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AUGUST 2017

*I was one of three travel experts who came up with Wisconsin's 20 best attractions, featured in a USA Today Readers' Choice poll.

JULY 2017

*Need a challenge? Hike the Manitou Incline near Colorado Springs!

*This article I wrote on funeral procession laws and etiquette for HowStuffWorks.com generated a staggering number of comments and shares on the website's Facebook page.

JUNE 2017

*Traveling south on I-94 from the Twin Cities toward Chicago? Here's a great spot to hop off for some touring. 

*Getting the Ice Age Trail more publicity, this time in Midwest Living.

MAY 2017

*Cheryl Strayed, author of the popular hiking memoir Wild, told The New York Times that my book Thousand-Miler is on her summer reading list!

*Hiked another week on the Florida NST, and then knocked off my first 250 miles of the North Country NST. Only 4,350 miles to go on that one!

APRIL 2017

*Last fall I hiked Tiger Leaping Gorge, a trail in China that's famous with foreigners. Here's what it was like.

*Thousand-Miler is being well-received. The Associated Press ran a story about it that was picked up everywhere, including The New York Times. Cool!

*Fan of dietary supplements? Here's what you should know about them.

MARCH 2017 

*At Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism. Lots of talk about importance of sense of place. But of course! 

*My book Thousand-Miler was published a few weeks earlier than scheduled! Order your copy through the Wisconsin Historical Society Press or Amazon.

*An excerpt of my first book, the memoir Thousand-Miler, was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Wisconsin Magazine of History. 

*I'm returning to the Florida Trail to hike another 300 miles or so from roughly the Ocala National Forest to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in the eastern panhandle. Story research!

*Looking forward to the coming debut of Bindu Trips, a travel itinerary-building website. I have created itineraries for Wisconsin Dells and Spain's Vía de la Plata pilgrimage trail (Camino).

How Solitary Confinement Works

You'll never misbehave after reading this piece I penned on solitary confinement for the website How Stuff Works. Interestingly, they assigned me a piece on empathy shortly after.

Scenes from Wisconsin's Snowshoe Beer Mile
Perhaps the world's first snowshoe beer mile event was held in Eau Claire, Wis., in 2016. Temperature: 2 degrees. It was a balmy 40-something during the 2017 event, which posed its own issues. Read about both races in this Runner's World article.  

JANUARY 2017

*Heading to the Everglades to start a thru-hike of the 1,100-mile Florida National Scenic Trail. Hopefully I'll survive the inaugural three-day trek through the swamp!

*While down there, I'll be checking out the St. Anne Shrine in Lake Wales for the National Catholic Register. It was built by French-Canadians in 1920 and today is abandoned but beautiful.

Sanctuary in southwestern Wisconsin

The Kickapoo River Valley is the perfect place to relax and take in some stunning landscapes, as you'll see in this piece written for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. 

Sledding at Great Sand Dunes National Park
No, you don't do this in a desert locale. The biggest sand dunes in the U.S. are in Colorado. Read about this fascinating park in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. 

Midwest Traveler: Devil's Lake may be Midwest's best climbing spot
I'm afraid of heights, but I tried my hand at climbing and was surprised at how enjoyable, albeit tough, it was. See what you think after reading my piece in the Minneapolis Star Tribune  

How easy is it to spot a moose on Isle Royale? You'll see what it took for my hubby and me after reading this story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune  

D.C. shines in the off-season
When I went to Washington, D.C. in February, I discovered a pleasant surprise. Read about it in this article I wrote for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Island Disputes
Think the U.S. and Canada are fast friends? They are, save for one tiny rock. Intrigued? Take a gander at this piece in Islands magazine.  
This story won the 2016 Lowell Thomas gold award for Best Short Travel Article. 

 

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I was recently honored to receive a gold Lowell Thomas award for Best Short Travel Article 2016. The Lowell Thomas awards are considered the most prestigious awards given for travel journalism in North America.

 

Hello.

I'm a freelance writer and editor specializing in travel and fitness, although I cover many other subjects, too. I began my career writing for national consumer magazines and major newspapers, added in corporations and websites, seeded a wiki on marathoning and recently wrote my first book, Thousand-Miler, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. I'm a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).

My latest passion is exploring (and speaking about) America's 11 National Scenic Trails. To date I've twice thru-hiked the Ice Age Trail, setting the top two women's fastpacking records. I've also biked the Natchez Trace National Parkway. In 2017 I began exploring the North Country National Scenic Trail; by the end of the year, I will have thru-hiked the Florida National Scenic Trail and New England National Scenic Trail, too.

Please explore the rest of my website to find out more about me and my work.

Melanie