Walking Heel-to-Toe & One Step at a Time in 15 Books!

Walking is good for your body and your mind. You may not be surprised to hear that walking is something that most people do every day, and they don’t realize they’re doing it! Life is a journey of walking. It is also one of the many ways we can easily insert ourselves back into nature. Read on for 15 books from the Lake Forest Library to inspire you to go walking or hiking. Local areas to walk, hike, and explore include Middlefork Savanna, Elawa Farmer's Market, Prairie Wolf Dog Park,  and Lake Forest Open Lands.  

1. A walking life: reclaiming our health and our freedom one step at a time by Antonia Malchik

 613.7176 MAL  

"I'm going for a walk." How often has this phrase been uttered by someone with a heart full of anger or sorrow? Or as an invitation, a precursor to a declaration of love? This is an incisive, utterly engaging exploration of walking: how it is fundamental to our humanity, how we have designed it out of our lives, and how it is essential that we re-embrace it.

2. 52 ways to walk: the surprising science of walking for wellness and joy, one week at a time by Annabel Streets  

796.51 STR  

We think we know how to walk. After all, walking is one of the very first skills we learn. But many of us are stuck in our walking routines, forever walking in the same place, in the same way, for the same time, with the same people. With its thought-provoking and evidence-backed weekly walk routine, 52 Ways to Walk will encourage everyone to improve how they walk, while also encouraging them to seek out new locations, new walking companions, new times of the day and night, and new skills to acquire while walking.

3. Walking distance: extraordinary hikes for ordinary people by Robert E. Manning

796.51 MAN  

This book emphasizes the accessibility of walking the world’s great natural and cultural landscapes.  As the subtitle suggests, these are extraordinary hikes for ordinary people.  Walk across England, around Mt. Blanc, along the great coastlines of North America and Australia, follow the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, walk with pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella, walk among the world’s great mountain ranges – the Sierras, Rockies, Appalachians, Andes, and Alps, walk through the Grand Canyon.   

4. Mystery reader's walking guide, Chicago by Alzina Stone Dale   

917.7311 DAL  

Around the world the name "Chicago" still conjures up images of the Roaring Twenties, cops and robbers, and Al Capone. Follow in the footsteps of more than 75 authors and sleuths from over 100 mysteries. Each walking tour covers a specific Chicago neighborhood, providing a map, must-see places and restaurants, all from Chicago mysteries, together with a special index of people, places and mysteries covered.

5. 60 hikes within 60 miles: Chicago: including Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana by Ted Villaire  

917.7311 VIL  

Focusing on the Chicago area’s urban and rural areas and everything in between, this book features classic hikes at such lovely spots as Starved Rock State Park, as well as gems like the LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area in northwestern Indiana. Extensive key-at-a-glance information makes it a snap to choose a hike based on length, difficulty, and scenery. Helpful lists highlight the best hikes for children, for wildlife viewing, and other categories.

7. Rail-trails Illinois, Indiana & Ohio: the definitive guide to the region's top multiuse trails.   

917.7 RAI  

Unused railroad corridors across the country have been converted to public multi-use trails. Here, the experts from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy present the best of these rail-trails, as well as other multi-use pathways in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Tour Ohio’s Amish country, take a ride along Chicago’s lakefront, and enjoy the picturesque countryside on Indiana’s longest rail-trail. These adventures and more await you on the many multi-use trails of the Midwest!  

In this book, you will find detailed maps for every rail-trail, driving directions to trailheads, icons indicating the activities each trail can accommodate, and succinct descriptions written by rail-trail experts.

8. Starved Rock State Park: an Illinois treasure by Lee Mandrell   

977.327 MAN  

In Starved Rock State Park: An Illinois Treasure, photographers Lee Mandrell and DeeDee Niederhouse-Mandrell showcase the beauty and grandeur of this Illinois state park. With photos of twisting forest trails, plunging canyons, and lakes veiled in mist, they uncover this land piece by piece. Hike to take in the view at Lover's Leap Overlook or relish the waterfalls that come roaring out from canyons with names like Wildcat and St. Louis.

9. Hiking Illinois by Susan L. Post

917.73 POS  

Hiking Illinois is your complete guide to 107 of the most scenic day hikes within the Land of Lincoln. No matter what region you wish to explore or how easy or hard a trek you want, this handy guide will lead you to the right trail.  In this one-of-a-kind resource, you will find the following features: Detailed descriptions of every hike, difficulty ratings, phone numbers, park hours, Easy-to-read maps, and other points of interest

10. A philosophy of walking by Frédéric Gros

170 GRO

By walking, you escape from the very idea of identity, the temptation to be someone, to have a name and a history ... The freedom in walking lies in not being anyone; for the walking body has no history, it is just an eddy in the stream of immemorial life. Explore great thinkers who also saw walking as something central to their practice. Ponder Thoreau's seclusion in Walden Woods; Rimbaud walked in a fury, Nerval rambled to cure his melancholy, Rousseau walked to think, while Nietzsche wandered the mountainside to write, Kant marched to escape the compulsion of thought.

11. Moms who hike: walking with America's most inspiring adventurers by Heather Balogh Rochfort  

796.51 ROC      

The book is both inspirational and aspirational as each adventurer tells her story in her own words through featuring their favorite hike, highlighting personal challenges, accomplishments, and philosophy, as well as providing readers with practical how-to suggestions on maximizing not only their own potential in hiking but in life. The profiles are complemented by stunning color photographs. Each profile includes a map of the hike being profiled, hike specs, miles and directions, GPS coordinates to the trailhead, and a sidebar of something noteworthy about the hike, the location, or the adventurer.

12. The art of flaneuring : how to wander with intention and discover a better life by Erika Own

Eaudiobook Instantly available on Hoopla.

Have you ever been walking home from work and unexpectedly took a different path just to learn more about your neighborhood? Or have you been on a vacation and walked around a new city just to take it all in? Then chances are, you are a flaneur and you did not even know it! Originally used to describe well-to-do French men who would stroll city streets in the nineteenth century, flaneur has evolved to mean someone who wanders with intention.

13. Alone in Antarctica: the first woman to ski solo across the southern ice by Aston, Felicity.

910.911 AST

Author Felicity Aston tells her story to you as the first and only woman in the world to ski alone across Antarctica. And as the reader you feel like you are right there with her on the ice as she attempts to traverse the most amazing landmass and scenery.

14. The salt path by Winn, Raynor, author.

305.5692 WIN

Raynor and her husband Moth lose a legal battle and are being forced to give up their beloved farmhouse in Wales. With seemingly nothing less to lose and nowhere else to go, they decide to pack the essentials into two rucksacks, purchase a tent and sleeping bags, and set off on the South West Cost Path, using Paddy Dillon’s guidebook.

15. Lillian Boxfish takes a walk by Rooney, Kathleen, 1980- author.


On New Year’s Eve 1984, Lillian Boxfish, at the age of eighty-five takes a walk through Manhattan.  During that walk, she recounts most of the major (and several minor) events in her life, starting in the 1920s. This life was filled with a glamorous career in advertising, a crumbling marriage and stints of electro-shock therapy.