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Menasha Ridge Press :: Authors :: Matt Willen
Matt Willen

Matt Willen

Matt Willen is an outdoors writer, explorer, and photographer who divides his time between central Pennsylvania and the Canadian Maritimes. Matt has a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and degrees from schools in Colorado and Arizona. Before devoting his time to writing about the outdoors, he was a professor for 15 years at a small liberal arts college in central Pennsylvania, and he worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School and other outdoors programs for 15 years. An avid sea kayaker and wilderness trekker, Matt has traveled in the outdoors for 40 years. The locations of some of his recent adventures include Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego, Iceland, and Newfoundland. He lives in Hershey, PA.

Matt Willen
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60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Harrisburg, 2nd edition
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60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Harrisburg, 2nd edition
Matt Willen


Including Dauphin, Lancaster, and York Counties in Central Pennsylvania

Although known predominantly for its Pennsylvania Dutch culture, the Gettysburg battlefield, and the cities of Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York, south-central Pennsylvania is home to many tracts of public lands that offer a variety of hiking experiences. From the gentle farm country of Lancaster and York Counties, to the steep-sided ravines along the Susquehanna River, to the rugged ridges north of Harrisburg, and the rolling hills of South Mountain, you'll find hikes to suit just about any taste and interest. 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Harrisburg, by Matt Willen, provides the first comprehensive hiking guide to the region.

Each hike description features:
  • Key information on length, hiking time, difficulty, configuration, scenery, traffic, trail surface, and accessibility
  • Information on the history and natural history of the areas the hikes pass through
  • A detailed trail map and elevation profile
  • Clear directions to the trailhead and trailhead GPS data
  • Tips on nearby activities

Whether you are a local looking for new places to explore, or a visitor in the area for business or pleasure, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Harrisburg will provide plenty of options for outings lasting a full day to a couple of hours, all within about an hour's drive of Harrisburg and the surrounding communities.



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Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail: Mid-Atlantic
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Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail: Mid-Atlantic
Matt Willen


Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail: Mid-Atlantic by Matt Willen provides readers with detailed information on 43 of the best Appalachian Trail day hikes along the 450 miles stretch of trail that extends from Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia to the New York/Connecticut state line.

The guide includes a range of hikes, from those that are suitable for families with small children looking for a nice walk in the woods, to the seasoned hiker out for challenging weekend. Many of the hikes make use of adjacent side trails to create loop and balloon configuration trips as well as out-and-back excursions, and all of the trips can be completed with a single car. Each of the profiles includes pertinent information on the history or natural history of the hike and provides recommendations for other activities or sites of interest in the area.

Be sure to check out the other two books in the series as well:

Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail: New England

Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail: South


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Best Tent Camping: Pennsylvania, 2nd edition
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Best Tent Camping: Pennsylvania, 2nd edition
Matt Willen


Your Car­Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization

Between the state's two major population centers, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offers the outdoors enthusiast thousands of square miles of hills, forests, and rivers to pursue a variety of activities—hiking, bicycling, skiing, fishing, boating, and camping.

Best Tent Camping: Pennsylvania by author Matt Willen provides a guide to the 50 best places in the state to pitch a tent and spend the night—without being bothered by the noise of loud portable stereos, large recreational vehicles, and crowds. In addition to providing campers with essential information about each campground (including season, rates, facilities, and how to reserve a site), the guide identifies the best sites at the best campgrounds, offers information on exciting day trips, suggests hikes and activities accessible from the campgrounds, and describes the flora and fauna that campers might encounter on a trip.

From the Pocono Mountain region to the Allegheny National Forest, the Laurel Highlands to the suburbs of Philadelphia, Best Tent Camping: Pennsylvania is an indispensable guide for the person who likes to sleep in a tent not far from the convenience of the car.



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The Best in Tent Camping: New Jersey, 2nd edition
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The Best in Tent Camping: New Jersey, 2nd edition
Matt Willen


The essential guide to camping in the Garden State. From the northern reaches of Stokes State Forest to the Atlantic coastal islands, camping in New Jersey has never been better. Best Tent Camping: New Jersey by Matt Willen and Marie Javins will guide you to the quietest, most beautiful, most secure, and best managed campgrounds in the Garden State.

Unlike other guides that merely list all campgrounds, Best Tent Camping: New Jersey is full color and profiles in detail only the 50 best sites in the state for campers who seek the serene and secluded.

You’ll find essential information about each campground (including season, facilities, rates, directions, GPS coordinates, and websites), as well as a description of the campground; the best sites within the campground; and nearby activities such as hiking, canoeing, fishing, and mountain biking.



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