If you search around the internet, Amazon has already let the cat out of the bag about my next guidebook, “Dog Friendly Hikes in Maine,” to be published by Down East Books in spring of 2019. Also, I’ve mentioned this third guidebook in the many book talks I’ve given throughout Maine this summer. So for some of you, this isn’t new news. But to the rest of you, guess what? I’m publishing a third guidebook!
“Dog Friendly Hikes in Maine” will be similar to my first two guidebooks — “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine” (2017) and “Maine Hikes Off The Beaten Path” (2018) — but with a little extra information about dog-friendly lodging, restaurants and businesses near the trails that are highlighted in the book.
The book is due to hit shelves in May 2019, and while that may seem like a long way away, to me, the writer, the date is speeding toward me like one of those newfangled high-speed trains. All summer, I’ve been traveling to explore dog-friendly hikes and calling up restaurants to ask, “Do you allow dogs on your dining deck?” Of course my dog, Oreo, is in heaven. The research phase of any guidebook is fun for him, but with this book, I’ve been seeking out trails that are especially fun for dogs, with plenty of places to swim and play.
I’m past the phase of the project where I’m searching for trails to highlight. I already have too many trails on my list and am now actually trying to narrow it down to 35 trails to match the previous two guidebooks. However, I’d still welcome comments and suggestions about the general topic of hiking with dogs, which may spark ideas for the book’s introductory essays.
At the beginning of each guidebook, I include an introduction followed by a few essays on topics that I think will be helpful to the reader while exploring the trails. For this book, I plan to write about dog hiking gear, dog-owner trail etiquette and, as usual, ticks and tick-borne diseases. But those essays are still being finessed, so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comment section of this blog post or email them to me at email@example.com. For example, do you have a favorite piece of doggy hiking gear? Or do you have any special items you put in your first aid kit that are specifically for your canine hiking buddy?
As I’ve been working on this guidebook, I’ve also been giving presentations about my first two guidebooks at various locations. So far this summer, I’ve given talks and signed books in Orono, Bangor, Brewer, Greenville, Newport, Winterport, Ellsworth, Franklin and Dover-Foxcroft. And this weekend, on Sunday, Sept. 9, I’ll have a little table at Brewer Land Trust Day from noon to 3 p.m. on the Brewer Riverwalk. At the event, I’ll be selling and signing books. So stop on by and let’s chat! According to weather reports, it’s going to be a beautiful, sunny day to enjoy the river walk and learn about other area trails.