Books By Jim Hargan

Cover of "The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains: An Explorer's Guide", Third Edition, written and photographed by Jim Hargan.

The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains: An Explorer's Guide

Jim wrote and photographed his first title in Countryman Press's distinguished Explorer's Guide series in 2002; since then, it's been through four editions. In this book, Jim covers all of the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, in detail, including sightseeing, attractions, nature, walking and biking, whitewater, and golf, as well as a wide selection of the best country inns, restaurants, and festivals.

In each of this book's 21 chapters, Jim portrays a single, small mountain area, typically centered on an attractive small town that has good inns and restaurants. He starts each chapter with an introduction that describes how this area is unique from the other areas in this book, and what's special about it that makes it worthwhile; he then adds information on contacts and web sites for both town and forest, approaching by highway, bus, and air, and where to find the nearest emergency rooms (just in case). In the following sections he describes each town (including where to park); gives scenic routes for car, bike, foot, and kayak; describes the public wildernesses, forests, and recreation areas (and even recommends picnic areas); and describes all worthy historic sites, cultural sites, recreation lakes, museums, gardens, parks, and anything else interesting and unusual enough to detain an experienced and involved traveler. Finally, he ends each chapter with recommendations of whitewater rafters, outfitters, fishing guides, horseback treks, skiing, and golf; then restaurants, inns, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and cabin rentals; and ends winth live entertainment, shopping, and festivals.
Cover of the book, "The Shenandoah Valley and the Mountains of the Virginias: An Explorers Guide", by Jim Hargan; published by Countryman Press, Apr 2005

The Shenandoah Valley and the Mountains of the Virginias: An Explorer's Guide

In this 2005 title Jim expands his coverage of the Southern Appalachians to include all the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia, including the Shenandoah Valley. In addition to the same thorough coverage Jim devotes to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, Jim adds special coverage of Civil War history and battlefields, long distance bike paths, and the mountain railroads. Jim covers everything from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park and the New River Gorge National River, to the vast national forests that blanket the mountains of the two Virginias, and all the valleys in between. Just as with his earlier Explorer's Guide Jim doesn't allow a state line to get in the way of good travel; he's added sections on Maryland's Antietam National Battlefield and the C&O Canal, just across the Potomac River.
Cover of "Compass American's North Carolina", Fifth Edition, photographed by Jim Hargan; cover photo by Jim Hargan

Compass American's North Carolina

In 1998 Fodor's top-of-the-line travel series, Compass American, commissioned Jim to supply all the photography for their new book, North Carolina, with text by Sheila Turnage. They ended up choosing 151 color images, 50% more than normal for the series. Now in its 5th edition, this book continues to feature more than 150 of Jim's images, adding new images and retiring others in each printing.
Cover of "North Carolina Impressions", First Edition, photographed by Jim Hargan and Laurence Parent; cover by Jim Hargan [Ask for #990.025.]

North Carolina Impressions

In 2006, Jim collaborated with photographer Laurence Parent to produce North Carolina Impressions for Farcountry Press. This book, whose cover is by Jim, features 89 images (split evenly between the co-photographers) that portray the state in spectacular color photos.

America the Beautiful: North Carolina

In 2009 Canada's Firefly Press started off their new series of photographic surveys of their Neighbor to the South with a stunning selection of Jim's photos of North Carolina.
Cover of America the Beautiful: North Carolina, 1st Ed, issued by Firefly Press in Fall 2009; all photography by Jim Hargan [Ask for #990.032.]

The Photographer's Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway

In this book, published in 2010, Jim gives an in-depth portrayal of the entire 469 mile length of the Blue Ridge Parkway as it runs along the mountain crests from Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smokies National Park. Jim describes each section, telling what type of scenery to expect, how it differs from the other segments, where the best pictures are, and how to go about taking the perfect shot.
Cover of The Photographer's Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway, 1st Ed, issued by Countryman Press in Spring 2010; all photography and text by Jim Hargan [Ask for #990.041.]

The Photographer's Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Jim followed up his Photographer's Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway with this portrayal of America's most popular national park. This 2011 book features the finest scenery and most interesting sites in and around this half-million acre park, giving a scenic portrait along with hands-on instructions on how to find this scenery and capture it in your camera.
Front cover of The Photographer's Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway, 1st Ed, issued by Countryman Press in Fall 2010; all photography and text by Jim Hargan. [Ask for #990.043.]

North Carolina: An Explorer's Guide

Jim's third contribution to Countryman Press's Explorer's Guide series paints a picture of the entire state of North Carolina with the same thoroughness and passion as in his two volumes on the Southern Appalachians. It appeared in 2011.

Travel Articles

In addition to these books Jim has written and photographed more than seventy articles, principally about historic travel in Great Britian; for a partial list of these, click here.
Photos and Stories about Places
Coos Bay, Oregon
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