The joy of trekking became a book of hikes around the globe

Authors Robert and Martha Manning have produced a masterful work in “Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People,” a large format, full-color treasure trove of dream hikes from around the globe. As the subtitle of the book suggests, each of the 30 treks described are indeed extraordinary hikes for ordinary people – super hiker status not required. Amazing scenery, interesting history and rich culture are the rewards for those who follow these very doable pathways.

“The trails we describe in this book are well marked and well managed,” write the authors in the introduction. “These trails can be walked, in their entirety or in sections, by ordinary people like us – and you.”

You won’t find the big-name long-distance trails in this book – no Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail or Continental Divide Trail, but rather a host of walking routes that are more bite-size, if you will, less rigorous hikes that can be done in a reasonable time, from a handful of days to a week or two to perhaps a month.

“People will find these trails very accessible,” said Robert, professor of environment and natural resources, and director of the parks studies laboratory at the University of Vermont. “Our goal with the book was to encourage people to do more distance walking, which promotes good health, and is a basic and sustainable form of recreation.”

Take to the Dolomites of northern Italy, for example, and the Alta Via I and its famed “via ferrata,” or iron ladder trails. Trundle along the Kungsleden, the “trail of kings,” in the Arctic environs of Sweden’s Lapland, or go on a pilgrimage across Spain from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela via El Camino de Santiago. Meander over the wild beaches of Victoria’s stunning coastline in Australia, or wander the Mediterranean coast of Turkey on the ancient Greek and Roman roads of the Lycian Way.

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