In The Way of the Woods, Linda Underhill explores some of our nation's most important forests, from the magnificent old-growth groves of Cook Forest in Western Pennsylvania to the endangered hemlock forests of the Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee, from the giant sequoias of the Sierra Mountains in California to the rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Along the way, she also walks in ordinary woodlands, state parks, private nature preserves, and the woods surrounding her family cabin in western New York. Part memoir, part travelogue, and part meditation, The Way of the Woods examines the ways in which forests and woodlands contribute to the life and health of the planet. Each of the forests Underhill visits has a story to tell, and each of the lyrical narratives she relates about her journeys reveals an insight about forest conservation, including the importance of preserving old growth and wildlife habitat, the significance of urban forests, the role of fire in the regeneration of forests, and the ways that forests and woodlands inspire us with a sense of the sacred.
Together, these stories provide the reader with many reasons to be concerned about the fate of our forests. Anyone intrigued by the beauty and mystery of the American landscape will find something to enjoy in The Way of the Woods.