By Cherie Baxter
Although it is always nice to have helpful hiking sites and blogs to help us through trail selection, maps and additional information, it can also be wonderful to sit down to read a great hiking book to plan your next adventure or take it along on the road with you. Many of these hiking books are filled with gorgeous photos, colour maps, step by step directions through a series of trails graded in difficulty and approximate timeframes to allow for proper preparation.
Hiking Trails Books
These books were written and self-published by the Vancouver Island Trails Information Society. The series of books written by this non-profit society make every effort to keep up-to-date information and have gone through 32 editions. The books cover all levels of hiking experience and prides itself on promoting outdoor activity. Hiking Trails I guides through many of the available walks and hikes throughout Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula, Western Communities, Sooke and out to Port Renfrew. Hiking Trails 2 covers central Vancouver Island and more including Cobble Hill, Duncan and the Cowichan Valley, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Long Beach. It also provides information for some of the incredible hikes on the Gulf Islands. Hiking Trails 3 is 224 pages covering in great detail with local and outdoor enthusiast’s tips and directions for the northern trails of Vancouver Island.
For more information, visit the Vancouver Island Trails Information Society’s website.
Popular Day Hikes 4 – Vancouver Island
Part 4 of the Popular Day Hike series by Theo Dombrowski has selected specific trails to highlight ranging from 6kms to 25 kms located mostly within central and northern Vancouver Island. This book has full colour photographs and colourful maps with detailed directions through the awe-inspiring trails of Vancouver Island. From the lush forests, lakes, oceanside and magnificent mountain tops, get out and explore taking in the fresh air and salty spray of one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
Hiking the West Coast of Vancouver Island
More specific to the West Coast, Hiking the West Coast of Vancouver Island by Tim Leadem, takes the reader through a vivid recollection of many of the available hikes along the Juan de Fuca Trail, West Coast Trail and newly updated in its third edition, it also includes the rugged terrain of the North Coast Trail with maps to assist you in some of the more challenging hikes where good inside tips can be appreciated.
Hiking Vancouver Island: A Guide to Vancouver Island’s Greatest Hiking Adventures
FalconGuide books presents a thorough guide of more than 50 trails in Hiking Vancouver Island: A Guide to Vancouver Island’s Greatest Hiking Adventures. Local guides Shannon and Lissa Cowan provide great insight of Island treks ranging from beginner to the more difficult backpacker trails. This guidebook shares the details needed to head out on your adventure with confidence including access points, detailed directions, maps and photographs.
Hiking on the Edge
A more specific focus given to the West Coast Trail and the Juan de Fuca Trail is in Hiking on the Edge: West Coast trail, Juan de Fuca Trail, 3rd Edition by Ian Gill. This guidebook excites the reader of the true oceanside delights that await those that brave these trailways. As most guide books provide some full colour photographs, this book goes above and beyond with over 50 breathtaking photos by the talented David Nunuk. Let Hiking on the Edge be the inspiration to plan your next exciting hike along these rugged trails.
Seaside Walks on Vancouver Island
For a wider range of difficulty, Seaside Walks on Vancouver Island by Theo Dombrowski has a comprehensive guidebook for the leisurely daytime stroll along the oceanside to the rugged terrain of seaside cliffs. Vancouver Island has such a plentiful selection of hikes with final seaside destinations or trails that peek out here and there from forests and wildflower meadows to see the beautiful ocean sights. The colorful maps and detailed information make trip planning easy for tourist island getaways or for daily trip planning for the locals.