Karen Berger has earned her reputation as an international expert on hiking, backpacking, and adventure travel with footsteps — literally millions of them. She has completed the so-called “Triple Crown” (thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail) and has trekked more than 17,000 miles on 6 continents.

In addition to hiking, Karen has advanced skills and worldwide experience in scuba diving, horseback riding, kayaking, climbing, and skiing. She has been on several extended expeditions in Africa, Asia, and North America lasting between 7 and 17 months.

Karen is the author of 16 books (for a complete list of her outdoor books, click here), including America’s Great Hiking Trails, which was a New York Times bestseller in travel. She is the editor of the award winning website, and has received more than 20 awards or finalist honors for her editing, writing, website work, and photography from the Educational Press Society of America, Banff Mountain Books Competition, the North American Travel Journalists Association, and the Society of American Travel Writers.

Karen Berger Outdoors Pictures
Clockwise: Dry-suit diving in Iceland, Skiing in New England, Cave diving in Mexico (photo by Yvette Cardoza), Hiking the Appalachian Trail, Winter backpacking in Tennessee, Horseback riding in Florida, Ice climbing in Alaska

Karen’s stories have appeared in Backpacker, Islands, Robb Report, Family Circle, National Geographic Traveler, AAA publications (including Westways, Via, Texas Journeys, and several others), France Today,  the New York Times, New England Travel and Life, Weight Watchers, Child, AMC Outdoors, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Virtuoso’s Travel+Life, France Guide, Scouting, Out Here,,,,,,,, and other major Internet and print markets.

She contributed three stories to National Geographics’s Joumeys of a Lifetime, and her work appeared in the anthology, The Appalachian Trail Reader (Oxford University Press).

magazines 2Her work has included:

  • Contributing editor for Backpacker
  • Hiking expert for
  • Parks and outdoor activities expert for
  • “Outdoor Smarts” columnist for Scouting magazine
  • Technical adviser to PBS’s Trailside television show
  • Technical adviser to Grollier’s Encyclopedia
  • Television and radio appearances including local television news programs and radio programs such as nationally syndicated shows for NPR, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, Outside magazine, and others.
  • Instructional videos and a podcast on long-distance hiking
  • Lectures and slide shows for such venues as Mensa meetings, local schools, environmental and hiking groups, high-country alpine huts, and the Smithsonian.

Karen’s many interests — music, history, environmental issues, cuisine, arts, language, and culture — inform her general travel articles. Her topics have ranged from learning Swahili in Zanzibar to reviewing French hotels to swimming with sharks to visiting iconic music cities. For information on her general travel writing and music journalism, please visit

Expert Quotes and Commentary Available

Writers: Do you need a source for a story about adventure travel or hiking and backpacking?

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Karen has been interviewed as an outdoors expert for feature articles or quoted as an outdoor expert in the New York Times, New York Post, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, Oregonian, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Sports Illustrated, Self, Walking, Fitness, People and a host of other publications.

She’s also an active in the hiking community, where she is a member of many trail associations and advocacy groups. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Long Distance Hiking Association.

Signing books at Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Signing books at Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters in Harpers Ferry, WV.