Black Friday is a little over one week away, and if you’ve got an outdoorsman and history lover on your Christmas list, I highly recommend that you buy them a copy of “Hiking Through History – Alabama: Exploring the Heart of Dixie’s Past by Trail from the Selma Historic Walk to the Confederate Memorial Park” by Joe Cuhaj.
Published on Sept. 1 by Falcon Guides, this 240-page paperback book details 40 hikes and walking tours at historic locations across Alabama. These hikes are divided into four regions – North, Central, South and Gulf – which makes it easy to find historic hikes in your neck of the woods.
Each description also includes a wide variety of detailed information about the hike, including where to start, the length of the hike in distance and time, the difficulty of the hike, the best time to go, maps of the location and trail and, of course, information about what makes the location historically significant.
Most of the hikes in the book that are a short drive from Conecuh County are in the South and Gulf Region sections of the book, including the trails at Nancy’s Mountain and Little River State Forest.
Nancy’s Mountain is located in northern Monroe County, near the Davis Ferry at Franklin.
Supposedly this location is haunted by the ghost of “Crazy Nancy,” who is said to roam the countryside late at night looking for a son and husband who didn’t come back from the Civil War. In addition to this spooky tale, there’s a great hiking trail there that takes you through the woods from the top of the “mountain” all the way down to a trailhead near the Alabama River.
Little River State Forest is located on the Escambia-Monroe County line, just up from Atmore, and just a short drive down Interstate Highway 65 from Evergreen. This state forest is riddled with hiking trails, including trails that take you to sites and structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
These trails are just two of many in Cuhaj’s book that are a relatively short drive from Conecuh County. Others in the book that are an hour of two away include the Selma Historic Walk, the Old Cahawba Archeological Park, the Old St. Stephens Loop and the Port City Historic Walk. If you’re a history lover who loves to get out and about and see things up close, it’d be hard to pass up any of these historic walking and hiking trails.
I think it’s also worth noting that the book’s author, Joe Cuhaj, is especially well-suited to write this book. Cuhaj, who lives in Daphne, is also the author of “Hiking Alabama,” “Paddling Alabama” and “Hiking the Gulf Coast.” He’s actually been to every place that he writes about, so you’re getting a boots-on-the-ground review of each location from one of the best hiking guide writers in America.
In the end, I highly recommend “Hiking Through History – Alabama” to everyone in the reading audience who enjoys the outdoors and Alabama history. I’ve been to many of the locations that Cuhaj details in this book, some several times, and I still found myself learning something I didn’t know thanks to this great book.
Copies of “Hiking Through History – Alabama” can be purchased online through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers.