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60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Atlanta: Including Marietta, Lawrenceville, and Peachtree City Paperback – July 28, 2008
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Cons/Wishes for change:
Directions - they are sparse sometimes, and a few times just plain wrong. Confusing left for right on major turns, or leaving out a major turn have been a few of my experiences. While often correct, I've learned to bring along another map. It would be great if they could *consistently* mention parking fees as part of the directions. Often, the fees are noted in the body of the text.
Other minor negatives: The authors note some distant hikes - like the New Echota Trail, which is 1.9 miles and probably a good 2 hours to get to, but offer no other hikes in that area. It is difficult for me to believe there are no other hikes in the Echota area (N. Georgia Mtns) and a waste of time to drive that far for a 1.9 mile walk.
I would also love to see the authors note when there are many more trails in the area. Many of the Chatahoochee hikes are filled with additional trails in the same park area, and others have none nearby at all. When I come across extra trails, I like to explore those as well, and it would be nice to have a heads up about when to leave extra time, and when the walk will be only the trails noted.
As others have noted, some of the driving directions are off by a mile or more, which can be disconcerting when driving into an unfamiliar area. But the narrative descriptions of the hikes are often lacking in detail. For example, the description might say something like "start at the trailhead, and then the trail turns left," but it doesn't mention the distance between those points, so you're left to wonder if you're where you think you are in the description.
We tried to hike the Arabia/Bradley Mountain trail with the book today, but failed pretty miserably. Part of the fault is with the trail itself, which is well-marked to the top of Bradley mountain, and apparently totally unmarked beyond that point. But even following the description and the (too simple to be of anything more than basic guidance) trail map in the book, we got completely off track and ended up wandering around for an hour on Arabia Mountain trying to pick up the trail that was supposedly on all three sides of the mountain near the tree line. We finally just gave up and backtracked the way we came, having never found the trail.
In short, use the book for ideas on where to go hike, but use other sources for trail details, and don't even think about relying on the descriptions in the book to follow a trail that's not very obviously marked.
Unfortunately, the few points on the map that I know and have hiked are grossly wrong. Some points are off by 30 or more miles. Here are examples of hikes that are located in the wrong place:
Starr's Mill (Shown at Sweetwater Nongame)
Sweetwater Nongame (Shown at Pine Mountain)
Pine Mountain (Shown at Sprewell Bluff)
Sprewell Bluff (Shown at Starr's Mill)
With this quick glance and the glaring errors noted, I have immediately returned the book, not wanting to find out what further errors are waiting to be found.
On the otherhand, this book also stretches the definition of hiking. A walk through the seediest parts of Atlanta may be an adventure but it is not a hike. Going to the zoo is not a hike. Centennial Park is not a hike.
Looking through the book, you can really get a feel for the number of interesting places to visit in the area. Basically, anywhere you travel, you'll be able to find a local trail to explore. The information appeared to be detailed enough too.
However, that's about where the usefulness of the book ends. We have now covered about 10 of the trails in the book, and as others have said, the information the book provides is far from accurate.
For example, this past weekend we decided on Three Forks Loop Trail as a day trip (we live about 60 miles south).
First, the directions. They were mainly accurate here, but confusing for those not from the area. Many of the roads they claim to be unmarked are actually well marked (with more than one sign, even), while others they don't mention are unmarked, and assume that you know what they are. For instance, they note seeing signs for the parks area, but don't tell you to turn at the sign (we had to backtrack about a mile). Also, they make no mention of FS 42 being a quite daunting, one-car-at-a-time dirt road trek up the side of a mountain, best suited for 4x4 vehicles (not the Ford Focus we drove in). Also, they claim the drive on FS 42 is 6.5 miles to the parking lot, when in reality it is just over 8 miles. Again, a small oversight, but made us question whether we should turn back. This happened earlier as well (a described 22.6 mile drive was actually close to 26 miles).
Once on the trail, the descriptions are accurate, but they don't seem to follow any order. They describe going down 10 log steps before hitting an intersection.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book looking to find places to walk and hike near and in Atlanta. This is book is full of hikes and parks I had no idea existed. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Melissa
I bought this book as a gift for someone, so I don't have a personal account of how they like it yet. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Angela Fuller
This book has become a constant resource for my weekends. I love how it is categorized several different ways to customize a hike by mood (traffic, distance, scenery). Read morePublished 17 months ago by Darcy E. Miller