend and picked up my own copy not long after. I remember in my early hiking days looking at “Difficult” trails with hope and envy. That book inspired me to become a serious hiker, and share in his love for Nova Scotia outdoors. Connecting with him now on Twitter is like following my idol.”

Submitted by Hiker Bee // Connect with her via TwitterInstagramYouTube, or on her blog.


Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Frazier Nash

“A classic analysis of America’s changing attitudes towards wilderness and public lands conservation, first published in 1967. If you want to understand the history of how we came to protect and treasure national parks and other public lands, there’s really no better book to start with.”

Submitted by R. Scott Jones from // Connect with him via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or on his blog.



The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko

“A good friend and outdoor literature enthusiast recommended The Emerald Mileby Kevin Fedarko. In my book journal, I wrote, “Flat out one of the most fascinating, most lyrically written books I’ve ever read.” At one level, it’s what the title promises: “the epic story of the fastest ride in history through the heart of the Grand Canyon.” At another level, it’s about how people and place interact, each influencing the other. The writing is awe-inspiring; it makes you want to throw down your pen, because you’ll never, ever write this well.”

Submitted by Lauren Danner from // Connect with her via TwitterInstagramFacebook, or on her blog.


Road Atlas by Rand McNally

“I just love maps. I will just look this Atlas and see all the places I have been and want to go.  I’ve taught both of my children how to read a map which is weird to even have to do. I like the process cartography and finished product. I have maps and globes in my house it is just something that fascinates me. I also like topographical maps but that is another story.”

Submitted by Richard Horton II of Big Guy Hiking // Connect with his via Twitter, Facebook, or on his blog.



Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

“I like Into the Wild. While I definitely think that Chris McCandless was troubled, unprepared, and generally just not conducive to living alone in Alaska, the book is wonderfully written and the spirit of adventure is within.”

Submitted by Jason Cleghorn of AZ Day Hiker // Connect with his via Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, or on his blog.




Special Park People Spotlight: Crown Jewel Wilderness by Lauren Danner

Instead of including one of my favorite books this edition of Park People, I decided to use that space to feature a new book by one of our own Park People participants, Lauren Danner. Her book Crown Jewel Wilderness: Creating North Cascades National Park is being released later this month ahead of the 2018 50th anniversary of the park. I’ve enjoyed Lauren’s writing on her blog and and am really looking forward to her debut book. The book is available for pre-order, so I encourage you to order your copy today. 




Want to participate in a future “Park People” post?

Please visit my Park People Participants page to learn more about participating and what do to after you’ve been featured! Hope to see your submission soon!

By Sara Beth

Sara Beth is a wanderlust soul who is focused on simplistic and mindful living. She is passionate about National Parks, road trips, and board games. Her early years were spent in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. After graduating from university, she moved to Las Vegas, fell in love, and adopted a dog. Today, she lives with her husband and their dog in the suburbs of Washington, DC.

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  1. Terra @

    A Walk in the Woods, Into the Wild and the Emerald Mile are all so good. They’re some of my favorite books.

    • Sara Beth

      Hey Terra! Of those three, I’ve only read the A Walk in the Woods. However, the others are on my to-read list? Would love to have you participate in a future Park People. ;)


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