Ronald Gibson Strickland, Ph.D.

 
 

Ron “Pathfinder” Strickland is one of only two living founders of national scenic trails.  Beginning in 1970, he began to create a pathway from the Continental Divide at Glacier National Park, Montana to the Pacific Ocean at Cape Alava, Washington.  In 1983 he and his fellow explorer Ted Hitzroth thru-hiked the proposed trail’s 1200 miles east to west to publish its innovative guidebook.  In 2009, that route was established by Congress as the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.  Ron Strickland has also developed new concepts such as the 7700-mile, transcontinental Sea-To-Sea Route.  Oregon State University Press published his memoir, Pathfinder.

BOOKS

Ron Strickland's nine books are about hiking or oral history.  The former include guidebooks, a memoir, and a literary anthology.  The five oral history books showcased the culture and twentieth century history of America's regions.

THE NORTH COUNTRY TRAIL: THE BEST WALKS, HIKES, AND BACKPACKING TRIPS ON AMERICA’S LONGEST NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL.  (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2013.

PATHFINDER: BLAZING A NEW WILDERNESS TRAIL IN MODERN AMERICA.  (Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2011.)

THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TRAIL GUIDE.  2nd Ed.  (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 20001.)

SHANK'S MARE: A COMPENDIUM OF REMARKABLE WALKS.  (New York: Paragon House, 1988.)

RIVER PIGS AND CAYUSES: ORAL HISTORIES FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.  (San Francisco: Lexikos, 1984; Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2001.

WHISTLEPUNKS & GEODUCKS: ORAL HISTORIES FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.  (New York: Paragon House, 1990; Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2001.)

VERMONTERS: ORAL HISTORIES FROM DOWN COUNTRY TO THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM.   (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1986; Hanover, NH: University Press Of New England, 1998.)

TEXANS: ORAL HISTORIES FROM THE LONE STAR STATE.  (New York: Paragon House, 1991.)

ALASKANS: ORAL HISTORIES FROM THE LAST FRONTIER.  (Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1992.)

AWARDS

March, 2014: Subaru Drive Magazine recognized Ron's lifelong commitment to hiking and trails.

June 2010: Ron and Scenic Trails Research received the prestigious L.L.Bean Outdoor Heroes Award.

October 9-11, 2009:  ALDHA, the Gathering, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA.  The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association extended "special recognition to Ron Strickland for all of his efforts in creating the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail."

November 17, 2008:  The 19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, Arkansas awarded Ron Strickland its Lifetime Service Award.

October, 2002: at the American Land Trust Alliance Rally in Austin, Texas, the Conservation Fund awarded him the $50,000 American Land Conservation Award.

August 2001: he received the $10,000 Chevron Conservation Award for his work to create and preserve the Pacific Northwest Trail.

2001: Ron founded the non-profit organization Scenic Trails Research, which he still heads. The mission of Scenic Trails Research is to help to develop new national scenic trails such as the 1200-mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (PNT) and the 7700-mile Sea-To-Sea Route.

PERSONAL

February 15, 2007: Ron proposed marriage to Christine Hartmann at Walden Pond, lying on the snowy ice. Christine has a Ph.D. in social research and is a Research Health Scientist at the Veterans Health Administration and an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at Boston University. She is also an author: www.chartmannbooks.com.

March 19, 2007:  Christine Hartmann tied the knot with Ron even though she'd been winter hiking with him on the Appalachian Trail and knew what she was getting into.

October 2-24, 2008: Christine Hartmann and Ron Strickland enjoyed a belated wedding reception in Iwate Prefecture, Japan, where Christine lived for almost 10 years.  Afterward they hiked in the Japanese Alps to learn about Japanese trails and mountain huts for Ron's forthcoming book, Pathfinder.

August, 2010: Tine and Ron hiked the PNT in the Pasayten Wilderness and the PCT near Bend, Oregon.

January 26, 2011: Tine and Ron attended the Glaucoma Research Foundation Gala in San Francisco.

April, 2011: Tine’s memoir (So Far Away: A Daughter’s Memoir of Life, Loss, and Love is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at your local bookseller. For more information see: www.chartmannbooks.com.

Summer, 2011: Ron spent the summer hiking "best-loved" parts of the North Country National Scenic Trail (see two photos to right) preparatory to writing its 2013 guidebook (photo to right of Ron crossing a stile at Lake Ashtabula in North Dakota).

Summer, 2012: A new film [http://RonStricklandFilm.at7c.com] reviews Ron's hiking-related interests.

January 31, 2013: Tine and Ron attended the Glaucoma Research Foundation Gala in San Francisco. Inspired by her own experience with glaucoma, Tine is writing a book to explain the disease from patients’ perspectives. For more information see: www.chartmannbooks.com.

July 10, 2013: Interview with Ron Strickland about hiking, writing, trails, and the future.

August, 2013: Ron and Tine hiked extensively in Oregon and Washington states.

September, 2013: Ron hiked the northern 50 miles of Vermont’s Long Trail.

Winter, 2013-2014: Ron worked on his tenth book from a lanai overlooking Ma`alaea Bay.

February 6, 2014: Ron Strickland and Christine Hartmann attended the Gala and lectures of the Glaucoma Research Foundation in San Francisco.Inspired by her own experience with glaucoma, Tine is writing a book to explain the disease from patients’ perspectives (Vanderbilt University Press). For more information see: www.chartmannbooks.com.

 

Photos

  1. 1.Ron and Ted Hitzroth completing the PNT in 1983

  2. 2.Christine and Ron in the Olympic Mountains (Washington)

  3. 3.Ron thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (finished in 2004)

  4. 4.Ron accepting the L.L.Bean Outdoor Heroes Award (2010)

  5. 5.Ron and Christine biking in Boston

ABOUT RON

Biography

Education Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Ph.D., 1976

Residence  Massachusetts

Occupations  author, trail developer, conservationist, director of Scenic Trails Research