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MARYLAND ALMANAC

The Baltimore Sun

Exploring Maryland: It may be cold outside, but Maryland in winter has its own unique appeal. There is an impressive array of guidebooks available offering a rich diversity of trails for you to explore. Among them:

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Baltimore: Including Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties / by Evan Balkan / Menasha Ridge Press/ 304 pages / $16

From hikes within the city, including a new 14-mile greenway running through the largest unbroken urban forest in the United States, to the solitude of rural Carroll and northwest Baltimore counties, this new book offers some great hikes in the area. Not only are the big state parks and reservoirs covered, but readers will find hidden treasures throughout the city and six surrounding counties, from vigorous day hikes to pleasant strolls.

Baltimore Trails: A Guide for Hikers and Mountain Bikers / by Bryan MacKay / The Johns Hopkins University Press / 288 pages / $18.95

Updating an old favorite, The Baltimore Trail Book, Bryan MacKay has provided a comprehensive and detailed guide to trails on public lands in and around Baltimore. To complete the new work, MacKay walked, cycled, and explored nearly 80 trails.

Walking in Baltimore: An Intimate Guide to the Old City / by Frank R. Shivers Jr. / The Johns Hopkins University Press / 336 pages / $19.95

Shivers lays out about a dozen tours, stretching from Patterson Park to Federal Hill to Bolton Hill. Whoever reads this guide and follows these routes will know a lot more about downtown than most natives do.

Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore / by Madison Smartt Bell / Crown Journeys / 240 pages / $16.95

First revealing how Baltimore received some of its nicknames - including "Charm City" - Bell sets off from his neighborhood of Cedarcroft and finds his way across the city's crossroads. All the while, Charm City sheds deserved light onto a sometimes overlooked, occasionally eccentric, but always charming place.

Calendar

Wednesday, Jan. 9

SONSYREA TATE -- The writer talks about her new book, Do Me Twice. The author of Little X: Growing Up in the Nation of Islam has written a taboo-breaking memoir about an African-American Muslim girl who explores her freedom through the expression of her sensuality, defying the cultural and religious constraints of her upbringing. Sonsyrea Tate is the managing editor of The Washington Informer newspaper. / 6:30 p.m. / Pratt Central Library/ Poe Room. Saturday, Jan. 19

GRAND OPENING -- and dedication of the newly renovated Roland Park Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The branch has increased its size from 4,240 square feet to more than 9,500. Patrons of the branch will now enjoy a 25,000-volume collection, an outdoor plaza and terrace, children and teen areas, study rooms, meeting rooms and free wireless Internet. / 10 a.m. / 5108 Roland Ave.

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