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Reader Poll: Best Trail Guidebooks?

Hiking Guidebook Authors Guest Post Series
Great Hiking Guidebooks

Great hiking trail guidebooks can open a new world up for novice and experienced hikers who need a little bit of help coming up with good day hike or backpacking trip ideas.

What are your favorite hiking trail guidebooks?

Example Entries

The North Country Trail by Ron Strickland.

AMC’s Best Backpacking in New England by Matt Heid.

Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook by Jackie McDonnell

Please leave a comment.

200 comments

  1. Tahoe Rim Trail by Tim Hauserman

  2. Backpacking Washington by Craig Romano

  3. “Exploring Tumbler Ridge” by Charles Helm

  4. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  5. Bushwalking in Australia by John Chapman

  6. John Muir Trail: The essential guide to hiking America’s most famous trail by Elizabeth Wenk and Kathy Morey.

  7. Spot X Tramping New Zealand by C Moore

  8. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  9. Colorado’s Fourteeners by Gerry Roach.

  10. “Uwharrie Lakes Region Trail Guide” by Don Childrey

  11. Black Forest Trail Guide by Chuck Dillon

  12. My favorite trail guidebook is The Long Trail Guidebook by The Green Mountain Club.

  13. The Linville Gorge Hiker’s Guide, 5th printing, by Allen Hyde

  14. Northern Forest Canoe Trail Guidebook published by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail people with a variety of authors.

  15. 50 Hikes in Alaska’s Chugach State Park by Shane Shepherd and Owen Wozniak

  16. Appalachian Trail Guide to Shenandoah National Park by Lee Sheaffer. Great trail and a great park!

  17. One of my favorite guide books is PATC Circuit Hikes in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania – 8th Edition. I’ve used this book for years to take Boy Scouts out for Hiking Merit Badge along with friends from work.

    http://www.rei.com/product/806191/patc-circuit-hikes-in-virginia-west-virginia-maryland-and-pennsylvania-8th-edition

  18. 60 HIkes within 60 miles: Nashville Guide Book by JOhnny Molloy

  19. The +very+ few times I actually go to a hardcover book for information it would be the latest AMC guide. I get most if not all my information from websites and trailjournals.

    White Mountain Guide, 29th: AMC’s Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails in the White Mountain National Forest (Appalachian Mountain Club White Mountain Guide) Hardcover
    by Steven D. Smith (Author), Mike Dickerman (Author)

  20. Hiking Big Bend National Park by Laurence Parent is my favorite hiking guidebook.

  21. Got to be… The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  22. Day & Overnight Hikes: Shenandoah National Park by Johnny Molloy

  23. Hiking and Backpacking Trails of Texas by Mickey Little

  24. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  25. Adirondack Trails: High Peaks Region, Adirondack Mountain club, Tony Goodwin Editor.

  26. 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Nashville by Johnny Molloy because it was the book that got me back into hiking.

  27. Moon Spotlight New Hampshire Hiking by Jacqueline Tourville

  28. Hiking and Backpacking Trails of Texas by Mickey Little.

  29. Hiking Georgia: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures by: Donald Pfitzer, Jimmy Jacobs

  30. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  31. Family Hikes in Upstate South Carolina by Scott Lynch

  32. Hiking Maine by Tom Seymour

  33. Hiking the Big Sur Country – The Ventana Wilderness by Jeffrey P. Schaffer

  34. Colorado Trail Atlas by Erik the Black and Blackwoods Press.

  35. AMC’s White Mountain Guide – Steve Smith / Mike Dickerman

  36. Hiking Trails of the Smokies – Great Smoky Mountain Association
    Great detail of every trail in the GSM NP.

  37. Berkshire & Taconic Trails by Edward G. Henry

  38. Ozark Highlands Trail Guide by Tim Ernest

  39. Nope not interested, absolutely despise the Color, and floorless. Nope no entry here..Still have my Tarp Tent.

  40. San Bernardino Mountain Trails by John Robinson

  41. Camino de Santiago de Levante
    Asociacion Amigos del Camino de Santiago de la Comunidad Valenciana

  42. The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains – Smith / Dickerman

  43. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  44. The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains by Steven D. Smith and Mike Dickerman

  45. Hiking Big Bend National Park by Lawrence Parent. The book’s already been mentioned but Big Bend is among my favorite waffle stomping grounds… except these days I use trail runners, which aren’t really waffle stompers.

  46. AMC’s Best Day Hikes in The White Mountains by Robert Buchsbaum

  47. My favorite hiking guide book by far is the classic “Fifty Hikes in the Adirondacks” by Barbara McMartin. This guide book first published in 1980 is still my go-to guide book when I’m looking for something to do in the Adirondacks.

  48. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  49. A Falcon Guide, Hiking the North Cascades by Eric Molvar

  50. “AMC’s Best Day Hikes in The White Mountains” – Robert Buchsbaum

  51. “Haute Randonnee Pyreneenne” – Georges Veron

  52. Appalachian Trail: Thru Hikers’ Companion 2014 by Appalachian Trail Conservancy

  53. Pennsylvania Waterfalls: A Guide for Hikers and Photographers By Scott E. Brown

  54. Ouachita Trail Guide by Tim Ernst.

  55. A Climber’s Guide to Glacier National Park By J. Gordon Edwards – Oddly enough he passed away the day I left for my first trip to GNP.

  56. Sierra South by Karl Schwenke and Thomas Winnett and Starr’s Guide by Walter A. Starr.

  57. Hiker’s Guide to Laurel Highlands Trail by Bruce Sundquist

  58. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller.

  59. I have to echo the AT Guide by David AWOL Miller. Plus it’s great to listen to the audiobook of AWOL on the Appalachian Trail while reading the guidebook!

  60. Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2014 by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

  61. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  62. The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, Trails – R.J. Secor more of a mountaineering guide but it still talks about trails! The best part are the route photos of huge granite peaks.

  63. Catskill Mountain Guide: Hiking Trails in the Catskills by Peter Kick

  64. My old ’98 Thru Hikers Guide by Dan “Wingfoot” Bruce.

  65. “The Lone Star Trail Trail” hiking guide by Karen Somers

  66. A. Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells

  67. Hiking Virginia’s National Forests by Karin Wuertz-Schaefer

  68. Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail by the SHTA

  69. Hiking Idaho by Jackie Maughan and Ralph Maughan

  70. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  71. The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  72. The AT Guide – David Miller

  73. “Best Hikes with Dogs, New Hampshire and Vermont” by Lisa Densmore

  74. The Long Trail End to Ender’s Guide: Helpful Hints and Information for Long Hikes on the Long Trail by Bob McCaw

  75. Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area by the Northern New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club

  76. I think it would have to be The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller

  77. Wenk’s guide to the JMT!

  78. Cynthia Jendrejcak

    My favorite is the Connecticut Walk Book (both the East and West versions) put out by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. Beautiful maps, great info, and I like the looseleaf format so I only carry exactly what I need for any given hike.

  79. AMC White Mountain Guide, 29th edition, Steven D. Smith and Mike Dickerman

  80. John Muir Trail: The essential guide to hiking America’s most famous trail. By Elozabeth Wenk with Kathy Morey.

  81. Hiking Trails of North Georgia by Tim Homan. Constant companion on my car.

  82. Hiking Death Valley by Michel Diconnet

  83. Hiking Tennessee Trails: Hikes Along Natchez, Trace, Cumberland Trail, John Muir Trail, Overmountain Victory Trail, and many others (Regional Hiking Series) by Bob Brown

  84. Green Mountain Club Long Trail Guide – GMC author

  85. The North Country Trail by Ron Strickland

  86. Appalachian Trail Guide: Maine .. edited by Ray Ronan
    We got some real nice stretches of the AT up here, but above Stratton is the best in my book [pun-pun]

  87. PATC Circuit Hikes in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania – 8th Edition

    I’ve used this guide book for years taking Boy Scouts and Friends from work on trails around. Its has never let me down.

  88. Desert Hiking Guide: Coachella Valley and Palm Springs Vicinity by John A. Fleming.

  89. Hiking Texas Guide Book by Laurence Parent

  90. Hiking Montana by Bill and Russ Schneider; Great one for my Big Sky state.

  91. I’m not sure this counts because it’s online, but the Piinhoti Trail guide made available by the Pinhoti Trail Alliance.

  92. Discover the Adirondacks Series by Bill Ingersoll

  93. Erik the Blacks John Muir Trail Atlas

  94. Arrrrgh….. I can’t remember the book name or author, but it is an Acadia National Park trails book, that is about 4.5 inches wide and 12 inches tall, and the unique feature (for me) was the graph of the elevation changes of each trail. 1 trail per page. I even tried googling but no luck…..the search continues…..
    (No soup for you!)

  95. HIKING DEATH VALLEY by Michel Diconnet and I suggest you don’t hike it in summer! But the rest of the year is beautiful and far less danger of dehydration and sunstroke!

  96. Long Trail Guide Hiking Vermont’s High Ridge by Dave Hardy and Matt Krebs

  97. Camino De Santiago by John Brierley

  98. Sierra North Backcountry Trips in California’s Sierra Nevada by Kathy Morey, Mike White, Stacy Corless, and Thomas Winnett.

  99. A classic. The Thru-Hiker’s Handbook by Dan “Wingfoot” Bruce

  100. Discovering the Wonders of Wonderland Trail by Bette Filley

  101. North Carolina Waterfalls: A Hiking and Photography Guide by Kevin Adams

  102. “Guide To The John Muir Trail And The High Sierra Region” by Walter Starr, Jr. I enjoy contrasting the content and writing style of the 1930’s – 1940’s vintages of this book with my current go-to favorite “John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America’s Most Famous Trail” by Elizabeth Wendt and Kathy Morey. What different times we live in….

  103. Hiking Trails of the Smokies by Great Smoky Mountains – Natural History Association, Don DeFoe, Beth Giddens and Steve Kemp

  104. Explorer’s Guide 50 Hikes in New Jersey: Walks, Hikes, and Backpacking Trips from the Kittatinnies to Cape May – First hiking book and guide to first ever AT hike

  105. The Cape Wrath Trail by David Paterson.

  106. Exploring the Appalachian Trail – Hikes in the Virginias
    by David Lilliard and Gwyn Hicks

  107. High Peaks Trails edited by Tony Goodwin and David Thomas-Train

  108. Hiking Trails of Mainland Nova Scotia by Micheal Haynes

  109. Hiking Trails of Big Frog and Cohutta by Tim Homan

  110. Colorado’s Incredible Backcountry Trails by David Day

  111. Hiking Indiana: A guide to the States Greatest Hiking Adventure by Phil Bloom

  112. Hiking The Black Hills Country by Bert and Jane Gildart

  113. Sierra South: Backcountry Trips in Californias Sierra Nevada by Kathy Morey, Mike White, Stacey Corless, Analise Elliot Heid, Chris Tirrell, Thomas Winnett

  114. Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail by the Superior Hiking Trail Association.

  115. I’d say _A Walk in the Woods_ by Bill Bryson but I see our moderator is being quite strict, so I’ll go with Scofield and Green’s _50 Hikes in New Jersey_, a text that helped me get back into hiking several years ago.

  116. The AT guide by AWOL (David Miller)

  117. 2013 Northbound. The A.T. Guide by David “Awol”Miller.

  118. 2013 Northbound. The A.T. Guide by David “Awol”Miller. Also Maine’s Backcountry Trail Guide by George “Whitey” Dolan.

  119. Hiking from Here to Wow: Utah’s Canyon Country Kathy and Craig Copeland

  120. THE COHOS TRAIL: The Guidebook to New Hampshire’s Great Unknown by Kim Robert Nilsen.

    This guide captures my imagination perhaps like no other.

  121. Rocky Mountain National Park The Complete Hiking Guide by Lisa Foster

  122. The Long Trail Guide: Hiking Vermont’s High Ridge by Green Mountain Club

  123. The AT Guide by David Miller.

  124. Hiking Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Wilderness by Jason Moore

  125. Without a doubt, the answer is: The AT Guide by David “Awol” Miller.
    Sydney Evans/TicTac

  126. Hiking the Endless Mountains by Jeff Mitchell

  127. NORTH COUNTRY CACHE: ADVENTURES ON A NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL

    by Joan H. Young

  128. Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook by Jackie McDonnell is the best!

  129. Backpacking in Michigan by Jim DuFresne

  130. 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades by the wonderful William Sullivan

  131. The Hiking Trails of North Georgia 3rd edition by Tim Homan

    I’ve had this book for over 10 years and still read it whenever I’m planning on heading up north from Florida.

  132. Pacific Northwest Trail Digest by Tim Youngbluth

  133. Curious Gorge (Hiking and Exploring the Columbia River Gorge Area) by Scott Cook

  134. Hiking Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – Eric Hansen !

  135. Seventh Edition 
    Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail
    Compiled by the Superior Hiking Trail Association 
    Foreword by Sam Cook 

    Hiking Iowa Guide Book
    by Elizabeth Corcoran Hill (F

  136. Sierra North: Backcountry Trips in California’s Sierra Nevada by Kathy Morey and Mike White, with Stacy Corless and Thomas Winnett

  137. Another one I use often since Arkansas is one of the closer hiking destinations to the Dallas/Fort Worth area:

    Arkansas Hiking Trails by Tim Ernst

  138. Missouri: the reigning king hiking trails in.Missouri.

  139. “The Catskill 67” by Alan Via

  140. Besides my AMC guide which is like the Bible for the whites, I have worn out the pages of “Cape Cod and the Islands” a naturalist hiking guide by Ned Friary and Glenda Bendure. When in Arizona my other worn book hike book is “Sedona Hikes” by Richard&Sherry Mangum. All 3 make great bed companions too as I fall asleep planning the next hike.

  141. Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Guide, by Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club

  142. The Lone Star Hiking Trail Guide. by Karen Somers

  143. AMC’s Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains: Four-Season Guide to 50 of the Best Trails in the White Mountain National Forest by Robert Buchsbaum

  144. Tim Ernst – Ouachita Trail Guide

  145. Karhunkierros Hiking Guide published by the Karttakeskus (variety authors)

  146. Trekking Washington by Mike Woodmansee. Rarely mentioned anywhere. Incredible for remote, longer, once-in-a-lifetime trips in the northern Cascades.

  147. Hiking the Wonderland Trail: The Complete Guide to Mount Rainier’s Premier Trail by Tami Asars

  148. Hiking Big Bend by Laurence Parent

  149. Seeley-Swan Day Hikes by Leftridge. Sometimes it’s fun to read one and day dream about a hike you took long ago.

  150. The Ozark Trail Guidebook by Margo Carroll & Peggy Welch

  151. AMC’s Best Day Hikes Near Philadelphia by Susan Charkes

  152. The Benton Mackaye Trail Thru Hikers Guide – Ernest Engman

  153. The classic- AMC white mountain guide, .by Steven Smith & Mike Dickerman

  154. Discover the Adirondacks – High Peaks by Barbara McMartin

  155. Exploring the Black Hills and Badlands: A Guide for Hikers, Cross-Country Skiers and Mountain Bikers by Hiram Rogers

  156. The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains by Steven D. Smith and Mike Dickerman

  157. North Carolina Hiking Trails, by Allen De Hart

  158. Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, Kathy Copeland.

  159. Hiking Kentucky’s Red River Gorge: Your Definitive Guide to the Jewel of the Southeast by Sean Patrick Hill

  160. The Colorado Trail – Colorado Trail Foundation

  161. the amc white mountain guide by steven smith and mike dickerman

  162. Tim Homan The hiking trails of north georgia

    (though it’s hard to pick just one!)

  163. Pennsylvania Hiking Trails: 13th Edition (Keystone Trails Association), Ben Cramer

  164. AMC’s Best Day Hikes in the Catskills and Hudson Valley by Peter W. Kick.

  165. Hiking Shenandoah by Bert and Jane Gildart

  166. Guide to the John Muir Trail. by Kathy Morey & Tom Winnett.

  167. Hiking Florida: A Guide to Florida’s Greatest Hiking Adventures by M.Timothy O’Keefe

  168. The A.T. Guide by David Miller

  169. 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades

  170. The A.T. Guide; A handbook for hiking the Appalachian Trail, by David “AWOL” Miller

  171. Hiking Pennsylvania Guide Book

    by Rhonda & George Ostertag

  172. I’ve got to stick with ‘AMC’s Best Backpacking in New England’ by Matt Heid. Tackling it one by one!

  173. 50 Hikes in Michigan by Jim Dufresne was the first hiking book I bought and really sparked my interest in backpacking.

  174. The Colorado Trail: Colorado Trail Foundation

  175. Backcountry adventure guide to the Rawah wilderness…Raymond Ave

  176. Guide to ADK Trails – Eastern Region, edited by David Thomas-Train

  177. Starr’s Guide to the JMT (great observation by Chris) also Timberline Country, The High Sierra Route by Steve Roper.

  178. Loop Hikes Washington (BEST Series) by Dan A Nelson

  179. This is a different sort of trail guide, but a fun and informative read none the less. I highly recommend it. The Wild Food Trail guide.

  180. Easy Hiking Around Vancouver: An All-Season Guide by Jean Cousins

  181. Colorado Trail Databook Author: Colorado Trail Foundation

  182. “The Pyrenean Haute Route” by Ton Joosten

    I thru hiked the HRP and found the information in the guide helpful

  183. AMC Massachusetts Trail Guide, edited by John S. Burk… the AMC White Mountain Guide is a close second, however.

  184. Best Tent Camping: Colorado – Kim Lipker

  185. White Mountain Guide, 29th edition – Mike Dickerman, Steven D. Smith
    The Whites are practically in my back yard so this book is my bible. :)

  186. Moon California Hiking by Tom Steinstra and Ann Brown.

  187. Monongahela Hiking Guide by Allen de Hart and Bruce Sundquist

  188. The best of the appalachian trail: overnight hikes by Victoria Logue, Frank Logue, Leonard Adkins

  189. The Long Trail Guide: Hiking Vermont’s High Ridge by the Green Mountain Club.

  190. Iron Mine Trails, A History and Hiker’s Guide to the Historic Mines of the New Jersey and New York Highlands. By Edward J. Lenik

  191. The A.T. Guide by David Miller.

  192. Colorado’s High Thirteeners by Mike Garratt and Bob Martin

  193. The GR10 Trail through the French Pyrenees by Paul Lucia, this book is a fantastic guide to all the sections of the GR10, it takes you through gorgeous villages where foot weary travellers can enjoy the incredible hospitality of the mountain folk while enjoying incredible scenery and hiking trails that are intense but gorgeous.

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