Artists on the Trail

David K. Leff - will serve as the New England Trail's first poet in residence beginning October 15, 2016. Leff was selected for his extensive experience as a hiker, natural resource conservationist, and nature poet.  Leff will be leading poetry-based hikes and conducting nature poetry writing workshops. He will also use his residency to probe the idea of “trailness” -- the notion that connectivity is critical to human affairs and is also represented physically by a continuous footpath -- through a  series of Haibun, a marriage of prose and haiku. Check out David Leff's Trail Poetry blog

Artist profile video: Stories in Wind, Stone and Water: Poetry along the New England Trail


Xiomáro - Xio (see-oh) is a nationally recognized artist, curator, writer, and speaker, and the newest addition to the NET Artists on the Trail! He has completed several commissions for the National Park Service, including African Burial Ground NM, Big Cypress NR, and Weir Farm NHS. He will be photographing the NET in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. "I'm excited by the challenge of working on my first national scenic trail," said Xio, "and eager to learn about the New England Trail's landscapes, natural and cultural history, the communities it touches, and the amazing volunteers who care for this treasure of a trail." Keep an eye out for Xio and his camera on the NET, and email [email protected] for more information on the ongoing project.


Richardson-Zlogar Cabin in Northfield MA © 2015

Artist profile videoUnseen Beauty: Photography by Xiomáro along the New England Trail

Bibi Calderaro - "A Sensory Walk on the New England Trail"  In October 2015, artist Bibi Calderaro led a series of sensorial walks on the New England National Scenic Trail that explored the human connection with place through an in-depth walking experience. Bibi uses a unique approach to bring awareness to one’s surroundings and draw attention to the multiple ways one may connect with the land. Although aimed at enhancing the relationship between individuals and living landscapes, Bibi’s approach allows for a wide range of possibilities and insights from being truly present...more


"Walking, in and of itself, is a grounding experience…it is to understand, relate…it is to be fully alive." –Bibi Calderaro, Artist

Carolina Aragon - "Parks to People", is a community art project developed by Carolina Aragon, in collaboration with Smith College Students and an after-school program in Holyoke. The project goal is to create artwork that inspires the public to visit the New England Trail. On May 1st at the Holyoke Public Library, "Parks to People" celebrated the unveiling of new bus sign and exhibition opening. Carolina Aragon has created environmentally-focused art installations all over the country.


Barbara Bosworth – During the months of September, October, and November 2013, the National Park Service, in cooperation with the Appalachian Mountain Club and Connecticut Forest & Park Association, presented TO BE AT THE FATHER EDGE: Photographs along the New England Trail/Barbara Bosworth, an exhibition of panoramic photographs taken along the trail over course of a year. The photographs were displayed at nine different sites – each with its own relationship to the trail – to form a unique exhibition that viewers can experience at their own pace and following their own path. The exhibition included a series of events ranging from hiking with the artist to lectures and discussions, all of which were enthusiastically attended. For more, check out the artist profile video.

Mass Walking Tour – In the summer of 2013 the Massachusetts Walking Tour thru-hiked the New England Trail in Massachusetts. With gear and instruments on their backs, they explored and celebrated the diverse landscape of the NET. Along the way, they performed free concerts at libraries, fields, farms and trail shelters, in support of bringing together NET trail communities through the arts. Take a listen to some of our favorite songs from the concerts on our youtube page.

Christopher Frost – NET hikers discovered something glowing on the trail in summer of 2012. The Hespera Stones, a temporary sculptural installation inscribed with poetry from Emily Dickinson's “The Mountains Stood In Haze,” quietly greeted visitors as they explored the trail along the Mt. Holyoke Range in Skinner State Park in Hadley, MA. Artist – Christopher Frost – describes the look of the softly glowing stones as a combination of green technology and sculpture – the stones were cast with embedded LEDs and powered by solar panels hidden within the trees. The installation allowed for open-ended interpretation of the trail experience and the history of the surrounding communities through art. To learn more about this project, watch this interview with the artist.

Youth Ambassador Program (YAP) – The National Park Service's Youth Ambassador Program (YAP) encourages young people to connect with the outdoors. The hip-hop group partnered with the NET in the fall of 2012 to compose a creative music video about their experience on the trail. Part of their 2015 "Centennial!" video for the National Park Service was also filmed on the NET. Click to view these hip-hop interpretations of the NET.