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Boreal Community Media

Book Review: Gentle Hikes on the North Shore

Nov 09, 2018 08:09AM ● By Editor

From the Pioneer Press - November 9, 2018


“Gentle Hikes of Minnesota’s North Shore” by Ladona Tornabene, Melanie Morgan and Lisa Vogelsang (Adventure Publications, $14.95)


The hiking season is winding down, but this smart paperback could help outdoors lovers dream about exploring from Duluth to Grand Portage next summer. It’s for those of us with bad knees who aren’t up to 25-mile hikes and those who want to walk, but not for a whole day. One chapter gives useful information for readers with physical challenges, including trails that meet Universal Design Standards as well as trailhead/scenic locale, restrooms and picnic table accessibility.

These hikes are also short enough so nobody has to drag along a bunch of gear. Subtitled “The Area’s Most Scenic Hikes Less than 3 Miles,” the 5 1/2-by 8 1/2-inc paperback fits nicely in a backpack. It includes lots of maps and details you rarely see in guide books, such as trail width and surface type; rock/root rating (to ensure no tripping); number of inclines, including steepness and length; number of steps/bridges; presence of hand rails or benches, plus safety concerns.

The diverse topography of the North Shore means trail conditions vary, so the book includes three trail ratings; lighter, moderate and rugged. The authors also offer “best of” lists: flattest trails, shortest trails, wooded trails; best waterfalls, vistas; best Lake Superior views, harbor views and boat watching.