By Jill Martinson

Spending more time outdoors has had a positive impact on me, both physically and mentally. It is restorative to walk among the trees, along the coast or to walk in a new city, to learn a bit of history and to admire its culture. When you’re ready to get out, the AK Smiley Public Library has a number of new books full of ideas for your outings.

Urban hiking combines the adventure of exploring interesting neighborhoods while enjoying the outdoors. Your trip can take you to historic architecture, colorful murals, shorelines or public squares.

Robert Inman’s “Urban Hikes Southern California: A Guide to the Area’s Greatest Urban Hiking Adventures” features 41 hikes complete with maps, mileage, and pictures to pique your interest. Walk or take a ride on Angels Flight, downtown Los Angeles’ historic funicular featured on the Little Tokyo-Bunker Hill Hike. See San Diego’s Spruce Street Suspension Bridge while traveling around Bankers Hill-Balboa Park.

Inman even highlights a 5.8 mile loop hike right here in Redlands. If you haven’t yet wandered through the 1897 Victorian mansion Kimberly Crest in Prospect Park, the cottages of the French Chateau de Normandie Court, or the colorful umbrellas above Orange Street Alley, you definitely need to put it on your bucket list. The Redlands hike also refers to “the magnificent” Smiley Library. We couldn’t agree more.

Our circulating collection contains a variety of hiking guides featuring different locations. These guides are helpful resources with comprehensive trail listings, including information such as length, difficulty level, maps, and descriptions of the area. They include hikes ranging from easy day hikes to longer backcountry trips. A few of the areas covered are the San Bernardino Mountains, Palm Springs, Anza Borrego, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Our latest additions would be perfect for experienced hikers and those looking for an extended adventure. “Sierra North” and “Sierra South” by Elizabeth Wenk and Mike White take you into the beautiful Sierra Nevada on overnight to week-long hiking expeditions. The authors include 80 trips for each book, so there’s a range of excursions to choose from. My husband and I really enjoy the Bishop Pass trail in South Lake. Even for a day hike, these useful books will help you discover one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the West.

Designed for children, “Wild Days: Outdoor Play for Young Adventurers” by Richard Irvine is such a fun book that sparks ideas for exploring nature. More than 50 activities, crafts, games and lessons will encourage your children to enjoy the outdoors. Suggestions include stargazing, treasure hunting, listening to birdsong, building rope swings and floating reed boats. This educational guide will inspire your child to spend hours of fun in the great outdoors.

We have many beautiful public hiking and walking trails available in the Redlands. Enjoy the open space of San Timoteo Canyon or Herngt ‘Aki’ Reserve to start. Information and maps are available at the following website: and materials from these maps are available from the Readers’ Advisory Board of Smiley Library. Brochures are also available for walks in downtown Redlands. Highlighting significant buildings and homes, “A Walking Tour of Historic Redlands” and “A Personality Tour of Historic Redlands” will help you uncover Redland’s past.

Jill Martinson is a library specialist at AK Smiley Public Library125 W. Vine St., Redlands.