What is Volksmarching?


A volksmarch is a non-competitive 6.2 mile (10 kilometer) walk. It's not a pledge walk; it's not a race. Itís a fun activity you do with a club, with your family, with your pet, or all by yourself. Volksmarching got its name from its origins in Europe.

What do local clubs do?
There are over 350 volkssport clubs throughout the USA, and many thousands around the world. Local clubs host the walking events. The club members select a trail for safety, scenic interest, historic areas, natural beauty and walkability. They then invite everyone to come and enjoy it on a weekend or a weekday evening.

What kind of trails?
The trails are marked or maps provided. Trails may be in cities, towns, parks, forests, rural areas, anywhere there is a pleasant or interesting place to walk.

Do I have to join a club?
Clubs welcome new members, but you don't have to join a club to enjoy the volksmarch events. All events are open to the public. Our club charges $6 per family per year.

What does this cost?
Most walks are open for no charge. To keep track of how you are achieving your fitness goals, join our Individual Achievement Award Program. Distance and Event Record Books are available for $5 each at all events. First, you register for the event and pay the credit fee ($3.00), when you finish, both the event and distance you walked are entered in the Record Books. After milestones such as 10 events, 30 events, 50 events, 500 kilometers, 1000 kilometers, etc., you redeem the Record Book for a Certificate of Achievement, a patch and a hatpin, and your accomplishment is printed in the American Wanderer, our national publication.

Is there a New Walker packet to get me started right?
But of course! And it's a great deal. You can get one at an event or from a local club for $5 or by mail order from the AVA.

What is a Year-Round Event?
A Year-Round Event is a self-guided walking event available most days of the year. The local club selects a trail, draws maps and writes detailed walking instructions, and sets up a permanent starting point. You arrive during the stated open hours, register, take a map, and enjoy the trail. These events include series of state parks in several states, great tourist attractions and national parks and good daily exercise routes in hundreds of communities. Some are scenic, some are historical, some are just for exercise. Contact the club to find out which events suit your interests.

How long do you walk?
Most people take 2 hours to stroll our 10K trails. Many events now have a shorter distance trail that is perfect for beginners and should take only an hour to complete at an easy pace. Some like to run or jog, others enjoy taking a leisurely pace and stopping to sightsee, picnic, or even shop! You go at YOUR own pace, and you are always a winner at the end.

What do the trail ratings mean?

Trails are rated for difficulty so you can more easily choose which one will suit your walking style.

1. An easy walk on pavement or well-maintained trail with no significant hills. Probably suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

2. A moderately easy walk, may be on pavement or on trails. No significant difficulty with hills. May not be suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

3. A moderate walk in any setting with some difficult terrain, one or two substantial hills and/or steps. Strollers and wheelchairs questionable.

4. A more difficult walk. Most likely in a natural setting with poorly maintained paths and steeper or hilly inclines. Not likely to be wheelchair or stroller accessible. Participants with certain health problems should take caution.

5. A very difficult walk. All in rough fields or woods. Many steep hills or high altitude trails, or very rough uneven terrain, steep or unstable inclines. Not suitable for any person who is not in good health.