Charleston native’s latest book focuses on national parks

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Charleston native’s book on the United States’ national parks is not a travel guide. Rather, Conor Knighton says, it is more of a book “you read once you’re there.”

“It will not tell you when the visitor center opens. It will not tell you what trails to hike,” he said on Tuesday’s “MetroNews Talkline.”

“It may put some parks on your radar that you’ve never heard of before. That was part of the impetus for writing the book and taking on the project originally.”

Knighton, a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning,” visited every national park in the country for “Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park,” which was released on paperback Tuesday. Knighton said writing the book allowed him to learn more about America’s national parks.

“They were all beautiful, but what I try to draw out in the book is how interesting they are,” he said. “It is much more of the story of the park, the people of the park. Hopefully, it inspires a sense of adventure and also just a love of the outdoors.”

Knighton also noted parks may be worth revisiting depending on the size and various stories offered; he traveled back to one California park for a “CBS Sunday Morning” piece on California condors and lead poisoning.

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