How 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.
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.