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60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Chicago: Including Aurora, Northwest Indiana, and Waukegan Paperback – June 28, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles
  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press; 2nd edition (June 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897326636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897326636
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the series:
"To help take the sweat out of finding a trail near you...buy one of the "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles" guidebooks."--"Newsweek"

From the Back Cover

It's time to take a hike!
Chicago residents grab your boots and get outside! Using clear and entertaining narrative, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Chicago eliminates doubts about where to hike and what to expect when you get to the trailhead. To locate and assess the best hikes within a 60-mile radius of the Chicago area, this guide is indispensable.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Chicago blows the lid off the myth that you can't have a great trek close to home. The Windy City may be an ever-expanding metropolis, but there are still plenty of thrilling hiking options. Choose among short and long hikes, hikes for children, hikes for dogs, hikes for birding, for wildflowers and for waterfalls, historic and scenic hikes, and many others.

" Trail Descriptions allow you to assess each trail before you hike it.
" GPS-based Trail Maps provide you with accurate trail information.
" Elevation Profiles help you visualize each trail's altitude gains and losses.
" Detailed directions lead you to the trailheads.

Whether you live in Chicago, Aurora, Joliet, or Elgin, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Chicago provides you with the information you need to choose the perfect day hike in your area, including trail lengths, hiking times, and trail difficulty. So lace up those boots, sling that daypack, and hit the trail!
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I received a bachelors degree in English and journalism from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and received a master's of arts in writing from DePaul University in Chicago. I'm currently working on four more regional outdoor guidebooks that focus on bicycling and camping within the Chicago region and throughout Illinois. I've lived in Chicago resident for the past 10 years, and have worked for various daily and weekly newspapers. I've had freelance articles appear in The Chicago Tribune and the Des Moines Register. Recently, I worked for seven years as a publications editor for a large non-profit organization headquartered in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
The book is concise, accurate and full of useful information.
JohnnyTheV
For our scouting hike program, I reference the hikes listed by mileage, hikes good for young children, hikes for wildlife or wildflower viewing, and hikes by terrain.
Andrea C. Plamondon
This is a great buy for any hiker or anyone looking for trails to start hiking in.
Richard Gutierrez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Kozdron on September 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of the book caught my eye, and the book itself more than lived up to it! I live in downtown Chicago and was looking for hikes that could be done as day trips - the 60 hikes included are within this distance. The book makes it easy to search by type - for example, river hikes, lake hikes, hikes for wildlife viewing, hikes with children, and then also by distance (1-3 miles, 3-6 miles, and 6+ miles). Each hike has a trail map, directions, a full description, and key info at a glance (e.g. length, configuration, difficulty, scenery, facilities, and even exposure - shady, sunny etc.).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tin Tan on January 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I almost finished writing my review, hit the wrong button and lost it. Just to sum up, you will not find information so thorough, accurate and well-written on the subject. Mr. Villaire is the closest thing to a personal guide.I've lived in Chicago all my life and am pleased to have discovered and rediscoveredl so many worthwhile nature areas. Author Ted Villaire is obviously passionate about sharing his information with fellow nature lovers. Everytime I Google one of the recommended hikes, I find little that adds to the info found in the book. And forget Mapquest- this book gets driving directions right every time. The book is hardly pocket-sized, and the detailed trail guides will have you pulling the book out of your backpack often. My solution is to copy the pages and take those with. (Whoops- did I just confess to copyright violation?)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julie N. on December 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a referrence for a planned trip. I was so pleased with the graphics and format that I am buying more books in the series. The maps and desciptions are clear and informative. The hikes seem do-able for casual day hikers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Wilson on June 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book about a year ago, and I'm working my way through all the hikes. So far, every one (I've done about 15 of them) has been enjoyable. I found that I recently had to purchase a binder for the book because it's so much easier to rip out the pages and take them along on your hike. The author does tend to patch together pieces of different trails, so you really do need the description and map along with you for each of the trips.

One side note for dog owners - double check before bringing your dog to some of these places - IL Beach does not allow dogs on their trails, but the book says dogs are allowed, on a leash. That was kind of a long drive to find that out the hard way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah B. Warren, PhD on September 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Think again. Major metropolis though it is, we have a lot of lovely open natural space both within and around Chicago. I knew we had a protected beautiful lakefront. I knew we had forest preserves.

But we have cliffs and savannahs and more.

I took my kids on several outings in a connecting-them-with-nature mode. The level of practical detail is very helfpul -- but details about local history make it a fun read.

I will qualify my high ratings only on the distance information. Starved Rock is more than 60 miles from Chicago-- by quite a bit! (But my kids made up a great story en route about how Starved Rock came to get it's name. The story involved elephants... and Indians.)

So pack up your kids and their grandparents. Put on your walking shoes. Bring a bottle of water. Bring this book as your guide. And enjoy the natural world that surrounds us.

May it remind us that we have something here to protect and appreciate!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Bernstein on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will open your eyes to the natural beauty in and around Chicago, and anyone who likes a nice hike should buy it.

As others have pointed out, some of these hikes are not within 60 miles of Chicago. Starved Rock and Matthiessen are probably more like 80 to 90 miles from Chicago; Lake Geneva Wisconsin is probably on the order of 70 to 80 miles away. But why quibble about a few miles when the reward is the stunning sandstone canyons of Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks? Or the beauty of a Lake Geneva walk?

I question the inclusion of the Chicago lakefront paths as "hikes," but I have been very satisfied by every other hike I have taken. Moreover, the directions in the book are accurate, and the incisive commentary on each location is welcome. This book is well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Skinger on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have used this book over and over again and I find it very useful. I do a lot of hiking/climbing in other states and not so much in my home state (Illinois obviously). This book has opened my eyes to the different places around Chicago (I am in the NW burbs) some within 10 miles of me...that I have never been too! Another feature that I really like are the "Nearby Attractions" that are listed at the bottom of the hiking spots reviewed...helpful to find some other things to do in the area. Overall, a very good resource and easy to read. Cheers!

Scott
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greg A. Locascio on September 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ted Villaire's book is one of those guidebooks that will have to be replaced now and again because it gets lost under the seat of the car or is damaged by water, wind, sun, or animals. It is a worthy companion for daytrip adventures around Chicagoland.

My only complaints about the book are minor. As a veteran Appalachian Trail hiker who relied on elevation profiles to determine the difficulty of a day's hike, I found the elevation profiles for most Chicagoland hikes unnecessary. Maybe in the next edition just put up elevation profiles for particularly hilly hikes. There is also a near absence of hikes in Kane County, which has, by my estimation, some of the best hiking and well-managed forest preserve systems of any county in the state.

Some nice features include the hiking recommendations, which lists hikes and page numbers by mileage and other features, including good hikes for young children, urban hikes, solitudinous hikes, and hikes near public transportation routes. Most of the recommended hikes are loop hikes and of long enough duration to merit a special trip to them. Hikes are also listed by geographic regions, which makes for easier planning of multi-hike trips. And Villaire's route descriptions provide a good mix of landmark descriptions and tidbits about the natural and human history of the area.

While most of the information in this book can be culled from county forest preserve web sites, it is nice to have it in one easy-to-read, accessible place. I look forward to many happy miles with this book in my pack.
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