By Laure Latham, The Mountaineers Books, 2011, 364 pages, $19.95.
Hiking with kids can seem daunting, but Laure Latham is an expert. Her new book is filled with ways to turn what can sometimes feel like a forced march into a fun outing, and every hiker will find inspiration in her lively trail descriptions. She paints each trail in detail, evoking strong images that will entice you to experience the smell of sage, a view of the hills, or the feeling of cool air coming from a mine shaft. The hikes become treasure hunts, with new gems around each bend.
This compact guide covers 100 hikes in all nine Bay Area counties plus Santa Cruz, and is filled with resources and information, including references to relevant books, websites, and organizations. Parents will appreciate the lists of essential supplies, ideas for keeping tired kids motivated, and suggestions for healthy snacks.
Each hike overview offers a detailed trail map; information on distance, difficulty, and seasonal accessibility; and icons indicating stroller accessibility, dog-friendliness, and more. Fun sidebars highlight local history, landmarks, wildlife, and memorable seasonal events.