Off on the Right Foot

Seniors who want to combine vacation with the health benefits of walking can find a variety of tours.

Walk About the West offers year-round, week-long "soft adventure" walking tours in Washington and Colorado. Groups are limited to six, with one guide. Prices include six nights in the same hotel and all meals with an occasional box lunch on the trail. Cost for each tour is $985 per person, double occupancy (add $155 for single occupancy), including meals, lodging, ground transportation and guides. Air fare to the tour base is not included. The following are trips available for the remainder of 1994:

* Olympic National Park (Port Angeles, Wash.); July 31-Aug. 6.

* Glenwood Springs, Colo.; Sept. 11-17.

* Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes Park, Colo.); Oct. 9-15.

For a brochure, write to Walk About the West, 376-C Rockrimmon Blvd., Colorado Springs, Colo. 80919; telephone (719) 531-9577.

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Country Walkers takes participants farther afield to England, Ireland, the Continent, New Zealand, eastern Canada and New England. Trips vary from five to nine days and walks average four to 10 miles each day. (The New Zealand trip is 12 days with hikes that range from six to 12 miles daily.) There is a wide selection of departure dates for most tours during summer and fall, with some dates in early 1995.

Trip prices do not include transportation to starting points, but do include hotel with private bath, most meals and tips, park entry fees, guides and all transportation during the trip.

Typical eight-day prices for European destinations are $1,850-$1,950. Most North American trips are shorter and less expensive. For complete itineraries and available dates, write to Country Walkers, P.O. Box 180, Waterbury, Vt. 05676; tel. (802) 244-1387.

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Walking the World for People Over Fifty offers a mix of hiking trips in the United States and abroad. Walks are rated moderate to strenuous. Lodging may be in modern hotels or B & Bs, with an occasional camp-out. The number of meals included vary with each tour and will be designated in the tour itinerary. Prices quoted for the following trips do not include air fare. Destinations include:

* Ireland, 11 days, Aug. 25-Sept. 4 (Galway and Connemara) and Sept. 8-18 (counties Clare and Kerry), $1,795. Begins in Shannon.

* New Zealand: North and South islands, 18 days, Nov. 30-Dec. 17, $2,995. Begins in Auckland.

* Maine Coast, eight days, Sept. 26-Oct. 3 or Oct. 5-12, $1,395. Begins in Bangor, Me.

Other tours are to the Scottish Highlands; the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Maui; and, in California, to Lassen Volcanic National Park and Anza-Borrego State Park.

For a descriptive brochure with complete details of each walking tour, write to Walking the World, P.O. Box 1186, Fort Collins, Colo.; tel. (303) 225-0500.

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Wander Tours Inc. offers hiking trips in Europe, with dates still open for fall. All trips are week-long. Hikes are rated easy to moderate. Prices are per person, double occupancy, with limited single rooms available at additional cost. Prices include all meals except for lunches on two independent sightseeing days. Transportation to and from Europe is not included.

Trips in several regions of Switzerland begin in Zurich on eight different dates between July 3 and Sept. 18. The price ranges from $1,155 to $1,295.

Two week-long walks through "traditional" England begin July 24 and Sept. 25 from London's Heathrow Airport. Cost is $1,185.

For a brochure, call (800) 282-1808 or write to Wander Tours Inc., P.O. Box 8607, Somerville, N.J. 08876.

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