Walking Festivals in the USA and Canada 2016-2017

Walk your socks off at these great walking festivals in 2016 and 2017. These multi-event walking festivals are non-competitive and open to everyone. Enjoy volkssport walking events designed for walkers, by walkers. These walking festivals may also have social events such as meet-and-greet evenings and dinners. Some have guided group walks and workshops. Others allow you to enjoy the walks at your own pace and meet other walkers. 


June 25 -26, 2016. Three walks in Wautoma, Roche-a-Cri and Westfield, WI

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California Coastal Adventure

Pacific Grove, California
Pacific Grove, California. Wendy Bumgardner ©

August 1-7, 2016: Join the South Bay Striders and the Bay Bandits for walks up the central California coast from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to Point Lobos State Park in Monterey. You'll be able to enjoy as many as a dozen walks and a bike. Group walks are included, but you can also simply follow the maps provided. The basic adventure plan is to spend two nights in San Francisco, one in Santa Cruz, and three in Pacific Grove, Monterey or Carmel. Register online.

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Boise, Idaho: Northwest Regional Conference

Family Hiking Through Flowers in Idaho
Family Hiking Through Flowers in Idaho. © Karl Weatherly / Photographer's Choice / Getty

September 16-18, 2016. The walkers and clubs enjoy a long weekend in the Boise area, hosted by the Treasure Valley Volkssports club. There will be three group event walks, several self-guided walks, a bike, dinner at the historic Depot, and a Meet and Greet.

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Mitchell, South Dakota

September 16, 17 and 18, 2016. Five walks in Huron and Mitchell, SD.

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Fall Foliage Weekend, State College, Pennsylvania

Walking Path
Walking Path. Hero Images/Getty Images

September 23-25, 2016. Enjoy four walks: Bellefonte, Boalsburg, State College – Penn State Campus, and State College West. All four walks are available all three days. Join in a Meet and Greet on Saturday night. The event is held at the Super 8 Motel, State College, PA.

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South Central Regional Roundup - Sainte Genevieve, Missouri

St. Genevieve, Missouri Ice Cream Shop
St. Genevieve, Missouri Ice Cream Shop. Eddie Brady/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

September 24-25, 2016. The 8th South Central Roundup will take place along the Mississippi river in eastern Missouri. Enjoy three walks in Perry, St Francois, and St Genevieve counties with two seasonal self-guided walks close by and six swimming events to cool off. Meet walkers from the seven host clubs. You can join in a dinner and party on Saturday for only $13. See their online brochure for details.

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Big Bend Natonal Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park Lost Mine Trail, Texas
Big Bend National Park Lost Mine Trail, Texas. Jeremy Woodhouse/Photodisc/Getty Images

October 7-9, 2016. The West Texas Trail Walkers host a trail walk each year. For 2016 it's at Big Bend National Park, Texas. Routes will include the Lost Mine Trail, the South Rim with multiple distances, and the Chimneys Sunrise Hike.

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US FreedomWalk Festival

Jogger Passes Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument, DC
Jogger Passes Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument, DC. Sam Antonio Photography/Moment/Getty Images

October 14-16, 2016. This yearly walking festival is sanctioned by the IML Walking Association as well as the AVA/IVV. Walkers enjoy the monuments and sights of Washington, DC as well as trails in Arlington, Virginia. They have 10 walking routes with distances from 3 miles (5 kilometers) to 27 miles (44 kilometers).

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Mid-America Conference, Indianapolis, IN

Hummel Park, Plainfield, Indiana
Hummel Park, Plainfield, Indiana. emma.kate Creative Commons license Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Oct. 28-30, 2016. Three walks, a bike, a swim, and a walking conference in Indianapolis. It will be held at the La Quinta Inn and Suites at Indianapolis Airport. Walks include Hummel Park, Eagle Creek Park, and Washington Township Community Park.

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Walk Around Florida

Fountain in Tampa, Florida
Fountain in Tampa, Florida. Mike Lanpher

Walk Around Florida is held each year the last weekend in October or the beginning of November. Nov. 4-6, 2016, the 26th annual event is called Tampa Trails and Havana Nights, held in Tampa, Florida. The event will be located at the Barrymore Hotel, with a discounted rate. There are four walks: along the Hillsborough River, the Tampa Heights Historical area, Davis Island and Derek Jeter’s house, and Ballast Point. Social and dinner events are planned.

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Hershey Holiday Walkfest

Hershey's Chocolate World
Hershey's Chocolate World. Gary Burke/Moment/Getty Images

November 25-27, 2016. This walkfest is held in the sweetest town in the USA, Hershey, Pennsylvania, on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Walks explore Candylane and the town of Hershey, all with wafts of chocolate aroma in the air.

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Colonial Williamsburg Walks

Historic Williamsburg
Historic Williamsburg. Leigh Vogel / Getty Images Entertainment ©

December 9-11, 2016. This yearly event includes a night walk and a day walk each day, plus a swim. It's a great way to celebrate the holiday season with caroling and torchlight.

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Florida MLK Weekend

Fernandina Beach - Amelia Island Florida
Fernandina Beach - Amelia Island Florida. Glenn Ross/Moment Open/Getty Images

The First Coast Trail Forgers invite everyone to their annual Martin Luther King Walking Weekend.

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Seabreeze Walking Festival, Ocean Shores, Washington State

Woman Briskly Walking on Ocean Shore
Ruslan Dashinsky/E+/Getty Images

This walking festival is held in odd-numbered years. The 2017 festival is in Ocean Shores, Washington, Saturday through Monday of Presidents' Day Weekend, February 18-20, 2017. Enjoy six walks and a bike. A catered dinner and social is available on Saturday, February 18 to meet other walkers.

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Victoria Phoenix Festival, Victoria, BC, Canada

Cherry Blossoms
Wendy Bumgardner ©

Next: 2017. The volkssport clubs of South Vancouver Island invite walking enthusiasts to the Victoria Volkssport Phoenix Festival, held in gorgeous Victoria, British Columbia in April in odd-numbered years (2015, 2017, etc.). The weekend features walks for everyone - from easy 5K walks through challenging half-marathon and marathon distances. They have a new location in 2015, just north of Victoria, and walks will feature ocean views, Elk and Beaver Lake and Saanich Trails.

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Tri-State Walking Weekend - AZ-CA-NV

Davis Dam on Colorado River at Arizona-Nevada Border
Davis Dam on Colorado River at Arizona-Nevada Border. Mary Ptacek ©

This annual event boasts five walks in three states. The home base is Laughlin, Nevada, with two walks, two more in Bullhead City, Arizona, and one in Needles, California (35 miles away).  They will have a social on Saturday evening.  More information can be obtained by emailing lvhrs1985@yahoo.com  

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AVA Biennial Convention, Montana 2017

Limestone Bluff - Montana
Limestone Bluff - Montana. Michael Lynch / EyeEm / Getty Images

The biennial AVA national convention will be June 7-9, 2017 in Billings, Montana. Pre-convention and post-convention walks include Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Clear Creek in Buffalo Wyoming, Red Lodge, Montana and Cody, Wyoming. During the convention, walks will be held along the Yellowstone River, through the brewery district, and along the limestone bluffs. There are socials, a banquet, workshops, and lots of camaraderie.

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California Volkssport Association Convention

This yearly walking festival is held the first weekend of May in a different California location each year.

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Columbia River Gorge Biennial Classic 2018 - Oregon

Oneonta Falls Photo - Columbia River Gorge
Oneonta Falls Photo - Columbia River Gorge. Wendy Bumgardner © 2010

June 16-19, 2016. This walking festival features 11 walks and 1 bike ride through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Northwest. Waterfalls, the historic highway, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the mighty Columbia River are ready for you to explore. Some of the trails are real hikes, while others enjoy the scenic towns. Social events include a potluck dinner on Friday.

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