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Trail Atlas Of Michigan Is Indispensable!

Reviewing: Dennis Hansen Trail Atlas Of Michigan  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Travel Gear & Planning Expertise:
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Even though this looks a bit pricey, anyone who lives in Michigan and wants to find places to hike that are not known by every highway traveler or bunch of rowdy kids, really needs to own this book.

This book is reissued every so often with updates. Any trail maps are going to become outdated as things are improved or re-routed. And rules can often change as well. But this is an amazing collection of data, with contact information, so if you plan to travel very far to check out a trail you should be able to call the management agency to confirm any important rules or find out about closures.

Each trail has a hand-drawn map which includes natural features, roads, important structures, etc. There is a picture key for hiking, skiing, biking, interpretive, and accessible trails. Each has a scale of miles. Although hand-drawn, they are quite accurate, and you have the benefit of seeing only the things which are important to that trail. Sometimes regular topo maps, or political maps have too much extraneous information.

There is general information about surface, terrain, parking, fees, water, etc.

If you are familiar with the state grid locator maps on the backs of DeLorme Atlases, Hansen has gotten permission to use that grid with his book. The grid is reprinted on the inside covers, and a large number in the top corner of each page corresponds to the grid number. This can be a little confusing till you figure out that this is not the page number (there are 28 pages numbered 41, for example!) But there are also actual page numbers, they are just in a different spot.

There is an index of county Visitor’s Bureau numbers, and an index of all the trails in the book.

Hansen tries to update the entire book about every 10 years. I have spoken with him a couple of times, as he also maintains a section of the North Country Trail. What this means to me is that he is a real trail person, not just someone who wanted to make and sell a book of maps.

There are over 600 trails in the book, ranging from less than a mile-long nature trails, to general info about the 1200 miles of the North Country Trail which run through the state.

The books weakest point is the binding. It is a huge paperback, 8.5 x 11 inches, and about 2 inches thick, bound on the narrow side. The binding is just glued, and the pages will come out with much use.

This is now in its 3rd edition (I only have the 2nd), and costs $34.95

Hansen Publishing