Ren and Helen Davis, authors of “Atlanta Walks” and “Georgia Walks”, have been inviting readers to explore the city, state and beyond since 1988. At that time, Ren was an administrator at Crawford Long Hospital and Helen was an elementary school teacher.
“While expecting our son Nelson in 1984, Helen was under doctor’s orders to avoid any high-impact activities,” Ren said. “So we went in search of a walking guide to Atlanta and couldn’t find one.”
A native Atlantan and American history major at Emory, Ren decided that they could be the ones to write that guide. It was an effort that took three years.
Their small pocket guide, later republished by Peachtree in 1992 as “Atlanta Walks”, is now in its fourth revised and expanded edition. In addition, they were commissioned by Globe Pequot to write two Falcon Guides: “Best Hikes Near Atlanta” and “Best Easy Day Hikes— Atlanta”, both released in 2009.
Through the years, their curiosity has led them to research and write several other books, including:
- “Our Mark On This Land: A Guide to the Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in America’s Parks”, McDonald and Woodward Publishing, 2011
- Award-winning “Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery: An Illustrated History and Guide”, University of Georgia Press, 2012
- “Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer of the National Park Service”, University of Georgia Press, 2015, winner of the American Library Association’s INDIEFAB Gold Medal as the most outstanding photography book published in 2015 by an independent or academic press
Since the book’s release, the Davises have traveled more than 30,000 miles to share George Grant’s story and photography with audiences across the country.