Talks by John McKinney

When John McKinney says, “Take a hike,” people do.

Willingly. With smiles on their faces.

The Trailmaster’s unique insights, gained from the natural world and the “real world,” teach, inspire and entertain. Along with suggesting we all “take a hike” (in the most positive and encouraging way of course!), John shares heartwarming and hilarious tales of his trails across California and around the world.

John McKinney offers audiences inspiration on the great trail we call life with his talks, which include “Hiking the Holy Mountain,” “Hiking on the Edge,” and “Hike On.”

Organizations that ask John McKinney to share his trails and tales include:

* Corporations, Nonprofits
* Colleges
* Faith-based
* Health and Wellness
* Conservation, Parks & Recreation
* Hiker/Trails

About John McKinney

Author and hiking expert John McKinney, aka The Trailmaster, has written a thousand articles and more than 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.”

For 17 years, John served as the Los Angeles Times Hiking Columnist. The intrepid Eagle Scout is the only one to hike and write about all 278 California state parks, and to solo hike the entire California coast.

John has served on the board of the American Hiking Society, trained hike leaders for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Hike for Discovery” program, and been a longtime supporter of the California State Parks Foundation and Boy Scouts of America.

The Heart and Soul of Hiking

John McKinney has spent much of his career studying and gaining an understanding of the benefits of hiking—on and off the trail—as well as what motivates and inspires hikers and would-be hikers. John’s time on the trail, meeting park rangers and hikers from all over the world, as well as field research for his many books have combined to enable him to educate people on our crucial need to connect with nature.

Trailmaster John McKinney has been featured or interviewed in major publications and media from the Los Angeles Times to NPR, and appeared on numerous regional talk shows and news programs. Many people—hikers and not—credit John’s talks, articles, books, blogs and web site, TV and radio appearances with inspiring them to hit the trail to a better life, reconnecting with nature and making positive and lasting changes in their lives.

As John explains his mission, “I’ve hiked a lot of life trails—happy and sad, easy and challenging and, frankly, more than one path to nowhere. What I’ve learned I want to share. Take a hike, and change your life!”

John McKinney’s Talks

Hiking the Holy Mountain (Keynote, adjustable length) John was compelled by extraordinary events to live through—then write about—an odyssey that took him to a remote monastery on Mt. Athos, Greece. “Hiking the Holy Mountain” tells the story of two treks around a monastic kingdom where no woman has set foot for a thousand years, encounters with a colorful cast of Greek monks, and a series of miraculous events that took place on—and off—the Holy Mountain. This spiritual adventure is one of the all-time best tales of adoption, a glorious—and sometimes hilarious—story of faith and family.

Hiking on the Edge: Dreams, Schemes, and 1600 Miles on the California Coastal Trail (keynote, adjustable length). When John McKinney first planned his epic hike along the California coast, his purpose was strictly pedestrian: to pioneer a route for the new California Coastal Trail. But his walk soon evolved into a challenging journey of discovery as he alternately reveled in the stunning natural beauty of landscapes and seascapes, met memorable and colorful characters, and hiked headlong into controversies: nature boutiqued, coastal access denied, bureaucracies run amok, zombie nuclear power plants, oil and more oil. A saga, a celebration, a comedy, and a lament, this is a tale that stirs the heart and guaranteed to stimulate discussion about the California coast, a hot-button topic these days.

Hike On (Keynote, adjustable length) “Take a hike, change your life!” is the inspiring theme of this talk. John reveals how time in nature can benefit us in body, mind and soul, as well strengthen us in our most important relationships. Participants enjoy John’s heartwarming—and laugh out loud—tales from the trail as John shares his unusual profession and life as a hiker. The Trailmaster has solutions and cures for the alarming rate of “Nature Deficit Disorder” that affects so many kids and adults. A key deliverable is John’s “Ten Essentials for Hikers,” inner qualities and directions that help us on the trail and off.

Book John McKinney Now For Your Next Event

Meeting and event planners love working with John because he’s professional, dependable, and always engages his audiences with the right mix of inspiration, information, humor and real-world insight. Contact us ( or call 805-845-7102 for more information and John’s availability. Be sure to ask about special discounts on John’s books.