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Check It Out: Library has your hiking adventures covered

January 29, 2011|By Andrew Kachaturian

The weather is warming up, so now is the time to get out and explore what Southern California has to offer. The Newport Beach Public Library stocks many books on hiking throughout Orange County and the region, from the mountains to the coast to the deserts.

"Afoot & Afield in Orange County" by Jerry Schad has been in publication since 1988 and remains a popular hiking guide to this area. This book breaks down trails from beaches and bays to foothills to the Santa Ana Mountains. It contains introductory information on how to be prepared, what you might encounter and where, and how to be a courteous hiker. The information is presented with pictures of each locale, maps and guides to each path, complete with difficulty, distance and even the best times to visit.

Another short and to-the-point hiking guide is "Best Easy Day Hikes Orange County" by Randy Vogel. This book breaks down hikes by coastal hikes, foothills and mountains, but focuses on more introductory, less strenuous paths. It contains information on the type of hike (loop, out-and-back), distance, elevation gain and brief descriptions of the trails themselves.

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The library also carries books that cater to a wider area than just Orange County. Two interesting books on a larger area include "Easy Hiking in Southern California" by Ann Marie Brown, and the "Day Hiker's Guide to Southern California" by John McKinney.

"Easy Hiking in Southern California" is broken down by regions, including the Los Angeles and San Diego areas, as well as more adventurous areas like Sequoia and Death Valley. It presents useful information, such as hiking time, total distance, best season and description of terrain.

"Day Hiker's Guide to Southern California" covers many regions, such as San Jacinto Mountains, the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Padres National Forest and many more close and far. The trail descriptions are presented in a more narrative way, but include distance, elevation gain, trailhead information and even some historical information.

If you are more interested in staying near the coast, the library has a selection of hike books specifically aimed at coastal hiking. Two titles are "Day Hikes on the California Southern Coast" by Robert Stone and "50 Best Short Hikes in California's Central Coast" by John Krist.

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