Paper pub. date
December 2012
ISBN 9780870716836 (paperback)
10 x 8.5 inches, 244 pages. Color photographs. Maps.
Out of print

Walking Distance

Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People

Robert E. Manning and Martha S. Manning

Walking is simple, but it can also be profound. In an increasingly complex and frantic world, walking can simplify our lives. It encourages intimate contact with places and people, promotes health, and is one of the most sustainable forms of recreation. Robert and Martha Manning invite readers to explore the pleasures of long-distance walking in their inspiring new book, Walking Distance.

At the heart of Walking Distance are firsthand descriptions of thirty of the world’s great long-distance hikes, spanning six continents and ranging from inn-to-inn to backpacking trips. Each entry—from Turkey’s Lycian Way to Vermont’s Long Trail—features personal anecdotes, natural and cultural history, and useful tips, including suggestions for preparing for hikes and for additional reading. Each trail narrative is richly illustrated with color photographs and maps.

“Long-distance walking is good for you and good for the earth... But most of all, walking is a joyful celebration of life and the diverse, beautiful, and curious world in which we live.” —from the Introduction

The Walks
Alta Via 1 (Italy) • C&O Canal (Maryland, U.S.) • Camino de Santiago (Spain)• Cape Winelands Walk (South Africa) • Chilkoot Trail (Alaska, U.S. and B.C., Canada) • Cinque Terre (Italy) • Coast to Coast Trail (England) • Colorado Trail (Colorado, U.S.) • Cotswold Way (England) • Great Ocean Walk (Australia) • Inca Trail (Peru) • John Muir Trail (California, U.S.) • Kaibab Trail (Arizona, U.S.) • Kalalua Trail (Hawaii, U.S.) • King Ludwig’s Way (Germany) • Kungsleden (Sweden) • Long Trail (Vermont, U.S.) • Lost Coast Trail (California, U.S.) • Lycian Way (Turkey) • Milford Track (New Zealand) • Ocala Trail (Florida, U.S.) • Overland Track (Australia) • Paria River Canyon (Utah and Arizona, U.S.) •South Downs Way (England) •Superior Hiking Trail (Minnesota, U.S.) • Tahoe Rim Trail (California and Nevada, U.S.)• Tour du Mont Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland) •Walker’s Haute Route (France, Switzerland) •West Coast Trail (B.C., Canada) •West Highland Way (Scotland)


About the author

Robert Manning is Steven Rubenstein Professor (Emeritus) at the University of Vermont, and the book’s co-authors include leading scholars and practitioners from across the U.S. and the world. All co-authors were affiliated with the University of Vermont Park Studies Laboratory, recognized for its long-term program of research with the U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and other park and outdoor recreation management agencies and organizations.

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Martha Manning is an artist who practices in her Burlington, Vermont studio. Over the past decade, she and her husband Robert Manning have walked dozens of long-distance trails around the world, including all the trails described in Walking Distance.

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"Long-distance walking helps focus our lives, according to Robert and Martha Manning. Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People showcases 30 of the world's great long-distance trails, from inn-to-inn walks to backpacking. It will have you dreaming of your next trip to the famous Camino de Santiago or the Ocala Trail in Florida."
—Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness

"From the Inca Trail in Peru to the West Highland Way in Scotland, authors and avid walkers the Mannings present a visually beautiful and informative overview of their favorite long-distance walks around the world. The book is divided into two parts: the first discussing the basics of why and how to experience travel by walking and the second providing overviews of the hikes. The text is supplemented by photographs and some broad-scale maps indicating location of the trail within a country or region. Geared for, as the authors say, ordinary people who might consider this type of vacation, the walks do not include super-long-distance trails such as the Appalachian Trail of 2,200 miles but instead manageable trails or portions of larger ones. Length of walks included is from 11 miles to 480, as well as journeys of varying challenge listed from low to high. Verdict: This book whets the appetite for those travelers who might consider this type of journey, providing only overviews of specifics such as accommodations. References are provided for more detailed information and further reading. Highly recommended for travelers who enjoy walking as well as those considering a hiking-themed vacation.
Library Journal (Louise Feldmann, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins)

"And that is the message of Walking Distance: That anyone with an adventurous spirit and a modest level of physical fitness can explore the world on foot, at a pace that allows deeper engagement with new landscapes and cultures." 
—Burlington Free Press    
Read the full article

"Long Walks, Deep Thoughts" by Robert Manning. An essay adapted from the book, published in The Chronicle Review, 12/14/12.

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