Thousand-Miler (Paperback)

Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 9780870207907, 240pp.

Publication Date: April 21, 2017

List Price: 20.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In thirty-six thrilling 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 account are details of the history of the still-developing Ice Age Trail—one of just eleven National Scenic Trails—and helpful insight and strategies for undertaking a successful thru-hike.

In addition to chronicling McManus’s hike, Thousand-Miler also includes the little-told story of the Ice Age Trail’s first-ever thru-hiker Jim Staudacher, an account of the record-breaking thru-run of ultrarunner Jason Dorgan, the experiences of a young combat veteran who embarked on her thru-hike as a way to ease back into civilian life, and other fascinating tales from the trail. Their collective experiences shed light on the motivations of thru-hikers and the different ways hikers accomplish this impressive feat, providing an entertaining and informative read for outdoors enthusiasts of all levels.

About the Author

Melanie Radzicki McManus has been a news reporter at a Green Bay radio station, a press secretary at the Wisconsin State Capitol, and editor of two local publications. Since 1994, McManus has worked as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in travel and fitness. She has won numerous awards for her writing, most notably the prestigious Lowell Thomas Gold and Grand Awards for travel journalism.

Praise For Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail

Melanie Radzicki McManus’s Thousand-Miler is an absorbing and enlightening first-person account of a thru-trekking adventure...a congenial, adventurous, and inspiring trek through America’s wilderness, with broad appeal.
(Foreword Reviews, Susan Waggoner, April 25, 2017)

 Recommended Summer Travel Titles, among "Four books [that] top my to-read pile"  -- New York Times Book Review, Cheryl Strayed, author of "Wild," June 4, 2017

Thousand-Miler weaves together practical advice, hiker profiles and cultural tales the author collected while setting a record for completing the more than 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail across Wisconsin in 36 days. The most touching chapter features veterans and the emotional need to “walk off the war” before transitioning back to home life. (Minneapolis Star Tribune “Great Cabin Reads” June 9, 2017)