How to Find California Walks

San Francisco Cable Cars
San Francisco Cable Cars. © Wendy Bumgardner 2006

California has just about every type of walking you can imagine. They have beaches, mountains, desert, tall timber, fun cities, wine country, Disneyland, Gold Rush historic sites, National Parks and more. Point Reyes National Seashore ranks as a top family-friendly trail.

Four of the top 10 fittest cities in the United States are in California, so you are likely to be out among plenty of other active people.

While it seems that nobody walks in LA, San Francisco-Oakland rank as one of the safest cities for pedestrians and it topped the American Podiatric Medical Association's list of the top 10 walking cities and Walk Score's top walkable communities.

California Walking Events

Whether you are looking for competitive walking races, charity walks or fun walks, you will be able to find them in California.

  • AVA Walking Events in California: From north to south, there are AVA walking clubs who host walking events that invite you to join in. You don't have to be a member, everyone is welcome. Check the details for each event to see what hours they are open. You register and can walk for free or for a small fee, usually $3 or less. The routes are designed to please walkers and you walk untimed, simply finishing when you are ready to go. These are sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association. They include a yearly walking festival held in different locales throughout the state.
  • California Walks: You can register online for these events that include races that are walker-friendly, fundraising walks for charities, and community walking events.
  • RunDisney: Some of the most delightful marathons, half marathons and 10K events are held by Disney at their parks in California. Many are walker-friendly to those who can maintain a 16-minute mile, but you need to check the details for each event to be sure of the speed requirement. They are strictly enforced, if you lag you get forced into the Bus of Shame and can't complete the course.
  • Runner's World California Events: If you thought you couldn't walk a marathon, think again, there are walker-friendly half marathons, marathons, 10K and 5K runs in California. But you will have to check the details for any of the listed to see if your pace fits within the cutoff limits.
  • Racewalking Events: If you have learned how to racewalk, you can search this list of judged competitions provided by

California Walking Trails and Routes

  • Year-Round and Seasonal California Walks: If you aren't interested in going to an organized group event, then choose "Year-Round and Seasonal Events" from this search tool to find routes you can enjoy on your own whenever you want to. They are designed by walkers of the American Volkssport Association. You study the details about where to find the start box so you can sign the log and take the map and directions. Then you use those to enjoy a 5K to 11K walk (3 to 7 miles). It's a great way to get a walking tour. A small donation is appreciated.
  • California Walks at Browse routes submitted by other walkers, or draw your own walking route.
  • California Trails: Use to find trails to enjoy in California. You can locate trails and see basic details about them. From there you'll need to do research on other sites or pay for a subscription to get maps and further descriptions.

    California Walking and Hiking Clubs

    California Walks Photos and Reviews

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