Volkssporting (translated from the German as "peoples sport"), originated in the 60's in Germany in response to the need for some type of outdoor sport, free from competition, for people of all ages. The movement grew rapidly in Europe and soon spread to America with returning military. In 1968 the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV) was formed to promote volkssporting throughout the world, with over 25 nations represented. The American Volkssport Association (AVA) began in 1976 and in 1979 became part of the IVV. Today, in the U. S. there are over 600 clubs with every state represented. Thousands of events take place throughout the year, all across our country. Historic trails and scenic sights are selected for the enjoyment of the walker wherever possible. Trails are carefully laid out and marked; where marking is not practical or permitted, easy to follow directions with maps are provided. Checkpoints are provided at intervals and trails are frequently monitored for security and safety.

Events are listed by state in the Starting Point, issued annually by the AVA, and Northwestern events are listed in the NW Pathfinder, published bi-monthly. Other publications list international events. Local, affiliated organizations, such as our "Olympic Peninsula Explorers Volkssport Club" are responsible for planning and maintaining Year-round, Seasonal and Special Events. The members volunteer to help with sponsored walks and other activities. Club membership is not required for participation in any events or to receive credit, though membership in a local club provides opportunities to meet and walk with others having similar interests.

Promoting physical fitness and good health by providing fun-filled exercise in a stress-free environment is the hallmark of Volkssporting. Although walking is the most popular of all the activities, cycling, swimming and cross country skiing events are also held. All events are noncompetitive with the Volkssporter choosing the sport, the distance and the pace. In the volkssporting tradition, you will frequently find Volkssporters gathered at the Finish Point where they take time to enjoy friends, entertainment, food and drink. There is no better way to enjoy the sights and sounds of our beautiful land.

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