CLINTON – Dust off your hiking shoes and hit the road just in time for summer with author Madeline Bilis.
Bilis will talk about her book “50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts”, via Zoom, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 23. This event is hosted by the Friends of the Ashland Public Library in conjunction with the Bigelow Free Public Library and other local libraries.
“In my presentation, I plan to shed light on some of the beautiful (and sometimes lesser-known) trails in our backyards,” said Bilis. “It wasn’t until I started researching and writing the book that I realized eastern Massachusetts has so many wonderful places to hike and walk.”
She will also highlight her favorite local spots and will be offering recommendations for attendees.
“I spent the better part of 2018 hiking around, and writing about, one of the loveliest places on earth – Eastern Massachusetts,” said Bilis. “As a native, I, of course, am biased, but I encourage you to find the truth in that statement by using my book as a guide.”
In “50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts”, Bilis said, “You’ll find hikes spanning surprisingly varied landscapes, from the rocky ledges of the Blue Hills Reservation to the sandy stretches of the Cape Cod National Seashore”
The book details some of the most well-known trails beyond Boston, as well as the area’s more secret, hidden-gem walks.
Bilis said that writing her hiking guidebook not only made her a Massachusetts hiking expert, but a Massachusetts town expert as well.
“I stopped for lunch in many of the towns where the hikes are located and had a ball popping by historical sites and local shops,” she said. “The book brought me to places I may never have gone to otherwise, which was an added bonus.”
Bilis believes her book is an important resource for people who want to spend a Saturday morning hiking but not get overwhelmed by researching trails online or just aren’t sure where to go. At the start of each chapter, she made sure to note which address to put into your phone’s GPS, if there are restrooms available, whether the trail is dog-friendly, and more.
“I love having a few hours to be present in nature without distractions,” she added. “While hiking for my book, I learned a ton about local plants. Did you know Maudslay State Park has one of the largest naturally occurring stands of mountain laurel in the state?”
“When you’re out there, you’re able to take the time to appreciate little details, which can be hard to do – especially when distracted by a smartphone,” Bilis said. “Getting outside on some local trails, even if just for an hour, is a really wonderful reset. I hope this virtual event will inspire folks to explore new places.”
For more information, or to register for this presentation, visit bigelowlibrary.org or call 978-365-4160. For more information on Madeline Bilis, visit madelinebilis.com.