Favorite Resources

These are the books I go to when I'm looking for information or ideas for future day trips.

Hiking

Day & Overnight Hikes: West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest
Johnny Molloy (Menasha Ridge Press, 2006)
I have been relying on this guide since I discovered Canaan Valley, WV, for myself in 2009. The guide is broken down into three parts: great out-and-back hikes, great day loops, and great overnight loops. Each of these sections is further broken out into the three major regions of the Monongahela: Dolly Sods/Otter Creek Area, Spruce Knob-Laurel Fork Area, and Cranberry Area. It provides ratings for scenery, trail condition, difficulty, solitude, how good for children, distance and estimated hiking time, and lists outstanding features. Bottom line: if you want a good guide to some casual hiking, this is an excellent guide to check out. Plus, it's small enough to carry along in your backpack. Only once so far have I found it inaccurate -- or maybe I misread the directions to that three-digit forest service road. In any case, the trail head, just once, wasn't where it was described and we almost got our vehicle (a grand old minivan) stuck on a three-digit forest service road. In retrospect, we should have known better -- and the hiked up pick-up truck driver dude who passed us must have been laughing as we negotiated that 23-point turn around. :) 


Doggin' Maryland: The 100 Best Places to Hike with Your Dog in the Free State
Doug Gelbert (Cruden Bay Books, 2006) 
This book is a little dated, since many of the state parks in Maryland now allow dogs, at least during certain parts of the year (usually between Labor Day and the following Memorial Day). The book provides tips for hiking with your dog, how to outfit your dog for a long hike, and provides a description of the best places to go, including Downs Memorial Park, Sugarloaf Mountain Park, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, all of which the blog has already covered. Still, it's provided some good ideas, which I hope to follow up on this summer. NOTE: It was updated last year, so be sure to read the 2013 edition!

Hiking, Cycling & Canoeing in Maryland
Bryan MacKay (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) 
This family-oriented guide is divided into three parts, each concentrating on hiking and walking, biking, or canoeing (and kayaking). It provides detailed information about the length of and what to expect along the walks or rides, the difficulty, whether appropriate for children or families, and how to get there. I've found this book invaluable for providing ideas and tips for future day trips.

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles Baltimore
Evan Balkan (Menasha Ridge Press, 2009)
Well recommended by several readers, so I decided to include it on this page. I haven't had a chance to dive into this book yet. More information will follow soon!

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles Washington DC
Paul Elliott (Menasha Ridge Press, 2007)
Well recommended by several readers, so I decided to include it on this page. I haven't had a chance to dive into this book yet. More information will follow soon!


Biking

Hiking, Cycling & Canoeing in Maryland
Bryan MacKay (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) 
This family-oriented guide is divided into three parts, each concentrating on hiking and walking, biking, or canoeing (and kayaking). It provides detailed information about the length of and what to expect along the walks or rides, the difficulty, whether appropriate for children or families, and how to get there. I've found this book invaluable for providing ideas and tips for future day trips.

Rail-Trails Mid-Atlantic The Official Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Guidebook 
(Wilderness Press, 2007)
This guide covers rail trails in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC, providing a short description, mileage, end points, directions to access the trails, and a "roughness index" which so far seems fairly accurate. There also are Rail-Trails Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York (2011) and Rail-Trails Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee (2006).


Day Trip and Overnight Trip Planning

Backroads & Byways of Maryland: Drives, Day Trips, and Weekend Excursions
by Leslie Atkins (LA Communications, LLC, 2011)
This guide will plan out your entire day or weekend for you, commenting on scenic drives, recommend restaurants, and direct you to points of interest. It also covers bed and breakfast and other inns. It goes too in depth and superficial at the same time. For example, it cautions readers about shaky railing on the third floor in the Chesapeake Maritime Museum, but otherwise barely mentions St. Michaels.

An Explorer's Guide [to] Maryland
by Leonard M. Adkins (Countryman Press, 2013)
This guide provides brief histories of places, and an encyclopedic listing of shopping, eats, things to do, where to go, how to get there, and any other pertinent details you might need to know if you go somewhere in Maryland.


Journey Through Hallowed Ground: The Official Guide to Where America Happened
by David Edwin Lillard (Capital Books, 2006)
Lillard's guide takes you on an exploration of the countryside and important sites between Gettysburg, PA and Monticello, VA, along the "Old Carolina Road," which is modern-day US 15/Rt 231. Along the way, it discusses Civil War sites; homes of U.S. Presidents, including Jefferson's Monticello,  Madison's Montpelier, Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland, and others; colonial sites; War of 1812. It also explores Native American history of Susquehannock and Iroquois tribes and notes important African American historical sites, including significant sites along the Underground Railroad.


Other Outdoor

Discovering the C&O Canal and Adjacent Potomac River
by Mark D Sabatke (Schreiber Publishing, 2007)
This book describes the activities, amenities, trails, and other useful information all along the C&O Canal. In addition to general information, it provides practically a mile-by-mile "tour" of the canal, so you can know exactly what to expect where, how to find parking and accesses, and whether you'll find food or bathrooms in the vicinity.

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