The snow outside the door is piled high, the firewood supply is getting low and another blizzard is on the way as I write this column.

It’s been a winter to remember, one that makes the warm and sunny hiking season ahead seem a long way off. But cozied up by the woodstove, I’ve taken comfort in the pages of a wonderful book about trekking the footpaths in faraway lands amid some astounding natural landscapes.

Authors Robert and Martha Manning have produced a masterful work in “Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People” (Oregon State University Press, 224 pp., $35), a large format, full-color treasure trove of dream hikes from around the globe. As the subtitle of the book suggests, each of the 30 treks described are indeed extraordinary hikes for ordinary people – super hiker status not required. Amazing scenery, interesting history and rich culture are the rewards for those who follow these very doable pathways.

“The trails we describe in this book are well marked and well managed,” write the authors in the introduction. “These trails can be walked, in their entirety or in sections, by ordinary people like us – and you.”

You won’t find the big-name long-distance trails in this book – no Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail or Continental Divide Trail, but rather a host of walking routes that are more bite-size, if you will, less rigorous hikes that can be done in a reasonable time, from a handful of days to a week or two to perhaps a month.

“People will find these trails very accessible,” said Robert, professor of environment and natural resources, and director of the parks studies laboratory at the University of Vermont. “Our goal with the book was to encourage people to do more distance walking, which promotes good health, and is a basic and sustainable form of recreation.”

This hiker has completed seven of the trails outlined in the book and can attest to the outstanding walking experiences offered by each, be it the Coast to Coast Walk across England, the West Highland Way in Scotland, British Columbia’s West Coast Trail, or the Walker’s Haute Route and Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland. Only the Long Trail in Vermont and the John Muir Trail in California’s Sierra Nevada required true backpacking.

But there’s so much more, and the Mannings take you there with colorful text and beautiful images. Take to the Dolomites of northern Italy, for example, and the Alta Via I and its famed “via ferrata,” or iron ladder trails. Trundle along the Kungsleden, the “trail of kings,” in the Arctic environs of Sweden’s Lapland, or go on a pilgrimage across Spain from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela via El Camino de Santiago. Meander over the wild beaches of Victoria’s stunning coastline in Australia, or wander the Mediterranean coast of Turkey on the ancient Greek and Roman roads of the Lycian Way.

The journey that culminated in the book began 12 years ago with a 268-mile hike on the Long Trail in Vermont.

“We had such a feeling of accomplishment when we were done,” said Robert. “We said to ourselves, ‘That was fun, now what?’ ”

The couple went on to tackle England’s from coast to coast, and in short order, the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mount Whitney.

“We were really hooked after these hikes,” Robert said. “And when we’d walked 15 or so trails around the world, thoughts of a book emerged.”

Avid hikers their entire adult lives, the Mannings walked every mile of each hike included the book, completing anywhere from 4 to 6 treks a year until they had a suitable variety of geography, distances and challenges.

“Walking Distance” will surely add to your bucket list, but that’s a good thing. Get your copy and turn some of those hiking dreams into reality.

Carey Kish of Southwest Harbor is the author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast (available March 2015). Follow Carey’s adventures in his Maineiac Outdoors blog at:

mainetoday.com/blog/ maineiac-outdoors