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Explorer's Guide West Virginia (Second Edition) (Explorer's Complete) Paperback – May 2, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leonard M. Adkins has walked the length of the Appalachian Trail four times and has logged more than 16,000 miles in backcountry areas of North America, Europe, and the Caribbean. The author of numerous books on hiking and the outdoors, he has been awarded the National Outdoor Book Award and a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism award. Adkins lives in Virginia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Explorer's Complete
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Countryman Press; Second Edition edition (May 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881509477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881509472
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leonard M. Adkins, profiled by Backpacker magazine, and referred to as "The Habitual Hiker," has hiked more than 19,000 miles exploring the backcountry areas of the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean. Almost every hiking season finds him on some new and exciting adventure. He has thru-hiked the full length of the Appalachian Trail five times (and lacks less than 700 miles of finishing for a sixth), traversed the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico, followed the Pacific Northwest Trail through Montana, Idaho, and Washington, and walked Canada's Great Divide Trail. Other long-distance journeys include Vermont's Long Trail, West Virginia's Allegheny Trail, and the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas. His adventures in Europe include a trek of the Pyrenees High Route from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean along the border of France and Spain and an exploration of Iceland's interior. His most recent excursions were a number of hikes in New Zealand, including some of the country's Great Walks, such as the Milford and Abel Tasman Tracks.

The off-season is spent writing books and articles. Leonard's words and photographs have appeared in Islands, Caribbean Travel and Life, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Backpacker, Colorado Daily, Mid-Atlantic Country, Charleston Gazette, and other newspapers, magazines, and websites. He is currently the hiking columnist for Blue Ridge Country, writes the outdoors column for the bi-monthly Roanoker magazine, and blogs about hiking trails at www.blueridgeoutdoors.com.

Leonard is the author of more than a dozen books on the outdoors, nature, and travel, and his Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail (photographers Joe and Monica Cook) received the National Outdoor Book Award, ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award, and a Virginia Literary Award nomination. The Appalachian Trail: A Visitor's Companion was honored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation with a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award.

Leonard is not just a writer; he takes an active part in all of the books he produces. He walked all of the trails he writes about in his hiking guides with a surveyor's measuring wheel to insure accurate mileage and descriptions. For his travel books Maryland: An Explorer's Guide, West Virginia: An Explorer's Guide, and Adventure Guide to Virginia, he visited all of the places he describes: bed & breakfasts, restaurants, historic sites, museums, golf courses, bookstores, antique shops, amusement parks, beaches, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and more.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By World Traveler on January 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this travel guide for our White Water Rafting trip last year. This book was very helpful and the content of the guide was great. I would recommend this book to anyone traveling to West Virginia.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cat on July 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
I recently planned a very last minute trip to West Virginia and used this book to plan every part of my itinerary. Leonard Adkins personally went to every restaurant, state park, guided trip, etc. that's listed in the book, and gave insider tips on the best things to do. It was one of the best vacations I've been on (and I have been all over the country and parts of the world) and it was largely due to the great recommendations in the book. While I think it's especially helpful for outdoorsy types like me, I can see this book being helpful to anyone that wants to explore the area - and even people who live in the state.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kissing Hands for Two on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book last year to help plan a weekend trip to the Beckley, West Virginia area. We were travelling with an infant and I wanted to be organized and be able to plan parts of the trip before we left. I was instantly impressed with geographical organization of the book as well as the conversational style of writing used by the author.

My husband laughed and was quite skeptical when the book arrived in the mail; however, he later apologized for his skepticism after visiting the Exhibition Coal Mine, which Mr. Adkins wrote was a must-see-if-you-can attraction. The mine was absolutely amazing and my daughter still talks about how she was in a coal mine and how it was completely dark in the mine when the tour guide turned off his flashlight (by the way, she is usually easily frightened, but the complete darkness did not scare her at all). The tour guide was a retired coal miner and made the tour of the mine an educational and fun experience.

My husband then asked to see the book for himself while we were having an excellent dinner at the author-recommended Pasquale's restaurant in Beckley. It was a wonderful restaurant and my entire family enjoyed their meal.

My husband is returning to Beckley later this year; however, the children and I will not be able to go with him. He recently stated that he will take the book with him for the restaurant recommendations.

I wish to thank Mr. Adkins for helping make our family trip to West Virginia fun and memorable.

UPDATE: The book also has wonderful information for Oglebay Resort in Wheeling!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon L. Albee VINE VOICE on January 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What many tourists miss about West Virginia is that it is as much a cultural attraction as it is a geographical attraction. The relatively small cities and towns of West Virginia present a rich fabric of American life, from the plantations of Lewisburg to the architecture of Wheeling and the coal mines of Beckley. Few states in the country are, at once, as culturally diverse and regionally distinct. These facts about West Virginia make it a state fascinating for tourists, and notoriously hard to capture for guidebook authors.

Of the few guidebooks that currently exist for West Virginia, this one is the most comprehensive and the most balanced. Though the author is clearly more comfortable in the geographic context, cultural and historic sites are well represented. Those familiar with Explorer's Guides will be immediately comfortable with the format. The book is arranged into chapters by geographic region, further divided into subject (attractions, festivals, lodging, dining, shopping) within each chapter.

The details written into each of the listings gives the reader confidence that the author has actually visited them, and this is one of the distinguishing features of the book. Listings are up-to-date and well chosen.

This book, as with other Explorer's Guides, is more of a pragmatic guide than an historic armchair tour. It's meant to be used. That said, it's still possible to visualize your experience without leaving your home, so it's a good book for trip planning. The relatively few photographs are all black & white. Maps are simple and regional.
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Explorer's Guide West Virginia (Second Edition)  (Explorer's Complete)
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