BOOK REVIEW: The Creaky Knees Guide Oregon: The 85 Best Easy Hikes

Sasquatch Books in Seattle has published a second edition of their guide to relatively easy hikes throughout Oregon.


Seabury Blair Jr., The Creaky Knees Guide Oregon: The 85 Best Easy Hikes (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2016), 306 pp.

Publisher’s description This day-hiking guidebook features the best 85 eighty-five low-impact hikes throughout the state from the Oregon Coast and Columbia River Gorge to Mount Hood. Written in an informative style that will appeal to anyone, regardless of age, the guide covers hikes in six regions throughout the state as well urban hikes and walks. Each trail description includes elevation gains, including a topographical map; clear, up-to-date driving directions; mileage and estimated hiking time; trail conditions; and more. Creaky Knees hiking guides are perfect for aging baby boomers, seniors, those traveling with small children, and anyone else interested more in a stroll than a climb.

While “Creaky Knees” makes one think this series of hiking guides is for older folk, I was attracted to the Oregon edition because I hike with my two kids, who are 10 and 3. And while I do get outside quite a lot, I am not the most physically fit person. So, a guide to hiking trails in the region that are not going to kill me sounds like a great guide to me. We’ll plan to consult this guide for the times we head out to the Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, and Columbia River Gorge, and less frequently, other parts of the state. But the author’s use of “Easy” is relative, so some hikes described can be tougher than others. I appreciate then the charts at the beginning of the book that separate the hikes by difficulty, from “Stroll in the Park” and “Easy Walk” to “Moderate Workout” and “Prepare to Perspire.” I doubt we’ll be choosing any of the hikes from the list of “Knee-Punishing” ones. The last section of the book shares a few Urban Trails, including one from Portland (the Eastbank Esplanade Loop). There are a few more hikes in the city that I would like to have seen here (the trail leading to Council Crest from the Oregon Zoo and then down to OHSU through Marquam Nature Park [part of the 4T Trail] or one of the many trails through Tryon Creek State Park or Forest Park). But it’s a book for the whole state of Oregon, not just Portland.

In addition to The Creaky Knees Guide Oregon: The 85 Best Easy Hikes the publisher also has guides that will be of interest to hikers in the PNW: The Creaky Knees Guide Washington: The 100 Best Easy Hikes (second edition) and the all new The Creaky Knees Guide Pacific Northwest National Parks and Monuments: The 75 Best Easy Hikes.

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