University of Vermont

ask us

Chronicle Features Prof. Robert Manning on the Wisdom in Walking

Chronicle of Higher Education

In his essay for The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Long Walks, Deep Thoughts,” Robert Manning, professor in the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, explores the “biomechanical marvel” of bipedalism along with the powerful historical connection between walking and philosophy, scholarship, literature, human rights protests and spirituality, from Aristotle to Martin Luther King.

He notes Wordsworth, who was said to have walked some 180,000 miles, his study being ‘out of doors,’ his housekeeper was purported to say, and of John Muir: “His walks,” Manning says, “offered him deep insights into our relationship with the natural world, writing, “‘I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for, going out, I found, was really going in.’”

The piece is excerpted from Manning’s new book, written with his wife Martha S. Manning, Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People. Read the story…