Hello! 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 (+6,800 miles 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, folks! As of September 2019, I’ve only hiked about 4,250 of those miles, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. I hope you’ll join me on my adventures. And if you see me out in the woods, my trail name is Snowshoe.



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.



The Vía de la Plata, or VDLP, is one of Spain’s five main “Camino” routes into Santiago de Compostela. However, while it’s a main route, it is only hiked by about 15 percent of all Camino-goers. Most of the remaining trekkers opt to walk along the famous “French Way,” or Camino Francés. But don’t overlook the VDLP. It’s filled with Roman ruins, and it’s incredible.

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved