BOOK REVIEW: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland (5th edition)

NOTE: Paul will be at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne this Thursday, August 7 at 7:30pm to talk about his book (info).

Over the last four years of living in Portland, we’ve explored in many of the city’s natural areas and those in nearby cities such as Beaverton and Wilsonville. Besides trips to Cannon Beach and a few other coastal spots, a few times up the Columbia River Gorge, and just a single trip to Mt. Hood (!), we have much to do in the way of exploring nature beyond the metro area. This is where the region’s most popular hiking guide comes in, now out in its 5th edition:

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Paul Gerald, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland: Including the Coast, Mount Hood, St. Helens, and the Santiam River (Birmingham, AL: Menasha Ridge Press, 2014), 337 pp.

We used 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles in the Spring when we went to Catherine Creek in the Columbia River Gorge. The information given was useful and Paul’s description of the hike was informative. Hikes in the Gorge make up the first section of the book, followed by those around Mt. St. Helens, Clackamas River, Santiam River, Mt. Hood, the Coast and Coast Range, finishing up with seven hikes closer to and in Portland. Each section has a map showing the location of all the hikes for that region. For each hike, Paul gives the expected information: length, difficulty, hiking time, distance from Portland (Pioneer Courthouse Square is the fixed point), etc. He also puts in there what scenery will be seen, exposure notes, what the trail surface is like, maps one could get for the hike, and where to find more info (what agency or organization to contact). A map is included showing the hike outline, as well as an elevation chart.

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Catherine Creek hike, Columbia River Gorge

The best part is Paul’s description of each hike, where he takes you through each section of the hike and his thoughts about it. Paul also shares other things to do near the hike destination, and the hike’s GPS information and specific directions from Portland. Toward the beginning of the book, there is a “60 Hikes by Category” section that shows you what hikes are ideal for different things, from kid-friendly and backpacking to big views and swimming options. A how-to-use this book section and hiking advice are included in the introduction.

I highly recommend 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland for anyone wishing to get wild out of the city.

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