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eBook 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Birmingham: Including Tuscaloosa, Sipsey Wilderness, Talladega National Forest, and Shelby County download

by Russell Helms

eBook 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Birmingham: Including Tuscaloosa, Sipsey Wilderness, Talladega National Forest, and Shelby County download ISBN: 0897329783
Author: Russell Helms
Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press; 2nd edition (May 28, 2007)
Language: English
Pages: 266
ePub: 1348 kb
Fb2: 1728 kb
Rating: 4.3
Other formats: docx mbr lrf rtf
Category: Traveling
Subcategory: United States

Part of Menasha's premier series of city hiking guides, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Birmingham profiles the area's .

Part of Menasha's premier series of city hiking guides, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Birmingham profiles the area's best day hikes within roughly an hour's drive of the Birmingham metro area. Whereas many urban areas farther north experience defined hiking seasons. While I have benefited greatly from using Helms' books, there are many downsides and reasons that one might want to pick a different book, or use Helms' book in conjunction with another book. First, Helms is liberal with the definition of '60 mile' and of &.I will trust Helms that these hikes are all within 60 miles of Birmingham "as the crow flies" but not 60 "drive miles. Whereas many urban areas farther north experience defined hiking seasons, Birmingham’s moderate winter climate encourages hiking year-round. Helpful list of hikes in the front of the boo Part of Menasha's premier series of city hiking guides, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Birmingham profiles the area's best day hikes within roughly an hour's drive of the Birmingham metro area.

Discover new books on Goodreads. See if your friends have read any of Russell Helms's books. Russell Helms’s Followers (1). Russell Helms.

Part of Menasha's premier series of city hiking guides, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Birmingham profiles the . Whereas many urban areas farther north experience defined hiking seasons, BirminghamÕs moderate winter climate encourages hiking year-round.

Including Tuscaloosa, Sipsey Wilderness, Talladega National Forest, and Shelby County · 60 Hikes within 60. .In addition to treading area trails by foot on a weekly basis, he hangs ten on his mountain bike daily.

Including Tuscaloosa, Sipsey Wilderness, Talladega National Forest, and Shelby County · 60 Hikes within 60 Miles. More about Russell Helms.

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Birmingham: Including Tuscaloosa, Sipsey Wilderness, Talladega National Forest, and Shelby County (60 Hikes within 60 Miles). Beside Lake Beautiful. от 572. Hamilton Fish. Hamilton Fish (August 3, 1808 September 7, 1893) was a. т 1125.

The Sipsey Wilderness lies within Bankhead National Forest around the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River in northwestern Alabama, United States. Designated in 1975 and expanded in 1988, 24,922-acre (10,086 ha) Sipsey is the largest and most frequently visited Wilderness area in Alabama and contains dozens of waterfalls. It was also the first designated wilderness area east of the Mississippi River.

I purchased this book several years ago as a gift for my husband. So if you are looking to try some different hikes in your area, I recommend this series.

Part of Menasha's premier series of city hiking guides, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Birmingham profiles the area's best day hikes within roughly an hour's drive of the Birmingham metro area. Whereas many urban areas farther north experience defined hiking seasons, Birmingham’s moderate winter climate encourages hiking year-round. Helpful list of hikes in the front of the book for special interests — best hikes for children, scenic hikes, hikes good for wildlife viewing or seeing waterfalls, best hikes with historic sites and more — make it easy to select the perfect hike for trekkers of all skill levels.
Comments: (7)
Phain
I have spent the past two years carrying Russell Helms' book through the mountains, trails, city streets, and abandoned furnaces of Alabama. Here are my comments. First, the good. I have learned a great deal more about the state of Alabama in the past two years than I knew before. I have hiked and camped in places that I never knew existed, had wonderful evenings with friends, and seen some beautiful country. Further, after I started with Helms, I then branched out and saw more of Alabama outside of his 60 miles (e.g., Little River Canyon). At the end of this, I will try to indicate some of the hikes that are actually worth your time.

While I have benefited greatly from using Helms' books, there are many downsides and reasons that one might want to pick a different book, or use Helms' book in conjunction with another book.

First, Helms is liberal with the definition of '60 mile' and of `hike.' I will trust Helms that these hikes are all within 60 miles of Birmingham "as the crow flies" but not 60 "drive miles." So, if you are planning a quick trip, you might be in for a surprise. Further, some of these are not what you would call hikes. A stroll through Sloss Furnace, a walk down a few city blocks ("Civil Rights Trail"), a parking lot beside a lake ("Lakeside Park Loop"), the short deck that leads out to an overlook near Mt. Cheaha ("Bald Rock Boardwalk"), a short stroll through a cemetery ("Oak Hill Cemetery Walk"), a walk though the paved miniature re-creation of Jerusalem ("Ava Maria Grotto trail") are not hikes. While they might be interesting for other reasons, they don't belong in a book on hikes.

Second, Helms' regularly gives horrible directions to the hike and during the hike. I have gotten lost many times trying to follow his directions. He also seems to regularly confuse the letters Y and T, and left and right (e.g., on the horrible "Guntersville Tom Bevill/ Cave trail," and the mediocre "Oak Mt Lake Tranquility loop"). While these can be dangerous, in that a hike may take longer than you planned for (especially on the "Pinhoti Trail - Adams Gap to Disaster" which is longer, ill marked, and far more boring than Helms lets on), they have often added a much needed break while me and my hiking companions struggle to discover just what Russell meant. On a related note, you might want to consider your vehicle in getting to some of these hikes, as they are often off-road, over loose gravel. If you don't mind cussing a lot, then these issues might not be a problem for you.

Third, after completing 50 of these hikes, I discovered that the majority of them are absolute rubbish, filler to finish out the theme of the book, and boring walks through boring forests to nothing ("Jefferson State Combo," "Maplebridge-Horseshoe," "Cahaba River WMA Hike," "Cahaba Lily Park Nature Trail," both Sipsey trails, I'm talking about you). The worst part of the "Sipsey River Trail," the longest hike in the book, was that Helms takes you out and back to a single trail marker, and ignores the side trail that would have taken you to the largest tree in Alabama. I'll save you time on that trail: the only interesting sites are within the first mile, and should you decide to go further, see the largest tree. My companions and I didn't see it, and we have regretted it ever since, but we are not motivated to endure the boredom again. I am sure that his description of the other Sipsey trail is wrong ("Flint Creek White Loop"), as it is longer and much more suited to dirt biking or something and not hiking. It is beyond boring, with nothing to see, with trees on either side closing you in the entire way. Finally, to add more filler, he also splits up larger hikes and presents short side trails as if they were complete trails (e.g., "Ruffner Hollow Tree Trail," "Oak Mountain: Tree Top"). Many times, my friends and I have wondered how he picked the trails he did (e.g., there are more interesting trails at Lake Guntersville than those Helms mentions).

Part of this problem is not Helms', as there are maybe a dozen good hikes in the Birmingham area. For those interested, I'll list what I think are the best ones: "Moss Rock", "Tannehill Ironworks trail", several trails at Ruffner (e.g., "Quarry trail") and Oak Mountain (e.g., "Peavine Falls"), "Boulder Canyon Loop," "Hurricane Creek Park Loop," "Sumatanga Red Trail," and that's it. There are many others that were not hikes per se, but were interesting and beautiful places that I am glad Helms mentioned (e.g., "Aldridge Gardens Trail," "Noccalula"). Finally, there are those that are just close and one can get a quick taste of nature while still being close to the city (e.g., "Jemison Park Nature trail," "Vulcan Trail," "Munny Sokol Park Loop," and "Spain Park").

In the end, I would say that this is a good book to start with and use as a reference, but one has to have a great willingness to deal with ambiguity, and one should expect that getting to and completing a hike will take longer than indicated. One should not slavishly follow Helms' directions or choices. As for me, I did discover a new love of the wilderness that did not exist before, and for that I am thankful. In that vein, if you start with the good hikes I've mentioned, you might also somewhat forgive Helms for needing to pad out the book with filler hikes.

**Added 24 September 2011: Since I wrote this review, I have finished all the hikes in Helm' book and have been working through another hiking book. This has allowed me to put Helms' book in a different perspective. First, while my criticisms remain valid, Helms' directions are actually better than those in other hiking books. So, in that context, his book is actually somewhat better than some other hiking books. You will still have to pay attention to where you are going, but Helms is better by contrast, and so for that reason I have added a star to his review.

Second, there are other good hikes in the Birmingham area other than those I mentioned. In particular, Cheaha has several great hikes, including the Nubbin Creek Loop, the Blue Mountain Jaunt, and the Cave Creek Loop. Be warned, the Nubbin Creek loop is at least two miles longer than Helms lists, and the Cave Creek Loop is very hard on the feet.
Vushura
This book gives you good detail and descriptions for hiking in and around the city. Very good information about each trail. Also provides helpful tips for navigating the area.
I ℓ٥ﻻ ﻉ√٥υ
Very informative and useful.
Risinal
Good book
Laizel
good, useful information
Isha
Item is as advertised. Thank you.
Mautaxe
Great book with great hikes.
This book is very well written and gives great trail descriptions of some of my favorite hikes and some hikes that are sure to become my favorites.

I bought it but returned it to my local store when I discovered that the author did not include any GPS waypoint coordinates. This is unfortunate because the book description states that it contains GPS based maps. It does contain maps that were created using what must have been the author's GPS tracks/waypoints, but I am disappointed that the author did not share the GPS waypoints with his readers.

In this day and age, any new trail guide really needs to take advantage of the incredible capabilites of GPS technology and share waypoints with the reader. If the next edition of this book includes waypoints, then I will certainly buy it. If you do not use a GPS then you will find this book very helpful. If you do use GPS, you will feel somewhat disappointed that the author did not share his GPS waypoints.