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Quotations about Walking & Hiking



I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. When body and mind are out of gear (and those twin parts of me live at such close quarters that the one always catches melancholy from the other) I know that I have only to call in my doctors and I shall be well again. ~George Macaulay Trevelyan (1876–1962), "Walking," Clio, A Muse, and Other Essays Literary and Pedestrian, 1913


A little fresh air would be good for you just now. The weather is lovely; and a little stroll in the park will bring the colour back to your cheeks. ~J. Palgrave Simpson, For Ever and Never, 1884


I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. ~John Muir (1838–1914)


Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow, as if I had given vent to the stream at the lower end and consequently new fountains flowed into the upper. A thousand rills which have their rise in the sources of thought burst forth and fertilize my brain... Only while we are in action is the circulation perfect. ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 1851


Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985, stevenwright.com


[E]ven as the railways spiderwebbed their way across Europe, people still walked to get somewhere and to get nowhere. ~Maud Casey, The Man Who Walked Away, 2014


A good long walk each day is wise, but as old age approaches, we hate the thought of exercise, and ride in cars and coaches. And it is when we're waxing old that exercise is needed; if we'd dispel the fat and mold, our trilbys must be speeded. We ought to walk to work and back, and shun the elevator, and do the chores around the shack, and hoe the beet and 'tater. Instead of riding in a car, on seats of padded leather, 'twere better if we walked afar, in every kind of weather. We ought to sweat beneath the sun, absorb the heat it launches, and then perhaps we wouldn't run to double chins and paunches. We let all rules of health go hang, and when in bad condition, we do not walk a parasang, but send for a physician. Instead of climbing sunlit hills, inhaling wholesome breezes, we take a pint of purple pills and grunt of our diseases. We dodge all forms of exercise, which course is truly batty; and when we die the doctor cries, "Degeneration fatty!" ~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "Exercise"


On Easter Sunday my father, who considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of church-going, suggested that we should climb to the top of Snowdon. ~Aldous Huxley, Those Barren Leaves, 1925


Keep the air. Nature says, 'Thou shalt walk, skate, swim, ride, run.' When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the sole leather has passed into the fibre of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes & hats & clothes you have worn out. He is the richest man who pays the largest debt to his shoemaker. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. ~Wallace Stevens


After a day's walk everything has twice its usual value. Food and drink become subjects for epic celebration, worthy of the treatment Homer gave them. ~George Macaulay Trevelyan (1876–1962), "Walking," Clio, A Muse, and Other Essays Literary and Pedestrian, 1913


I do not deny the attraction of walking... [W]alking is an immeasurably fine invention, of which old age ought constantly to avail itself. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table


In all forms of active exercise there are three powers simultaneously in action, — the will, the muscles, and the intellect. Each of these predominates in different kinds of exercise. In walking, the will and muscles are so accustomed to work together and perform their task with so little expenditure of force, that the intellect is left comparatively free. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table


But in every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir, July 1877


Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. ~Søren Kierkegaard


A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White, M.D., unverified


Walks. The body advances, while the mind flutters around it like a bird. ~Jules Renard, journal, 1907, translated by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget, 1964


I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs, 1913


The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Exercise? No, no, that's too much like school. I like to be free. There are too many musts in life without adding exercise... [but] I love to walk in the country — to be out in the clean air. I walk for miles by the sea. I walk in the sun. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)


Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Egg and The Eye," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000


...make your feet your friend. ~J. M. Barrie, Sentimental Tommy, 1896


He who limps is still walking. ~Stanisław J. Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, translated from Polish by Jacek Gałązka, 1962


Walking isn't a lost art — how else can one get to the garage? ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968


Now shall I walk
      Or shall I ride?
"Ride," Pleasure said;
      "Walk," Joy replied.
~W. H. Davies, "The Best Friend," Bird of Paradise, 1914


I like to walk, touch living Mother Earth — bare feet best, and thrill every step. Used to envy happy reptiles that had advantage of so much body in contact with earth, bosom to bosom. [We] live with our heels as well as head and most of our pleasure comes in that way. ~John Muir, quoted in To Yosemite and Beyond: Writings from the Years 1863–1875 edited by Robert Engberg and Donald Wesling


Ever wonder where you'd end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


For Woodland Trail and Mountain Height
Let Feet and Heart and Pack be light.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Packs and Burdens," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


If you turn out to walk in winter with cold feet, in an hour's time you will be in a glow all over... ~Madame Gout to Mr. Franklin (Benjamin Franklin)


I'm off for a tramp in the park... I think when I am eighty I'll be glad I went for a walk in the park to-night. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915


An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 1840


My Feet they haul me Round the House,
      They Hoist me up the Stairs;
I only have to Steer them, and
      They Ride me Everywhere!
~Gelett Burgess


We ought to take outdoor walks, to refresh and raise our spirits by deep breathing in the open air. ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca, "On Tranquillity of Mind"


I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light... ~Robert Frost, "Acquainted with the Night," West-Running Brook, 1928


There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Trains and autos go too fast. Even a bicycle goes too fast. Afoot, each mile is individual; each field, glade, clearing, stream, and hill, each farm and village has its own personality, and impresses itself upon you, like music, in the rhythm of your own stride. Afoot, you meet the people. You can sense each character. You can enter into unfamiliar ways of life. ~Paul Scott Mowrer, The House of Europe, 1945


In my opinion the best way of progressing from A to B is to walk. The second best way is to cycle. Alan feels the same, only in reverse order. Our physiques differ accordingly. When Alan, lithe and graceful, climbs onto his machine he becomes part of it; a picture of slim, spinning, curving, swishing movement. You will find me pounding along behind him and, having taken one glance at me in shorts, you will agree that these legs were meant for walking. ~Elizabeth West, "The simple life, on a pittance," Hovel in the Hills: An Account of 'The Simple Life', 1977


After dinner sit awhile, after supper walk a mile. ~English proverb


One of the pleasantest things in the world is going on a journey... Give me the clear blue sky over my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me, and a three hours' march to dinner — and then to thinking!... ~William Hazlitt, "On Going a Journey"


The weather being fine and dry... he sent his valise on by the coach, and set out to walk.... in the healthful exercise and the pleasant road. It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something. And he had plenty of unsettled subjects to meditate upon, though he had been walking to the Land's End. ~Charles Dickens


A morning walk starts us off on the right foot for the day. ~Terri Guillemets, "Our path," 1995


An evening walk gives the body and mind a chance to forgive the trials and tribulations of the day, to shed the rubbish and mental clutter before retiring for the night. ~Terri Guillemets


I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Walking"


      It is true, we are but faint-hearted crusaders, even the walkers, nowadays, who undertake no persevering, never-ending enterprises. Our expeditions are but tours, and come round again at evening to the old hearth-side from which we set out. Half the walking is but retracing our steps. We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return, — prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms...
      To come down to my own experience, my companion and I, for I sometimes have a companion, take pleasure in fancying ourselves knights of a new, or rather an old, order, — not Equestrians or Chevaliers, not Ritters or Riders, but Walkers, a still more ancient and honorable class, I trust. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Walking"


Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature's sources never fail. ~John Muir, Our National Parks


Walking, when it can be borne for an hour or two without fatigue, is, of all exercises, the best. It is that which nature intends for us. There is no other accompanied with such a uniform and regular action of the muscles and joints; and from the valvular structure of the veins of the extremities, it is better fitted than any other to promote the circulation, and consequently all the functions of the system. It is also the most agreeable mode of exercise. Our desire for it, when it has been long withheld, becomes excessive. ~A. P. Wilson Philip, M.D. (1770–1847), "Of Exercise and Change of Air in Indigestion"  [This wording is from an 1824 edition. Philip began publishing the volumes that contained this excerpt in approximately 1799, but the wording was much drier and quite brief. Somewhere in between those years he "rendered it more useful to the practitioner." Thank goodness! Here's a tidbit about this physician: He was born Alexander Philips Wilson but changed his name to Alexander Philips Wilson Philip about age 40, and so his published writings are under two different names and surnames. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


I, who cannot stay in my chamber for a single day without acquiring some rust, and when sometimes I have stolen forth for a walk at the eleventh hour, or four o'clock in the afternoon, too late to redeem the day, when the shades of night were already beginning to be mingled with the daylight, have felt as if I had committed some sin to be atoned for, — I confess that I am astonished at the power of endurance, to say nothing of the moral insensibility, of my neighbors who confine themselves to shops and offices the whole day for weeks and months, aye, and years almost together. I know now what manner of stuff they are of, — sitting there now at three o'clock in the afternoon, as if it were three o'clock in the morning. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Walking"


But the walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours... but is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day. If you would get exercise, go in search of the springs of life. Think of a man's swinging dumbbells for his health, when those springs are bubbling up in far-off pastures unsought by him! ~Henry David Thoreau, "Walking"


Only the explorer of steep and narrow trails inaccessible to cattle makes acquaintance with flowers in a grazing country. The large scale of all the physical features of California tends to monotony of vegetable life. The same trees cover miles of country. Only those who climb find variety. ~Isabella G. Oakley, "Santa Barbara of Today," in Sunset, May 1904


Walking is good for solving problems — it's like the feet are little psychiatrists. ~Terri Guillemets


The wise man when he goes out for a walk will take his body along with him. ~Stephen Leacock, "The Human Body — Its Care and Prevention," The Garden of Folly, 1924


Now, the true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. It is no matter whether one talks wisdom or nonsense, the case is the same, the bulk of the enjoyment lies in the wagging of the gladsome jaw and the flapping of the sympathetic ear. ~Mark Twain


Who that knows the trail from Mill Valley to Bolinas, by way of Willow Camp, can ever forget the enchanting beauty of the panorama that unfolds before the vision? The tenderest tenderfoot forgets the toil of climbing in contemplation of its delights and surprises. ~Eufina C. Tompkins, "Story of Two California Artists," in Sunset, June 1904


Walking gets the body moving, the blood moving, the mind moving. And movement is life. ~Terri Guillemets


The Night walked down the sky
With the moon in her hand...
~Frederic Lawrence Knowles, "A Memory," Love Triumphant, 1904


You need special shoes for hiking — and a bit of a special soul as well. ~Terri Guillemets


Backpacking: An extended form of hiking in which people carry double the amount of gear they need for half the distance they planned to go in twice the time it should take. ~Author unknown


Hiking is just walking where it's okay to pee. ~Demetri Martin


Don't let people drive you crazy when you know it's in walking distance. ~Author unknown





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