Johnny Molloy is a self-employed outdoor writer based in Johnson City, Tennessee. A Christian — member of First Presbyterian Church, native Tennessean and free-market capitalist, he was born in Memphis and moved to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee. He is married to the former Keri Anne Sherwood of Johnson City, Tennessee. Johnny is a Gideon.
It was in Knoxville where he developed his love of the natural world that has since become the primary focus of his life.
It all started on a backpacking foray into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That first trip, though a disaster, unleashed an innate love of the outdoors that has led to his spending over 150 nights in the wild per year, over the past 25 years, backpacking and canoe camping throughout our country and abroad. Specifically, he has spent over 800 nights in the Smokies alone, where he cultivated his woodsmanship and expertise on those lofty mountains.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Economics, he continued to spend an ever increasing time in the natural places, becoming more skilled in a variety of environments. Friends enjoyed his adventure stories, one even suggested he write a book. Soon he was parlaying his love of the outdoors into an occupation.
Johnny loves the
The results of his efforts are over 60 books:
The Top Trails books are guidebooks, each containing 50 recommended hikes that takes the reader on a detailed journey to infrequently visited sites, from highland meadows and open vistas to pristine mountain streams and pioneer farms in the two most popular national parks in the East.
Trial By Trail is a narrative, a collection of 14 real life backpacking adventure stories that weave Smoky Mountain truth and lore along with practical backpacking tips and glimpses of his growth as a woodsman.
The Best in Tent Camping books parlay his vast camping experiences throughout the Southern Appalachians, Colorado, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida into concise guides of the 50 best tent campgrounds in each area offering the finest scenery and recreational opportunities the South, Appalachians and Rockies have to offer.
Beach and Coastal Camping in Florida details the 24 best oceanside camping for tent, pop up and RV campers. This includes the sandy white beaches of the panhandle to the islands of the Keys. Beach & Coastal Camping in the Southeast follows the format of the popular beach camping Florida book, except it expands the scope to include beach camping destinations from Maryland down the Atlantic, then around the Gulf all the way to the Mexican border. 50 Hikes in South Carolina.
A Paddler’s Guide to Everglades National Park was his initial foray into water oriented guidebooks. This informative guide includes detailed descriptions of all the commonly paddled routes and campsites in the Everglades and helpful information for paddlers who explore the backcountry. It includes over 50 photos. He is soon to be working on the second edition of this book.
Hiking Trails of Florida’s National Forests, Parks, and Preserves details all the hiking trails of the Sunshine State’s vastly underused federal lands such as Everglades National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore and the Ocala National Forest. Molloy also gives talks to various groups about the outdoor life.
The Mount Rogers National Recreation Area Handbook is a comprehensive guide covering every marked and maintained trail in this jewel of the Southern Appalachians. It also details campgrounds, swimming holes, fishing streams, picnic areas and gives vital information that every visitor to Mount Rogers needs.
He wrote Long Trails of the Southeast. This offering covers long trails, as an alternative to the Appalachian Trail, of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. It will give long distance and day hikers pertinent trail information they need to enjoy these lesser used pathways of the South.
60 Hikes in 60 Miles: Nashville informs readers about all the best hiking and walking destinations in the greater Nashville area, from city parks to state parks and more. It highlights everything from paved greenways to rugged foot trails of the Highland Rim. He also helped San Antonio native Tom Taylor with the book 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Antonio & Austin. Johnny discovered hiking in Texas can be quite a treat!
The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area Handbook, a comprehensive guide, is similar to the Mount Rogers book and tells about everything you can do in the scenic swath of Tennessee and Kentucky.
Molloy’s 2nd adventure book is entitled From the Swamp to the Keys: A Paddle through Florida History. Johnny started at the Okefenokee Swamp, headwaters of the Suwannee River and paddled the Suwannee to the Gulf. From there he paddled a sea kayak from the Gulf past Tampa Bay to the Everglades. And from the Everglades, he paddled to the Keys and the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, Molloy explored the history of Florida, and how the state has changed over time. During this voyage unforeseen adventures occurred.
Johnny also updated Bob Sehlinger’s classic A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Kentucky. In this book he updated the rivers included, then added several more that have reveal more paddling opportunities in the Bluegrass State. He then returned to the Sunshine State and paddled more, enhancing, rewriting and updating of another classic paddling guidebook, A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Florida. Johnny paddled all over Florida and added many new streams to the old book, as well as updating river access, maps and more.
Johnny teamed up with Countrymen Press and wrote 50 Hikes in the North Georgia Mountains, and 50 Hikes in South Carolina and 50 Hikes in the Ozarks. Both places are underutilized hiking destinations. He has also written 50 Hike in Alabama and 50 Hikes on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau for the outfit.
Johnny has written 8 books in the Best Easy Day Hikes series for Falcon. These guides present 20 shorter hikes centered on a specific area. Johnny has written these for Richmond, Virginia, Greensboro, Springfield, Illinois, Tampa, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, New River Gorge in West Virginia, and Cincinnati.
Another release is A Falcon Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park. It covers not only the caves of this American icon, with the largest known cave system in the world, but also above ground pursuits, such as hiking, paddling and camping. Johnny covers everything a visitor would need to know to make the most of their trip to Mammoth Cave, the pride of Kentucky.
The latest adventure story book, his 3rd, is Hiking the Florida Trail: 1,100 Miles, 78 Days, Two pairs of Boots and One Heck of An Adventure. It is the first narrative book detailing a thru hike of the Florida Trail.
Other endeavors are Hiking Mississippi, for Falcon Press.
The Backcountry Fishing book is his first how-to guide, which he enjoyed writing. It offers practical tips on angling in the back of beyond and is written in a fun style with lots of real life experiences thrown in to help the reader enhance their angling adventures.
Paddling Georgia is a paddling release. It details 38 paddling destinations throughout the Peach State, from mountain streams, to the Piedmont and on to the Atlantic Ocean. He has also written Paddling Tennessee, covering his home state.
Johnny has written a hiking guide to his hometown region, Johnson City, Tennessee.
He has also jumped into history writing, with his book Hiking Through History: Virginia. Here, Johnny details 40 hikes with an historic bent to them.
Johnny also continually works on revising and updating his guides. Many are in their 5th edition.
Molloy has also written numerous articles for magazines, and for Web sites, such as Away.com. He also is a columnist and feature writer for his hometown newspaper, the Johnson City Press.
He continues to write to this day and travel extensively to all four corners of the United States endeavoring in a variety of outdoor pursuits.