Latest News & Articles


*Trails are great, but you can hike in cities, too, as this Midwest Living article on urban hikes demonstrates. 


*This is book-talk month! Check out my schedule of appearances to talk about the Ice Age Trail and my book Thousand-Miler.


*A summer trip to no-cars-allowed Mackinac Island was the impetus for this article on the island's bike culture.

*This month my husband and I thru-hiked the 215-mile New England National Scenic Trail. It was really rocky!

*Did you know you can take an alpine slide down the Great Wall of China? Read about my journey in this Minneapolis Star Tribune piece.


*The book "Great Hiking Trails of the World" was just published, and three of my hiking photos are in it!

*HowStuffWorks now has author pages, so you can see a lot of my recent stories on my page. Yay.

*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

*There's a cool, semi-abandoned shrine in Lake Wales, Florida, that makes an interesting stop.

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

*This article I wrote on funeral procession laws and etiquette for 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.  


*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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Hello, I'm Melanie Radzicki McManus.


I'm a freelance writer whose passion is exploring the world on foot. I've hiked Iceland's Laugavegur Trail, walked Spain's Vía de la Plata (Camino de Santiago), climbed Mt. Teide in the Canary Islands and completed New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing.

After setting the women's fastpacking record on America's Ice Age Trail, I wrote Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017). When it debuted, Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, put it tops on her reading list.

Now, my goal is to hike America's 10 other National Scenic Trails. Earlier this year I knocked off the New England Trail; in a few weeks I'll add the Florida Trail to my list. I've also explored 300 miles of the 4,600-mile North Country Trail.

Come follow along on my adventures!