• A Walk for Sunshine

  • A 2,160-Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail
  • By: Jeff Alt
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (358 ratings)

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A Walk for Sunshine  By  cover art

A Walk for Sunshine

By: Jeff Alt
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
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Publisher's Summary

Jeff Alt takes you along every step of his 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail adventure. This entertaining journey includes bears, bugs, blisters, captivating characters, skunk bedmates, and hilarious food cravings. Alt walked more than five million steps in tribute to his brother, who has cerebral palsy and lives in a home called Sunshine. This trail adventure has inspired an annual event that has raised more than $200,000 for Sunshine. It includes hiking tips for the whole family. Walk alongside Alt and experience the joy of turning dreams into goals and then achieving them. His lessons from the trail celebrate family, stewardship of the earth, good health, and the American spirit.

©2012 Jeff Alt (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Engaging.” ( Newsday)
"Lively…Humorous...Upbeat...It will make you feel good. Alt’s zest for life shines through on every page. Alt’s words amply convey the camaraderie among fellow hikers, the beauty of the eastern mountains, and the physical hardships that must be endured on a walk of over 5 million steps…” ( Outdoor Times )

What listeners say about A Walk for Sunshine

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Enjoyable Adventure!

I love reading about the challenges of through hiking on long trails like the AT & PCT. The wilderness, animals, weather and characters you meet along the way always pull me in. This story had it all. It was as if I was hiking right along with Jeff. He gave great detail of the Appalachian Trail and his experiences along the way.

You could tell this book was written by a first time writer and there were some misspellings but I didn't care. Jeff is a good guy trying to do something great for someone he loves. I felt his story was interesting and heartfelt. It's worth the read /listen.

If your looking for a super great book on hiking I recommend "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson (read it 3 times) or "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, a fantastic book!

Ps.... if my reviews help you could you please click on helpful? I am starting to wonder if my time and efforts are worth it. Thank you

79 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thanks For The Great Trip Jeff

I love stories about epic journeys on foot, and the A.T is one of the most epic.
Really enjoyed Jeff's good natured, upbeat, steady-paced telling of his journey, could totally visualise being on the trail and it was engaging from beginning to end. Loved hearing about the landscape and terrain, the psychological ups and downs, the hiking strategies, the fellow through hikers, the shelters and the towns along the way, all very entertaining. For a non-professional writer, Jeff writes very well.

I'd already read Bill Bryson's Walk In The Woods, and if you want lots of reseach, history and hilariousness I highly recommend that - but it was great to hear this story knowing that Jeff had made it all the way to the end. In fact there was barely a moment when he doubted he would, which I imagine is pretty rare on the A.T.

As for tears and laughter - quite a few gentle laughs and just a few tears at the incredible acheivement of completion. If you like hearing about heroically long hikes over mountains and through forests, you should DEFINITELY get this.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JW
  • 08-26-14

Loved this book!

What made the experience of listening to A Walk for Sunshine the most enjoyable?

I have also listened to Bill Bryson's Walk in the Woods, which was enjoyable and, of course, funny. But, I enjoyed A Walk for Sunshine even more. It was upbeat adventure filled with something new in every chapter.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved hearing the stories about the other hikers and animal encounters. It was also very informative about how many hikers manage to walk the entire Appalachian Trail. It was also encouraging to hear about his support team, which seemed to make all the difference. And, great to know this was all done for a charity. Heartwarming!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book while doing my own daily walking, so I listened for about 1 hour per day. But, there were many days when I would get back home and continue to listen. I was glad that Jeff made it the entire way, but sorry to have the book end. Great listen through Audible!

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Pleasant way to pass some time

Would you listen to A Walk for Sunshine again? Why?

Yes. I enjoy hiking myself, live near the AT and enjoy the subject.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The personal struggle with the trail itself.
Some of the minute details of the fundraising.

What aspect of Kirby Heyborne’s performance would you have changed?

I would have changed the pronunciation to correct the trail name: it's Appalachian, which is pronounced as throwing an apple-atch-ah. I know the name varies in it's pronunciation by where and who regarding the mountain chain etc, but the trail itself is uniformly pronounced "apple-atch-ah". You can verify this with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy if you wish. Anyone listening would most likely know this, and as the name occurs repeatedly in the story it becomes one of those nails on the chalkboard kind of distractions.
That matter aside, the balance of the narration was fine.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, while compelling I had no problem stopping and joining back later. It has the advantage on no real "plot" line to remain aware of. This makes it an easier book to take in sections.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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Inspirational Story

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, good if you want to hike the AT

What did you like best about this story?

Author's positive attitude

What didn’t you like about Kirby Heyborne’s performance?

He sounds like a robot and has an annoying accent. Very dry and robotic.

Was A Walk for Sunshine worth the listening time?

Yes, up until the end.

Any additional comments?

The author should have ended the book a couple paragraphs after reaching Maine. He goes on and on with repetitive inspirational drivel. This ruins the effect of a good ending.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Wasn't for me

I appreciated the authors journey and purpose but overall I really struggled to finish listening. The narrator was very hard to listen to for me and that's probably mostly subjective, the enunciation of Appalachian throughout the book was really cringey to me and it seems petty but it's probably among the most used words in the book. The usefulness of this book has also aged being near 20 years now, though that's not really to fault anyone. I would recommend all of the other AT books I've read and listened to ahead of this, primarily AWOL and Where's The Next Shelter.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great experience to listen to

I really appreciate the authors experience and incorporating a through hike with a non for profit agency. I also liked the advise for hiking with children at the end of the book. If you're looking for a good take on hiking the AT this is definitely worth the listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book.

For me it was a little slow to start, but once I got into it, I truest enjoyed the story. I'm hoping to thru-hike the A.T. at some point and this helped me get more inspired to do so.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A refreshing breath of fresh air

Well written, and uplifting this story takes the listener along the AT for the highs and lows and really helps to inspire you to want to get outdoors. There aren’t a ton of laugh out loud moments (like Bill Bryce’s “A Walk in the Woods”), but there are enough real movements to connect you to the author trail and other hikers you meet along the way. In addition I like that this is a story about doing the trail for a reason other the self-development. I personally find those types of stories (such as “Wild”) hard to connect with because the author is either doing something stupid or is a bit self-centered.

Mr. Heyborne does a very good job. It's a bit more reading than performance due to the type of book, but he really adds to the enjoyment of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Charming Story

The Outdoor Times review is an apt one. I enjoyed this as I am a big fan of hiking, car camping, had experienced a bit of the AT and was curious about what it would be like to walk large sections of the AT. But this is not a book I ever would have spent an entire credit on. The 2 for one sale allowed me to enjoy this book. Thanks Audible.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 10-22-17

Inspiring ...

I was engaged by this book from the very first chapter and was really enjoying it until I got to chapter 18 - at which point his belief in God came into the equation - I am a passionate atheist and it turned my stomach to the point that I stopped listening there and then and was about to get a refund for the book - so I could get another one - and decided to give it another chance: that was a good decision as he doesn't mention anything about 'God' again until the last chapter.
The narrator was brilliant, the narration was brilliant.
The account of his trail adventure was most excellent and I genuinely was engaged from start to finish.
He gets preachy in the last chapter (in a non-religious way) on how to live life - which I found annoying - but I am feeling charitable and will forgive him that! ;-)
It gives a really good account of life on the trail, people he met, and the towns, mountains etc he experienced along the way.
I live in the UK and I have read about five books to date on thru-hiking on the AT and PCT and he does a very good job of bringing places and experiences that are thousands of miles away from me and my front door straight to me.
A must read for those who have an interest in long distance hiking, or are seeking inspiration for adventure.

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  • Heikki
  • 03-13-16

Good overall

Skimmed some bits the at would have been more interesting in depth. But worth a read.

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  • Fiona
  • 05-26-18

My favourite AT book

It stays on track, doesn't wander from the trail, an excellent overview, thoroughly enjoyed the journey.