Leonard M. Adkins-The Habitual Hiker

"Amidst the greens and the blues of the forest is where I belong and am at the height of my contentment with life."


The Habitual Hiker is an engaging speaker whose presentations are not just a series of photographs from the places he has hiked. The live-narrated multimedia presentations are accompanied by folk, classical, and new age music that make the programs not only informative, but inspiring as well as entertaining. The list below details his most popular presentations; Leonard will also be happy to create a program tailored to a specific audience's needs.

Winding its way along the crest of the Appalachian Moun­tains for 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine, the trail passes through some of the most beautiful scenery and largest remaining natural areas in the eastern U.S. Leonard Adkins has now hiked the entire Appalachian Trail five times—an accomplishment achieved by only a handful of other travelers.

The multimedia program, accompanied by folk and classi­cal music, is a compilation of all of the journeys and depicts a typical "thru" hike.

"Leonard Adkins recently shared his personal AT experience and experiences with the Friends of Roan Mountain. Through beautiful music and photography he wove a colorful tapestry that affirmed that God has indeed smiled on the treasure of the Southern Appalachians. As I left his presentation I was immediately inspired to plan my next hike along the Blue Ridge. I called my hiking partner and alerted him to pack for a trip the following day. Leonard's presentation is the next best thing to actually being on the trail."
Pat Gagan, Roan Mountain State Park Superintendent.

"Best program of its type that I've ever seen."
Allen Ginsberg, national Book Award, Poetry

Selected from the archives of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the National Park Service, and local Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs, the approximately 200 vintage photographs in Along Virginia’s Appalachian Trail provide a look at life in the mountains before and during the trail’s creation, how it came into being, who its early champions were, the many relocations the trail has experienced, and the volunteers who have constructed and maintained it.

“You were great! I have received many positive comments about the good presentation we had. Your photo history gives a wonderful overview of not only the work that went into building the trail, but how, throughout the years, people have enjoyed the outdoors adventures the trail offers.”
Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club, Richmond, Va

The Caribbean is more than just lying on sunny beaches or dancing the night away to the pulse of a Calypso band in the lounge of a world-class casino. Those willing to explore by foot find a world of epiphyte-rich rain forests, black sand beaches, historic forts and ruins, open savannahs, volcanic craters, rushing mountain streams, desert landscapes, tropical flowers, hot springs, and well-built trails.

Leonard, who first traveled to the area while a crew member of a 46-foot yacht, has spent more than a decade returning to, exploring, and researching the islands and has now made these exciting tropical walks accessible to everyone. Unable to go? See his show!

“I have never been there, but now I have. The show brought the islands alive for me and my customers.”
Kathryn Rhoads, Charleston Town Center

The Continental Divide follows the Rocky Mountains for more than 2,700 miles in the United States. A part of the National Scenic Trails System, the Continental Divide Trail is still only in the planning stages. A complete traverse of it demands us­ing maps and compass during cross-country travel, fording glaciermelt-swollen streams, ascending 13,000-foot passes, crossing deserts in 100-degree heat and crashing through thigh-high snow drifts. Coordinator of the Across the Roof of America Expedition, Leonard walked the Continental Divide for six months from Canada to Mexico.

"Your outstanding (and beautiful) program took us on a journey that will be etched in our minds forever."
Steve Pyle, R. U. Outdoors, Radford University

Continuing his Continental Divide explorations, Leonard assembled a Canadian/​American team scouting a route for the proposed Great Divide Trail. The expedition chose a serpentine route to insure touching upon many of the regions highlights. Pussytoes and paintbrush greeted the hikers in Banff National Park. Leaving the crowded tourist trails, they entered pathless Suffleur and White Goat wilderness areas. Mid-July snow made footing treacherous along Jasper National Park's appropriately-named Skyline Trail. The journey ended on the glaciated flanks of Mt. Robson, the Canadian Rockies highest point.

"Has all the makings of a superb show—stunning scenery, rot­ten weather, and trail-hardened travelers."
Heidi Hope, Johnson State University

Featuring the stunning photography of Joe and Monica Cook, Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail: A 2,000 Mile Floral Parade follows the progression of the flowers from spring to fall, and from Georgia to Maine

“I heard many comments that this was our best pilgrimage program ever.”
Cindy Sandberg, President Blue Ridge Wildflower Society
“We’re still receiving notes and comments thanking us for this wonderfull one-of-a-kind nature program.”
Blue Ridge Naturalist Rally

Europe's second highest mountain range forms the border of France and Spain. As a member of an American/​Canadian/​ French expedition, Leonard walked the length of the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Negotiating the un­marked Haute Randonee Pyreneene, or the Pyrenees High Route, the trek traversed terrain more rugged than the U.S. Rockies, passing through fog-shrouded sheep lands of Basque Country, winding by bizarre karst formations and using hand laid stone pathways—built during the Roman Empire days—to cross steep passes into isolated hamlets that have changed little since the 12th and 13th centuries. Warm gentle breezes caress the wiry vineyards of Catalonia as the mountains drop to the sea.

The Pyrenees are an experience unequaled anywhere in North America.
"Best Saturday Night entertainment and speaker we've ever had."
West Virginia Writers' Conference

Leonard's Books

As the title says, the only guide you will need to explore America's most visited national park! Winner in the Society of American Travel Writers Eastern Chapter 2015 Writing and Photography Contest.
”We specialize in West Virginia books and books written by West Virginia authors and this is the most thorough guide for exploring the state that I have seen." Trans Allegheny Bookstore
Discover hidden secrets in addition to the well-known destinations
No longer do you have to lug dozens of guidebooks into the field with you. The Appalachian Trail: A Visitor's Companion is all you need. Winner of the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation's Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award.
Take you to the very best the Appalachian Trail has to offer
"Adkins' insightful assesments are right on the mark...the historical references and insider's tips made me want to pack my luggage immediately!" Connie Yingling Maryland Office of Tourism Development
"Leonard Adkins has written the essential guide for hiking in Maryland. From the waterfalls of western Maryland to the islands off the coast, Adkins covers the best of the Old Line State." Victoria and Frank Logue, authors of The Appalachian Trail Backpacker
“Good introduction to the classic hikes... everyone will benefit from the interesting natural details.”
--Outdoor Traveler
Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains:

“Adkins’ insights are as stunning and beautiful as the wildflowers themselves. Each detailed description reveals Adkins’ lifelong immersion in the Southern Appalachian landscape. It’s a precise, practical, and powerful guide for novices and experts alike.” Blue Ridge Outdoors

  Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail: Winner of National Outdoor Book Award; ForeWord’s Book of the Year; Virginia Literary Award Nomination