By Barb Price
As I began reading Spectacular North Dakota: Hikes Bring the Dog, I realized that Susan Wefald has already written a review for her book so I will use her first paragraph which so perfectly states the purpose for Spectacular North Dakota Hikes Bring the Dog. “This book is for anyone who wants to explore North Dakota’s diverse landscape and learn more about its history. It’s for families who want to expand neighborhood strolls into the great outdoors. It’s for seasoned hikers looking for new experiences. And it’s for people who love the idea of hiking with their dogs.”
One of the first thing you notice when you quickly browse Wefald’s book are the great watercolor illustrations by Janet Flom, an artist from Moorhead, MN. There is one illustration at the beginning of each chapter that represents the landscape for each section of the State where the hikes are located.
There are 29 hikes described in the book. There is a map of North Dakota in the beginning of the book that shows where each hike is located. The State is divided into eight sections with two to six hikes in each section. The hikes are located along the Missouri River- Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, in the Turtle Mountains, the Sheyenne River Valley, Little Missouri River Badlands, Prairie Rivers of the Northeast, around Lake Sakakawea, at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers and in the National Wildlife Refuges and other Scenic Locations.
For each hike Wefald has included information about the local history, the natural environment and practical trail advice. There is a detailed map for each hike showing the trailhead locations, distances and landmarks. She gives direction to each trailhead, points of interest and even “What’s for Lunch.” Sandy, Wefald’s hiking companion, a goldendoodle, also has notes on the hikes – what smells and critters and doggie hiking gear is appropriate for hiking.
This is the best hiking book I have seen and used. I can hardly wait until spring to start discovering North Dakota up close and personal. I will just have to decide which one of my dogs to take.
Susan Wefald, was a North Dakota Public Service Commissioner for 16 years. She and her husband, Bob, have been avid hikers for more than 40 years. Sandy, a goldendoodle, is their hiking companion.