Issue #001

And here, too, one learns that the world, though made, is being made; that this is still the morning of creation…

John Muir

A Letter to New Members

Greetings to all,

A while ago, amid the summer chatter of robins and jays, a conversation began in the woods.  Those who conversed did not know that they were in the very act of creation, that they were forming an idea, and that the idea was much like a seedling.  The conversation was a vision of the future of the Montreat wilderness.  In a great sense, this newsletter is the act of planting that seed, and it is our hope that these ideas will germinate, and that the wilderness will enter into a new time of growth as new stewards step up to maintain her. 

There is a history that should be recognized, that this publication once circulated among an old guard of trail club members who once labored to place 2,500 acres of wilderness into a Conservation Easement, so that it might be preserved for future generations.  Then, over time, both newsletter and trail club slowly faded away.  Many of those original trail club members are still roaming the woods and are here among us, and their knowledge of the history of the Montreat Valley is essential to our movement forward.  And so this publication may serve to bridge the generations, and credit is due to them for the support and advice they have added to the conversation.

The conversation has been one of philosophies, and how these philosophies of conservation will guide us in providing access to the wilderness, for all to come and partake from its beauty, without interfering with what makes the wilderness wild.  In a great sense we are still in that conversation, and will be for as long as we are the caretakers of the forests and mountains, not forgetting that they in return care for us.  

We invite you into the conversation.  And we invite you to become a steward of the 4,000 acres and 26 miles of trails that the Montreat Wilderness offers.  It would be our understanding that by seeking out this reading, and that because of your interest here, that the Montreat Wilderness is to some degree sacred to you.  In whatever way, and to whatever level you chose to become involved is yours to decide, and any contribution is equally welcome. 

We look forward to moving into service and community with you.


Reid Kirkpatrick
Acting President

Jason Nanz
Wilderness Director, Montreat Conference Center

The Wanderer

In the future editions to come, this quarterly newsletter will serve as a marker to the progress being made in the Montreat Wilderness, to announce upcoming events, as well as to further the conversation of those committed to the betterment of our wild places.  We welcome any contributions of art, photography, poetry, writings, and editorials.  

Artists Needed: We are looking for a penciled / charcoal sketch of a wanderer.  

Photographers: We are welcoming photography submissions to add to the gallery of the Montreat Trail Club website, and to be published in the quarterly newsletter. 

Writers wanted:  Do you have a favorite quote, poem, or vignette for the summer publication. Do you have an original writing piece to contribute?  We are looking for an observation of summertime in the wilderness for the summer quarterly.  

Submissions can be sent to

Montreat Trail Club Mission Statement

To establish a community of service and Community built upon a common respect and interest in the Montreat Wilderness.  The Montreat Trail Club will seek to serve the wilderness through the maintaining of the system of trails, while preserving her environment, structures, scenic overlooks, and historic sites therein.   The Trail Club will provide a venue for wilderness education, and will seek to become a positive presence in the wilderness area while representing the Mountain Retreat Association and The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.