About Walking Distance


        Table Of Contents
        The Authors


Walking is simple, but it can also be profound.  It’s a celebration of our evolutionary heritage, it stimulates our thinking, it contributes to conservation and sustainability, it deepens our understanding and appreciation of the world, it can be a means to explore spirituality, it slows our often frantic lives, and it makes us healthier and happier in the process.

Robert and Martha Manning’s beautiful and inspiring book, Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, emphasizes the accessibility of walking the world’s great natural and cultural landscapes.  As the subtitle suggests, these are extraordinary hikes for ordinary people.  Walk across England, around Mt. Blanc, along the great coastlines of North America and Australia, follow the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, walk with pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella, walk among the world’s great mountain ranges – the Sierras, the Rockies, the Appalachians, the Andes, and the Alps, walk through the Grand Canyon.  And much more.

 Walking Distance introduces the idea of long-distance walking, addressing why, how, and where to walk, and provides first-hand descriptions of thirty of the world’s great long-distance trails, ranging from inn-to-inn walks to backpacking treks.  Trail descriptions include natural and cultural history, personal anecdotes, and practical tips, and are richly illustrated with color photographs and maps.

…walking is a joyful celebration of like and the diverse, beautiful, and curious world in which we live.

       --from the Introduction

For more information about the book and authors, see The Burlington Free Press article.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Walking Distance

                     Why Walk?
                     How to Walk
                     Where to Walk

    Part 2: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People

                     Alta Via 1
                     C&O Canal
                     Camino de Santiago
                     Cape Winelands Walk
                     Chilkoot Trail
                     Cinque Terre
                     Coast to Coast Trail
                     Colorado Trail
                     Cotswold Way
                     Great Ocean Walk
                     Inca Trail
                     John Muir Trail
                     Kaibab Trail
                     Kalalau Trail
                     King Ludwig’s Trail
                     Long Trail
                     Lost Coast Trail
                     Lycian Way
                     Milford Track
                     Ocala Trail
                     Overland Track
                     Paria River Canyon
                     South Downs Way
                     Superior Hiking Trail
                     Tahoe Rim Trail
                     Tour du Mont Blanc
                     Walker’s Haute Route
                     West Coast Trail
                     West Highland Way


    Books and Essays on Walking/Hiking



    Follow in the footsteps of John Muir and develop your insights into nature and human nature: let Walking Distance be your guide.

                      --Allison Chin, President, Sierra Club

    The best way to experience the world is through the intimacy of walking; walk with the Mannings and appreciate the world’s great cultural landscapes.

                      --Gregory Miller, President, American Hiking Society

    Walking Distance is an eloquent invitation to join the walking and conservation community   

                      --John Judge, President, Appalachian Mountain Club

    Walking is one of the most sustainable forms of recreation – good for people and good for the earth.  Walking Distance tells readers why, how, and where to walk.

                      --Kate Ashbrook, President, Ramblers

    A book to read in the dead of winter so you’ll be longing for spring.

                      --Bill McKibben, Wandering Home



    The purpose of this award is to highlight the most distinguished books from independent publishers.

    Walking Distance has been nominated for several other awards.


    GANNETT PRESS -- BURLINGTON FREE PRESS and others   For full review click here.

    ...the message of Walking Distance....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..  


    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 380, 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 informarion and further reading.  Highly recommended for travelers who enjoy walking as well as those considering a hiking-themed vacation. --Louise Feldmann, Colorado State University Libraries, Fort Collins


    Once I began perusing Robert and Martha Manning’s book, Walking Distance:Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, I couldn’t put it down. The walk descriptions and wonderful photographs had me reminiscing about some of the hikes I have done in the past and dreaming of many of the other walks in the future.

    The Authors

    Robert Manning is a Professor at the University of Vermont, where he teaches and conducts research on the history, philosophy, and management of national parks, world heritage sites, and related areas. He has won the university’s highest awards for both teaching and research. Martha Manning is an artist who practices in her Burlington studio. Her work has been featured in national shows and publications. The Mannings have walked dozens of long-distance trails around the world, including all the trails featured in this book.

    Robert Manning

    Robert Manning

    Martha Manning

    Martha Manning

    Also by the authors:

    Long Walks, Deep Thoughts (in The Chronicle of Higher Education)

    To view complete article click here.

    Slackpacking the Colorado Trail (in Appalachia)

    To view complete article click here.

    The Trees of Tahoe (in Tahoe Quarterly)

    To view complete article click here.