Q&A with “Hiking Bob” Falcone
We sat down with Colorado Springs resident Bob Falcone, affectionately known as Hiking Bob. An avid hiker, outdoorsman, professional photographer, and retired firefighter. He is also the Chair for the El Paso County Parks Advisory Board, as well as a past president, current board member, and volunteer for the Friends of Cheyenne Cañon. Bob is certified in trail building and is actively involved in public education of our trails. Additionally, he has been appointed to the committee at the City Parks Department responsible for allocating sales tax revenue for open spaces in Colorado Springs. Look for Hiking Bob’s second book about hiking to Colorado’s alpine lakes, due out this spring.
Q: How did you embark on this adventurous lifestyle?
Hiking Bob (HB): I’ve always been active outdoors. Being active has led me to going on great hikes and to capturing the moment in photos. These two things complement each other. In turn, that brought me to writing for newspapers and magazines. I really wanted to share my enjoyment for the great outdoors and one way to do that was to start cataloging my hikes, which resulted in my first book.
Q: What’s the name of your first book and where can people find it?
HB: It’s called Hiking Bob’s Tips, Trips, and Trails: A Guide to Hiking in Colorado’s Pikes Peak Region. It’s available as a digital download for $6 or as a hard copy for $20 on my website.
Q: How did you begin to identify which hikes you would include?
HB: I laid out a bunch of maps all over my living room floor and started crawling around on them, looking for interesting and unique hikes that people probably hadn’t heard of.
Q: What differentiates this book from others available hiking guides?
HB: Everything I write about is based on firsthand experience. People can trust that what I’ve written is legitimate because I’ve actually hiked it versus just interviewing someone who’s hiked it. Social media and apps aren’t always reliable because they sometimes compile information from multiple sources, some of which can be unverified. I always map my exact path with GPS and give very detailed information. The guide also includes proper planning recommendations. The guide is great because it’s based on the distance from Colorado Springs, and thus people can easily identify a hike that will fit their timeframe.
Q: What kind of trails can people expect to find in this book?
HB: This is a guide to my favorite hikes. These aren’t the typical hikes that you might find in most city or county parks. Many people may have heard of some of these trails, but may be unsure of the details (i.e., trailhead location, trail conditions, distance from Colorado Springs, etc.) All of this helpful information is included for each hike. My hope is that both visitors and locals with get out and enjoy these adventures!
Q: What else can people find on your website?
HB: I take a ton of photos on every hike and in every season. I sell my photography on the site and people can print up to a 30-inch by 40-inch print or, on request, even larger sizes. I also record a weekly podcast and they are all available on the site.
Follow Hiking Bob on the web (hikingbob.com), Facebook (@HikingGuide), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO), and Twitter (@HikingBob).
Words and Photos by: Jewels Burdick