Greg Westrich of Glenburn figures that he walked about 700 miles in the summer of 2013 while researching for his first book, “ Hiking Maine: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures,” which just hit bookstores in April.

Published by FalconGuide, Westrich’s guidebook is a complete rewrite, not a revision, of FalconGuides’ former editions of “Hiking Maine.” The 320-page guide includes more than 80 adventures, all of which Westrich explains in great detail through original maps, color photos and narratives that include interesting tidbits about local geology, wildlife and history.

“I try to do a lot of research of each area,” Westrich said on Thursday while walking the trails of Thorne Head Preserve, a location in Bath that he plans to feature in his third book, “Best Easy Day Hikes Portland,” slated to be released next spring.

His second book, “ Best Easy Day Hikes Camden,” was also released in April.

With GPS in hand, Westrich walked the Thorne Head trail network, pausing at trail intersections to punch in waypoints. He provides the publisher with the data to create maps for each of his guides because he understands that for most hikers, maps are worth much more than any written description of a trail.

Formerly the inventory manager at Borders bookstore in Bangor, Westrich quit his job a few years ago when he heard the company was going under. He then quickly transitioned from avid reader to freelance writer, focusing on hiking — an activity that he’s been drawn to since he was a little boy.

“I write about nature in the hopes that other people will have as personal and important a relationship with nature as I do,” Westrich said. “I really think it’s important to our country’s and world’s health — and it’s something that is lacking from most people’s lives.”

Originally from Ohio, Westrich remembers his first camping trip. He was 8 years old, and his family tented out at a local campground. Later that summer, they expanded their horizons and took a road trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, where Westrich’s love of hiking was born.

Throughout the years, Westrich has spent time hiking in a variety of places, including Red River Gorge in Kentucky and the Canadian Rockies. In 1996, he moved to Maine, and in 1998, he hiked the Maine section of the Appalachian Trail with his wife, Ann.

They now live in Glenburn with their children — Henry, 13, and Emma, 8 — both of whom accompany him on many of his hikes.

“It’s kind of meditative when you’re hiking,” Westrich said. “You’re just in the woods hiking, and you don’t have to think about or worry about anything else. For me, especially where I’m a busy person, it’s important to be able to do that.”

Westrich is one of a handful of Maine authors releasing new hiking guides this year.

“Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast” by Carey Kish of Southwest Harbor was released in February. Published by the Appalachian Mountain Club, this guide contains 50 coastal day hikes in Maine, complete with detailed maps and trail descriptions.

Kish, who is currently thru-hiking the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, is a Registered Maine Guide and a former president and founding member of the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club. He is also the author of AMC’s “Maine Mountain Guide,” 10th edition, published in 2012, and writes the outdoor adventure blog “Maineiac Outdoors.”

Also new this year are at least two updated guides for Acadia National Park.

The third edition of the “ Best Easy Day Hikes in Acadia National Park” by Dolores Kong and Dan Ring will be released in this month. Published by FalconGuides, the pocket guide includes maps for each trail, short narratives and the specifics you need to know to plan hiking adventures in Maine’s most visited park.

The two authors, Kong and Ring, are authors of the popular blog “ Acadia on My Mind,” where they share their adventures on the park’s vast trail network. Serious hikers, Kong and Ring have backpacked the Maine section of the Appalachian Trail and are members of the Northeast 111 Club, which recognizes people who have climbed all of the 4,000-footers in the northeastern U.S.

Another great resource for those exploring Acadia National Park this summer is the new “ Moon Guide to Acadia National Park” by Hilary Nangle, to be released in June. The fifth edition of the well-known guide includes plenty of trip ideas, from day hikes in the park to consuming mass quantities of sea food in Bar Harbor. In the book, Nangle also shares her knowledge of how to make trips seamless, meaningful and memorable.

Nangle has written for publications “ranging alphabetically from AARP to Yankee, topically from Art & Antiques to National Geographic Adventure,” according to her popular blog “ Maine Travel Maven.” She has authored several other Moon handbooks about Maine.

Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn Sarnacki is a Maine outdoors writer and the author of three Maine hiking guidebooks including “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Find her on Twitter and Facebook @1minhikegirl. You can also...