Outdoor Books

If you're interested enough in our books to get to this page, you may find some of these other books useful and interesting. These are all books that we own and have used. There are many, many other books on bicycling available. Amazon.com (the on-line bookstore) listed over 1500 in a search on bicycle.

We think Amazon.com is cool. Amazon is an on-line bookstore with secure procedures for credit card purchases. The links from this page connect you directly to ordering information for the books. You can also go directly to Amazon's front page. However, if you order through our links, they'll send us a little money, which we'll contribute to trail development.


If you're going to run around in the woods or back roads, you have to have maps. For roads, we know of no match for DeLorme's Atlas and Gazetteers. Published state by state, they show all the little back roads and small towns at a useful scale, bound in 11x15" books. They're based on the USGS topo maps; in addition to the usual features, they add information about local attractions.

You can order the DeLorme map book from Amazon.com by clicking the state
[Pennsylvania][Ohio][New York][Maryland and Delaware][Virginia]

Sorry, DeLorme hasn't published West Virginia yet. We'll be first in line when they do.

topBicycle Guides to Western Pennsylvania and nearby areas

Rail Trails

Our guide, FreeWheeling Easy in Western Pennsylvania, covers rail-trails in western Pennsylvania. It is available in many western Pennsylvania bike shops, outdoor stores, and bookstores for $9.95+tax. If you can't find it there, you can order from us: Shaw-Weil Associates, 414 South Craig St. #307, Pittsburgh PA 15213. We have to charge you for tax and postage, so send a check for $11.93.We usually ship in 1 to 5 days (depending on whether we are out scouting trails). Sorry, we don't do credit cards, but Amazon.com books does. You can order it from Amazon.com for $9.95 + shipping, but you will pay more for shipping and it will take longer.

Biking Ohio's Rail Trails: Covers 24 rail-trails and similar trail suitable for biking. Descriptions include length, surface, uses, parking, points of interest, maps and 1-2 page narratives. Maps have blue highlighting. Order it from Amazon.com


Bike rides Around Pittsburgh: 300 bicycle rides from 0.6 to 100 miles. Gives a brief description of the routes of 300 rides in counties bordering Pittsburgh. Each description is in paragraph form and contains necessary route information and total mileage. Almost all of these rides are on roads -- sometimes busy roads. A lot of the rides are on streets that I (Roy the author of FreeWheeling Easy) would not be inclined to ride, but there are many roadies who can and will use this book. Check your local bike shops for this one.

The Western Pennsylvania Wheelmen have a collection of ride descriptions. Contact the Wheelmen.

topMountain Biking

The Mountain Biker's Guide to Central Appalachia: Covers a wide area, describing clusters of three or four rides in widely separated areas over x states. We find it spotty. If it has anything in the area your are interested in, there will be three or four good rides. However it only covers X areas in Y states. It looks like they hooked up with local bike shops and included their favorite rides. Order it from Amazon.com

Mountain Bike Adventures in Northwestern Pa, by Barry Bryan, 1996. Find this in your local bike shop.

Mountain Biking in West Virginia: Order it from Amazon.com

Rail-Trail Guides to Other Areas

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy publishes guidebooks that select 40 trails from a multi-state area. They emphasize narrative rather than full coverage, directions to trailheads, or amenities. Three of these are now available.

700 Great Rail-Trails: A National Directory: Gives general location, length, surface, and contact information for virtually all the trails that were open in 1996. With 700 trails in 133 pages, there isn't space for more information than that, but it's a comprehensive list that tells you where to get more information. Order it from Amazon.com

Adventure Guide to WV Rail Trails: Gives detailed description and highlighted topographic maps of 17 trails in the mountain state. Check your local bike shops for this one.

Rail Trails Along the Greenbrier River: Covers both the West Fork Trail (25 miles) and the Greenbrier River Trail (80) miles. Biking, hiking, horseback riding and cross country skiing opportunities are listed. Contains three maps of the West Fork Trail and nine maps of the Greenbrier Trail. Order it from Amazon.com

If you're headed for the great Northwest, you'll find rail-trails there, to: Washington's Rail-Trails covers trails in and around Seattle and across the state. Order it from Amazon.com

topStuff You See Along The Way

Everyone knows about Roger Tory Peterson's field guides to the birds, bees, and flowers. We offer for your entertainment a variety of guides to the more unusual things you may see.

Riding through residential neighborhoods, you've noticed that the houses aren't all alike. Which ones are Colonial, which are Victorian, which are Craftsman? A Field Guide to American Houses. Order it from Amazon.com

OK, so there aren't any houses where you are, just fields. Fields full of cows. Jerseys, Guernseys, Shorthorns, Anguses, so many cows: A Field Guide to Cows describes identifying marks and economic significance of breeds found, even rarely, in the US. We wish that it had color pictures instead of line drawings. Order it from Amazon.com

On the road, there's a messy smear. What do you supposed it used to be? Flattened Fauna : A Field Guide to Common Animals of Roads, Streets, and Highways is a wonderful spoof of field guides. Sample from the quick key for identification: "More than 12 times longer than broad; no legs or other appendages: see snake". Order it from Amazon.com

Going too fast to stop and read the roadside historical markers? Full text provided by the Guide to the State Historical Markers of Pennsylvania. Order it from Amazon.com

Did you know that there are 7 distinct types of covered bridges in Pennsylvania? We're not quite sure which of these is the update of the 1986 guide on our shelf:

Some of these routes have been transportation corridors for hundreds of years. Indian Paths of Pennsylvania identifies the routes of major paths and describes how to follow them as closely as possible on modern roads. Order it from Amazon.com

Ever wondered what is in those tank trucks zipping past you on the highway? Look for the diamond shaped hazardous material placard with the 4 digit number. Not obvious? Well, you can probably figure out from the oil-company logo that 1203 is gasoline, gasohol, petrol or other motor fuel. It is not quite so obvious that 1365 is wet cotton and 1360 is 2,5dimethyl-2,5-d:(3,5,5-trimethylhexanoylperoxy)hexane. It is all there in the Emergency Response Guidebook, including what to do about it when it spills. Order it from Amazon.com

topCanoe Guides to Nearby States

Our guide Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania is the comprehensive guide to western Pennsylvania; It covers the canoeable waters that run westward out of Pennsylvania via the Ohio River. The guide is the result of volunteer effort over the past 30 years by many, many canoeists, working through the Pittsburgh Council of American Youth Hostels. It is currently in its eighth edition, covering about 3000 miles of rivers in 470 pages. Order it from Amazon.com.

We like these guides to the nearby states.

[FWE Home] [ Explanations] [about the authors] Trails: [in Pittsburgh] [North] [East] [West] [full Oil Creek write-up]

topUpdated 04/12/97 by Roy Weil
Comments to maintainer