Get Back Outside!

Grandfather Mountain high overhead from Foscoe, North Carolina.

Grandfather Mountain high overhead from Foscoe, North Carolina.

It’s time to hit the trail again—and the new 4th edition of my bestselling guide Hiking North Carolina is ready to help.

It won the Bronze Award in spring 2021 for “best travel book or guide” from the North American Travel Journalists Association. It’s full color and full of insider tips on even popular hikes that leave the crowds behind. It’s a completely fresh look at a great trails state! Click the cover at right for a video spotlight on the book from D.G. Martin’s UNC-TV program North Carolina Bookwatch.

Or consider the full-color 3rd edition Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway, also honored by the North American Travel Journalists Association. It covers all the trails on, and along, the Parkway from Shenandoah National Park to the Smokies. Just want easy walks? The Best Easy Day Hikes version is your answer. Click the covers for more.

Heading to the Smokies? The second edition of Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of few guide books bundled with a National Geographic/Trails Illustrated’s map (of the Smokies of course).

Winter will be here soon, so check out Southern Snow, the all-new, updated 2nd edition of my original 1986 book called a “cult classic” by ski film pioneer Warren Miller. It’s a complete guide to the snowy weather, ski resorts, cross country trails, and rich ski history of the South! It earned an Honorable Mention this spring for the Skade Award from the International Ski History Association.

Speaking of award-winning, my 2016 book Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon won the bronze medal in travel  from the 2017 Forward INDIES Book of the Year Awards, and was a finalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.

Best-selling author 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.”

Check out this promo for my 2016 Grandfather book 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!