Hiking Illinois - 2nd Edition

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Hiking Illinois is your complete guide to 107 of the most scenic day hikes within the Land of Lincoln. No matter what region you wish to explore or how easy or hard a trek you want, this handy guide will lead you to the right trail.

In this one-of-a-kind resource, you'll find the following features:

- Detailed descriptions of every hike, in every region, including special points of interest, estimated hiking time and distance, and difficulty ...

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Hiking Illinois is your complete guide to 107 of the most scenic day hikes within the Land of Lincoln. No matter what region you wish to explore or how easy or hard a trek you want, this handy guide will lead you to the right trail.

In this one-of-a-kind resource, you'll find the following features:

- Detailed descriptions of every hike, in every region, including special points of interest, estimated hiking time and distance, and difficulty ratings for each trail
- Phone numbers and Web sites, park hours and rules, and available facilities for 60 of the state's most scenic sites
- Easy-to-read maps for every park and trail to help you navigate your hike and locate landmarks and other points of interest
- A convenient trail finder that provides a summary of each trail's features and available facilities

Hiking Illinois brings to life the history, terrain, flora, and fauna of each area. And the descriptions of nearby recreational and sightseeing destinations ensure you won't miss anything on your trip. Hiking Illinois is your guide to enjoying the great outdoors!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Human Kinetics Best Day Hiking series aims at getting you on the path, giving you the information you need to become a confident trail walker. This guide provides entries on over 100 scenic day hikes throughout Illinois. Each entry includes detailed descriptions of every hike, including special points of interest; estimated hiking time and distance; difficulty ratings for each trail; phone numbers and web sites; park hours and rules; and nearby available facilities. Honestly, these books offer a wealth of information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736074742
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/15/2009
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 720,684
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Post has been a research biologist for the Illinois Natural History Survey since 1978, where she has worked on such jobs as biological control of purple loosestrife, sampling streams for threatened and endangered plants, and sampling horseradish fields for insect pests. Through her work, Susan has become well acquainted with the natural areas of Illinois.

Susan is the coauthor of Illinois Wilds, a book that showcases the state's natural areas. She is also the staff writer for the Illinois Steward Magazine and the author of "Species Spotlight" for Illinois Natural History Survey Reports.

She is the codirector of the Illinois Wilds Institute for Nature (IWIN), a joint project between the Survey and the University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences that offers field courses to the public on various aspects of Illinois biology.

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Table of Contents

How to Use This Book
Trail Finder

1 Apple River Canyon State Park
2 Mississippi Palisades State Park
3 Rock Cut State Park
4 Winnebago County Forest Preserve
5 White Pines Forest State Forest
6 Lowden-Miller State Forest
7 McHenry County Conservation District
8 Chain O' Lakes State Park
9 Volo Bog State Natural Area
10 Moraine Hills State Park
11 Bluff Spring Fen
12 James “Pate” Philip State Park
13 Illinois Beach State Park
14 Lake County Forest Preserve
15 Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
16 Regional Trail
17 Morton Arboretum
18 Palos and Sag Valley Forest Preserve
19 Will County Forest Preserve

20 Big River State Forest
21 Nauvoo
22 Siloam Springs State Park
23 Pere Marquette State Park
24 Forest Park Nature Preserve
25 Sand Ridge State Forest
26 Starved Rock State Park
27 Matthiessen State Park
28 Where Lincoln Walked
29 Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area
30 Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
31 Spitler Woods State Natural Area
32 Ballard Nature Center
33 Iroquois County State Wildlife Area
34 Forest Glen Preserve
35 Robert Allerton Park
36 Urbana Park District
37 Fox Ridge State Park
38 Kennekuk Cove County Park

39 Fults Hill Prairie
40 Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve
41 LaRue-Pine Hills
42 Giant City State Park
43 Little Grand Canyon
44 Cedar Lake
45 Trail of Tears State Park
46 Horseshoe Lake Conservation Area
47 Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
48 Ferne Clyffe State Park
49 Tunnel Hill State Trail
50 Cache River State Natural Area
51 Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge
52 Mermet Lake Conservation Area
53 Max Creek
54 Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area
55 Dixon Springs State Park
56 Stone Face Recreation Area
57 Garden of the Gods Recreation Area
58 Rim Rock/Pounds Hollow Recreation Complex
59 War Bluff Audubon Sanctuary
60 Beall Woods State Park

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Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 25, 2009

    Let's Go Hiking!

    As described, this book includes detailed descriptions of 107 hikes, from easy strolls through city parks to demanding treks in magnificent, remote portions of Illinois that will amaze those who may be somewhat unfamiliar with the natural beauties available within the state. However, it is far more than just a trail guide summary. It also includes a wealth of information on the geological, biological, and human history of some of the more unique regions within the state. Area descriptions provide vivid accounts of their geological origin, geopolitical influences (including early and modern human habitation) shaping them, and even local legends and lore. Natural history buffs, or those aspiring to be, will enjoy the accounts of the variety of flora and fauna that may be encountered at each location.

    Driving directions and area maps help guide hikers to each region and the individual trailheads. Sections describing facilities within each location and other nearby areas of interest make this an important resource beyond a hiking guide.

    The maps, visual waypoints, mileage markers, and flowing descriptions of geological features, plants, and animals along the way give readers the impression of actually hiking along with the author. Hikers will never feel the need for a GPS unit to find their way along the trail. I particularly enjoyed the author's brief, personal notes italicized at the beginning of each hike's description. These informational tidbits and overviews highlighted the author's experiences or impressions of each hike and really set the stage for the information that follows.

    This guide is very well written and was exceptionally easy to read. In fact, it read much more like a narrative rather than a "how-to" or "where-to" guidebook. Hiker or not, this book will make one vastly more knowledgeable of the natural history and beauty of Illinois. And, be forewarned; read a segment or two and even the most avowed couch-potato will want to trade in that remote for a pair of hiking boots.

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  • Posted March 24, 2009

    A Siren Song to Hidden Wonders

    More than just a list of trails and directions, "Hiking Illinois" is a siren song luring the reader to lace up his boots and explore the hidden wonders of the Prairie State. For example, describing one hike, the author observes that "monarch butterflies cluster on Joe-Pye weed blooms, white ladies' tresses orchids bloom along the spring runs, giant robber flies with orange-red eyes sally forth seeking prey, a large walking stick may hitch a ride on your backpack, and violet-blue-fringed gentians add a bit of the fall sky to the marl flats." Who wouldn't drop the remote and leap from the La-Z-Boy?

    With each of the 107 day hikes chronicled by author Post, the reader receives a lesson in the surrounding flora, fauna and geology. Have you noticed that shooting star blossoms emit an odor similar to grape juice? Can you guess the members of a puddle-club? What is the origin of Liesegang rings? Are you still seated? I, for one, couldn't wait to begin following Ms. Post's footsteps.

    My first hike was at the Morton Arboretum near Lisle, Illinois. "Hiking Illinois" provided a brief history of the arboretum, clear directions for driving there, a list of amenities at the site, rules and restrictions as well as hours of operation. An overview map of the entire arboretum property offered perspective as to the size of the park and the portion in which I would be hiking. I chose to hike the East Main Trail and found the starting point with ease following Ms. Post's directions. My hiking companion and I made no wrong turns, despite numerous intersecting trails, with the guidance of both step-by-step written instructions and an inset map for the East Main adventure. (Yes, the large ash with the alligator-like bark was there on the right.)

    The author didn't prepare us for the two White-winged Crossbills that appeared in the grove of pines as we began our hike, but how could she have known? And ear plugs should have been recommended as we approached the marsh at the 3.3 mile mark. The din created by tens of thousands of Western Chorus Frogs was deafening. The author did inform us that the marsh was a glacial pothole created when a chunk of retreating glacier broke off, melted and filled with water. And we were also unprepared for the flock of fifty Sandhill Cranes that floated overhead on the thermals as we approached the end of our 4.5 mile hike, but the dolomite prairie was along our route just as described.

    If the reader was not an outdoor enthusiast before reading this book, he is sure to be a convert after just a few pages. And for the veteran hiker, the numerous accounts of adventures from all regions of Illinois are sure to open new vistas. I highly recommend "Hiking Illinois" as a must read.

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  • Posted March 20, 2009

    Illinois at it's best

    The second edition of Hiking Illinois is not only a hiking guide, but it is a guide to many of the states best natural areas, with a few cultural and historical trips thrown in. It's packed with information that is easy to follow and interesting. The most outstanding feature is the author's vast and clearly presented knowledge of the biological and ecological side of the hikes. It's clear she knows everyone intimately. She has directions to trails in several of the sites that most people don't find, and wouldn't see on your own. This guide is especially helpful in that it is clear enough to allow you quick reference about how to follow the best trails and move though the hikes briskly if you choose, but at the same time it has enough info, so that if you want to slow down and spend some time quietly paying attention to the flora and fauna or scenery, there are plenty of points of interest to choose from. Most of the hikes tend to be on well manicured trails, so you can usually make them as strenuous or light as you like, by varying your speed.

    I wish that all guide book writers put as much into their books, and knew as much about their subject, as Sue Post. Many of these hikes have fantastic scenery, but because this is Illinois, the landscape can sometimes be unspectacular, which is why it is so welcomed that the author spends time describing and pointing out the little things that usually miss our attention. I own other guides for the region, and this is my favorite. Do a couple of these hikes, at the right time of year, and you will see amazing things, do enough of them, and you won't think of Illinois in the same way.

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    A great guide for Illinois hikers

    The author provides beautiful imagery of her personal experiences making the hikes all the more appealing. She also provides incredibly helpful information about each hike: approximately how long it will take, how hard it will be, what facilities are available and how to find the trailheads.

    The turn by turn directions and descriptions of what I will see along the way help me know I am on the right track and not getting lost on some hours long hike I didn't plan for. The background information provided about each of the areas makes you appreciate them even more.

    For each location, the author also provides the rules of the area, including those pertaining to pets. Knowing which hikes can be hiked with four legged companions is a definite plus for dog owners and eliminates the frustration of showing up only to find a "no dogs allowed" sign.

    The easy to use Trail Finder at the front is great to quickly see what is available in a given area. If you are looking for a hike through forests and wetlands in the northern region, the Trail Finder quickly identifies hikes that are sure to please.

    In addition to the 107 hikes that are written about in detail, additional nearby hikes are provided. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for interesting hikes in Illinois.

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