Joan H. Young has been writing stories about the outdoors since the age of 7, when "The Adventures of Skippy the Field Mouse" made its debut. The work survives, but is best left in the box with crayon drawings of squirrels and pressed leaves.

"The Family Christmas," a seasonal poem made it as far as the local newspaper when she was 12, proving that the serious child was already harboring an evil sense of humor.

As an adult, Joan has made a career of proving that she can bumble through life without ever deciding what to be when she grows up. She began with a degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis on theater. Realizing that drama, for her, was like whiskey to an alcoholic, she left a possible career in stage management for a driven man and 10,000 teenagers. (What was she thinking?) A few years later the couple had legally adopted one of the teens, and two younger children, but were still feeding most of the stray 10,000 teenagers as well. No time there for writing anything except grocery lists, and a journal of the wild ride!

In 1986, still longing for a career in sciences, she went back to school, taking higher math and chemistry in hopes of being accepted into the University of Michigan graduate program. From 1992-1995 she lived in Ann Arbor, and did recieve a Masters in Environmental Engineering, cleverly getting U of M to pay for it too! Meanwhile, the writing bug still squirmed, and Joan worked hard at collecting rejection slips from a nice series of reputable magazines and publishers. Also during this time slot she began hiking the North Country Trail (NCT), the longest foot path in the United States.

Now armed with an "advanced degree" she returned home and attempted to establish a reputation as a wetland specialist. Well, she was one, but she wasn't very good at marketing herself, and when offered a job as a web site manager, that became the next career. Essays about her hikes on the NCT demanded to be written, and friends urged her to publish

In 2005, North Country Cache made its debut for the 25th Anniversary of the North Country Trail. Since then, more and more of her time has been spent writing. If only more and more money came from that endeavor, it could be called a career!

Anastasia Raven Mysteries

News from Dead Mule Swamp
The Hollow Tree at Dead Mule Swamp
Paddy Plays in Dead Mule Swamp
Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp
Dead Mule Swamp Druggist
Dead Mule Swamp Mistletoe

Dubois Files Children's Mysteries

The Secret Cellar
The Hitchhiker
The ABZ Affair
The Bigg Boss

Outdoor writing

North Country Cache

Midland to Mackinac Hiking Trail Guide

Monthly column in the Ludington Daily News, "Get Off The Couch"

Article in the Summer-Fall 2011 issue of Your National Forests, called "Sample and Savor the North Country."

Regular contributor to North Star, the magazine of the North Country Trail Association.
Articles appeared in the following issues:
"Heart & Sole"- a feature showcasing volunteers ran sporadically from January 1998 to January 2007
"Luna Moth"- July 2018
"The Passing of Some Serious Trail Magic"- April 2018
"Enduring Service Award"- August 2017
"Foxglove Poisoning- Take This One Seriously"- August 2017
"Leave Poison Hemlock Alone"- April 2017
"Poison Plant... What Does that Mean?"- January 2017
"Pokeweed - Edible or Poisonous?"- April 2016
"2600 Miles Per Shirt"- April 2016
"Just Go"
"Inspiring North Country Trail Hikers Since 1978"
"Those Irrepressible GIRLS"- October 2011
"I Did it For the Patch"- December 2010
"Southern Ohio- Technically There Are No Hills"- December 2009
"There's No Outsmarting the Damp"- October 2001
"Baby Steps on the Giant Trail (2)"- July 2001
"Baby Steps on the Giant Trail (1)"- April 2001
"North Country Cache- The Early Steps"- January 2001
"North Country Cache- Introduction"- October 2000
"W2K"- January 2000
"Breaking Ice Along the Road"- January 1999
"A Thing About Trails"- April 1998
"The Best of Winter Hiking... And the Rest"- January 1998

Collections of Get Off the Couch columns:

Get Off the Couch with Joan

Fall Off the Couch Laughing

Writing about Faith

Devotions for Hikers 2007

Would You Dare? 1986

articles in the anthology Parents and Children

article in the anthology The Christian Life

major contributor to the Life Application Bible notes


"Now, Then, When,"
in the anthology Elements of Life, published 2013

Short Stories

"Toby and Harry," is available in the anthology Thirteen Stories by Us (proceeds go to a charitable cause)

"The Case of the Cautious Couple," is available in the anthology Short and Fun Stories Volume 1

Works accepted for Publication

"Invisible," and "The Case of the Cautious Couple" - short stories,
will be included in an anthology, named Elements of Love, to be published (date not set).

"Thirty-eight"- a short story, and "Digital Lament" - a poem,
will be included in an anthology, named Elements of Pain, to be published (date not set).

"The Third Person"- a short story,
will be included in an anthology, named Elements of Passion, to be published (date not set).

"Thank You"- a short story,
will be included in an anthology, named Elements of Grace, to be published (date not set).

"On Time for the Wedding," and "Ebeneezer," are two additional short stories which will be available soon for digital download at Twin Trinity Media

Works in Progress

Moose In Boots- a children's book

North Country Quest- the rest of the NCT hike

Veggie Lovers Backpacking Cookbook

Off the Couch and Into the Wild

Blogs by Joan H. Young - visit, enjoy!
My Quality Day - a personal list of elements that help me remember that any day will have some redeeming quality, usually something outside
Shark Bytes and Tales Joan H. Young's author blog
Off the Sanctuary Wall - Exploring Christian faith with intelligence and integrity (and a quirk or two)
North Country Trail News - News items for anyone with an interest in the North Country National Scenic Trail
Get Off The Couch News - News concerning quiet, outdoor recreation in West Michigan
Just Throw Money - trying to make more than 25 cents a day by blogging
Shark's Short Story Reviews - reviews of classic and new short stories
You Love to Hate Accordion - An accordion player pokes fun at the the instrument, while hopefully encouraging a tiny bit of appreciation.

Program info

Poster for "High Hopes Wearing Sweaty Socks" (a pdf file)
Poster for book signing (a pdf file)
Poster to promote book sales (a pdf file)
news release photo
news release photo