Book Review: Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests

Hiking Atlanta's Hidden Forests - a great book and giveaway from 365 Atlanta FamilyHow lucky I am to have fallen into this life of blogging! Meeting new people with rich passions is one of my favorite parts of this adventure.  Jonah McDonald is one of those people.

Jonah’s book, Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests published this month, and I was lucky enough to get an early copy. I LOVE THIS BOOK.  It now rides around with me wherever I go, and in only a few short weeks, the pages are tattered and worn with use.  I could write a dissertation about why you MUST get this book, but I’ll save you some time and bullet point the main reasons below.

  • If you think you know hiking in Atlanta, this book will challenge you! There are 27 hikes listed in this book that are NOT COVERED in any other hiking guide out there! And several others that are only covered once in other texts.  WOW!
  • Have you read 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Atlanta? I enjoy that book as well…it was my first tool in exploring the outdoors.  However much you love it, Jonah’s book is even more practical for Atlanta families because he offers 60 hikes within 30 MILES of Atlanta.  1/3 of those are within the Perimeter. Less travel, more hiking!
  • There are a number of great trails in Atlanta that did not make the list (like the O4W Beltine area.) Why? Because Jonah’s mission was to provide a list of hikes that leave you with a sense of “being in the woods without going to the mountains.”  The hikes in this book are close to the city, but you never feel like you’re sacrificing.
  • More than hikes….each hike listed also contains information about three special trees in the area, with GPS coordinates for each.  Some are impressive (“sentinel” trees,) and some are super special, with a Champion Tree designation.  Jonah worked with friends from Trees Atlanta on this effort. Also, working with the Atlanta Audubon Society, you’ll find common birds to listen and watch for on each hike.
  • As the above point indicates, Jonah made this book a community effort, with the mission of encouraging others to explore the greenspaces in our city.  He is a humble man, with a heart for the environment.

If you live within 30 miles of Atlanta, this gem is for you.  If you live inside the city, then there is no excuse…you NEED this book.  You can get it from his site or Amazon.  If you are near Little Five Points, I encourage you to pick up a copy from Charis Books, which recently hosted a book event for Jonah (I was able to attend – you can see us together below!) It’s just another way to share the community spirit which Jonah has embraced through this journey.

Hiking Atlanta's Hidden Forests - a great book and giveaway from 365 Atlanta Family

Disclosure: Jonah gave me a copy of his book for free, but I love it so much that I’ve already bought three more copies for friends.  My opinions here are all my own. I love it! This post also includes an affiliate link, which costs you nothing but helps me pay the Google Gods. Thank you.

Hiking Atlanta's Hidden Forests - a great book and giveaway from 365 Atlanta Family

17 Comments on "Book Review: Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests"

  1. I did it! I have been following your page for months now, and now I liked the Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests Facebook page. Crossing my fingers 🙂

  2. Alana Greene | 04/18/2014 at 12:52 pm | Reply

    Done…. 🙂 Liked his page, love your stuff, the book looks awesome. We love hiking up Stone Mtn. We are always looking for new places though so this book sounds great.

  3. Ann Larsen | 04/18/2014 at 1:15 pm | Reply

    We just moved to Atlanta from Indiana and a friend told me about your site. We love being outside and can’t wait to find places to go.
    Ann Larsen

  4. Cindy Michaels | 04/18/2014 at 2:07 pm | Reply

    Done! I only recently started following your blog (found it by accident linked from another site) and also only recently found out about this book, which I think is also a great idea. Our favorite place to take our 2.5 year old daughter is Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve – hardly anyone knows about it because it’s deep in the middle of a subdivision. But it’s big and we love it!

  5. Done! We are just starting out after I found your blog very recently. We loved teh Big Trees Forest Preserve

  6. Jennifer S. Hilsabeck | 04/18/2014 at 4:04 pm | Reply

    Done! We’re still relatively new to the Atlanta area and I would love more information on local hikes ~ I always enjoy your recommendations on that topic (actually, your recommendations on every topic)

  7. Belinda S. | 04/18/2014 at 4:38 pm | Reply

    I love the outdoors and hiking. I’d love this book for those afternoon where I feel like going for a hike without making the drive out of town. Locally, I love East Palisades!

  8. Done! We love hiking around Lake Lanier with our twin toddlers on our backs. Thanks for the heads up on this book!!

  9. Totally liked that page. So awesome! We love the Chattahoochee NRA units… all of them. Don’t make me pick a favorite. 🙂

  10. I followed and followed! We like the Big Tree Forest Preserve and Red Top Mountain.

  11. Sherry Rouse | 04/23/2014 at 10:41 am | Reply

    We found out about your blog through our daughter, who has 2 kids and a dog. We have 5 grandchildren & the grandpuppy. They all live over in Cherokee County. We live in Gwinnett County and there are 48 parks and 40 of them have trails. Our favorites are: Harbins, Settles Bridge, Little Mulbury, Bethesda, and McDaniel Farm Park. We have most of our trails on everytrail, but some on Ramblr. We think the book looks fantastic, in fact, we try to hike trails that look like we are far off in the woods, yet are close by.

    • leslipeterson | 04/23/2014 at 5:44 pm | Reply

      So glad you found us Sherry! We’re glad to have you! Sounds like you have the scoop! I have put some of your “mentions” on my calendar to check out!!

  12. Following, liked, and looking forward to reading this book! I’m sure it will be a favorite. We moved recently to atlanta, and enjoy finding new places to walk. Currently loving Lullwater Park.

  13. Done all 3! We are just getting started with hiking, so we don’t have a favorite spot yet.

  14. Liked and follow! We just started going to the parks with our almost 2 year old daughter. My favorite is Amaclola Falls.

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