December 26, 2022

Volksmarch means the “sport of the people” It originated in southern Germany during the early 1960s as a competitive running event, but the program soon lost its appeal to the general public. While the troops were stationed in Germany this sport evolved in the United States as the troops came home and brought this wonderful idea with them. There are still active Volksmarches in Germany and they have formed Clubs that organize walks in nearby neighborhoods, mountain areas, rivers, and streams getting back to nature.

I remember when I was living in Germany going on one of those walks in the woods and finding strawberries along the walk. So delicious. I also enjoyed singing the “Happy Wanderer” song.

People enjoying the outdoors and walking started clubs all over the U.S. You could walk, bring your RV everywhere with you from the east coast to the west coast and meet new people along the way. South Dakota has a 5 or 10k walk around the “Crazy Horse Memorial” in June and September. They began constructing this monument in 1948 and are still not finished. One of these days I would like to go back and take this walk.

There is a magazine called ” the Pathfinder” that has all levels of walks throughout the state esp. Washington and Oregon. I enjoyed and participated in several walks with family and friends. My Dad came along one time and gave my young daughters at the time, piggyback rides since it was a 10k walk around the Weyerhaeuser Bldg. in Tacoma. Afterward, the club treated all the participants with Bratwurst.

The first volksmarch in the U.S was held in Fredericksburg, Texas in 1984 and now with 65 million regular walkers in the U.S., it is the most popular form of exercise. Always wear good athletic-type shoes or hiking boots, prepare for any kind of weather and bring along a walking stick and your phone for safety. You can walk alone or with a group of friends and bring some treats and water for sustenance.

Many organizations have done walks to raise millions for cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS, and others.

Polly Letofsky became the first American woman to walk around the world in 2004

In 2011 the Movie “The Way”, ignited more interest in walking.

Walking is the best form of exercise for health, fitness, and fun. So, let’s get walking.