Union Democrat staff

Her adventures hiking more than 70 trails in order to write a local guidebook will be shared by Katherine Joye at a 2 p.m. program at the Tuolumne City Museum on Saturday.

Joye, who spent two years researching and writing “Day Hikes Along the Highway 108 Corridor” will share photos and information on five of the trails discussed in her book during the program.

An avid hiker since high school, Joye began her journey in creating the day hiker’s guide after she and her husband, Steve, moved to Tuolumne County in 2008. She looked for a guide to local trails and, unable to find one, decided to create it herself. Equipped with a GPS and armed with a notebook, Joye walked hundreds of miles from the foothills around Knights Ferry and the Red Hills to high elevation destinations in the Carson-Iceberg and Emigrant Wilderness areas. She completed her project in 2014 when her book was published by Sonora Press.

Although no longer researching for a book, Joye is still out on some type of trail every day with her two dogs, Gloria and Stefano. She and her husband (later joined by their children) have been backpacking in Tuolumne County since 1985.

One of her favorite spring walks is the West Side trail in Tuolumne, which she discovered while waiting for her son to finish basketball practice at Summerville High School. At the suggestion of her son’s coach she began jogging on the trail. It is included in her book as an interpretive trail thanks to the interpretive signs which discuss the trail’s history, natural features and wildlife.

Joye has a bachelor’s degree in physiology, a master’s degree in exercise physiology and both a life and physical science teaching credential, all from the University of California, Davis. She has taught science to fourth- through sixth-graders, biology to high school students and nutrition and performance, physiology, anatomy, biology and microbiology to college students.

She currently volunteers through a Tuolumne County program where she teaches science to students at Chinese Camp school. She is also a California naturalist and recently helped transform the Sugar Pine railroad grade into an interpretive trail with other California naturalists.

Joye’s two four-legged hiking companions, both Labrador retrievers, are the result of another of her passions, raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. After failing to pass the rigorous testing to qualify as guide dogs, Joye adopted the two and they are now certified therapy dogs, visiting schools, libraries, assisted care homes and the hospital. They will accompany Joye for her museum presentation.

The Tuolumne City museum is at the corner of Carter and Bay streets in Tuolumne and is open weekends from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served following Joye’s program.

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