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Traveling WV: Appalachian Walking Sticks

Paul Kelly grew up in the woods, and continues to spend a lot of time there searching for walking sticks. (WCHS/WVAH)

Paul Kelly grew up in Kanawha County running the woods with his brothers and sisters. While running isn't an option anymore, Paul still spends a lot of time in the woods searching for walking sticks. Kelly is after trees that have wild honeysuckle vines growing around them, which provide the raw material for some of the most unique walking sticks and canes you'll ever see. He's turned this search into a small business called Appalachian Walking Sticks that keeps him active in his retirement from the Charleston Newspapers.

Paul has worn out several pocket knives making over 500 walking sticks and canes, and personalizes each one to his customers' needs. All of his sticks and canes are created from trees found in West Virginia, including beech, crabapple, dogwood, maple, oak, pine, poplar, sassafras and sourwood. The grooves created by honeysuckle vines growing on the tree give each stick its own unique character. Some sticks are straighter than others. Colors will vary, depending on the tree.


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