- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Marin Trails Publishing; 3rd edition (October 18, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0961704497
- ISBN-13: 978-0961704490
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hiking Marin: 141 Great Hikes in Marin County 3rd Edition
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This book describes trails in some of the most popular sections of Marin County, including Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore, Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods. Hikes in many other less well known "Open Space" areas are also included. Although the title mentions 141 hikes, there are actually 168 trail walks described over seven sections of Marin County (chapters A-G in this guidebook) with two additional chapters (H and J) on new hiking opportunities since the first edition went to press in 1995. Nearly all 600 miles of trail in the county appear in one or more loop hikes of this book. Almost anyone can find a walk suited to their abilities within the confines of this guidebook. Detailed maps and route descriptions will help spare walkers the frustration of missing a key turnoff.
So why does a book like this only get 4 stars? More for what it is missing than what it includes. Trail descriptions are heavy on routes and intersections, but natural and cultural history are essentially absent. Three hikes described in this book begin in Muir Woods National Monument, for example, but none describe the colorful history or biological importance of this stand of old growth forest. I find that information like this enhances my enjoyment of hiking. There are also very few photos. Finally, I found some technical problems with the "downloadable maps" that are new to this edition. The authors refer readers to their website where they can download any map or trail description from the book (with a password found at the beginning of each chapter). When I went to their site, however, my browser claimed the pages related to the book "could not be found." Hopefully this little glitch will be cleared up later.
In the final analysis, if you are a Bay Area resident, this book will provide you with many hours of enjoyment. But if you are a tourist other guides to the region may be better. They may not have as comprehensive a selection, but pictures and a fuller discussion of local trails might make finding a good trail easier. Even so, this is a good guide to what's "out there" in Marin.