Volksmarching–Walking, travel and fun

Debbie, of Walking Adventures International, Enjoys an Event in OregonVolksmarching is a fun, family-oriented walking sport. The term, Volksmarching, at first glance, brings up a mental image of goose-stepping military units. But not so. Volkssport, sport of the people in German, is actually a very fun, self-paced walking sport enjoyable for all ages. Most volkssport events are walks but there are also a few bike, ski and swim events.  And, there are over 300 non-profit volksmarching clubs in the United States putting on events that you can enjoy. Many avid walkers travel the United States and the world attending these fun walking events.

Club members and those who participate in the walks, understand the saying, “Fun, Fitness and Friendship.” It truly is a social sport.

Volksmarching is for Everyone
The roots of volksmarching are, indeed, German. In the 60’s, villages enjoyed running races but only a few people could be winners. Determined to find a more family-oriented sport, the German villagers came up with a self-paced walk event where everyone received a medal, and everyone was considered a winner.

Routes were marked at 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and 20 kilometers. Extra awards were given for the very old and the very young. These non-competitive events, in true German fashion, were ended with great celebrations. Lots of beer was quaffed and bratwurst was served heaping with sauerkraut. This was fun!

Volksmarching in the U.S.
Where there was beer, there was bound to be U.S. soldiers. They enjoyed the walks through the German woods, the wurst and beer at the end and decided thatWalking an Event in Arizona volksmarching had to be brought with them back to the states.

In the late 60’s in Fredericksburg, Texas the first American volksmarch was  enjoyed by old and young. Awards were given to all and yes, there was a celebration at the end. You see, Fredericksburg is a German town so they readily took to the sport.

Volksmarchers, just as they did in Germany, line up at the end of their walk to get a stamp in their record books. There are record books for distance and for the number of events that you complete. And, they are good world-wide. It’s a great incentive to get out and walk!

Soon this sport spread across the U.S. and walkers looked forward to events and even walking conventions.   

Two Walkers Enjoy a Volkssport Event in the Desert

Two Walkers Enjoy a Volkssport Event in the Desert

You Can Go on a Volksmarch

Nowadays volksmarches are usually 10 kilometers and 5 kilometers in length. The trails are measured, often marked, and events are held on weekends. You can see a calendar of events in your area or where you are traveling  by logging on to the association website.

If you aren’t available for one of these weekend walks, many clubs have daily walks you can do on your own that are map guided. You’ll find these little treasures located all over the U.S. In fact, through volksmarching, you can walk in all 50 states and all 51 capitols.

Travel with Volksmarching
There are some excellent guided tour and travel companies that specialize in taking walkers to places where they can enjoy the sights

Tater Tours Walking in Hawaii

Tater Tours Walking in Hawaii

and do volkssport walks. Tater Tours features bus trips throughout the United States. Walking Adventures International is known for high-quality international trips where walkers see the best of foreign countries and keep fit by walking.

More Information:
About Walking
American Volkssport Association
Volks-Ware Clothing and Gear

Photo Credit: Elizabeth R. Rose and  Tater Tours