The Appalachian Mountain Club has recently released two new exciting books that New England hikers and backpackers might be interested in:
- “AMC’s Best Backpacking in New England: A Guide to 37 of the Best Multiday Trips from Maine to Connecticut,” second edition, by Matt Heid, published in 2014.
- “Field Guide to the New England Alpine Summits: Mountaintop Flora and Fauna in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont,” third edition, by Nancy G. Slack and Allison W. Bell, published in 2014.
When I first got into hiking, I asked around to learn what trail guide would be most useful to me here in Maine. Several people suggested AMC’s Maine Mountain Guide, so that’s what I ended up with. It turned out to be a great resource, so much so that I made sure to purchase the 10th edition of the guide, edited by Carey Kish, when it came out in 2012. I often suggest the guidebook to other hikers.
So I’m a fan of AMC publications. After all, they’ve helped me find trailheads and navigate mountains.
These two 2014 guidebooks look promising.
“AMC’s Best Backpacking in New England,” second edition, starts with a helpful “At-A-Glance Trip Planner” that helps you choose a backpacking trip by listing the difficulty, estimated time, distance and elevation gain, highlights, location, camping options and whether dogs are allowed. After that section is a short introduction on New England geography and backpacking tips. And then comes the meat of the guide — the breakdown of each backpacking trip, including maps and black-and-white photos. In the Maine section, I’ve already decided I’ll use this book to plan a trip in the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness and Bigelow Range, two places I’ve been meaning to hike in for a while.
“Field Guide to the New England Alpine Summits,” third edition, reminds me of all the times I’ve been on Katahdin’s Tableland and wondered, “What’s that?” The flora and fauna (need I say alien bugs?) is so different atop Maine’s tallest summits. This easy-to-read field guide, which has color photos on every page, will be especially useful for any hiker who has a curiosity about the natural environment. It covers a wide variety of living things — nearly 200 mountain species — from colorful lichens to pine martins. And what I really like about this field guide is that it simplifies things. It’s not overwhelming!
If interested in either of these books, visit the Appalachian Mountain Club website section on new publications at www.outdoors.org/publications/books/index.cfm.