Outdoor writer and historian Jeff Ryan's first memory is that of sitting under a backyard maple tree at the age of two and being fascinated by the movement of the summer leaves above.
Born and raised in Maine, Jeff was skiing at the age of three and spending at least some summer nights in a canvas pup tent at the edge of the woods by the age of twelve. In his early teens, he spent two weeks every summer exploring the inlets and islands of the Maine coast with his parents in their 24 foot powerboat.
As an adult, Jeff adopted hiking as his favored mode of exploration. In 1983, he went on his first long distance hike, a 6 1/2 month adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Upon his return to Maine from the PCT, Jeff kept right on hiking. He and a hiking partner climbed Maine’s highest 50 mountains in one year. He then began “section hiking” the Appalachian Trail in 1985 (a journey that would take 28 years to complete and culminated in his first book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail - published by Down East Books in 2016).
Fascinated by the dynamic between the dreamer and the doer that created the Appalachian Trail, Jeff wrote his second book, Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
Jeff is a frequent speaker and accomplished photographer. He enjoys inspiring others to get outdoors to enjoy all that nature has to offer to our emotional and physical health.