Monday, April 28, 2014

Hiking Barron County by Rob Bignell, speaking May 10 at the NW Writers Fest

Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Barron County
Rob Bignell

The new book Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Barron County, Wisconsin (Atiswinic Press) describes more than 40 trails in and near the county.

HUDSON, Wis. (April 28, 2014) – Atiswinic Press has released the first-ever comprehensive guide to day hiking trails in Barron County.

Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Barron County describes more than 40 trails in or surrounding the county. The book was released in paperback during late April. 

“Barron County boasts more than a hundred glacial lakes and trout streams, many of which have public trails,” Bignell said. “In parts of the county, you can hike where ancient hills that formed 1.7 billion years ago stand as a backdrop.”

Among the Barron County day hikes included in the book are the Cattail State and the Wild Rivers trails. Trails near Cameron, Chetek, Cumberland, Rice Lake and Turtle Lake are listed.

Interested readers can meet Bignell and purchase copies of the book on Saturday, May 10, during the Northwest Wisconsin Writers Festival at UW-Barron County in Rice Lake. Bignell will read from his novel “Windmill” (10-11 a.m., Commons), is a presenter in a breakout session about the business of writing (1-1:45 p.m., Ritz 202), and will man an author’s table most of the rest of the time (9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Commons), where he’ll meet with readers and sign their purchased books. 

The title also is available at Idlewild Outfitters, 1414 2nd Ave., Cumberland.

The book is dedicated to former Chetek resident Mark Gunnufson, who passed away in 2013, a year to the day the book was published in paperback. Bignell served in the Wisconsin National Guard with Gunnufson.

“We were best friends at basic training,” Bignell said. “Mark saved my butt from the drill sergeant’s wrath quite a number of times.”

What’s in the Book
“Day Hiking Barron County, Wisconsin” provides a plethora of information about each featured trail, including:
 Driving directions to the trail
 Where to park and find the trailhead
 Course the trail takes
 Scenic points to look for on the trail
 Wildlife and flora you might spot
 Interesting tidbits about the area’s geology and history
 Trailside amenities such as water fountains and bathrooms
 Best times to hike the trail

Following each featured trail are brief descriptions of other nearby day hiking trails.

“These trails are perfect for families with children or anyone who wants to spend just a couple of hours outdoors enjoying and discovering nature,” Bignell said. The trails run from a third of a mile to six miles in length, with most only a mile to three miles long.

In addition to Barron County trails, the book details those that are right across the county border in Polk, Washburn, Rusk, Chippewa and Dunn counties.

Day Hiking Barron County is one of six guidebooks in the well-received “Hittin’ the Trail” series. “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway” last month hit No. 1 on’s Travel>Midwest bestseller list for both paper and ebooks. “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Polk County, Wis.” spent 10 consecutive weeks on’s travel bestseller list last year while “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Grand Canyon National Park” reached the top 10. 

Day Hiking Barron County, Wisconsin is the second title in the “Hittin’ the Trail” series to be released as a paperback. Previously, titles were only released as ebooks for Kindle, iBook, Nook, Kobo and Sony Reader.

About the Author (photo: 
“Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Barron County, Wisconsin” author Rob Bignell and his son, Kieran, set out ona hike in California’s Mojave Desert.)
A long-time hiker, editor and journalist, Bignell is uniquely qualified to discuss day hiking, especially for

families. The author of eight other hiking guidebooks, including the popular “Hikes with Tykes” and “Headin to the Cabin” series, Bignell is an avid hiker, long-time editor, and Wisconsin native who’s been day hiking with his son, Kieran, for more than six years. Together they’ve scaled summits almost two miles high, crossed America’s driest deserts, and walked beneath trees soaring 15 stories over their heads.

Before Kieran, Bignell served as an infantryman in the Army National Guard and taught middle school students in New Mexico and Wisconsin. His newspaper work has won several journalism awards, from editorial writing to sports reporting. In 2001, The Prescott (Wis.) Journal, which he served as managing editor of, was named Wisconsin’s Weekly Newspaper of the Year. 

Bignell now lives with his son in Hudson.

Copies of “Day Hiking Barron County” also are available for purchase online in paperback and a variety of ebook platforms at Hikes With Tykes.

Book specs:
Publish date: April 22, 2014 Atiswinic Press
ISBN: 978-0989672368 (paperback); 978-0989672306 (ebook)
$5.95 (paperback) $0.99 (ebook)
Pages: 86 (paperback)


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