Four-Season Guide to 50 of the Best Trails in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware,
Susan Charkes, AMC Books, 2010
Review by Kathy Kelly-Borowski
Looking for new hikes, hikes that you can reach by public transportation, hikes you can take with your children or dog? If you would like learn more about berries, birds, meadows, the PA Highlands, spiders, trees, wildflowers, or frogs? This is the book for you.
Susan has grouped the trails listed in the book into three regions: central and southern New Jersey (10 hikes); the Lehigh Valley (14 hikes); and southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware (26 hikes).
She lists hikes, many well known trails and AMC-DV favorites: Appalachian Trail, Fairmount Park, French Creek State Park, Nockamixon State Park, Peace Valley Nature Center, Perkiomen Trail, Ridley Creek State Park, Valley Forge National Park, and Wissahickon Valley Park.
Other not so familiar trails are listed like Clarence Schock Memorial Park, Money Rocks Park, and Neversink Mountain Preserve.
The book offers an “At-a-Glance” chart listing the hike, the page where the hike is described, its location, difficulty, distance and elevation gain, estimated time, fee, whether the hike is good for children, dogs are allowed, good for cross country skiing or snowshoeing, if you can get to it by public transportation, and lists trip highlights.
Each individual trip lists location, difficulty, distance, elevation gain, estimated time, maps, brief description of the walk, detailed directions including GPS coordinates, trail description, small map showing the route. After each trail description is a paragraph listing helpful additional information: park office hours, fees, location of restrooms, address, phone numbers and websites.
Dispersed throughout the book are 17 short nature essays covering topics such as bird migration, deer ecology and Wissahickon schist. These essays will certainly open your eyes to your surroundings on your next hike. ob, one of the many hikes in the book.