Pick just about any local outdoor trail, and Tamara York has almost certainly been down it. She wrote the book on local hiking trails — literally — with her 2009 publication of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cincinnati (via local publisher Clerisy Press and their outdoor imprint, Menasha Ridge).
“People in Cincinnati don’t realize what a cool spot they live in,” York says.
Her book details urban hikes such as Spring Grove Cemetery and Mount Airy Forest as well as rural romps like the Caesar Creek Gorge Loop Trail. Each trail description includes an elevation profile and terrain description so readers can pick a challenging destination or an easy one.
There are also maps for each trail that point out handy amenities such as benches, playgrounds and covered picnic areas.
York includes tips for encouraging small children to join their parents on multi-mile treks, a nuts-and-bolts field guide to the gear you need to bring (it’s not much and it doesn’t have to be expensive, she says) and notes on some of the wildlife you might encounter.
Surprisingly, you can still happen upon a black bear in this region. If you do, York pleads, don’t feed them or any other wildlife.
“Because, really, what’s the difference between ‘human provides food’ and ‘human is food,’ ” she says.
Many of York’s hikes are serialized right here at CityBeat.com, and her book is available at local bookstores or online at www.cincyhikes.com. York was interviewed on CityBeat’s Podcast #43, available at www.citybeat.com/podcast.