The best books about long walking adventures

Why am I passionate about this?

I didn’t really take up hiking until I was in my 30s, but outdoor adventures have become a way of life. I love walking along a trail, marveling at my surroundings and wondering what new delight I’ll discover around the next bend or over the next hill. Upon turning 70, I tackled my most challenging walk yet – trekking over 250 miles along the spectacular South West Coast Path in Cornwall, England. I found the immersion in focusing solely on walking each day to be both meditative and uplifting. The books on this list reflect my love for the outdoors, with some inspiring me to try something new, while others I prefer to experience vicariously.


I wrote...

The Long Path Home: Walking the South West Coast Path in Cornwall, England A Novella

By Diane Winger,

Book cover of The Long Path Home: Walking the South West Coast Path in Cornwall, England A Novella

What is my book about?

Sleep. Eat. Walk. Repeat.

Joni lost her husband a year ago. Their dream to hike the stunning South West Coast Path of Cornwall is a trip she can’t imagine tackling alone. But once her son offers to join her, she embraces the opportunity. When circumstances threaten to cut their trip short, she realizes that only a gutsy choice may bring about the life-changing result she longs for. At times humorous, often inspiring, and ultimately uplifting. Be prepared to be swept away!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Salt Path: A Memoir

Diane Winger Why did I love this book?

Even if you haven't walked the South West Coast Path in England, if you love reading about nature, adventure, and true, inspiring journeys, you'll love this memoir.

The writing is excellent and the story is heartfelt and totally memorable. By the time you finish reading, you’ll feel like you’ve just walked the 630-mile path along with Raynor and her husband!

By Raynor Winn,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Salt Path as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Polished, poignant... an inspiring story of true love."-Entertainment Weekly

A BEST BOOK OF 2019, NPR's Book Concierge
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BOOK AWARD
OVER 400,000 COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE

The true story of a couple who lost everything and embarked on a transformative journey walking the South West Coast Path in England

Just days after Raynor Winn learns that Moth, her husband of thirty-two years, is terminally ill, their house and farm are taken away, along with their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South…


Book cover of Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

Diane Winger Why did I love this book?

This fascinating history about hiking the Appalachian Trail spotlights a woman who demonstrated that age and gender aren't barriers to remarkable physical feats. Or should I say "feet"?

Grandma Gatewood was a pioneer, not only for women trekking alone, but for people of any age who set out on a journey others say isn’t possible for them. I was inspired by her story to take on a journey I thought would be marvelous, but beyond my capabilities. And I made it happen!

By Ben Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Grandma Gatewood's Walk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2014 National Outdoor Book Award Winner in History / Biography

Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, sixty-seven-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. By September 1955 she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin, sang “America, the Beautiful,” and proclaimed, “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.”

Driven by a painful marriage, Grandma Gatewood not only hiked the trail alone, she was the first person—man…


Book cover of Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of the Grand Canyon

Diane Winger Why did I love this book?

I guarantee this amazing history of Butchart will leave you in awe, especially if you have explored a bit of the Grand Canyon as I have or have dreamed of doing so.

Butchart tackled an astonishing number of remote and extreme formations in this remarkable place. Very well-written and meticulously researched.

By Elias Butler, Tom Myers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grand Obsession as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of a 2008 National Outdoor Book Award, a 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY), and named a Book of the Year by the Pima County Library, "Grand Obsession" continues to gather recognition for its striking portrayal of a man who felt compelled to do what no one had dared attempt in modern times: explore the deepest, most inhospitable reaches of the Grand Canyon, crown jewel of America's national parks - something which took decades to achieve and exacted a great personal cost.

Writers Elias Butler and Thomas M. Myers (co-author of the book "Over the Edge: Death in Grand…


Book cover of A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Diane Winger Why did I love this book?

This is probably the funniest book I’ve ever read. Who knew hiking the Appalachian Trail could be so hilarious?

These true-life adventures – no, better to describe them as misadventures – will delight everyone from experienced hikers to weekend warriors to armchair adventurers. If you need a lift to your day, this is the book to pick up.

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Walk in the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of "Notes from a Small Island" and "The Lost Continent" comes this humorous report on his walk along the Appalachian Trail. The Trail covers 14 states and over 2000 miles, and stretches along the east coast of America from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. It is famous for being the longest continuous footpath in the world. It snakes through some of the wildest and most specactular landscapes in America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas.


Book cover of The Great Alone: Walking the Pacific Crest Trail

Diane Winger Why did I love this book?

As someone who has hiked a few sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, I found this memoir of the author’s experiences while through-hiking the PCT to be visually stunning and delightful.

He managed to describe his daily progress with enough variety that I never grew tired of his quest. This story has inspired me to return to the trail for another section or two!

By Gestalten, Tim Voors,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Time is precious. The world is waiting. Rediscover yourself. The Great Alone is the epic adventure of a relatable explorer.


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Price of Vengeance

By Kurt D. Springs,

Book cover of Price of Vengeance

Kurt D. Springs

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Teacher Cook Barista Guardian

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What is my book about?

Liam was orphaned at the age of two by a group of giant carnivorous insects called the chitin. Taken in by High Councilor Marcus and his wife, Lidia, Liam was raised with their older son, Randolf in New Olympia, the last remaining city on the planet Etrusci.

As an adult, Liam becomes a soldier. After being cut off from the city, Liam finds that there is an alien intelligence behind the chitin. To defeat it, he must discover who he is and how to use his powers. Then, Liam discovers that a traitor, responsible for his birth parents' deaths, had…

Price of Vengeance

By Kurt D. Springs,

What is this book about?

"From the cover to the opening pages, Price of Vengeance grabs the reader and takes them on a wild ride. Fasten your seat belts for this book." -S. J. Francis, author of Shattered Lies

What is the Price of Vengeance? One could understand why Liam was angry. He was orphaned at the age of two by a group of giant carnivorous insects called the chitin. Taken in by High Councilor Marcus and his wife, Lidia, Liam was raised with their older son, Randolf in New Olympia, the last remaining city on the planet Etrusci.

As an adult, Liam becomes a…


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