• The History professors are extremely knowledgeable about their fields and do an excellent job of sharing this knowledge with students in an encouraging way.
    Sydney Nix / C-N Class of 2021

Alum pens new Appalachian Trail Guidebook

Alumni | June 07, 2022
Amber Niven '11 hiking in Grayson Highlands, Virginia with her daughter, Indie. Amber and her husband, Joshua, are co-authors of the upcoming book, "Discovering the Appalachian Trail: A Guide to The Trail’s Greatest Hikes."

It came as no surprise to some of Amber Adams Niven’s former classmates that she had authored a guidebook on the Appalachian Trail. The 2011 alumna could often be found enjoying the outdoors when not in the classroom. 
“I have been going on hikes since before I could walk but it wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I got the urge to backpack,” said Niven.  “Growing up, it never occurred to me that women could venture out in the backcountry, sleep under the stars, and enjoy it just as much as any outdoorsman.”

Now, she’s a published author on the subject. Discovering the Appalachian Trail: A Guide to The Trail’s Greatest Hikes debuted in the marketplace in June of 2022. The book covers the history, facilities, flora, fauna and best hikes you can find on the AT. 
Niven co-authored the book with her husband Joshua, who she met in 2015 during the Appalachian Trail Days festival in Damasus, Virginia. They were both selling art pieces inspired by their hikes. 
The Nivens decided to write the trail guide, which is a first of its kind, after Amber sold her candle company and wanted to pursue writing. Joshua is a photographer and captured all the images in the book. 
“This book was a huge undertaking, not only because of the extended length of the trail but the broad scope of what we wanted to cover. I hope we have done the AT justice, and the people of the Trail will be proud to add this book to their collection,” she said. 
Amber has hiked 1,400 miles of the Appalachian Trail. When she was twenty-six, she tackled the route from Maine to Virginia with her family. The mother of two and certified yoga instructor said one of her most profound memories is of a hard time during a hike on the AT. 
“We had started the trail at 4 a.m. and I broke down. I was hiking with four men and thought I couldn’t keep up,” she said. “I went to a nearby waterfall and as I was breaking down, the water kissed my face and I caught my breath. In that moment, I knew that I belonged on the trail.” 
During her time at C-N, the business department grad started a hiking club with the help of one of her professors. “I took a class with Dr. [Greg] Hoover called “The People and Places of the Great Smoky Mountains” and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves hiking.”

You can learn more about Discovering the Appalachian Trail at:  www.discoveringtheat.com