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Menasha Ridge Press :: Authors :: Sandra Friend
Sandra Friend

Sandra Friend
Sanford, FL

A hiker since she was old enough to toddle through the Appalachians with her parents, Sandra Friend is known as Florida’s hiking expert. She has tallied more than 3,000 miles on foot throughout the state. Hiking, paddling, backpacking, and rafting are all a part of her outdoor résumé, which she expects to expand upon greatly in the years ahead with the outdoorsy man in her life.

Known best for her nature writing, Sandra is also a travel writer. A member of the Society of American Travel Writers and the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, she has authored 27 books since 1999, more than half of them about her home state of Florida. Her off-trail excursions involve immersing herself in historic places, driving back roads to find rural treasures, and visiting public gardens. Always curious about the natural world, she’ll go miles out of her way to see a waterfall, a sinkhole, or an outcrop of minerals.

An avid photographer, Sandra enjoys sharing her outdoor experiences around the world, from the mountaintops of Nepal to the Patagonian steppes. Follow Sandra’s adventures at floridahikes.com and buckettripper.com.

Sandra Friend
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Five-Star Trails: Gainesville & Ocala
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Five-Star Trails: Gainesville & Ocala
Sandra Friend & John Keatley


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes

While polar opposites in many ways – college town versus retiree mecca – both Gainesville and Ocala share a love of the outdoors. Students from UF hike the same trails as Volksmarch groups from the Villages, enjoying wilderness immersion in the Ocala National Forest and the Cross Florida Greenway. With several hundred miles of trails throughout the region to choose from, Five-Star Trails: Gainesville & Ocala helps you find the best. Authored by Florida hiking expert and long-time Ocala resident Sandra Friend, with Florida Trail Association life member John Keatley, this guide provides a fresh perspective on the region’s array of hiking trails. Covering more than 35 hikes across a three-county region, all within an hour’s drive of either city, Five-Star Trails: Gainesville & Ocala gives you a reason to get outdoors now.

Hikes are rated/highlighted according to five criteria: scenery, trail conditions, child-friendliness, difficulty, and solitude. Recommendations for best hikes in other categories – including wildlife watching, ancient trees, Florida Trail segments, geology, kid-friendly, and dog-friendly hikes – make it easy to choose an adventure at a glance. Add Sandra Friend’s knowledge of habitats, wildlife, and local history, and you’ll be glad to have Five-Star Trails: Gainesville & Ocala.


Market price: $15.95
Our price: $11.96 save 25%
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Five-Star Trails: Orlando
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Five-Star Trails: Orlando
Sandra Friend


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes

Five-Star Trails: Orlando is a handy guide for area residents, vacationers seeking outdoor fun, and for business travelers with a free afternoon. With a diverse collection of hiking routes, the book offers choices for everyone from solo trekkers to companions to families with either youngsters or oldsters to consider. 

Researched, experienced, and written by a local author, the guide provides in-depth trail descriptions, directions, and commentary on what to expect along the way. Each hike features an individual trail map, elevation profile, and at-a-glance key info, helping readers quickly determine the perfect trip for them when they are ready to head out the door.

Sized to fit in a pocket, the book is convenient to keep in the car or toss into a backpack. Driving directions direct hikers to the nearest trailhead parking areas, and GPS trailhead coordinates get them to the start of the trail.


Market price: $15.95
Our price: $11.95 save 25%
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