50 Quotes About Walking in Nature

What is more inspiring to get you outdoors than quotes about walking in nature? This is an age-old topic and writers from John Muir to Charles Dickens to J.R.R. Tolkien and many others have written on the therapeutic power of walking and hiking in nature.

The trickiest part about choosing 50 favorite quotes about walking in nature is narrowing the selection down to just 50.

Regardless of your age or physical abilities, there is a path or a trail for everyone. The benefits of walking in nature are countless. From improved physical health to warding off cancer to defeating depression, there are few better activities for the body, mind, and soul.

But you don’t have to take our word for it! Take a moment to browse these 50 timeless quotes about walking in nature (listed alphabetical by author). I hope these will inspire you to lace up your hiking shoes and get outdoors.

Henry David Thoreau quote about walking in nature.
Wendell Berry quote about walking in nature and connecting with the earth.

Quotes About Walking in Nature (A - J)

“Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details.”

-Edward Abbey


“Believe me, for I know, you will find something far greater in the woods than in books. Stones and trees will teach you that which you cannot learn from the masters.”

-Bernard of Clairvaux


“Outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary, but the common mode of existence.”

-Wendell Berry


“I'll walk where my own nature would be leading:
It vexes me to choose another guide:
Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding;
Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side.”

-Emily Bronte


“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

-John Burroughs


“I felt inside of me, while I was walking, a heart so full that life could have left me then.”

-Albert Camus, Notebooks

This morning was something. A little snow
lay on the ground. The sun floated in a clear
blue sky. The sea was blue, and blue-green,
as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple. Calm. I dressed and went
for a walk – determined not to return
until I took in what Nature had to offer.

-Raymond Carver, “This Morning”

“Once inside a wood, you walk on something very much like the seabed, looking up at the canopy of leaves as if it were the surface of the water, filtering the descending shafts of light and dappling everything.”

-Roger Deakin, Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees 


“The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy, walk and be healthy. ‘The best of all ways to lengthen our days’ is not, as Mr. Thomas Moore has it, ‘to steal a few hours from night, my love;’ but, with leave be it spoken, to walk steadily and with a purpose. The wandering man knows of certain ancients, far gone in years, who have staved off infirmities and dissolution by earnest walking, hale fellows close upon eighty and ninety, but brisk as boys.”

-Charles Dickens


“Experiencing the present purely is being emptied and hollow; you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.”

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence, and nothing too much.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


“I think it is the best of humanity that goes out to walk. In happy hours, I think all affairs may be wisely postponed for walking.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.”

-Anatole France

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath the rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.”

-Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”

-Aldous Huxley

“The exceeding beauty of the earth, in her splendour of life, yields a new thought with every petal. The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours when we really live…”

-Richard Jefferies, The Life of the Fields

“He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life. He was alone and young and wilful and wildhearted, alone amid a waste of wild air and brackish waters and the seaharvest of shells and tangle and veiled grey sunlight…”

-James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Virginia Woolf quote about walking in nature, solitude, and connecting with the earth.
John Lewis-Stempel quote about walking in nature, woodlands, and solitude.

Quotes About Walking in Nature (K - R)

“To me, a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.”

-Helen Keller

Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.”

-Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass


“From the old wood came an ancient melancholy, somehow soothing to her, better than the harsh insentience of the outer world. She like the inwardness of the remnant of forest, the unspeaking reticence of the old trees. They seemed a very power of silence, and yet a vital presence." 

-D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover


“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

-Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness


“Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them. Our own noise blots out the sounds and silences of the outdoor world; and talking leads almost inevitably to smoking, and then farewell to nature as far as one of our senses is concerned. The only friend to walk with is one who so exactly shares your taste for each mood of the countryside that a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.”

-C.S. Lewis


“And I think: being in a wood on a winter’s eve, when the snow is falling through leafless oaks, is existence stripped back to the elements.”

-John Lewis-Stempel, The Wood


“I took to bowing on these evening walks. I would bow slightly with my hands in my pockets, towards the birds and the evidence of life in their nests – because of their fecundity, unexpected in this remote region, and because of the serene arctic light that came down over the land like breath, like breathing.”

-Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams


“We tend to think of landscapes as affecting us most strongly when we are in them or on them, when they offer us the primary sensations of touch and sight. But there are also the landscapes we bear with us in absentia, those places that live on in memory long after they have withdrawn in actuality, and such places – retreated to most often when we are most remote from them – are among the most important landscapes we possess.”

-Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot


“Touch is a reciprocal action, a gesture of exchange with the world. To make an impression is also to receive one, and the soles of our feet, shaped by the surfaces they press upon, are landscapes themselves with their own worn channels and roving lines. They perhaps most closely resemble the patterns of ridge and swirl revealed when a tide has ebbed over flat sand.”

-Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot


“The mountains have no “meaning”, they are meaning: the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share.”

-Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard


“I’m addicted to the entire planet. I don’t want to leave it. I want to get down into it. I want to say hello. On the beach, I could have stopped all day long and looked at those damned shells, looked for all the messages that come not in bottles but in shells…

-John McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid


“You have got me walking up and down all day under those trees, saying to me over and over again, ‘Solitude, solitude.”

-Thomas Merton


“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

-John Muir


“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

-John Muir


“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was
the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life."

-Mary Oliver, "Work, Sometimes" (excerpt)

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone,
with not a single friend,
for they are all smilers and talkers
and therefore unsuitable.

-Mary Oliver, "How I Go To The Woods" (excerpt)

"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery - air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, 'This is what it is to be happy.'"

-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

I would like to step out of my heart
and go walking beneath the enormous sky.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, "Lament" (excerpt)

John Muir quote about walking in nature and connecting  with the earth.
J.R.R. Tolkien quote about walking in nature, wandering, and adventure.

Quotes About Walking in Nature (S - Z)

“Dried mud flats, sun-warmed, have a delicious touch, cushioned and smooth; so has long grass at morning, hot in the sun but still cool and wet when the foot sinks into it, like food melting to a new flavour in the mouth. And a flower caught by the stalk between the toes is a small enchantment.”

-Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain


“Walking thus, hour after hour, the senses keyed, one walks the flesh transparent. But no metaphor, transparent, or light as air, is adequate. The body is not made negligible, but paramount. Flesh is not annihilated but fulfilled. One is not bodiless, but essential body.”

-Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain


“The sky was gloriously blue, the air fresh-smelling and clear, and she felt full of a powerful energy that she couldn’t put a name to but made her yearn for strenuous activity.”

-Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

“I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, work 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


“It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental.”

-Cheryl Strayed, Wild


“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

-Henry David Thoreau, Walden


“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

-Henry David Thoreau


“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


“The best thoughts most often come in the morning after waking, while still in bed or while walking.”

-Leo Tolstoy


“Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.”

-Walt Whitman


“I need solitude. I need space. I need air. I need the empty fields round me; and my legs pounding along roads; and sleep; and animal existence.”

-Virginia Woolf, The Diary of Virginia Woolf


“She naturally loved solitary places, vast views, and to feel herself for ever and ever and ever alone.”

-Virginia Woolf, Orlando


“It is a pleasure to a real lover of Nature to give winter all the glory he can, for summer will make its own way, and speak its own praises.”

-Dorothy Wordsworth

You can find more quotes about walking in nature scattered throughout the pages of the site, so we hope you will feel free to explore further, dip your toes into the cold meltwater, discard your worries like clothing on the shore.