Close search

BW theatre grad inspires audiences, earns accolades with 'Trail Magic'

The creative team behind the Chagrin Film Fest’s “Best Local Documentary,” left to right, Peter Huston, director, BW grad Bette Lou Higgins, producer and Kelly Boyer Sagert, writer.

Chagrin Film Fest logoThe inspiring story of the intrepid 67-year-old, who became the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, has netted a documentary film prize for BW theatre graduate Bette Lou Higgins '74.

"Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story" was named the "Best Local Documentary" at the recent Chagrin Documentary Film Festival. Higgins, artistic director at Eden Valley Enterprises and producer on the film, had previously picked up an Emmy nomination for the documentary, which first premiered in 2015.

The 50-minute film chronicles the life of Emma "Grandma" Gatewood, who became the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955. Her story is even more remarkable because she didn't attempt the feat until she turned age 67, after her 11 children were grown, and she had left an abusive 30-year marriage.

Gatewood was reported to have worn out six pairs of shoes on her 146-day walk with a blanket and shower curtain to shield her from the elements. She made the journey a second time two years later.

Higgins' film includes interviews with Gatewood's daughter and great-granddaughter.

Find upcoming screenings of "Trail Magic" on Facebook.

Media Contact

More News

Sherwin-Williams launches BW career accelerator and learning community

BW students work Super Bowl LVIII for hands-on sport management experience

State approves new BW graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling