It wasn't a walk in the park, but one lifelong hiker has put together a book looking at all the trails in Guelph, Wellington County and Waterloo Region.
"It was a lot of walking, but I loved it." says Nicola Ross, the author of 'Waterloo, Wellington and Guelph Hikes: Loops and Lattes.'
In her book, Ross says she aims to make hiking easier for residents to explore Waterloo Region.
"It shows people where to go, really clear directions and tells you what to expect." says Ross.
"All you need is a pair of running shoes or hiking boots, and maybe a jacket at this time of the year, and then you're good to go."
The guides, which are part of the Loops and Lattes series, have sold over 25,000 copies.
Ross says exploring the trails in Caledon with family and groups inspired her to create guides for others to discover the path less travelled by in their communities.
"The idea just came to create, really the first book of the series in Caledon, and it just took off from there and caught on like wildfire." says Ross
To write her latest guide, Ross says she spent about a year going across 35 hiking trails across Waterloo, Wellington and Guelph.
According to her, the hiking is 'fantastic' in this area, as many trails were flat and range from around two to 22 kilometres long.
"It's a great way to see a place from the inside out versus the outside in." says Ross.
Ross says she enjoyed hiking in Waterloo Region due to the community's German and Mennonite roots.
"It leads to a huge cultural experience." says Ross, "I couldn't get enough of the horses and buggies and Mennonite shops."
"It was fantastic and really interesting from that point of view."
When it comes to her hiking guides, Ross says they're great for people with lots or no experience hiking.
"For people that aren't so experienced, it makes it really easy to know where to begin." says Ross, "And I challenge the seasoned hikers, to look up a trail they haven't done before and try it."
For a specific trail recommendation, Ross says the GeoTime Trail in Waterloo has 18 stations that teach hikers about the geological events that have occurred in the region.
After a long hike, Ross says the book also offers suggestions on places to grab food or a drink.
"It's a real exploration into a community wherever I go, and it's fantastic." says Ross.
For more information, go to nicolaross.ca.