Welcome

Welcome to 2017—From Randy!

Grandfather Mountain high overhead from Foscoe, North Carolina.

Grandfather Mountain high overhead from Foscoe, North Carolina.

I have BIG news for 2017. My book Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway comes out this spring in a brand-new full-color 3rd edition, including all the new TRACK Trails along the Parkway created by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. And my Best Easy Day Hikes Blue Ridge Parkway also debuts a 3rd edition.

2016 was memorable—it saw my highly anticipated Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon emerge to great reviews and being named a finalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Best-seller Robert Morgan says, “Randy Johnson has captured the majesty of this national treasure in a work of art commensurate with the grandeur of the mountain itself.” Former “Our State” editor Vicky Jarrett said the book reads “like a James Michener novel.”

This is a lavishly illustrated homage to what I argue is the Appalachians’ most iconic summit.

Also in 2016, my bestselling guide Hiking North Carolina came out in its own 3rd edition with all color maps and photos and won the 2016 First Prize for book photography from the Society of American Travel Writers eastern chapter. The third edition SATW1stPlace2016has expanded content, more trails and more state parks for the 2016 centennial year of the park system. It’s a completely fresh look at a great trails state!

Looking ahead to 2018, my Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park will also come out in a new 3rd edition, one of few books bundled with a National Geographic/Trails Illustrated map. And in 2018, expect that revision of Southern Snow: The Winter Guide to Dixie I’ve been promising (it’s been called a “cult classic”).

Check out this promo for my 2016 appearances on D.G. Martin’s UNC-TV program North Carolina Bookwatch or stream the program right here.

I don’t just hike trails, I build them too. I launched the program that kept Grandfather Mountain’s trails open in the 1970s, and helped create the trail network in place today on the mountain and Blue Ridge Parkway. As task force leader for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail across Grandfather–I invite you to join us (www.ncmst.org/).

My passion for sharing the outdoors is why my books’ trail descriptions explore an entire area, recommend a range of hikes, and include history, ecology, climate, and culture. I’m a map fanatic–you’ll love my books’ plentiful, accurate maps.

Please explore this website to read published articles, view trail videos, or join me at a presentation. My upcoming events are also listed under “Meet Randy.”

I hope you’ll consider my books–they share the passion of the Lowell Thomas Award-winning articles I have written for national magazines and newspapers. Here’s wishing you the kind of hiking experiences that inspire me to write them!

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