Friday, May 10, 2013

Why not walk?

Phyllis Olson, Director, North Central Region

The Hawkeye Hikers mentioned in the article below, shared by Patricia Brinker, are a volkssport club in Iowa City, IA. I believe “Adventure” is one of our products. When I talk to people about volkssporting, I always tell them it is a great way to travel and an inexpensive way to tour interesting places around the world. A well designed Year Round Event will tour people past the most interesting and exciting places to see.
Local walking opportunities
Walking adventures don't require transatlantic flights, of course. Rewarding experiences await walkers throughout our region. And just like when you choose to walk at a more far-off destination, experiencing an area by foot is an opportunity to get to know it on a different level.

Marilyn Krachmer of the Hawkeye Hikers chapter of the American Volkssport Association ( has loved Iowa's Amana Colonies since 1966. The volkssport club has carefully mapped a trail incorporating most of the Amana Kolonieweg, a trail that circles a lake and connects Amana and Middle Amana. The walk connects some of the region's most historic features: a furniture shop, woolen mill, winery, brewery, bakeries and museums relating to the Colonies' early days.

"For my family, going to the Amanas meant going to a particular restaurant, eating fried chicken, and partaking of a unique family-style meal," says Krachmer, describing her earliest Amana experiences. "So when our group, the Hawkeye Hikers, decides to do the Amana walk, I always insist that we have a meal there, at the Colony Inn, where the staff stores our Walk Box with all of the necessary information. My favorite part of the walk, though, is the Lily Lake, which I only discovered after I became part of this group."

The Hawkeye Hikers have organized other self-paced walks, including a walk along the Mississippi River in Davenport and a walk highlighting historical and literary points of interest in Iowa City.

Other walking destinations in the area include the recently completed Fairfield Loop Trail in Fairfield, Iowa, that allows pedestrians and cyclists to experience the prairies, woodlands, lakes and wetlands that surround the community, all at a leisurely pace. Mile markers occur every quarter mile along the 16-mile route, allowing visitors to keep track of where they are, and several intersecting trails connect to parks and points of historical interest. A complete map of the trail can be found at