Latest News & Articles



*Need a break? Head to Sundara Inn & Spa, consistently ranked one of America's best destination spas.

*Heading to Italy (!), during which time I'll hike Cinque Terre and some other spots. Will it live up to the hype? Stay tuned.

*Ever hear of Door County, one of Wisconsin's top vacation destinations? Sturgeon Bay is its gateway, and a lovely city in its own right. Don't miss out!


*So excited to receive a gold Lowell Thomas award, the most prestigious for North American travel journalists, for a piece I wrote about hiking the Manitou Incline.

*Checked out the new addition at Sundara Inn & Spa in Wisconsin Dells. It's fab!


*Love to hike? Iceland's got a lot of great spots, such as the island's famous Laugavegur Trail, as you'll see in thie Star Tribune article.

JULY 2018

*The Superior Hiking Trail series has started! Here's the intro, Part 1, Part 2Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

*Despite my fear of heights, I braved scary waterslides in the Dells to determine which was the most frightening of the bunch. (You're welcome!) 

*Check out Eau Claire, Wisconsin's hipster town full of great music (Bon Iver, anyone?), art and craft beer.

JUNE 2018

*Heading to Wisconsin Dells? Check out Baraboo, too!

*Calling all combat veterans! Check out Warrior Expeditions and see how hiking, biking or paddling may be beneficial to you.

*Off thru-hiking the Superior Hiking Trail for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Stay tuned for many tales from the trail.

*TRAIL SERIES TEASER: Check out this teaser video! Series begins July 6.

MAY 2018

*It was wonderful to once again write about Spain's Camino – the underrated Vía de la Plata – in AAA Traveler.

*Attended the annual conference of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Met with several book agents. Stay tuned!

*An exciting hiking project is in the works. More info next month.

APRIL 2018

*Sadly, the North Country Trail's growth in two spots is being hampered by politics, as you'll see in this Minneapolis Star Tribune article

*I wrote this piece on hamstrings after my reattachment surgery in February.

MARCH 2018

*Thanks to Joan Young of Michigan for publishing a book review of "Thousand-Miler."

*Attended the Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism (WIGCOT) March 12. 

*My last hurrah before surgery (see below) was snowshoeing in the Porkies. It was fantastic and I highly recommend it, as you'll see in this Star Tribune piece.

*Had hamstring reattachment surgery. Yikes! But hopefully after my six-month recovery, I'll be as active as ever. 


*Thinking of having a gender-reveal party? You may wish to think again a la this Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast.

*Purged my office of loads of old files and assorted junk. Ahhh! I feel much better. It's true that clutter is stressful.



*Ever wonder why New Zealand is home to such crazy adventures? My article on HowStuffWorks explains it all.

*A small church in Oshkosh, Wis., is home to the one of the world's largest, permanently displaced Nativity collections.  


*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.




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THOUSAND-MILER: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail

In thirty-six action-packed days, Melanie Radzicki McManus hiked 1,100 miles around Wisconsin, landing her in the elite group of Ice Age Trail thru-hikers known as the Thousand-Milers. In prose that’s alternately harrowing and humorous, Thousand-Miler takes you with her through Wisconsin’s forests, prairies, wetlands, and farms, past the geologic wonders carved by long-ago glaciers, and into the neighborhood bars and gathering places of far-flung small towns. Follow along as she worries about wildlife encounters, wonders if her injured feet will ever recover, and searches for an elusive fellow hiker known as Papa Bear. Woven throughout her story are details of the history of the still-developing Ice Age Trail—one of just eleven National Scenic Trails nationwide—and helpful insight and strategies for undertaking a successful thru-hike.

Among other fascinating tales from the trail, Thousand-Miler also includes the never-before-told story of the Ice Age Trail’s first-ever thru-hiker, Jim Staudacher, the story of ultrarunner Jason Dorgan's record-breaking thru-run, and the experience of one young, female combat veteran who embarked on a thru-hike as a way to ease back into civilian life. Their collective experiences shed light on the motivations of thru-hikers and the different ways they accomplish this impressive feat, providing an entertaining and informative read for outdoors enthusiasts of all levels.

(Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017)

Purchase your copy at your favorite local bookstore. Thousand-Miler is also available online through the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and There's an audio version, too!

Book Clubs: Thousand-Miler was featured on Reading Group Choices. Check it out if your club plans to read the book, as the site contains discussion questions.







"Melanie Radzicki McManus turns her sense of adventure and keen descriptive voice — not to mention her physical stamina — to a vital stretch of geological wonder. Anyone who wants to hike the Ice Age Trail, or anyone who loves the outdoors but has never heard of this little-known gem, needs to read this book."

KERRI WESTENBERG, Star Tribune travel editor

"Many dream, some attempt, and few succeed at completing a trek of the entire Ice Age Trail. This remarkable journal of the sights, sounds, challenges, and joys lets anyone experience the unique journey of a Thousand-Miler."

MIKE WOLLMER, Executive Director of the Ice Age Trail Alliance