Get it by Wednesday, September 27
, Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
Same Day delivery in Manhattan. Details
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!
|Publisher:||Human Kinetics Publishers|
|Edition description:||Second Edition|
|Product dimensions:||8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.