Senior Hiker MagazineSubscribe
Senior Hiker publishes good writing, compelling science, beautiful photography, and artwork inspired by the wilderness experience. Regular columns include practical guidelines on hiking (Mountain Sense), descriptions of hikes in international locales (Exotic Hikes), hiking group profiles (Hard Corps) and accounts of hiking misadventure (Hell Hikes). An underlying theme informs the content and imagery of each issue, such as wilderness environments, wildlife, and food before, during and after an adventure. The journal is published three times a year by Deer Isle Press, LLC.
Old as dirt. When one steps off the ferry from the mainland of Scotland arriving in the Orkney Islands, that description becomes palpable. I've long been intrigued by what lies beneath the Scottish landscape, whether it's the mythic fairy haven in Dunkeld or the achingly sad battlefield of Culloden. But what has been uncovered and continues to be explored in the Orkneys is rewriting our human history.
Walking down the Baxter Creek Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Becky Smucker stops to quiet down the group.
"Listen," she says, "That's a black-throated green warbler." Twelve gabbing, stomping hikers break on a dime. The woods are silent except for the warbler's zee-zee-zoo. If I'd been hiking by myself, I would never have heard this bird—let alone identify it.
Find More Articles
Seeing the World at Bike Speed
A Distant Paradise: Running the Noatak River
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Our contributors are writers, artists, teachers and scientists who bring a love of wilderness and wide-ranging life experience to the magazine. They include:
Shari Aber taught English in public schools in NYC and Newburgh, NY. Since retiring, she has led paddles and hikes in the area. Shari loves both sports, also downhill skiing, writing, good food, her dog Alice and her family. She is the author of A Kayaker’s Guide to the Hudson River Valley.
(Photo: Joe Ferri)
Marty Basch is author of seven books including 50 Best Hikes in New England. An Explorers Club member, he’s climbed New Hampshire’s 48 four-thousand footers and peaks on the sub-4,000-foot list “52 with a View.” He’s hiked in Greece, Ireland, Chile and China. He is also editor of the Mount Washington Observatory’s magazine Windswept. Basch lives in the White Mountains with his hiking wife Jan.
Katherine Armbruster-Kittle is a mom, wife, daughter, substitute teacher and hiker who writes in her spare time for various journals and magazines. She recently hiked the Mastic Trail on Grand Cayman despite temps in the high 80s at 7 AM and mind-numbing humidity. The Cayman Island hike is #42 of her 52 hikes in 52 weeks, a book she is writing on hiking, mindfulness, and life. (Photo: Darren Kittle)
Siri Beckman is a printmaker and painter well known for her wood engravings of rural life on the Maine coast. As an artist-in-residence at several national parks, she created a series of prints on mountains. siribeckman.com
Mark Berry lives in Gouldsboro, Maine, with his family, and enjoys hiking, paddling, cycling, and skiing. He has a background in ecology, education, and conservation. He led the Schoodic Institute since 2014, and has just accepted a new position with The Nature Conservancy. (Photo: Schoodic Institute)
Danny Bernstein has been a serious hiker for over 40 years. Soon after completing the Appalachian Trail, she moved to the Southern Appalachians to concentrate on hiking. Now Danny hikes, leads hikes for Carolina Mountain Club and Friends of the Smokies, and writes about the outdoors. Her latest book is Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South. In her previous life, she was in computer science, first as a software developer, then as a professor of computer science. (Photo: Hannah Bernstein)
Bruce Bulger is an artist, illustrator and furniture maker, who enjoys traveling, exploring steep mountainous terrain, and drawing en plein air to tell an accurate pictorial story of being there.
(Photo: Holley Mead)
Fritz Burke is a writer, husband, father, and carpenter. His essays have been aired on National Public Radio and have appeared in various magazines and newspapers. Fritz is devoted to traveling to warm places to escape the Maine winters. He is currently working on an essay about Cuba.
(Photo: Debbey Schilder)
Charlie Cragin practiced law for many years in Maine, chaired the US Board of Veteran Appeals, and served in senior positions at the Department of Defense, a Washington, DC, law firm, and a defense company. Now retired, he divides his time between Raymond, Maine, and Santa Fe, where he hikes with the Santa Fe Chili and Marching Society every Wednesday.
(Photo: Alan Pearlman)
Dana Douglass was a UCC pastor for 30 years. He and his wife, Anne, also owned and operated Granite Island Guide Service offering wilderness canoe trips and sea kayak trips. They live off the grid on Deer Isle in Maine. Dana still enjoys canoeing, kayaking, biking, and has run 14 marathons. (Photo: Anne Douglass)
Jeff Dworsky is a professional photographer, lobsterfisherman and antique textile dealer who lives in Stonington, Maine, and on the island of Carriacou in the Grenadines. His photographs of people and places frequently appear in such publications as The Island Journal, Downeast Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler.
(Photo: George Lyons)
Roberta Forest is a nature photographer who started hiking after retiring from her work as a special needs teacher. She enjoys exploring the natural world on foot and documenting all that she sees.
(Photo: Sue Jordan)
Dan Flores is the author of ten books on western US history, including, most recently, American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains. A.B. Hammond Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana, he lives just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.
(Photo: Sarah Dant)
Jeremy Frey is a nationally recognized master basket weaver. His work, which is based on Passamaquoddy traditional methods and materials, is shown in museums, galleries, and collections around the country. He has been awarded best-in-show from both the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market in Phoenix. He lives in Eddington, Maine.
(Photo: Lisa Schoonmaker)
Freelance writer and photographer Chuck Graham lives in Southern California and appreciates the fact that he can drive to the Carrizo Plain National Monument without encountering a stoplight. His stories and photos have appeared in Backpacker, Outdoor Photographer, National Geographic for Kids, Islands, BBC Wildlife and Canoe & Kayak. chuckgrahamphoto.com; Instagram @chuckgrahamphoto.
(Photo: Lori Graham)
Melissa Greene is a nationally known ceramicist who works in white earthenware. Her pots and bowls can be seen at major national craft shows, in galleries and private collections, and on her website. She lives and works at Yellow Birch Farm, Deer Isle, Maine, with her husband, metalworker Eric Ziner, where they raise goats and grow vegetable gardens. melissagreene.com
(Photo: Jean Fogelberg)
Jean Hoekwater has been the naturalist for Baxter State Park since 1988. Earlier work with the Quebec Labrador foundation, the Appalachian Mountain Club and as a whitewater guide set her on a lifelong course of enthusiastic adventures in the US and Canada. She lives in Brownville Junction, Maine, with the 100-Mile Wilderness in her backyard.
(Photo: Rob Tice)
Since 1975, Lester Kenway has served in a volunteer capacity as an officer of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, which maintains the 267 miles of Appalachian Trail in Maine. During this time, He also served as the trail supervisor in Baxter State Park and was program coordinator for the Maine Conservation Corps. He resides in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, Elsa. matc.org (Photo: MATC)
Stuart Kestenbaum is the former director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Maine’s poet laureate. He has been a visiting writer at art programs including Penland Cranbook Academy of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and Penn State. His most recent book is Only Now. He’s currently designing a new arts program in Monson, Maine. monsonarts.org; stuartkestenbaum.com (Photo: Stuart Kestenbaum)
Judith Jerome is a theater artist and writer, and lover of the wild outdoors, transplanted from Texas and Oklahoma—stories from which she can’t stop telling—via Colorado and New York City, to Maine. She was one of the founding directors of Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House on Deer Isle, where she has lived for 18 years.
(Photo: Linda Nelson)
Peter Jones has been a caver and cave photographer for 50 years, primarily in the caves of New Mexico. He has photographed at and for Carlsbad Caverns National Park (CCNP), but his passion is to shoot in the wild, undeveloped caves of the Guadalupe Mountains. He has worked on filming projects for National Geographic, NOVA and Anyplace Wild TV, and his prints have been shown at CCNP, Carlsbad Museum, American Cave Museum, and the Smithsonian, as well as in numerous publications. He teaches cave photography workshops around the country and lives in Camden, Maine. [email protected]
Ted Levin has worked as a zoologist at the Bronx Zoo, a naturalist for the National Park Service, and a wildlife biologist for the Audubon Society. He is the author of Backtracking: The Way of the Naturalist; Liquid Land: A Journey Through the Everglades; and most recently, America’s Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake. He lives in eastern Vermont, where he climbs high talus slopes in search of snakes.
Rod Lorenz is a retired physician, lifelong hiker and backpacker, and occasional writer in prose and verse. When not hiking he is committed to community service and neighborhood activities. With his wife and son he built an Alaskan cabin that now facilitates visits to grandchildren in the Copper River Basin. He looks forward to his third trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota this summer.
(Photo: Mary O’Boyle)
Joan MacCracken is a mother, grandmother, retired pediatrician, and author. She loves exploring new environments, when not writing. Her activities include tennis, cross-country skiing, canoeing, and just communing with Nature. Returning home on the same path has never appealed to her; she prefers loops. (Photo: Bob Holmberg)
Lalita Malik retired from IBM to pursue her passion for the environment and travel. Since then, she has led Adirondack Mountain Club Adventure Travel trips to national parks in the US, Europe, India and Patagonia, chaired local New York environment councils, and published articles on energy independence and safe hiking. She currently leads hikes for her local chapter and is focused on generating passion for the outdoors in the next generation to build environment stewards of tomorrow.
(Photo: Rakesh Malik)
Rakesh Malik is a professional photographer who works with large-format film, digital imagery, and video to document the grandeur of exotic landscapes. He enjoys photographing people, wildflowers and people in wild and natural places worldwide. whitecranephotography.com
(Photo: Lalita Malik)
Stephen Martelli started hiking as an eight-year-old in the Sand Hills of New Jersey. He hiked and camped as a Boy Scout and, later, while raising a family, took his children on nature walks. A long-distance hiker, he has hiked the John Muir Trail, the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains of Utah, the Desolation Wilderness in Nevada, the Maine mountains, and the Appalachian Trail—twice. He now lives in Auburn, Maine. (Photo: Stan Goldman)
Duncan Martin is a painter who a year ago completed a project called “58 in 58,” painting all 58 National Parks within 58 months. Late in February 2016, he flew to Glacier National Park and, standing on the shore of Lake Macdonald as the skies cleared, painted his 59th park. A book and traveling exhibition are planned. He teaches studio art and chairs the Art and Art History Department at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. (Photo: Victor Helfand)
Nat Mead is a farmer and educator at Sogn Jord- og Hagebruksskule, Norway’s national college for organic farming and gardening in Aurland, where he and his wife, Audhild Bjune, have lived, worked and raised three daughters. He brings a love of the outdoors since childhood and experience as a rock climber, long-tour bicyclist, Nordic skier, and Outward Bound instructor to the management and teaching of organic farming and gardening. sjh.no
(Photo: Audhild Bjune)
Frank Melia, a lifelong Dubliner, recently retired from a career as administrator for the Dublin City Council. An avid hillwalker since youth, he hikes every weekend, as well as pursuing interests in reading, writing, music and volunteering.
(Photo: Dabney Melia)
A Maine native, Brook Merrow lives in Bozeman, Montana, where she writes and recreates. She has taught language arts/writing at the middle school, high school and college levels. Her work has appeared in Big Sky Journal and Montana Magazine. Brook is happiest when she is moving.
(Photo: Hy Adelman)
Larry Moffet is a lobsterfisherman, boatbuilder and artist who paints landscapes en plein air and works in metal, paper and wood. He is building a home on Deer Isle in Maine and shows his work at the Turtle Gallery. TheTurtleGallery.com
(Photo: Holley Mead)
Dorcas S. Miller
Dorcas S. Miller has written a dozen books, including More Backcountry Cooking. She loves to be outdoors—and to eat good food outdoors. Her favorite piece of camp cooking equipment is a food dehydrator; with it, she can prepare at-home recipes on trail. Dorcas was a founder and served as the first president of the Maine Master Naturalist Program, where she still teaches. A second edition of her classic pocket guide Track Finder has just been published.
(Photo: Ben Townsend)
Mary Oliver is a naturalist who has published fifteen books of poetry and five of prose, as well as essays and chapbooks. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize (1984) and National Book Award (1992), she is widely recognized for her powerful and intimate observations of the natural world. She lives on the southeastern coast of Florida. (Photo: Mariana Cook)
Rev. Peter Baldwin Panagore
Rev. Peter Panagore is the author of Heaven Is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me That Death Is Just the Beginning, and remains an adventurer in the outdoor wilderness and in the interior wilderness. His Maine broadcast TV show, Daily Devotions, was founded in 1926 as the First Radio Parish Church of America. He holds an M.Div. from Yale University. Dailydevotions.org; peterpanagore.com
(Photo: Donald Scott)
Mark Picard is an internationally known wildlife photographer who lives on the border of Maine’s North Woods. His photographs of moose, bear, birds and other wildlife have been printed in over thirty publications worldwide, used in commercial advertising and purchased for private collections. They are on display at Moose Prints Gallery in Millinocket, an enterprise he owns and operates with his partner Anita Mueller. markpicard.com
(Photo: Jim Boutin)
Rebekah Raye is an artist well known for her bird and animal paintings and sculpture. Inspired by her affinity with the natural world around her studio and home in East Blue Hill, Maine, she has written and illustrated several children’s books, including The Secret Pool, a Kirkus-starred picture book and winner of the 2014 John Burroughs Association Riverby Award and Maine Lupine Award. She enjoys teaching workshops in art for adults and children and makes frequent school visits. rebekahraye.com (Photo: Ken Woisard)
Jessica Rykken is an entomologist currently working for Denali National Park. She has conducted surveys of pollinators and other insects in various national parks over the last dozen years, and is also passionate about outreach and education. She loves exploring high elevations and latitudes on foot.
(Photo: K. Chen)
A. H. Saxon
A. H. Saxon is the author of P. T. Barnum: The Legend and the Man, as well as editor of Selected Letters of P. T. Barnum and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb. A fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, he has also written fiction and works dealing with natural history, including The Old Codger’s Guide to Hiking and Climbing in the White Mountains: A Vade Mecum for the Old but Young at Heart.
Carmin Sherlock is an English and foreign languages major at Scripps College in Southern California. Before college, she spent a year backpacking solo through Europe, New Zealand, and South America, during which she walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. Besides traveling, she enjoys backpacking in the American Southwest, writing for her college newspaper, and ballroom dancing. She grew up in Eugene, Oregon.
(Photo: Balázs Szövényi-Lux)
Gary Snyder is a poet, environmental activist, and educator. He has published eighteen books, which are translated into more than twenty languages. In 1975, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
(Photo: Leon Borensztein)
Barbara Southworth is an Alexandria, Virginia–based printmaking photographer of places, from the nearby Potomac River watershed to peopled, wooded and watered landscapes farther afield. She also teaches basic imaging courses, leads photographers on a variety of shooting forays, and offers small group series that support photographers creating new work and developing projects. barbarasouthworth.photoshelter.com
Sandy Stott writes analyses of search and rescue in the Accidents column for AMC’s journal Appalachia. The founding editor of the Thoreau Farm Trust’s blog, “The Roost,” he writes often about wild lands, their spirit and Thoreau for a variety of publications. His book Critical Hours—Search and Rescue in the White Mountains, released by University Press of New England, is available at bookstores and online.
(Photo: Lucille Stott)
Susan Webster is a visual artist who works with a variety of materials and processes. She has taught at Haystack, Penland, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, and Studio Artworks Center in Jerusalem, and developed a model art program in the prison system in Maine. Recently her work has been exhibited at Greenhut Galleries, Concord Art Association, and Southern Graphics Council. In addition to making art, she is a hotline volunteer for the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. susanwebster.net (Photo: Susan Webster)
Terry Tempest Williams
Terry Tempest Williams is an author, naturalist, and conservationist. She has also been called “a citizen writer,” who speaks on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. She has written nine books, including the most recent The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks. She is currently the writer in residence at Harvard Divinity School and otherwise divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (Photo: Cheryl Himmelstein)