For the past few 30 years, Cindy Ross has found peace, happiness, and a sublime sense of contentment while walking and cycling the endless trails that are sewn into the fabric of the North American continent. She has crossed the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail as a single woman penning and illustrating her first book, A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail, which has been in print for over 25 years and has become a hiking classic. Then she tackled the 2600-mile Pacific Crest Trail through the Sierra and Cascade Mountains with her husband, Todd Gladfelter and wrote and illustrated, Journey on the Crest. (The Mountaineers Books)

Her 6th and latest book, Scraping Heaven- A Family’s Journey Along the Continental Divide (McGraw-Hill) is the rousing adventure of a family’s incredible five-summer, 3100-mile trek over the rooftop of North America. They used llamas as kid carriers and packers to carry supplies and diapers across the Rocky Mountains. The entire journey took 5 summers, hiking 500 miles a shot. The last stretch through New Mexico is all desert, so they traded their llamas in for tandem mountain bikes and pulled trailers full of 100 pounds of gear for the last 650 miles down to the Mexican border.

Cindy had her formal education in Fine Arts Painting, attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. She illustrated four of her books. She lives along the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania with her husband, Todd and their 18-year old son, Bryce and 20-year old daughter, Sierra, in a log home they built themselves from raw trees. They grow much of their own food on their rural property.

As a family, besides the Continental Divide Trail, they have traveled to Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe hiking, cycling and paddling and have traveled extensively throughout the US.

Besides Cindy’s 6 published books, she has written over 500 magazine articles for such national magazines as Outside, Backpacker, Paddler, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Outdoor Life, Canoe & Kayak, Adventure Cyclist, Sailing, Wooden Boat, Scouting, Native Peoples, etc. Travel stories in newspapers include The LA Times, The San Francisco Examiner, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, etc.

Cindy has appeared on Philadelphia’s NBC “The 10 Show;” Philadelphia’s ABC “Sunday Live”; NYC’s CBS News “Up to the Minute;” NYC’s Channel 11Warner Bros., “The Morning News,” and Denver’s CBS. Her family and llamas were featured on a half-hour show on Animal Planet, called “Pet Story.”

Her latest endeavor is working on a new book, tentatively titled, Bright Stars– Raising Children Who Love Learning Using the Whole (Natural) World. Cindy’s current passion is to spread the word on how important the natural world plays in educating our children, and how to get them outdoors. This book will ride on the heels of the No Child Left Inside Coalition, and the “No Child Left Inside Act of 2009,” and the tremendous movement spurred by Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods- Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder. Cindy hopes to share her expertise gleaned from 20 years of mothering as an outdoor adventurer, through presentations and workshops. She can also relay the nuts and bolts information on how to help starting parents get their families outdoors but also reach higher goals of outdoor adventuring.


85 Red Mountain Lane

New Ringgold, PA 17960

(570) 943-2198