Crossroads of the Natural World

Exploring North Carolina with Tom Earnhardt

By Tom Earnhardt

Foreword by William G. Ross Jr.

328 pp., 8 x 9.25, 128 color plates, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6934-2
    Published: February 2022
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-0700-9
    Published: April 2013
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4013-4
    Published: April 2013

Buy this Book

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit
In this richly illustrated love letter to the wild places and natural wonders of North Carolina, Tom Earnhardt, writer and host of UNC-TV's Exploring North Carolina and lifelong conservationist, seamlessly ties deep geological time and forgotten species from our distant past to the unparalleled biodiversity of today. With varied topography and a climate that is simultaneously subtropical, temperate, and subarctic, he shows that North Carolina is a meeting place for living things more commonly found far to the north and south. Highlighting the ways in which the state is a unique ecological crossroads, Earnhardt's research, insightful writing, and stunning photography will both teach and inspire.

Crossroads of the Natural World invites readers to engage a variety of topics, including the impacts of invasive species, the importance of forested buffers along our rivers, the role of naturalists, and the challenges facing the state in a time of climate change and sea-level rise. By sharing his own journey of more than sixty years, Earnhardt entices North Carolinians of every age to explore the natural diversity of our state.

About the Author

Tom Earnhardt, a lawyer by profession, is a committed conservationist and environmentalist. He is also the writer, coproducer, and host of the popular television program Exploring North Carolina, which airs on UNC-TV.
For more information about Tom Earnhardt, visit the Author Page.


"Crossroads of the Natural World belongs in the home of every North Carolinian who cares about our state. It's beautiful enough to be a coffee-table book, but it's also a book that deserves to be read and reread for both pleasure and edification."--Our State

“A valuable look at different perspectives on the state’s natural resources and how we should take care of them.”--Southern Pines Pilot

"[A] beautiful new book."--DG Martin, Durham Herald-Sun

“Earnhardt is a cheerleader for natural biodiversity in North Carolina’s environment.”--Durham Herald Sun

"This book is fun, powerful, and important. It is both a loving tribute to North Carolina and a challenge to preserve our natural heritage."--Chuck Roe, Southeast Director, Land Trust Alliance

"Tom Earnhardt is the perfect companion for this richly textured exploration of North Carolina's natural world. Brilliant, eminently clear, and wise, he takes readers on a journey back to when elephants roamed the state and provides an intimate look at today's diverse flora and fauna--and the challenges they face. I loved the trip!"--Nick Lyons, author of Spring Creek