Spending more time outdoors has made a positive impact on me, both physically and mentally. It’s restorative to be out walking among the trees, along the coast, or wandering through a new city, learning a little history and admiring its culture. When you’re ready to step out, Smiley Library has a number of new books full of ideas for your outings.
Urban hiking combines the adventure of exploring interesting neighborhoods while enjoying the outdoors. Your journey may take you past historic architecture, colorful murals, shorelines, or town squares. “Urban Hikes Southern California: A Guide to the Area’s Greatest Urban Hiking Adventures” by Robert Inman showcases 41 different hikes along with maps, mileage, and pictures to pique your interest. Walk or take a ride on Angels Flight, the historic funicular railway in downtown Los Angeles featured on the Little Tokyo-Bunker Hill hike. Check out the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge in San Diego while roaming the Bankers Hill-Balboa Park vicinity. Inman even highlights a 5.8 mile loop hike right here in Redlands. If you have yet to walk around the 1897 Victorian mansion Kimberly Crest in Prospect Park, the French chateau cottages of Normandie Court, or look up into the colorful umbrellas above Orange Street Alley, then you should definitely put this on your list. The Redlands hike also references “the magnificent” Smiley Library. We couldn’t agree more.
Our circulating collection contains a variety of hiking guidebooks featuring different locales. These guides are useful resources with comprehensive lists of trails including information such as length, difficulty level, maps, and descriptions of the area. They include treks from easy day hikes to longer back-country trips. Just a few of the areas covered are the San Bernardino Mountains, Palm Springs, Anza Borrego, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Our newest additions would be perfect for experienced hikers and those up for an extended adventure. “Sierra North” and “Sierra South” by Elizabeth Wenk and Mike White take you into the gorgeous Sierra Nevadas of California on overnight to week-long backpacking expeditions. The authors include 80 trips for each book, so there is a wide range of excursions to choose from. My husband and I really enjoy the Bishop Pass trail out of South Lake. Even for day hiking, these useful books will introduce you to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the West.
Tailored for kids, “Wild Days: Outdoor Play for Young Adventurers” by Richard Irvine is such a fun book to spark ideas for exploring nature. Over 50 activities, crafts, games, and lessons will encourage your kids to engage with the outdoors. Suggestions include stargazing, going on treasure hunts, listening to birdsong, building rope swings, and floating reed boats. This educational guide will entice your child to spend hours of fun in the fresh air.
We have many beautiful public hiking and walking trails available in Redlands. Enjoy the open space of San Timoteo Canyon or Herngt ‘Aki’ Preserve for starters. Information and maps can be found on the following website: www.redlandsconservancy.org/map and handouts of these maps are available at Smiley Library’s reader’s advisory desk. Brochures are also available for walks in the downtown Redlands area. Spotlighting prominent buildings and homes, “A Walking Tour of Historic Redlands” and “A Personality Tour of Historic Redlands” will help you discover Redlands’ past.