About Our Walks
What are “Scheduled Events”?
Scheduled Events include club meetings as well as "Traditional" walking events. These are European-style walks, conducted on one or two pre-scheduled days, often in conjunction with a community festival. The sponsoring club marks a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) trail and provides check-points along the way. It’s a wonderful group activity where you will meet all kinds of other walkers traveling the same course. Since there is no competition, you walk at your own speed. In the U.S., walks usually start between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm and must be completed by 3:00 pm. Traditional events often have a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) route available for people new to Volkswalking or with physical limitations. Awards and hat pins are sometimes commissioned for the event.
NWTT scheduled walks are also called "Friendship Walks." Starting points are chosen to accommodate large groups – for example, the event host may set up registration in a public parking lot. Generally, registration is at (or before) 9:45 AM and the walk starts at 10 AM. Specific details will be included in the event announcement.
What are “Everyday Walks”?
Everyday Walks (AKA Year-Round Events or YREs) are an American variation on Volkswalking. These self-guided courses have a designated start point with a start box for registration and walk directions. Different host clubs handle their sites and registration materials in different ways. If you are new to Volkswalking, the best way to experience your first Everyday Walk is to go with someone from the local club.
Typically, Everyday Walks start in a public place (like grocery stores, hospitals, or convenience stores), where you find the start-box with a registration sheet and trail maps. Once you are familiar with how Everyday Walks work, you can walk by yourself, with a friend or in a group.
Some Everyday Walks are seasonal rather than Year-Round and are in operation only part of the year. Also, start-boxes are available only when the store or other hosting facility is open for business. Check for details in the listings.
Do walks cost anything?
Walks are open to everyone and free of charge, whether or not you belong to a Volkswalking club. The International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV) supports a recognition program for walkers who choose to record the events and distances they walk. You can purchase both event and distance books at most Traditional Events or check with your local club. There are different books for varying levels of achievement. New member packets are also available and contain a set of books at a special discounted price to help get you started. Then, every time you go to an event you pay a small fee and you receive a stamp in your book(s).
What is an “Event Book”?
An Event Book is a folded card in which you record (via stamp) the number of events you have completed. You receive one stamp per event, regardless of how many times you walk the course.
What is a “Distance Book”?
A Distance Book is also a folded card in which you record (again via stamp) the event distances you complete – in terms of kilometers walked. Even though you receive only one event credit per course, you can still accumulate distance credit by walking the same trail more than once. Once you complete your event and distance books, simply send them to the American Volkssport Association (AVA). In return, you receive a certificate, patch and pin.
Should I bring water or snacks with me?
Listings may include information about the availability of water fountains along the trail . It is a good idea to bring your own (filled) water bottle along to ensure you remain hydrated along the walk. Checkpoints may have hard candies or pretzels. Some start points also sell food. Take into consideration the trail rating (see below) and bring snacks if you think you will get hungry. If you have any health problems, consult with your physician to determine how you should prepare for the usual distances, 5 km (one-hour) or 10 km (two-hour walk).
Are there restrooms available?
Start points for scheduled walks are chosen such that restrooms are available for use prior to setting off on a walk. For all walks, listings may include information about the availability of restrooms along the trail. Restrooms are often designated on the route map. Check before starting.
What sort of gear should I bring?
If you are new to walking you may need to make sure that you have footwear that will support your feet over a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) or 10 km (6.2 m) walk. Wear comfortable walking shoes you have already broken in. Dress for the weather. Layers are always a good idea – you will probably warm up once on the trail. Some members use walking poles such as the York Nordic poles. Whatever the pole (and despite our club's name), the Nordic grip style is recommended over the Trek grip
Are the walks and trails rated for difficulty?
Every trail (or walking course) is different. To help categorize the walks, trails/courses are rated using a two-axis, five-point rating system:
Part I – Incline
- Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Probably suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. Cumulative elevation gain from starting point: up to 200 feet.
- Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Probably suitable for strollers. May not be suitable for wheelchairs. Cumulative elevation gain from starting point: 200 – 1,000 feet.
- Some significant hill or stair climbing. Not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs. Cumulative elevation gain from starting point: 1,000 – 2,000 feet.
- Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from starting point: 2,000 – 3,500 feet.
- Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from starting point: more than 3,500 feet.
Part 2 – Terrain
- Almost entirely on pavement
- A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
- A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky/rooted paths or soft sand.)
- A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
- The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.
A route that is mostly on flat pavement would be rated 1A.
A route with moderate hills on well-groomed trails would be rated a 2B.