Do you enjoy a good story about the outdoors?

Mark Madison, USFWS historian, gets the lowdown on five very different books about exploring the outdoors and America’s conservation history. 2022 is a big year for upcoming projects, with new videos due out soon and a new hardcover book coming out this fall. Please stay tuned. You can learn where to order existing books here […]

New Book About Geraldine Largay’s Tragedy on the Appalachian Trail

As an AT hiker and a Mainer who is particularly familiar with the area where Geraldine Largay got lost on the AT, I am pleased to see a book coming out entitled When you Find My Body, that delves into the subject at greater length. For those unfamiliar with the story, Gerry Largay became lost […]

Studio interview with USFWS

Photo of USFWS Interview with Jeffrey Ryan, author of Appalachian Odyssey and Blazing Ahead

USFWS Historian Dr. Mark Madison graciously invited me to their TV studio on the campus of the National Conservation Training Center to discuss my books, Appalachian Odyssey and Blazing Ahead (recently named a finalist for the 2018 Maine Literary Awards). I really enjoyed this chance to chat about the books. As a side benefit, I was able to delve into the […]

The Appalachian Trail was a Start-up

Photo of Benton MacKaye's original map of the Appalachian Trail. Used by permission. Source: The American Institute of Architects Archives, Washington, D.C.

The Dreamer The year was 1921. A 42-year-old forester and land use planner named Benton MacKaye came up with a remarkable, progressive idea — to build a super trail that would travel across a dozen states, from Mount Mitchell in Tennessee to Mount Washington in New Hampshire. He pitched the idea to a friend, who […]

Kudos for Appalachian Odyssey

A view from Skyline Drive

“I like wandering through the woods and doing some light hiking, but I have absolutely no desire to camp out anywhere that doesn’t involve a cabin, a bed, and a hot shower. So it may surprise people that I thoroughly enjoyed a memoir about hiking the Appalachian Trail. But I did!” — The Book Fetish […]

My Newest Book, “Blazing Ahead” is Coming this Fall!

A view from Skyline Drive

Excited to announce that my new book “Blazing Ahead – Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry the Built the Appalachian Trail” is now available for pre-order, with an expected release date of September 1, 2017. The two men were, of course, instrumental to building the longest continuous footpath in the world. MacKaye was the […]

Recent reviews

“You have to give Jeff Ryan credit for his determination, stamina, and love of the outdoors. … He loved every hike, and that love and enjoyment comes through in his book, Appalachian Odyssey, published by Down East Books.” — George Smith, Bangor Daily News “Wonderful read; engaging story.  Live the trail; read this book.” — Rich K. […]

The Book Tour of a Lifetime told (mostly) through numbers

Photo of 1985 Westfalia

Let’s just say it’s been amazing from beginning to end (and it isn’t over yet!). Months on the road 5 Miles 40,000 States visited 34 National Parks and Monuments visited 27 State Parks and Campgrounds visited 46 Nights spent at Camp WalMart, Rest Areas or Truck Stops 21 Total appearances 56 Appearances at L.L. Bean stores […]

Everett Potter’s Travel Report weighs in on Appalachian Odyssey

It was an honor to be interviewed by Everett Potter for his esteemed travel blog. Everett has a well deserved worldwide following due to his travel writing for the New York Times, USA Today and Forbes Travel among dozens more. His website is among the most visited by travelers. He also asks great interview questions!