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Five-Star Trails: Finger Lakes and Central New York
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Five-Star Trails: Finger Lakes and Central New York
Tim Starmer


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes

The Finger Lakes and Central New York are not known for rugged mountains and their panoramic vistas which are so commonly sought in the Adirondacks to the north. They hardly could be - the area was scoured clean by glaciers millennia ago. But don’t let that fool you, the region is full of natural wonders of its own. Instead of mountains and ridges, the region is known for rolling drumlins, an abundance of scenic gorges, quiet woodlands, beautiful waterfalls and picturesque lakes. The trails included in Five-Star Trails: New York's Finger Lakes and Central Region feature a broad mixture of these landscapes and were carefully selected to give the most varied but also rewarding experience when picking a trail.

An assortment of state parks, local parks, state forests, conservancy areas, wildlife preserves, and nature centers riddle the region, and choice selections from each means you can find a trail that suits your preference for how civil or wild you might desire. Trails for all experience levels are included and provide opportunities for adventure for novice and expert alike.

Some of these trails are well known and their inclusion in this new guide is no surprise. However far more are lesser known and a little more off the beaten path. Though these trails are not hard to find they are hard to find any real details about. What should you expect along the trail? Is the terrain rough? Will there be interesting things along the trip? Is the trail appropriate and/or safe for children? Well that lack of information is no longer an issue.

Each trail has been thoroughly researched, recently hiked and includes a detailed description, trail profiles and map. At a glance ratings in important categories such as Scenery, Trail Condition, Difficulty, Solitude and appropriateness for children let you quickly select a trail that fits your tastes and ability. Other useful information such as fees, restrictions for dogs on the trail as well as advice on when to visit offers you the best information so you can plan your trip with ease.

Sized to fit in a pocket, this guide 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.


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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.


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Five-Star Trails: Knoxville
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Five-Star Trails: Knoxville
Johnny Molloy


Like others in the Five-Star Trails series, this book features up to 40 day-hikes, ranging from 1 mile to 12 miles, in and near a midsize city-m-in this case, Knoxville.

The author has carefully chosen each hike to create a collection of routes suitable for a varied, but primarily local, outdoors audience. Based on the author's extensive and intimate knowledge of the region, some of the hikes represent a combination of two or more trails that create a unique route.

As a distinguishing feature of the series, as signaled by the Five-Star series title, each entry displays ratings of one to five stars in five categories for that hike. Those categories are:
• Scenery
• Level of Difficulty
• Trail Conditions
• Degree of Solitude
• Appropriateness for Children

The book's overview map provides a quick visual summation of the hikes' locations within the greater Knoxville area. Then, individually, each hike features an easy-to-follow trail map, elevation profile, at-a-glance information, and narrative description. The main text for each entry provides details about the route to follow. It also focuses on the most notable aspects of that route: for some, it may be the panoramic view; for others, a bit of local history and legend; for others the abundance of flora or the opportunity to spot wildlife.

At the end of each route entry, if pertinent, the author leads the reader to nearby attractions. Such sites may be a pioneer museum, a fun and funky place for lunch where grubby hiking attire will pass muster, or a historic inn for future travel reference.

With a trail collection so diverse that it is designed for hiking levels from novice to trailblazer, this book will become a dog-eared companion for anyone interested in the best hikes his or her region has to offer.


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Five-Star Trails: Lake Tahoe, 2ed
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Five-Star Trails: Lake Tahoe, 2ed
Jordan Summers


Covering the region surrounding the 22-mile-long lake, author Jordan Summers guides hikers along 40 of the region’s best trails—all located within 25 miles of Lake Tahoe’s shoreline.

Trekkers can easily find the perfect hike with the complete trail descriptions for 27 day hikes and 13 overnight destinations. An accurate map, directions to the trailhead with coordinates for GPS use, and an elevation profile of each trail prepare hikers with the full picture of the route ahead.

Generally intended for outdoors-people of all ages and abilities, Five-Star Trails: Lake Tahoe describes great hikes from the Desolation, Mt. Rose, Granite Chief, and Mokelumne Wilderness areas and along sections of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and portions of the Tahoe Rim Trail. While ranging across forest- and granite-covered terrain to more than a dozen peaks and several dozen lakes, hike profiles include details on natural history, geologic features, and places of historic note.

With Five-Star Trails: Lake Tahoe, hikers will follow in the footsteps of pioneers, such as Kit Carson and the historic Donner Party, along the Pony Express Trail and the Emigrant Trail, often with stunning vistas of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf Lake, or the Crystal Range.


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Five-Star Trails: Palm Springs
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Five-Star Trails: Palm Springs
Laura Randall


31 Spectacular Hikes in the Southern California Desert Resort Area

A popular outdoor destination for the 7 million residents of Los Angeles, Palm Springs offers stunning hiking opportunities. With Joshua Tree National Monument to the east, the San Bernardino National Forest to the north and south, and the storied Pacific Crest Trail passing nearby, hiking expert Laura Randall has chosen the best hikes that highlight the area.

Five-Star Trails: Palm Springs features child-friendly hikes as well as urban hikes easily accessible from resorts. Laura also includes hikes for the new Whitewater Preserve, in addition to updated trails in La Quinta and Palm Desert. Extensive at-a-glance information makes it easy to choose the perfect hike based on length, difficulty, and scenery. Each trail profile includes maps, directions, driving times, nearby attractions, and other pertinent details.


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Five-Star Trails: Roanoke and the New River Valley
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Five-Star Trails: Roanoke and the New River Valley
Johnny Molloy


Five Star Trails: Roanoke and the New River Valley showcases 40 hikes in the mountains, valleys, and Piedmont of Western Virginia, featuring an array of treks reflecting the area’s superlative scenery, from wild waterfalls in the New River Valley to highland wildernesses of the Jefferson National Forest to historic paths along the Blue Ridge Parkway to waterside strolls beside Smith Mountain Lake. It is authored by the Southeast’s most experienced outdoors writer, Johnny Molloy.

This book finally gives Roanoke & the New River Valley a hiking guide specifically targeted to their region—a place strategically located within easy reach of a wide array of first-rate hiking destinations. Centered on the Roanoke River and New River valleys—and their tributaries—as they course through the high and mighty Appalachians, the land offers waterfalls, overlooks, and geologically fascinating locales. And to the east, the rolling Piedmont presents yet another physical province to explore.

Pathways aplenty course through the region. The Appalachian Trail is the centerpiece of the trail network. In this section are some of the region’s most famous hikes, including the Roanoke hiker’s triple crown—Dragons Tooth, McAfee Knob, and the Tinker Cliffs—all included in this guide.

However, there is much more to hiking here than just the Appalachian Trail. It is where Cascade Falls makes its grand plunge into a natural swimming pool. It is where hikers walk the Allegheny Trail to a historic fire tower to gain magnificent views and witness one of America’s best raptor migrations. Other trails take you through biological wonderlands, such as Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve, where the world’s largest concentration of piratebush accentuates views and cascades. The strange but wonderful waterfalls of Falls Ridge Preserve flowing over some of the largest calcium carbonate displays on the planet are made better by trailside bluffs and caves.

And there are many other trails to hike and places to see, from the shores of Smith Mountain Lake to the magnificent Rock Castle Gorge. That is where this book comes into play—to help you enjoy a variety of hikes in the Roanoke & New River Valley that together create the mosaic of hiking experiences that can be had in this region. These best hikes head to overlooks, waterfalls, and wildernesses, as well as scenic, cultural, and historical sites, lakes, and rivers too.

Hikes in this book range from just under 2 miles to over 10 miles, creating opportunities for hikers of all ages, and will accommodate your desires for hikes of multiple lengths, depending on mood, time, and company. Trail configurations are diverse as well—including out-and-back hikes, loops, and balloon loops. Hike settings vary from developed county parks to the back of beyond.


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Five-Star Trails: South Carolina Upstate
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Five-Star Trails: South Carolina Upstate
Sherry Jackson


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes

The South Carolina Upcountry is gaining more popularity and people visiting will need to know how to discover all it has to offer. Outdoor activities here abound and there are a good variety of trails for hikers of all levels. From waterfalls to amazing mountain views, each trail offers hikers an incredible experience. Since the Upcountry is relatively “undiscovered”, there are very few books that have a true compilation of hikes in the area. Five-Star Trails: South Carolina Upstate will bring together those hiking trails that offer a “five star” experience.

Each trail has been thoroughly researched, recently hiked and includes a detailed description, trail profiles and map. At a glance ratings in important categories such as Scenery, Trail Condition, Difficulty, Solitude and appropriateness for children let you quickly select a trail that fits your tastes and ability. Other useful information such as fees, restrictions for dogs on the trail as well as advice on when to visit offers you the best information so you can plan your trip with ease.

Five-Star Trails: South Carolina Upstate provides directions and commentary for each trail on what to expect along the way, making it more than just an average guidebook. This guide will lead hikers off the beaten path to find exceptional beauty as well as peace of mind. The diversity in terrain invites all levels of abilities and skills. Outdoor enthusiasts of every level will have reason to grab this guide and take a hike.

This book offers easy-to-moderate trails that are within driving distance from a reader’s workplace or home in the South Carolina Upstate. Without this book, they might miss the hidden hiking treasures of the area, but with the expert help of Sherry Jackson, readers will enjoy the region’s best trails!


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Five-Star Trails: The Ozarks
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Five-Star Trails: The Ozarks
Jim Warnock


43 Spectacular Hikes in Arkansas and Missouri

From the banks of Lake Alma to the broken-down buildings of the Rush ghost town, hikers will be amazed at the beauty and diversity of landscapes in the Ozarks. Five-Star Trails: The Ozarks is the primary tool for planning treks in the Ozark Mountain regions of Arkansas and Missouri. Hikers will discover new trails not found in any other hiking guides, as well as favorites from Hobbs State Park and Mount Magazine. They will also find updated information and new approaches to famous hikes that should be at the top of everyone’s “must-do” list in the Ozarks region.

Written by author and photographer Jim Warnock, a native of the Ozarks, this guide will be valuable to experienced and novice hikers alike. It includes helpful hiking advice, detailed trail descriptions, GPS coordinates, driving directions, and topographical maps. You’ll gain the knowledge necessary for a safe and fun outdoor adventure in a variety of conditions.


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Five-Star Trails: Tri-Cities of Tennessee and Virginia
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Five-Star Trails: Tri-Cities of Tennessee and Virginia
Johnny Molloy


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes In and Around Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport

Five-Star Trails: Tri-Cities of Tennessee and Virginia details the 40 best hikes in and around Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol as well as the surrounding areas of Abingdon, Elizabethton, Greenville, and Rogersville. Drawing from a wealth of trails on vast public lands, the mosaic of hikes featured reflects the wide variety of terrain in the greater Tri-Cities, from high mountains to the east and south to the historic walks in Tennessee state parks. The Appalachian Trail also provides nearly 70 miles of quality hiking around the Tri-Cities. Authored by Johnny Molloy, the most experienced guidebook author in the field today, this guide has something for everyone, from a leisurely weekend stroll to advanced treks into the Appalachians.


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Five-Star Trails: West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest
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Five-Star Trails: West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest
Johnny Molloy


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes

A whopping 900,000 acres, the mighty Monongahela National Forest is the heart and soul of West Virginia and a natural getaway for hikers and weekend backpackers. Five-Star Trails: West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest leads hikers to classics, such as High Falls and Senaca Rocks, as well as such lesser-known but equally scenic hikes as Canyon Rim and Laurel Creek.

The 2nd edition of Five-Star Trails: West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest has been completely revised. Veteran author Johnny Molloy used his decades of exploring West Virginia's largest national forest to choose only the best hikes, covering the mosaic of experiences to be had in the "Mon"—whether to rocky overlooks, deep into untamed wildernesses, to backcountry waterfalls, even to botanically rare and rich parcels—special places one and all.

To this end, Molloy has completely rewritten the book, rehiking hikes from the previous edition and adding more than a dozen new hikes for this edition. All the maps and elevation profiles have been professionally redone, and new photographs have been taken. Together, these new elements have been fashioned into a guide worthy of West Virginia's fabulous national forest that is the Monongahela.


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