Is there anything better than sitting under a large tree with a good book? June 5th is National Trails Day, so we’re celebrating with a list of the top seven books to accompany you on your next hike. From classics like Thoreau’s Walden to the charming illustrations of Katie Daisy’s How to Be a Wildflower, you’re sure to find the perfect book to throw into your backpack before your next adventure.
To kick things off, we’re starting with 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas by Joe Yogerst. If you’re not sure where to go on this National Trails Day, this guide is for you. Yogerst’s book features the most stunning national, state, and city parks in North America to help you find the perfect destination. Each entry is brought to life with full-color National Geographic photography to showcase the natural beauty of our parks.
Steep Trails by John Muir
John Muir is considered one of the pioneers of modern environmental activism. Steep Trails is a collection of many of the most beloved essays and letters from his writings. If you’re interested in detailed and moving accounts of wilderness exploration and activism, this book is for you!
How to Be a Wildflower: A Field Guide by Katie Daisy
If nonfiction essay collections aren’t your thing, no worries! Katie Daisy’s How to Be a Wildflower may be the perfect pick for your hike. This lightweight paperback is the perfect size for your backpack. Plus, this charming book is packed with eye-catching illustrations and fun prompts for adventure.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
We return to the literature of American naturalists with the classic Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau spent two years living in a cabin on the shores of Walden Pond in Massachusetts while documenting his experience of relative isolation and self-reliance. He condensed his experience into this short, thoughtful book, which reflects on the relationship between humanity and nature.
Devotions by Mary Oliver
The collection of Mary Oliver’s poems featured in Devotions is one of my personal favorites to bring along on a short hike. Oliver’s poetry is descriptive and impactful. Her reflections on the natural world make this book the perfect choice for any outdoorsy poetry lover.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds by National Audubon Society
If you don’t like doing heavy reading on your hikes, don’t worry, we still have a recommendation for you! The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds may be the perfect choice for your hike. These books are specific to your region and feature detailed photographs of local birds and other creatures to help you learn more about the wildlife in your area.
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Our final pick for National Trails Day 2021 is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. This staple of American literature offers many lengthy reflections on the qualities of humanity’s connection with nature and with each other. If you enjoy naturalist poetry, this is the book for you.
We hope you enjoyed our top picks for National Trails Day this year. Don’t forget to get outside and enjoy a book today!
featured image via STUDENT CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION