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Menasha Ridge Press :: Sort by Publisher :: Menasha Ridge Press
Menasha Ridge Press Menasha Ridge Press - Good Books for Serious Fun. Menasha Ridge Press has been a leading independent book publisher for more than twenty years. Covering the outdoors, wilderness sport, wildlife, cooking, history, dining, and travel worldwide, the award-winning, best-selling books and series produced by Menasha Ridge Press are widely recognized for their innovation, authority, and scrupulous attention to detail. And though we're serious about good books, we also believe a good book knows how to have fun. After all, we love what we do, and we think you will, too.

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Five-Star Trails: Birmingham
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Five-Star Trails: Birmingham
Thomas M. Spencer


In the first decades of the 21st century, Birmingham is building again on its natural resources, but this time it’s not to fire steel-making smokestacks. Instead, where railroads ran and mines burrowed into mountains, the healed landscape is being repurposed for hiking and biking. New and expanding venues around the city are providing more opportunities not only to get outside and exercise but also to appreciate the labor and industry that built the city.

Birmingham is not only a collision point in history but is also a crossroads of biological and geological diversity. Within a short drive of Birmingham, you can find yourself on an Appalachian Mountain peak or on the banks of the Cahaba River as it broadens to snake through the Coastal Plain. You can visit old growth forest in the Sipsey Wilderness or hike down into the “Grand Canyon of the East” at Little River Canyon. And that's only the start. Across this landscape, you’ll find a level of diversity of plant and animal species, some rare and endangered, that rivals anywhere in the North America.

So get off the couch, skip the same-old-same-old and hit the trails. You’ll be rewarded.

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Five-Star Trails: Charlotte
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Five-Star Trails: Charlotte
Joshua Kinser


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes

Five-Star Trails: Charlotte 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.


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Five-Star Trails: Chattanooga
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Five-Star Trails: Chattanooga
Johnny Molloy


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes

Five-Star Trails: Chattanooga 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.

This book profiles close-in urban and suburban locations that can satiate scenery-hungry residents and also offers routes of superlative beauty in the adjacent local, state, and national parks. All this adds up to a hiker’s nirvana.

Chattanooga is ideally situated to enjoy some of the Southeast’s best scenery. To the east and south are two huge tracts of sublime and primitive national forest land -- the Chattahoochee and the Cherokee -- much within an easy drive of Chattanooga. The national forests also offer camping, hunting, fishing, nature study, and more. To the west rises the Cumberland Plateau, with its finest features protected under the umbrella of Tennessee’s state park system, centered by the Volunteer State’s master path, the Cumberland Plateau. The geologically fascinating Cumberland offers hiking routes along rushing rivers, deep gorges, wild waterfalls, and other rock features.

Other parks lie within the bounds of Alabama and Georgia, from Little River Canyon to Cloudland Canyon to Chickamauga Battlefield. Lookout Mountain and other local hiking destinations only add to the possibilities. The wide variety of trails, distances, difficulties, and destinations will suit any hiker’s mood and company.

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.


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Five-Star Trails: Columbus
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Five-Star Trails: Columbus
Robert Loewendick


Your Guide to the Area's Most Beautiful Hikes

Yes, a few guidebooks do feature hiking in Ohio, but none is as detailed, authoritative, and inviting as Five-Star Trails Columbus. Nor does any other guide showcase--and rate--these five key attributes for which the series is named: Scenery, Trail Condition, Difficulty, Appropriateness for Children, and Solitude. But that is what each guidebook in the Five-Star Trail series does for the destinations covered across the United States.

In the Columbus guide, an impressive collection of routes ranges north, east, south, and west from the metro center, as well as within the urban setting. This capital city is rich in metro parks, natural areas and preserves, state parks, and state forests. And this diversity of hiking terrain invites all levels of abilities and skills. Thus, this guidebook is geared not only to avid trekkers seeking more challenge than a paved neighborhood path, but also to families and senior citizens. Outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe will have reason to grab this book and, well, take a hike.

Text and photos reflect the author’s extensive outdoor knowledge and experience within the natural environments that the routes cover. Each hike features an individual trail map, elevation profile, and at-a-glance key info, helping readers quickly determine the perfect trip when they are ready to head out the door. Once on the trail, the guidebook becomes a hiking companion that will enhance the overall trail experience from start to finish. Descriptions detail landmarks, flora, fauna, and local history.

Sized for easy carrying or tossing into a backpack, this handy guide will quickly become a treasured resource among Columbus locals and visitors alike.


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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: Flagstaff and Sedona
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Five-Star Trails: Flagstaff and Sedona
Tony Padegimas


Each hike features an individual trail map, elevation profile, and at-a-glance information, helping readers quickly find the perfect trip. Sized to fit in a pocket, the book's detailed trail descriptions will help readers find their way on and off the trail. Driving directions and GPS trailhead coordinates will help with navigating the myriad of unnamed roads. The trails covered range from those best suited to the novice, families, experienced hikers, or backpackers.

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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: Louisville and Southern Indiana
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Five-Star Trails: Louisville and Southern Indiana



Five-Star Trails: Louisville showcases many of the hiking trails and walking paths within the city or within easy driving distance in central Kentucky and southern Indiana. Designed specifically for day trips, this book includes several of the area's most popular parks, as well as many of the lesser-known hiking trails in nature preserves, wildlife management areas, and national forests.

Known as the City of Parks, Louisville has long valued the natural landscape and the provisioning of outdoor recreation. In 1891 Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture, was commissioned to develop an extensive park system for Louisville that eventually included 18 parks and 6 interconnecting parkways. Since that time, Louisville has continued to invest resources to build a first-class park system. Nestled within the Ohio Valley, and bordered by the knobs region to the south and the heavily forested areas of Indiana to the north, Louisville lies at the heart of an endless array of hiking opportunities.

Like others in the publisher’s Five-Star series, Five-Star Trails: Louisville provides in-depth trail descriptions, directions, and commentary about each route. Each hike features an individual trail map, elevation profile, and at-a glance information, helping readers quickly decide the perfect trip for that day’s mood, time, and energy level. Trail descriptions also include information on the history of the area, wildflowers found across various seasons, and wildlife that might be encountered during day hikes. Worthwhile side trips are also identified, whether it be a nearby waterfall, a local barbeque joint, or an interesting museum.

The author has included a wide range of hikes, to accommodate inexperienced hikers as well as more rigorous climbs for the seasoned outdoors person. Particular attention is given to identifying those hikes that are suitable for young children and those with mobility challenges.

Handily sized and formatted, the book allows fast, easy reference, and its descriptions will help readers find their way on and off the trail. Detailed driving directions and GPS trailhead coordinates lead the reader to the trailhead. A regional map locates all of the guidebook hikes, showing readers the hikes that are close to downtown Louisville, as well as those within a short driving distance. Individual maps accompany each of the book’s 30-some hiking routes.

The health benefits of hiking are in easy reach with Five-Star Trails: Louisville on your bookshelf. Whether you are looking for a quick walk after work to shake off the stresses of the day or a longer jaunt to explore a new area, this book is full of hiking ideas for everyone.


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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.


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