Tuck ‘Happy Lonesomes’ into your backpack the next time you hike
Review: “Happy Lonesomes: A Guide to 15 Eastern Adirondack Hikes That Are Long on Scenery and Short on Crowds” by Tim Rowland
Looking for some new-to-you, uncrowded hiking trails? “Happy Lonesomes: A Guide to 15 Eastern Adirondack Hikes That Are Long on Scenery and Short on Crowds” by Tim Rowland will guide you through all 15 (with two bonus hikes) hikes. A New York Times bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Rowland has also written many histories about the Adirondacks. His other work includes a series called “Strange and Obscure Stories,” covering a variety of topics; “Politics Weird-o-Pedia: The Ultimate Book of Surprising, Strange, and Incredibly Bizarre Facts about Politics,” and several books of collections of his columns.
In his newest book, Rowland takes the reader along on each hike, describing unexpected sights (like old iron ore mining equipment and random communications equipment), providing tips, pointing out landmarks and finding his own delight in the breathtaking views. Every chapter includes a map, the length of the hike, a description of how to reach the trailhead, and a designation of difficulty (six hard hikes, four moderate and seven easy). Along with black and white photos highlighting the views, the author notes the suitability for children and dogs. The trails are found near the towns of Keene, Elizabethtown, Essex, Upper Jay, Wilmington, and Lewis and near Whiteface Ski Center.
Rowland writes about each trail in a storyteller’s voice using appealing descriptions along the way. For example, Clements Pond hike is a three-mile round trip hike near Keene. It affords the lucky trekker “a walk through an utterly charming wood along a stream … a miniature pass between two miniature mountains and down to a classic Adirondack, ever-green-lined pond.” There’s also a beaver pond, a vernal pool and a cliff. And that’s only the first chapter! When hikers register themselves in the log book, the author advises, register dogs too so human hikers know to look out for the furry hikers.
“Happy Lonesomes” is filled with interesting facts; here are some, in no particular order: Split Rock Wild Forest is comprised of 3,700 acres of mountainous shoreline protected by New York state, Lake Champlain is the 13th largest lake in the United States, one can download free trail maps on the Champlain Area Trails website, GAIA is a topographical app excellent for hikers, and a nickname for The Adirondacks is “The ‘Daks.” Tim Rowland’s newest book is for readers who want to become hikers, seasoned hikers looking for new trails to explore, and for everyone in between. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I’ll be checking out some of these hikes, with “Happy Lonesomes” tucked safely in my backpack.