Best Outdoor Books of the Year (or so).

If you need a gift quickly, you can’t do better than a book about the outdoors. Here’s a quick wrap-up of what I enjoyed this year.

North Carolina Waterfalls

North Carolina Waterfalls by Kevin Adams documents 1,000 waterfalls in the state. Adams is a photographer by trade and his photos are beautiful. In addition, his information is accurate and complete. He describes how to find the waterfall, how to photograph it and gives it a beauty rating.

For children, you can’t go wrong with When Grandma Gatewood Took a Hike by Michelle Houts, illustrated by Erica Magnus. Yes, even boys will want to read about the Appalachian Trail.

If your giftee wants a novel, try Boar Island by Nevada Barr. All her mysteries are set around a national park and this one focuses on Acadia National Park.

I haven’t yet reviewed Women of the Smokies by Courtney Lix but it looks good. From Margaret Stevenson to Dolly Parton, many women have influenced Great Smoky Mountains National Park – and some still do.

Of course, you can buy the books online.

But why not try your independent bookstore?

Or for many outdoor books, look at the Great Smoky Mountains Association(GSMA) bookstores. They manage the bookstores in the Smokies. If you don’t live close to the Smokies, you can get the books from the GSMA website.

I can’t end this column without mentioning that you can buy Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South from GSMA as well. The national park service centennial may be over but our parks are ready for the second century.

Get out there!

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