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Special Travel Issue | Path Finder

Grand Tour by Ankle Express

Side Trips: Travel Tips, Trends and Tools

October 12, 2003|Renee Vogel

Hikers, trekkers, ramblers and even perambulators can find inspiration in a new book out this month. In "Walking the World's Most Exceptional Trails" (Abbeville Press, $29.95), author Eloise Napier provides itineraries for what she considers the 25 best walking vacations, based on their locations, scenery and wildlife. The collection includes six- to 14-day tours through New Mexico and New Zealand, Kenya and Patagonia, and quite a few places in between.

Accessible to anyone who is moderately active, the trips are rated by difficulty, and Napier usually offers alternatives to the more demanding day hikes. Tours are geared toward travelers who enjoy their creature comforts: Each day's walk ends at comfortable accommodations, and Napier points out the good restaurants along the way. The book gives enough information for anyone to follow the suggested routes on their own, but it also lists a tour company that will plan all the details for each trek.

There are also splashes of local color. (Who knew that rhododendron leaf jam is a local specialty in northern India?) These tidbits make the book enjoyable even if your walking plans don't include anything more adventurous than a trip to the mall.

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