Where should you hike with the kids next? That’s the question a new hiking guide by Bangor Daily News outdoors columnist Aislinn Sarnacki seeks to answer. The recently released book “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine” features 35 easy hikes from across the state.
And if anyone knows hiking here in Maine, it’s Sarnacki. She estimates she’s hiked 250 trails in Maine since she began writing her popular weekly column “1-Minute Hikes,” 5½ years ago.
For “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine,” Sarnacki wanted to include hikes from around the state that would be ideal for families. The 35 hikes featured in the book allow Mainers to improve their own mental and physical health while exploring the beauty of Maine.
“I know not everybody has a backyard and forest of their own, but that’s why these trails are so cool, is that you can get them out on public lands,” Sarnacki said.
Each book chapter begins with a general information section explaining difficulty, dog accessibility, cost, seasonal accessibility, wheelchair accessibility, hunting, restrooms, GPS coordinates and directions to get there.
Sarnacki’s photos of the plants, birds, animals and insects that inhabit the trail help illustrate the hiking experiences. She also recounts her personal experiences with the trails, including hiking with her husband, her dog Oreo and her niece Willamina, 5, who thinks her “Auntie AZ” owns all the forests.
Sarnacki approached the challenge of finding more of the easy, family-friendly trails for the book using similar research methods to what she employs for her column. She started by printing out a map of Maine and pinning appropriate locations she’d hiked for her columns. Then she hunted to find other family-friendly hikes in parts of Maine she hadn’t covered. She turned to land trusts, which often feature easier trails, and searched the state parks and National Wildlife Refuge websites.
“It is a task, and I guess that’s one of the main…