Top Trails: San Francisco Bay Area, by David Weintraub, Wilderness Press, 2004, 294 pages, $13.95 (www.wildernesspress.com).
Bay Area day hikers, take note — and take a look at one of the first releases of Wilderness Press’s newest series of trail guides. In a region where hikers have hundreds of miles of diverse trails to choose from, author David Weintraub makes choosing the right location for your day hike a breeze. This well-organized guide features 44 of the Bay Area’s finest hikes, divided into four regions: North Bay, South Bay, East Bay, and Peninsula. Each trip description includes a comprehensive trail map and straightforward descriptions of hike difficulty, length, access, terrain, flora, fauna, and sights to look out for as you go. Do you want to take along your kids, your bike, or your dog? The guide clearly spells out which trails are appropriate for what activities, and it lists the facilities you can expect to find when you get there. Whether your goal is to conquer the 4,339-foot summit of Mount St. Helena, to spend the day casually hiking along rolling coastal bluffs, or anything in between, this book will help you get there.