50 Hikes with Kids – Oregon & Washington, by Wendy Gorton (2018)

50 Hikes with Kids - Oregon & Washington, by Wendy GortonHiking with kids is one of those activities that sounds easy but is fraught with potential pitfalls. They get tired, bored, cranky, hungry and pouty, unless you plan the excursion with care. Wendy Gorton is committed to helping families get outside, and to that end has compiled a list of 50 hikes in the Pacific Northwest that are sure to get youngsters interested in spending time outdoors. The hikes are all easy to moderate, with no elevation gain over 275 m (900 ft) and none more than 7 kms (4 miles) in length. The book features 32 hikes in Oregon and 18 in Washington. The vast majority are, reasonably, within short drives of the main cities in both states – Seattle, Portland, and Bend, with a few selections on the eastern edges of the states. Kid appeal drives the presentation of each hike. First, Gorton opens by “selling” the hike in the title – e.g., Explore an Abandoned Mine at Henline Falls, or Follow the Fish to Steelhead Falls. Each hike opens with a description that is an adventure, and a scavenger hunt along each trail will keep young hikers engaged with what is around them. To help adults choose wisely, each well-illustrated hike includes an elevation profile, length and duration info that allows for exploring time, a description of the hike’s difficulty, when to visit, good instructions for getting there, and helpful information on toilets, fees, and (bonus!) where to treat the successful hikers on the way home. There are several lists that organize the hikes by feature, from caves to beach fun. There’s a section on preparing for the hike that reminds adults to pack and dole out snacks, provide journals for recording discoveries and making notes on the drive home, safety info and more. Space is allocated for an index as well, though it wasn’t included in my digital ARC. Oregon is well represented, but there are only four entries for the eastern half of Washington (including Wenatchee and Ellensburg) – perhaps future editions could expand this spectacular area. For those families closer to the coast it’s an excellent choice. My thanks to Timber Press for the advance reading copy provided through #NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35489108


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