Saturday, October 7, 2023

The Dayhiker's Guide to the National Parks

The Dayhiker's Guide to the National Parks by Michael Joseph Oswald
10/3/23; 354 pages
Stone Road Press

The Dayhiker's Guide to the National Parks: 280 Trails, All 63 Parks by Michael Joseph Oswald is a very highly recommended guide that will help a wide variety of hikers find the right trail for them among the more than 10,000 miles of trails in the U.S. National Parks. This guide is packed full of maps and information covering all 63 parks, with 198 trail maps and 280 of the best trails and has rounded corners for easy packing and reduced wear and tear.

The guide opens with a table of contents, organized by areas of the country: East, North, South, Southeast, West, Alaska, and Remote Islands. This is followed by an introduction, trail map legend, a list of Best Dayhiking Parks, Best Trails (with best 25 trails highlighted in blue). Each state  has a list of the favorite trails on the first page. The pages all have a color coded bar in the top corner (with a different color for the different areas of the country. States are named on the top left page and park name (and occasionally states) on the right. 

Trail information includes the name of the trail, the rating (easy, moderate, strenuous, extreme) length, elevation, and type of trail. This is followed by some general information on the park, trail, and things you might need to know and consider. For some parks there can be more information on various topics. Most commonly this is about more trails in the area, but other topics include, in part: safety,  shuttles, parking, time management, crowds, fees, weather, wild life,mule etiquette, more attractions and activities, and preparation.

Honestly, there is so much information here! While trying to hold back family members from borrowing the guide so they could plan their vacations, I looked over some trails I had hiked previously at some time in my life. The general information presented was spot-on and there were even additional trails noted that I knew nothing about. This one is an absolute winner for everyone who enjoys hiking trails.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Stone Road Press via LibraryThing Early Reviews.

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