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Hiking the valley, author shares tips for finding autumn color and beauty

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You can learn about great day hikes to see fall colors in the St. Croix River Valley during a presentation by bestselling hiking guidebook author Rob Bignell from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11,  at Chapter2Books at 222 Locust St., in Hudson. “Let’s Talk Fall Color Hikes” will offer trail recommendations from Bignell’s two recent books, “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway” and “Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northwest Wisconsin.” In addition to great trails for seeing autumn leaves, he’ll also offer tips on preparing for an autumn day hike and great autumn-related activities to do with kids on those walks.

“The St. Croix River Valley boasts multiple trails perfect for enjoying autumn colors,” Bignell said. “You can see rainbows of fall leaf colors reflected in blue lakes, watch waterfalls ensconced in autumn leaves, and walk beneath canopies of orange oaks.”

-- “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway,” which describes more than 70 trails in the popular national park unit, hit No. 1 earlier this year on two’s bestsellers lists, for Ebooks and for Books overall (both paper and ebook) in the Travel>Midwest category.

--“Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northwest Wisconsin” also reached’s bestsellers list for Hiking & Camping>Excursion Guides. Both titles are available at Chapter2Books.

--“Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Polk County, Wisconsin” spent 10 consecutive weeks on’s travel bestseller list during 2013 while “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Grand Canyon National Park” reached the top 10.

A long-time hiker, editor and journalist, Bignell is uniquely qualified to discuss day hiking, especially for families. The author of nine 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 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.

Bignell graduated from UW-River Falls, served as an infantryman in the Army National Guard and taught middle school students in Wisconsin and New Mexico, now lives with his son in Hudson.. His newspaper work has won several journalism awards, from editorial writing to sports reporting. In 2001, The Prescott Journal, which he served as managing editor of, was named Wisconsin’s Weekly Newspaper of the Year.

Email Bignell at or check out his website