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John McKinney Biography

John McKinney, aka The Trailmaster, is the author of a thousand articles and 30 books about hiking, including Hiking on the Edge: Dreams, Schemes and 1600 Miles on the California Coastal Trail and Hiking the Holy Mountain: Tales of Monks and Miracles on the Trails of Mount Athos, Greece.

John McKinney, author and speaker

John McKinney, author and speaker

For 18 years, he wrote a weekly hiking column for the Los Angeles Times, and the intrepid Eagle Scout has hiked and enthusiastically described more then ten thousand miles of trail across California and around the U.S. A proud Californian, John is the only one to have visited and written about all 270 California State Parks and to solo-hike the entire length of the California Coast.

In an effort to encourage more hikers and would-be hikers to reconnect with nature and discover California’s best day hikes, John created The Trailmaster Best Day Hikes Series. “Every trail tells a story,” says John, whose books are known as much for their colorful tales as they are for their descriptions of trails.

An experienced public speaker, John shares his unique trail philosophy and the many mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of hiking with his inspiring Talks, “Take a Hike, Change Your Life” and “Hiking the Holy Mountain.”

A passionate advocate for hiking and our need to reconnect with nature, John McKinney shares his expertise on radio, TV, in print and online. He is currently in development with Hike On, a half-hour show about hiking for California public television.