Edward B. Garvey, 84, a retired National Science Foundation chief financial officer and a strong advocate of the Appalachian mountain trails that stretch from Georgia to Maine, died of congestive heart failure Sept. 20 at Arlington Hospital.

Mr. Garvey, a former auditor of the Soil Conservation Service, spent 14 years with the National Science Foundation before retiring in 1969.

Beyond his government work, Mr. Garvey dedicated his time to the 2,000-mile Appalachian trail, writing about his hiking experiences and working with interest groups for its preservation.

He authored the 1971 book, "Appalachian Hiker: Adventure of a Lifetime," which was based on his six-month hike of the trail, beginning at Springer Mountain in Georgia. The book, now in its third edition, offered practical advice for hikers on equipment and locating mail drops. It also was an adventure story and helped reignite interests in the trail as a tourist attraction.

Mr. Garvey, a native of Farmington, Minn., lived in Falls Church and had been a Washington area resident since the mid-1940s.

His first trip to the Appalachian trails came in the early 1950s, when he ventured for a summer hike with a Boy Scout troop to Skyline Drive at Shenandoah National Park. He became involved in various organizations, serving as president of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and as a member of the Appalachian Trail Conference board of managers. He also was a member of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association.

In 1996, he received the American Land Hero Award from the Wilderness Society and the Izaak Walton League for what they said was his "tireless effort to protect the Appalachian Trail."

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Mary Quick Garvey of Falls Church; five children, Daniel M. Garvey of Vienna, Dennis P. Garvey and Kevin Q. Garvey, both of Los Angeles, and Kathleen Garvey Menendez and Sharon Helena Garvey, both of Falls Church; a brother; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.