I’m Melanie Radzicki McManus, freelance travel writer, speaker and author of Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail. I’m also The Thousand-Miler. Someone who hikes a lot – 8,800+ miles (14,162 km) and counting – and wants to inspire and encourage everyone to give it a try.

Scores of studies show that being in the outdoors is wonderful for your mind and body in many different ways, from lifting your spirits to speeding healing post-surgery to making you more compassionate. I can attest all of that is true, which is why I’m on a mission to spread the gospel of the trail.

So here at The Thousand-Miler, you’ll find stories and photos about my past travels, many along hiking trails, all spanning the globe. You’ll also find the trail journals I’ve kept during many of my excursions, info on my favorite gear and stories of what I’m learning as I transition from day hiker to serious backpacker.

Today, my goal is to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails. That’s more than 18,000 miles (29,000 km), folks! As of December 2021, I’ve hiked about 6,500 (10,460 km) of those 18,000 miles (7,725 km) via thru-hikes of the Arizona, Florida, Ice Age, New England and Natchez Trace Trails, plus about 1,800 miles (2,897 km) of the North Country Trail. Sure, I’ve got a ways to go. But I’m off to a great start.

And on the docket for 2022? I’ll definitely hike more of the North Country Trail, and I’d love to start the Continental Divide. My husband and I are also pondering a hike across Luxembourg and tackling Europe’s famous Tour de Mont Blanc. We’ll see what happens. Please follow along on my adventures via my trail journals, photos and articles. Or come to one of my in-person events. And if you see me out in the woods, my trail name is Snowshoe.



Honored to be a guest on the podcasts This Week in Travel and Orange Blaze, which focuses on the Florida Trail.


Read about all of the places I’ve traveled (and hiked!), from the U.S., Spain and Italy to Israel, China, New Zealand and beyond.


Need an engaging, enthusiastic speaker? I’m your person for talks about hiking, women in the outdoors, solo travel and more.


Check out my photos from popular and remote locales. They’re for sale, too.


Planning a hike on trails I’ve conquered? Read my daily diaries to help you prepare.



A fast-moving stream sits a few paces ahead of me, hurtling over a precipice and into the Potomac River far below. The blue trail markers I’d been following all morning led me here, but now I can’t figure out how to cross the stream or get down to the river.

Suddenly three heads pop up from a hidden crevasse … 

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