Volkssporting along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail
With a multitude of charming waterfront towns and villages, picturesque cities, and spectacular parks, one could say the Great Lakes Seaway Trail was made for walking. While the route itself is primarily a driving route, there’s perhaps no better way to truly experience the region than getting out and walking and a great way to experience the region is by enjoying Volkssport walks. Volkssporting in German is “the sport of the people” (similar to the root of the word Volkswagen). The Volkssporting concept originated in Europe over 40 years ago and came to the United States with returning military personnel who had been stationed in Germany.
Volkssport walks are 3.1 miles (5 km) or 6.2 miles (10 km), and the routes typically include a particularly scenic or historic area. These walks are family oriented and appeal to those who enjoy outdoor physical activity in which people of all ages and fitness levels can participate. Volkssport “events” (as the walks are known) are sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association (AVA) which is affiliated with the International Federation of Popular Sports (known as IVV using its German abbreviation). Those who are serious about Volkssports keep IVV reward and distance books which track the number of walks they’ve completed and the distance walked. These logbooks can be redeemed for certificates, patches, and pins for reaching milestones.
To learn more about the American Volksport Association you may visit their website at: AVA Home Page
American Volksport Association Club Listings for New York State