Horace Kephart: The Naturalist Who Fought To Save The Smokies

May 10, 2019
Originally published on May 10, 2019 3:03 pm

Naturalist Horace Kephart is a Southern Appalachian icon. He authored beloved books about hiking and exploring, and one of his most famous is even lovingly referred to as the “camper’s Bible.” But Kephart is perhaps best known for his crusade to preserve the Great Smoky Mountains.

He spent years advocating to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park because of his own experience in the region. He wrote: “I owe my life to these mountains, and I want them preserved so that others may profit from them.”

A new biography compiles decades of research into the many facets of Horace Kephart, from his own mountainous exploration to his career as a librarian, and even his public fall from grace.

Host Frank Stasio talks to authors George Ellison and Janet McCue about “Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography” (Great Smoky Mountains Association/2019). Ellison is a naturalist and writer who lives in Bryson City, North Carolina, and McCue is a writer, researcher and the former director of the Mann Library at Cornell University.

Ellison will be at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville on Saturday, May 11 at 3 p.m.

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