A Hudson, Wis., author will unveil his new book – the first-ever comprehensive guide to day hiking trails in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway – on Saturday at Chapter2Books.
“Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway,” by Rob Bignell, describes more than 70 trails in the popular riverway. The riverway annually boasts more than 520,000 visitors, making it more popular than over half of all national parks.
The National Park Service unit straddles the Minnesota-Wisconsin border and includes both the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers. It runs from Prescott, Wis., north to near Solon Springs, Wis., then extends into Wisconsin stretching from outside Danbury, Wis., east to near Cable, Wis. Seven state parks and several state forests, county parks, and nature centers can be found along the way.
“In the Scenic Riverway, you can lean against 200-year-old trees or feel the splash of a hidden waterfall, you can retrace the steps of historic portages or watch bald eagle families soar overhead, you can walk across billion-year-old rock or pick apples as autumn leaves turn red and golden,” Bignell said. “It’s not surprising that the riverway and its parks are so popular.”
Given that Hudson is a major gateway to the scenic riverway, unveiling the title at the city’s downtown bookstore only seemed appropriate, Bignell said. He’ll be at Chapter2Books, 226 Locust St., Hudson, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, to sign books and answer questions about hiking the scenic riverway. Novelist Richard Roach will be at the bookstore prior to Bignell, from 10 a.m. to noon.
What’s in the Book
“Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway” provides a plethora of information about each featured trail, including:
- Driving directions to the trail
- Where to park and find the trailhead
- Course the trail takes
- Scenic points to look for on the trail
- Wildlife and flora you might spot
- Interesting tidbits about the area’s geology and history
- Trailside amenities such as water fountains and bathrooms
- Best times to hike the trail
Following each featured trail are brief descriptions of other nearby day hiking trails.
“These trails are perfect for families with children or anyone who wants to spend just a couple of hours outdoors enjoying and discovering nature,” Bignell said. The trails run from a third of a mile to 6 miles in length, with most only a mile to three miles long.
“Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway” is the sixth guidebook in the well-received “Hittin’ the Trail” series. “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Polk County, Wis.” spent 10 consecutive weeks on Amazon.com’s travel bestseller list last year while “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Grand Canyon National Park” reached the top 10.
“Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway” is the first title in the “Hittin’ the Trail” series to be released as a paperback. All previous titles are ebooks, available for a variety of ereaders, including Kindle, iBook, Nook, Kobo and Sony Reader.
About the Author
A long-time hiker, editor and journalist, Bignell is uniquely qualified to discuss day hiking especially for families. The author of eight other hiking guidebooks, including the popular “Hikes with Tykes” and “Headin to the Cabin” series, Bignell is an avid hiker, long-time editor, and Wisconsin native who’s been day hiking with his son for more than six years. Together they’ve scaled summits almost two miles high, crossed America’s driest deserts, and walked beneath trees soaring 15 stories over their heads.
Before Kieran, Bignell served as an infantryman in the Army National Guard and taught middle school students in New Mexico and Wisconsin. His newspaper work has won several journalism awards, from editorial writing to sports reporting. In 2001, The Prescott Journal, which he served as managing editor of, was named Wisconsin’s Weekly Newspaper of the Year.
Bignell now lives with his son in Hudson, Wis., only a couple of miles from the Scenic Riverway.
Copies of “Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway” will be available for purchase Saturday at Chapter2Books.