Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Eric Douglas, Zack Harold Published

Taking On The Trail And Celebrating 50 Years of Augusta Heritage, Inside Appalachia

A woman hiker stands in front of a black background.
Jennifer Pharr Davis shares the story of her first steps into the world of trail hiking.
Keith Wright

This week, we step on the Appalachian Trail with one of America’s most accomplished hikers, Jennifer Pharr Davis.

We also talk to the director of the Augusta Heritage Center. Each summer, dozens of students attend workshops to learn traditional skills. This year, the center is turning 50.

We’ll also visit the steel drum capital of America — which, believe it or not, is right here in Appalachia.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

Talking Trails With Hiking Phenom Jennifer Pharr Davis

Few people know the Appalachian Trail better than Jennifer Pharr Davis, a North Carolina native who’s through-hiked the trail three times and set speed records. Davis continues to blaze new pathways and has become a celebrity in the world of outdoor recreation.

Host Mason Adams spoke to her about some of her hikes — and how they shaped her identity as an Appalachian.

Augusta Heritage Center Celebrates 50 Years

The Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia has become a destination for the study and preservation of traditional arts, music and crafts. To celebrate its 50th year, the center wants to bring more West Virginia high school students to its summer workshops — for free.

Producer Bill Lynch spoke with Executive Director Seth Young about the center’s mission and plans for its summer workshops.

The Appalachian Capital Of The Steel Drum

A man wearing headphones bends over a steel drum.
Keith Moone works on a steel drum Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at the Manette Musical Instruments workshop in Osage, W.Va. Credit: Jesse Wright/100 Days in Appalachia

You’ve almost certainly heard the steel drum. It’s a quintessential Caribbean instrument, used in Calypso and Reggae and all kinds of pop music. But here’s a surprise: Some of the best steel drums in the world are made in…West Virginia. 

Folkways Reporter Zack Harold has the story.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Jesse Milnes, The Steel Drivers, Tyler Childers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops with Rhiannon Giddons, and Amythyst Kiah.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.