What is Volksmarching?

A volksmarch is a noncompetitive 3.1 mile (5 km) or 6.2 mile (10 km) walk. It’s not a pledge walk, it’s not a race, it is a fun activity you do with a club, with your family, with your pet, or all by yourself. Volksmarching got its name from its origins in Europe. Today there are thousands of volkssport clubs around the world, allied in the International Volkssport Federation, the IVV.


Volkssport – a noun or verb. The noun meaning a group of “people’s” sports that include walking, swimming, skiing, swimming, snow shoeing, and biking (and occasionally roller-skating). The verb means to participate in those sports – ex. volkssport Washington state.

Volkssporting – a noun or verb. Same definition as above.

Volkssporter – A person who participates in Volkssporting events.

Volksmarch – a walking event. Also termed volkswalk. In Germany, these events were originally termed Volkswanderung – “volkswandering.” Reportedly this was difficult for American military stationed in Germany to understand and so they started using the term Volksmarsch. It evolved into Volksmarch in the United States. Those feeling that the term was too foreign, coined the word – Volkswalk.

IVV – Internationaler Volkssport Verband – This is the international parent organization which is headquartered in Germany. Many nations have chapters. Our AVA is one of the chapters of these “International Popular Sports Clubs.” The AVA pays dues to the IVV, we have adopted their awards program, we have a vote as a member nation, etc. Volkssporters who travel to other countries will notice that our Distance and Event books are the same size and color, the award patch, pin and certificates are the same, etc.

AVA – American Volkssport Association – This is our national organization. Fees are paid to keep our national organization going in support of the member clubs. The AVA heads up nation-wide programs and processes our awards for us. Our officers are all volunteers.

IVV Awards Program – just like in Europe, you can record the number of events you participate in and the number of km you walk, ski or bike in record books. 

Credit – This is the entry of a validation imprint (stamp) into the event and distance record books you keep. It shows your progress toward reaching the various levels of event and distance awards. Everyone gets excited as a book is nearly filled up! 

The Umatilla Chamber of Commerce located at 100 Cline Avenue, Umatilla Oregon has a Volkssport Kiosk Box on the front side of the building, outside courtesy of Cedar Milers Club a Volkssport International Association club. Get your Walk On! www.ava.org or visit cedar milers association for Oregon State and local area volkssport events and trails.