​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 – 11,000 miles (17,703 km) and counting – and who 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.

My Thousand-Miler Goal

Today, my goal is to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails. That’s more than 18,000 miles (28,968 km), folks! As of June 2024, I’ve hiked about 8,400 (13,519 km) of those 18,000 miles via thru-hikes of the Arizona, Florida, Ice Age, New England, Natchez Trace and Potomac Heritage Trails, plus 3,360.3 miles (5,407.9 km) of the North Country Trail and 479 miles (771 km) of the Continental Divide. Sure, I’ve got a ways to go. But I’m off to a great start.

On the docket for the last half of 2024? I’ll be continuing my section-hike of the CDT. 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.



Check out my latest podcast appearance on Howard Fox’s Outdoor Adventure Series!


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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