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Ease into Exploring 

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Thanks to Day Hike! Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint, I might actually break in those sadly neglected hiking shoes I bought two years ago. This accessible guidebook contains 75 local hikes that you can do in one day, from the familiar and easy (South Hill Loop, Centennial Trail) to the less-trodden and more challenging (Coal Creek).

"Hikes at a Glance" in the front of the book gives you the hike's name, its rating on a scale of one to five stars, best months for hiking it, suitability for kids and/or dogs and its level of difficulty. From there the hikes are more thoroughly explored in order of easiest to hardest, with insider intel that takes into account our hot arid summers; the need, if any, for permits; and even what wildlife you're likely to run into. Small trail maps for each hike list total distance and elevation gain/loss.

Punctuated with the folksy "dad humor" of author Seabury Blair, Jr., even those who don't see anything funny about exercise will be won over by the guide's color photographs, which are lovely and plentiful, making this one guidebook no self-respecting Inland Northwesterner should be without.

Sheri Boggs is a librarian with the Spokane County Library District.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Dadward Ho!"

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