Meet the Author: Debbi Preston, a western Nevada County friend of trails and tails | TheUnion.com
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Meet the Author: Debbi Preston, a western Nevada County friend of trails and tails

Debbi Preston and her canine companion "Maggie" on one of the many trails they have adventured in the Sierra.
Photo by Jeff Preston |

As Californians, we are spoiled.

We live in an area that is incredibly scenic. Mountains, rivers, lakes, deserts and oceans are all at our footsteps through a multitude of trails that can take you to some of the most beautiful places.

Debbi Preston is a local author who has recently released two books about hiking these gorgeous trails accompanied by her canine companions.



The first book, “Tails from the Trails” encompasses Preston’s time with her late malamute “Toots.” The book shares the adventures of Preston and Toots through life on the trail.

“Take the expert trail. It’s not necessarily risk taking. It’s about exploring and seizing those new opportunities while learning along the way.”— Debbi Preston

The second book, “57 Dog-Friendly Trails” is with new pup “Maggie” and more of a guidebook that can lead to some of the more coveted locations in the Sierra.




Preston is a dog lover. She said she could not imagine living life without her canine companion. When Toots died it was a hard time for the Preston family. Taking hikes just wasn’t the same without her.

Many people say, after the loss of a pet, that they couldn’t get another dog. Preston felt the same, but eight months after Toots died the Preston family was ready for a new journey with a new companion.

Enter Maggie.

Maggie, who is on the cover “57 Dog-Friendly Trails,” is a 3-year-old Australian shepherd and is accompanying Preston in discovering more of our Sierra wilderness. The book describes in great detail everything a trail has to offer including how accessible they are, along with a difficulty scale. The book is also separated into seasons so hikers can plan for conditions and be prepared for what may be ahead.

Preston’s passion is hiking and exploring. She has traveled many places exploring new trails including the Galapagos, Iceland and New Zealand. She says what she sees here in beauty is equal to what she has seen in other places.

Preston and husband, Jeff, appreciate how friendly and dog-friendly nature of the western Nevada County community. They enjoy the hikes this area has to offer and both are fond of the historical aspect the trails here.

Preston, a retired computer programmer, said she is now living without a smartphone and computer, which she says allows her to get out and appreciate the outdoors even more. She has a master’s degree in English and just recently became a grandparent. She said she looks forward to the toddler stage so she can share with her new grandbaby everything the wild has to offer.

She encourages her readers to do the same.

“Take the expert trail. It’s not necessarily risk taking. It’s about exploring and seizing those new opportunities while learning along the way,” Preston said. “People don’t stop to smell the wildflowers; they don’t appreciate it.”

If you have a dog — or even if you don’t — and are passionate about hiking all California has to offer, Preston’s books are available at Mountain Recreation in Grass Valley.

Contact Features Editor Sean Jordan at sjordan@theunion.com or 530-477-4219.


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