Melanie Radzicki McManus

Melanie Radzicki McManus is a freelance writer whose specialties include health, fitness and travel. After twice thru-hiking the 1,200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Melanie penned the book “Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail.” She then decided to hike the other 10 National Scenic Trails – a total of some 18,000 miles. With this quest still in progress, Melanie developed a subspecialty writing and speaking about long-distance hiking. Today, her work most frequently appears online on and, and in print in the Chicago Tribune and Minneapolis Star Tribune. Melanie is a six-time Lowell Thomas Award winner, receiving five awards for individual travel articles and an honorable mention as Travel Journalist of the Year. The Lowell Thomas Awards are considered the Pulitzers of the travel writing industry. 

info Subjects


Fitness & Nutrition
Health & Medicine
Sports & Games
Arts & Culture
Religion & Spirituality
Nature & Environment


Hiking, backpacking, running, National Scenic Trails

notepad Skills

  • Advertorials
  • Blog posts
  • Books
  • Editing
  • Feature writing
  • News
  • Photography
  • Q&A
  • Content marketing
  • Articles
  • Profiles
  • Web copy

notepad Writing Credits

AAA Traveler Worldwise, Backpacker, Chicago Tribune,,, Midwest Living, Minneapolis Star Tribune, National Geographic Traveler, Runner’s World, Travel Wisconsin

notepad Book Credits

Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017)

100 Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells Before You Die (Reedy Press, 2023)

star Awards, Honors, Appointments

Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards (6)
Society of American Travel Writers / Central States (numerous awards)
Milwaukee Press Club Award

Selected Work

As author, unless indicated otherwise.


Hiking all 750 miles of the Potomac Heritage Trail, America's undiscovered national scenic trail

One of 11 National Scenic Trails, the Potomac Heritage Trail on the East Coast is known to few, despite its being the most urban of the 11.


Frog Bay in Wisconsin is the first-ever tribal national park


Exploring the history and natural beauty of the Natchez Trace — once the most important travel route between Mississippi and Tennessee

The Natchez Trace Parkway is well-known, but few know about the National Scenic Trail unwinding alongside it.


Wisconsin's oddball House on the Rock was always intended to be a mystery

Wisconsin's famous tourist attraction, The House on the Rock, started off as one man's escape.


Rucking is an easy way to fitness

Rucking, akin to urban backpacking, makes a great workout.


What Was Really Behind Agatha Christie's Mysterious Disappearance?

Agatha Christie once disappeared for more than a week, then was found with amnesia. Was it for publicity, or was it true?


'Cozy cardio' is a kinder, gentler way to start getting fit


Yoga, Pilates, tai chi, qigong — what’s best for me?

Yoga, Pilates, tai chi and qigong have some similarities. But see what experts recommend as the best practice for you.


Try this interval workout to avoid HIIT burnout or injuries

There are a variety of interval workouts. See which one is best for you. 


America's Black Holocaust Museum Reopens After 14-Year Closure

Despite being closed for 14 years, America's Black Holocaust Museum never lost hope that it would reopen. After living virtually for that time period, it finally emerged in a beautiful, new space in downtown Milwaukee.


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