December 12, 2019, Guelph, Ontario.
This past weekend, it wasn’t Margaret Atwood’s The Testament or Giller-Prize-winner Ian Williams’ Reproduction that topped the charts in local bookstores. It wasn’t even Waterloo-darling Malcolm Gladwell that took honours. Instead it was a local hiking guide written by local writer Nicola Ross.
Barb Minett from the Bookshelf in Guelph reported that Ross’s latest hiking guide, the 5th in the series of Loops & Lattes Hiking Guides, flew off the shelves. “I haven’t seen a book sell like that since J.K. Rowling stopped publishing her Harry Potter books,” she said.
In Waterloo, things were much the same. Alex Baker from Words Worth Books noted that her store sold twice as many copies of Waterloo, Wellington & Guelph Hikes as it did Ian Williams’ Reproduction.
And the active sales didn’t stop there. At BookLore in Orangeville, Nancy Frater has been selling Ross’s books since she first published a coffee-table book titled Caledon (Boston Mills Press, 1997). “We’ve sold thousands of Nicola’s books. She’s created quite an empire with her hiking guides.” For his part, Ben McNally of Ben McNally Books in Toronto says, “I suspect these books will be staples for Ontario bookstores for years to come.”
When Ross learned that her newest guide was being gobbled up by hikers and gift-buyers, she was delighted. “I guess selling over 1000 copies in its first two weeks in circulation is noteworthy for a local book,” she said. One of Southern Ontario’s keen hikers, Ross credited an article that appeared in Kitchener Today and Guelph Today as well as an appearance on the CBC program Fresh Air for the frenzy of sales. “My online orders were coming in faster than I could fulfill them,” she said.
When Ross’s brother, novelist and award-winning journalist Oakland Ross, heard the good news, he rolled his eyes in mock horror. “Note to self: Next time, write a hiking guide, not a novel,” he joked.
Waterloo, Wellington & Guelph Hikes describes 35 hiking routes in the region ranging in length from 2.4k to 22k. Each hike is accompanied by a detailed map, precise directions, loads of colour photos, a smattering of local lore and suggestions about what to do après hiking.
Waterloo, Wellington & Guelph Hikes: Loops & Lattes is the 5th and newest in the Loops & Lattes series of Hiking Guides. It was preceded by Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes (2015), Halton Hikes: Loops & Lattes (2016), Dufferin Hikes: Loops & Lattes (2017) and Hamilton and Area Hikes: Loops & Lattes (2018).
In addition to the Bookshelf and Wordsworth, you can pick up the guide at MEC (Kitchener after Dec. 16), KW Books, Wild Birds Unlimited, Janus Books (Guelph), Rumbletum Café (Conestogo), Timeless Café (Waterloo), Adventure Guide (Waterloo), Kara’s Market (Waterloo), Union Market (Arkell), Bonnie Lou’s (Floradale), Hillcrest Home Baking (Floradale), Book Express (Cambridge), Lost & Found Café (Elora), Twice Loved Books (Elora), Wellington Museum (Elora), The Vault Café (Fergus), Fountain Head Health Food (Fergus), Bookery (Fergus), Bentley Tea (Fergus), Tin Roof Café (Erin), Budson Feeds (Erin), Erin Pharmacy, Lost Acre Variety (West Montrose), Old Bridge Place Gifts (West Montrose), Kulfi Café (Palmerston), Evergreen Variety (Harriston), Eco Café (St. Jacobs) as well as online at www.nicolaross.ca or at https://onelittlefurther.com.
About the Author: Nicola Ross
An avid hiker and the award-winning author of nine books, including the Loops & Lattes series of hiking guides, Nicola combines her knowledge of the landscape with her hiking skills to bring you routes that crisscross southern Ontario’s dramatic cliffs and sprawling farm fields.
About the Cover – “Fall” by Marlene Jofriet
Trained as an architect in England, Marlene Jofriet's works are included in collections in Canada, the UK, the US and New Zealand. Inspired by urban and rural landscapes, her watercolours hang in the University of Guelph, as well as in Guelph City Hall. Marlene lives in Guelph, Ontario.
A Community-supported Project
Supported by: Ambiances Gourmandes, Bombay Hub, the City of Waterloo, Expediciones Sierra Norte, Guelph Tourism, the Guelph Trails Hiking Club, Kulfi Café, Lodge at Pine Cove, the Lost & Found Café, Lynda Wilson, the Tin Roof Café, University of Guelph Arboretum, The Vault Coffee & Espresso Bar, Waterloo Central Railway and Woolwich Trails Group.
Praise for Loops & Lattes Hiking Guides:
“If you want to explore the hiking trails of southern Ontario with a latte in hand, pick up Nicola Ross’s new book.” The Toronto Star
“Before working in tourism, I spent many years working in publishing, and I’d like to pass along that your book hits the right note on many, many levels. The font choice and size of font are very readable, you’ve found a good balance of being informative and interesting without being overly wordy, the map illustrations are fun, informative and attractive and the tone is excellent – approachable, informative and personal. There are many books out there that have tried to do the same thing but missed the mark.” Dana Murray, Hamilton
“A brilliant way to explore the beauty and natural diversity of the area – it makes Caledon come alive.” Christopher Carnegie, Caledon
“I’m an avid runner/hiker and have enjoyed many routes through Caledon over the years. I recently picked up your book and have already been on trails I never knew existed thanks to your book. Awesome stuff.” Tim Nash
“As certified hike leaders and avid hikers, we find your books very well written and easy to follow. We love the area history and the places to eat. Trish Cochrane
“Better still for those who love to get close to nature are the precise directions, terrific photographs and local lore that’s also included. It’s always nice to know the “whys” of your hike, before you’re on the trail.” Julie Slack, Milton Canadian Champion
We have enjoyed Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes. The information for the hikes is complete and easy to follow. We look forward to your next guide. Henry and Janice
“Halton Hikes Loops and Lattes, not only gives detailed directions and trail maps, it also includes area restaurants and cafés so you can be sure you’ll get your caffeine fix and a bite to eat following the hikes.” Julie Slack, Milton Canadian Champion
"Thank you again for writing the books because we all love hiking and are always looking for new and exciting locations.” Lidia Fiori, Mississauga
“Nicola Ross’s two hiking books are collections of circle walks that end back at your car, eliminating the need to park vehicles at both ends of a trail or to return the whole way you went in..the notes about where to buy refreshments make for highly civilized outings.” Niagara Escarpment Views
“With every trail loop she has included distance, level of difficulty, estimated length of time, the calories you’ll burn, highlights, places to eat and drink and possible entrance fees...” Matthew Strader, Caledon Enterprise
“She shows readers how to navigate local trails, including the Bruce Trail and the Trans Canada Trail, without having to backtrack or arrange to leave a car at a hike’s endpoint.” In the Hills magazine
“We have found your book Caledon Hikes to be a wonderful resource for exploring the area. Love the fact you have short and long walks and the recommendations for food breaks along the way. Great book!” Rose Savage
“We’re about half way through our planned Caledon loop hikes, using your delightful book as our guide, choosing many of the 10 km or so lengths. We’ve also enjoyed your recommended post-hike sojourns.” Stan Litch
“My family and I are excited to get started trying out your loops. We are hoping to do at least one each Saturday at this point as our schedules permit.” Trudy Cowan & family
“I suspect this book will be a staple for Ontario bookstores for years to come.” Ben McNally, Ben McNally Books
“So much more than just hiking – lots of interesting background, history...” Anita Foley
“I often find that trail books like yours tend to have very vague maps that aren't super useful, but yours are much more detailed and user-friendly.” Rebecca Petre
“Happiness is being able to find the darn trail guide! I couldn't find my copy of Caledon Hikes: Loops and Lattes for months.” Rebecca Petre
“My daughter bought your book Caledon Hikes: Loops and Lattes. I love it! I love to "prowl" around Caledon.” Debbie, Brampton
“A friend gave me a copy of Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes, which I’m enjoying immensely, although it’s unlikely I’ll actually be doing any of the hikes. I moved to Calgary in 1974. I grew up in Inglewood, and seeing all those names from my childhood is a nostalgia trip for me.” John Leeder, Calgary, Alberta
“Love your book and plan to do every single one of them!” Louise
“I just picked up your book and reading through it, am wishing for spring so I can get started following some of the trails.” John Coffman
“My husband and I enjoyed our hike yesterday in Belfountain. It was our second hike from your book Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes and we really like how you have made these loop hikes.” Darlene Robinson
“Today I hiked the Bear Den Loop from Halton Hikes: Loops & Lattes. It was great! Lots of variety. I loved the cedar forests! And the boardwalk is wonderful. Great instructions.” Karen Bergmann
“It’s like carrying around your own set of historical plaques — only much lighter.” Sarah Harmer, singer/songwriter in the Foreword
“Your first book gave us a renewed interest in the Caledon trail systems and we eagerly look forward to the arrival of your new book and a chance to explore a new hiking system. ” Trevor Perrin
“When I saw my Dad's name, I had to buy the book. Your book has the information I need. Thank you for writing it.” David Nevett, Saskatchewan
“[Y]our recommendations for goodies afterwards much appreciated.” Stan Litch
There are currently copies available for purchase in the Bookshelf! Get yours before they're gone!