"I can only meditate when I am walking. When I stop, I cease to think; my mind works only with my legs."
- Jean Jacques Rousseau, Confessions
"I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips."
- Violette Leduc
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
“When I'm in turmoil, when I can't think, when I'm exhausted and afraid and feeling very, very alone, I go for walks. It's just one of those things I do. I walk and I walk and sooner or later something comes to me, something to make me feel less like jumping off a building.”
- Jim Butcher, Storm Front
“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn--that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness--that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.”
- Jane Austen, Persuasion
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? 'Ride,' Pleasure said; 'Walk,' Joy replied.”
- W.H. Davies
“If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”
- Raymond I. Myers
“Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors...disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.”
- Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
“Walk some night on a suburban street and pass house after house on both sides of the same street each with the lamplight of the living room, shining golden, and inside the little blue square of the television, each living family riveting its attention on probably one show; nobody talking; silence in the yards; dogs barking at you because you pass on human feet instead of wheels.”
- Geoff Nicholson, The Lost Art of Walking
“The multiplication of technologies in the name of efficiency is actually eradicating free time by making it possible to maximize the time and place for production and minimize the unstructured travel time in between…Too, the rhetoric of efficiency around these technologies suggests that what cannot be quantified cannot be valued-that that vast array of pleasures which fall into the category of doing nothing in particular, of woolgathering, cloud-gazing, wandering, window-shopping, are nothing but voids to be filled by something more definite, more production, or faster-paced…I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.”
- Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
“Four times I was honked at for having the temerity to proceed through town without the benefit of metal.”
- Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
“Through life, I want to walk gently. I want to treat all of life – the earth and its people – with reverence. I want to remove my shoes in the presence of holy ground. As much as possible, I want to walk in peace.
I want to walk lightly, even joyfully, through whatever days I am given. I want to laugh easily. I want to step carefully in and out of people's lives and relationships. I don't want to tread any heavier than necessary.
And throughout life, I think I would like to walk with more humility and less anger, more love and less fear. I want to walk confidently, but without arrogance. I want to walk in deep appreciation. I want to be genuinely thankful for life's extravagant, yet simple, gifts – a star-splattered night sky or a hot drink on an ice-cold day.
"For you, as well as I, can open fence doors and walk across America in your own special way. Then we can all discover who our neighbors are."
- Robert Sweetgall, Fitness Walking
"Give me the clear blue sky above 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!"
- Henry Hazlitt
"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 freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like falling leaves."
- John Muir
"If you want to know if your brain is flabby, feel your legs."
- Bruce Barton
"Above all do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday 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. But by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill ... if one keeps on walking everything will be alright."
- Soren Kierkegaard.
"No changing of place at a hundred miles an hour will make us one whit stronger, happier, or wiser. There was always more in the world than men could see, walked they ever so slowly; they will see it no better for going fast. The really precious things are thought and sight, not pace. It does a bullet no good to go fast; and a man, if he be truly a man, no harm to go slow; for his glory is not at all in going, but in being."
- John Ruskin
"We do not belong to those who have ideas only among books, when stimulated by books. It is our habit to think outdoors – walking ,leaping, climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails become thoughtful."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science
"The modern world is fast, complex, competitive, and always concerned with what happens next. There is always more to do than there is time. The landscape and even the light are mostly artificial. This can be exciting, but all too often it is frustrating, stressful, and exhausting. In contrast, hiking for weeks or months at a time in an unspoiled natural environment is a simple, repetitive activity that leads to calmness and psychological well-being, a feeling of wholeness, of being a complete person. Each day follows the same pattern, linking in with natural rhythms–walk in the light, sleep in the dark, eat when hungry, take shelter from storms. Only the details are different. I get a great pleasure from this simplicity, from the basic pattern of walk and camp, walk and camp. It is good to escape the rush of the modern world and for a period of time to live a quieter, more basic life. Problems and worries subside as the days go by; they are put into perspective by the elemental activity of putting one foot in front of the other hour after hour, day after day. And on returning from the wilds, restored and revitalized by the experience, I find civilization can be much easier to deal with; indeed, aspects of it can seem very desirable."
- Chris Towsend, The Advanced Backpacker
"If a walker is indeed an individualist there is nowhere he can't go at dawn and not many places he can't go at noon. But just as it demeans life to live alongside a great river you can no longer swim in or drink from, to be crowded into safer areas and hours takes much of the gloss off walking - one sport you shouldn't have to reserve a time and a court for."
- Edward Hoagland
"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why."
- Eddie Cantor
"Walking is the exercise that needs no gym. It is the prescription without medicine, the weight control without diet, the cosmetic that is sold in no drugstore. It is the tranquilizer without a pill, the therapy without a psychoanalyst, the fountain of youth that is no legend. A walk is the vacation that does not cost a cent."
- Aaron Sussman & Ruth Goode, The Magic of Walking
"People are different on a path. On a town sidewalk strangers may make eye contact, but that’s all. On a path like this they smile, say hello, and pet one another’s dogs. I think every community in American should have a greenway."
- Anne Lusk