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Written by
Mary Lawless
Mary Lawless

The Five Best Hiking Books to Inspire Your Next Adventure

Winter is fast approaching and, for some of us, it’s the perfect time to curl up beside the fire with a good book. The must-reads below will help inspire your next hiking trip whether that’s a trail somewhere nearby or a vacation abroad. For us, the best hiking books are books based on real people and places; books about hiking adventures!

Check out our list of five the best hiking books to read:

1 – Neon Pilgrim By Lisa Dempster

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Let’s start the list with the best hiking book to motivate the novice hikers out there, proving hiking is for everyone. Inspired by the Henro-michi pilgrimage trail through the mountains of Japan, overweight and depressed Dempster pushes herself back to health. This brutally honest record is a transformational story of how the 750 mile trek and spiritual journey dramatically changed her life. It’s a great read and provides a fascinating insight into the world of the Japanese pilgrimage. Gain your own insight into Japanese pilgrimage while soaking up the country’s rich history and culture on Macs Adventure Kumano Kodo Trail.

2 - John Muir: A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf By William Fredric Bade

John Muir is an avid conservationist who can be largely credited with saving Yosemite National Park. This is as much a book about hiking as it is about John Muir – “Father of the National Parks”. Bade complied this hiking book with excerpts from the journal Muir kept on his hike from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico; and his first visit to Yosemite. It was on this hiking trip Muir developed his fascination with the wilderness. Visit the birth place of John Muir on Scotland’s newest long distance trail; hike Scotland coast to coast on our 12 day tour The John Muir Way.

3 - Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time By Mark Adams

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Hiram Bingham climbed into the Andes and “discovered” Machu Picchu in 1911. Adams tries to re-create Bingham’s original expedition to Machu Picchu in this New York Times Best Selling Travel Memoir. Retracing Bingham’s trails in an attempt to expose the truth about Machu Picchu’s founder Adam beautifully intertwines three time periods. In this book about hiking adventures we learn about the Incan history, the journey Bingham faces in 1911 and of course Adams own experience. This fascinating account of his journey paints a picture of the majestic and remote landscape that makes you want to start out right away. This hiking book can really help enhance your journey to Machu Picchu, let our specialists and expert leaders do the rest, check out our trails and choose a custom hiking tour of Machu Picchu.

4 - A Journey of Days‘: Relearning Life’s Lessons on the Camino de Santiago By Guy Thatcher

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This ancient pilgrimage route is about meeting new people and connecting with nature. Thatcher captures his experience beautifully in this book about hiking the Camino de Santiago. Hoping to discover the reason for the compulsion that drove him there; instead he renewed his belief in the remarkable goodness of ordinary people. Of course, we mustn’t forget the Spanish food, culture and historic cities Thatcher experienced along the trail. Follow in Thatcher’s footsteps and relearn life’s lessons on one of our tours on the Camino de Santiago.

5 - A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Appalachian Trail By Bill Bryson

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It wouldn’t be a list of the best hiking books without this comical best seller. This classic is possibly the most well-known, as well as one of the best books on hiking adventures out there. Bryson’s memoir recalls his attempt to hike all 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail with his unfit and under-prepared hiking buddy Katz. What started as a thru-hike soon became a drive & hike with hope of easier terrain and desire to ditch Katz. Pick up a copy for an amusing portrayal of the longest hiking-only trail in the world. This book might put you off hiking the whole trail but you can take the advice of Bryson and just do a section, hike the trail through the Berkshires with Macs Adventure.

Do you have any more books about hiking to add to the list?

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