Dahlonega, Georgia
Southern Gateway to the Appalachian Trail


Authors will be signing their books from
9:00-5:00 in their booths
and speaking on the Hancock Park Main Stage

Mark Clegg

Walks of Discovery


Hancock Park Main Stage

I will talk about the holistic aspects of hiking - learning about the history, ecology, and biodiversity of areas surrounding our walks.

Mark Clegg book

Author of:
Mountain Miles: A Memoir of Section Hiking
the Southern Appalachian Trail

Ken Cisna
President, Benton MacKaye Trail Association

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How
of the Benton MacKaye Trail


Hancock Park Main Stage

Discuss the past, present and future of the Benton MacKaye Trail.

Appalachian Trail
2,000 Milers

2:00 pm

Hancock Park Main Stage

AT 2,000 Miler Panel

2,000 Milers are hikers who complete the entire 2,198.4 mile length of the Appalachian Trail, whether in linear fashion in one year (Thru Hiker), or the entire trail in one year but not end to end (Flip Floppers), or in sections over multiple years (Section Hikers). Come hear our panel of hikers who have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and some that have done other long distance trails. Bring your questions, as this session is audience question driven. Get several perspectives, as there is no one way to long distance hike. No experience necessary, bring all questions for our panel of experts to answer.

Jay Dement
Past GATC president, avid international hiker

4:00 pm

Hancock Park Main Stage

The Appalachian Trail in Georgia

The history of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. The trail has been maintained in the state since 1930 by the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, with over 200 maintainers and specialty crews of sawyers, rock builders, log construction experts, and carpenters. Come learn how the trail is cooperatively managed for maximum sustainability.

Mark Warren
Author, Naturalist, and Director of Medicine Bow

Seeing the Forest Through the Eye
of the Native Americans


The Forest’s Gifts of Food, Medicine and Craft
As Practiced By the Native Americans


Hancock Park Main Stage

Mark Warren
Seeing the Forest Through the Eye of the Native Americans (limit 15 participants, sign up at Mark's table before the walk): To understand that the forest supplied everything that the original Native American inhabitants needed is to grasp the essence of life in America before Columbus. In this program the familiar is elevated to the unique. We’ll explore the use of wild plants for foods and medicines. With a little imagination, participants can step back in time to pre-Columbian days. These resources still exist around us and continue to be useful.

The Forest's Gifts of Food, Medicine and Craft As Practiced By the Native Americans (lecture and slide presentation): Mark Warren, owner of the nationally renowned Medicine Bow Wilderness School in Dahlonega, GA, has been teaching about native plants, trees, and survival skills to adults and children for over half a century.

Mark believes today’s society can — and should — learn some valuable lessons and skills regarding the use of native plants for food, medicine, insect repellent, craft, shelter and fire. In addition to a slide presentation, Mark will bring along some plants and handmade crafts for viewing and discussion.

Quote from Mark, “Most folks today have reduced nature to a backdrop of scenery. The great deficit in this scenario is our lack of understanding that we still depend upon nature. Air to breathe, water to drink, energy to consume for our daily actions. These are commodities that are easy to take for granted, and, if they are, future generations will have no reason to respect and conserve the pieces of the puzzle we call ecology.”

Mark has packed 50 years of teaching and knowledge into a four-volume series of books titled Secrets of the Forest, which he wrote with three purposes in mind: 1.) To provide clear instructions in primitive survival skills for anyone wanting to better his/her self-sufficiency in the wilderness. 2.) To offer parents, teachers, scout leaders and outdoor educators a guide to engage their students in nature . . . at a time when our young ones so desperately need this connection, as does nature itself. 3.) To win over a new generation of environmental advocates who will look after this world.

Mark Warren Books
Mark Warren Books
Mark Warren Books
Mark Warren Books

Author of:
Secrets of the Forest series

Mark Warren is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Georgia. At Medicine Bow, his nationally renowned wilderness school in the mountains of Dahlonega, GA, he teaches nature classes and primitive survival skills.

In 1980, The National Wildlife Federation named him Georgia’s Conservation Educator of the Year. In 1998 Mark became the U.S. National Champion in whitewater canoeing, and in 1999 he won the World Championship Longbow title.

Mark has written extensively about nature for local and national magazines, and he has 15 traditionally published books. He has been honored by the Spur Awards, The Historical Novel Society, the Will Rogers Medallion Awards, the Peacemaker Awards, and most recently, Mark was a recipient of a 2022 Georgia Author of the Year Award for his book Song of the Horseman.

Back to the homepage

Contact us at: info@dahlonegatrailfest.org  
Updated on September 11, 2023