Saint Louis Walkersformerly "St. Louis-Stuttgart Volksmarch Club"

FUN, FITNESS, & FRIENDSHIP
Member of the American Volkssport Association (AVA)
The South Central Region of AVA
and the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV)
SCROLL TO THE END FOR OUR MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION

Saint Louis Walkers is about
Fun, Fitness, & Friendship!
Come Walk With Us In 2024!

NOTE: Most walks are 5k (3.1 miles) or 10k (6.2 miles). You choose which you want to do. $4/walker. Pets are welcome on MANY, but not all the walks. Contact the club to be sure.

OSB: All Saint Louis Walkers' routes can be registered for ONLINE START BOX - OSB. See the tab above. We also have two physical locations. The Forest Park Visitors Center has a Walk Box for two walks, Central West End and Forest Park; and the Pear Tree Inn on Market Street (next door to the new St. Louis CITY SC soccer stadium) has the Walk Box for St. Louis Downtown. These walks start from the location of the Walk Box. Simply go up to the Front Desk and ask for the Walk Box. You walk any time it's convenient for you.

The WALK BOX contains maps and directions, a registration page to sign in, pens, self-addressed envelopes for mailing your $4-per-walker check, a rubber stamp with the walk's unique number, and a stamp pad. If you want to keep a record of your walk, stamp the number on an insert card. Insert cards are also included in the Walk Box. (As you walk more and more, you may want to purchase passbooks that hold pages of stamps. These books, one for Distance, another for Events, cost $6 each; but a New Walker Packet has one of each book as well as a pass for a free walk and those cost $10.)

Instructions for OPENING YOUR OWN ACCOUNT so that you can register online are detailed on this website. Click the "Online Start Box" tab at the top. If you're on your phone, click the three horizontal lines at the top. You can open an account with a minimum of $6 but no more than $100. There is a small fee that decreases the more money there is in your account.

Any questions, just click the red "GET IN TOUCH" button to send us an email.

We'll see you on the trail!

WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAYS (mornings). The evening walks on THREE-MILE THURSDAY have started up again with the arrival of Daylight Savings Time. Click HERE to go to the Illinois Trekkers' website for up-to-the-minute details.

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APRIL 1 - HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY! 🤪

The Illinois Trekkers are marking NATIONAL WALKING WEEK with several walks April 1-April 8. Way to go, Trekkers!

APRIL 2 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN THE PARKS OF EDWARDSVILLE, ILLINOIS, ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY! Meet and register at the YMCA, 1200 Esic Drive, at 9:45 and walk at 10. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 3 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN THE PARKS OF O'FALLON, ILLINOIS! Meet and register at the Customer Service Department of Schnucks, across from the florist, 907 E. Hwy 50, at 5:45 pm. We'll walk a 5K. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 4 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN BELLEVILLE EAST. Meet and register at BE YMCA, 2627 Carlyle at 5:45. We'll be walking a 5K at 6 pm. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 6 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERSIN "OLD TOWN" GLEN CARBON. Meet at the Glen Carbon Centennial Library, 198 S. Main Street, at 9:45. We'll begin our walk at 10 am. Choose a 5K or a 10K. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 6 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS IN WASHINGTON, MISSOURI! You can register online OR physically at the Walk Start. Meet at the Amtrak Station, 301 W. Front Street at 9:15 and walk at 9:30. For more information, please go to the Gateway Milers' website, gatewaymilers.org.

APRIL 8 - MONDAY - WALK WITH SAINT LOUIS WALKERS ON TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE DAY IN CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURI! IT'S ALSO THE LAST DAY OF NATIONAL WALKING WEEK! Cape Girardeau lies just about in the center of the eclipse path and will enjoy a 4-minute, 6-second viewing window--if it's a sunny day. If the sun isn't shining because of inclement weather and seeing the eclipse is not likely, we have the walk sanctioned for five days. If you register online, you can walk these one-time-only trails April 6, 7, 9, or 10 and still get an Eclipse stamp in your walk books. If the sun is shining, we'll be at the Walk Start in the parking lot of SportsPlex, 2526 Jim Drury Way. It's very close to I-55. We'll have our AVA/Saint Louis Walkers banner flying next to our car so you can find us. We are sure there will be hundreds of people there if the weather forecast is good. SportsPlex is Cape Girardeau's official viewing site.

Please arrive early, all the better to find a place to park. SportsPlex has a huge lot and overflow parking is allowed along the street and also at the nearby Nature Center. Physical registration at our car is from 7:30 to 10 am. The eclipse starts at 12:40 and peaks at 2 pm. Once you park, sign in, and get a map and directions, you can start your walk. Finish the walk, get stamped, buy lunch from one of the five food trucks or bring a picnic lunch, relax in your lawn chair, and watch the entire eclipse. You will see the diamond in the crown! The next eclipse in our area is in twenty years.

Be sure to bring NEW eclipse glasses and lawn chairs. The eclipse glasses from 2017 have deteriorated and are no longer safe to wear.

Both the 5K and the 11K routes follow trails behind the Nature Center. There are some steep hills at the Nature Center on the 5K. We rated the 5K a 2B for the hills and the terrain. We recommend walking poles for the 5K. The 11K is much less hilly and is doable without poles. All trails at the Nature Center are covered in gravel, so loose gravel on a downhill can be treacherous. The 11K route is mostly a gradual uphill. The trails outside the Nature Center grounds are level and paved and pleasant to walk.

We suggest you drive to Cape from the St. Louis area which is about two hours away. Overnight accommodations are sky-high in and around Cape Girardeau because hotel owners know that people want to book rooms in the areas in the path of the eclipse. We could not reserve a block of rooms. We believe hotel rooms in St. Louis, which is outside the total eclipse path, will charge a standard rate, but I do not know that without actually booking a room. For any questions, email DeAnne, deeebee333@gmail.com.

NOTE: We revised the brochure to reflect the fact that dogs are not allowed on the trails of the Nature Center's conservation area. We saw the sign as we walked the 5K. It is posted at that trailhead. We apologize for missing the "Dogs are not Allowed" sign at the trailhead from the subdivision.

To download a brochure, please click HERE.

APRIL 9 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY IN MARYVILLE, ILLINOIS! Register at the CMT YMCA, 1 Town Center Drive in Maryville at 9:45 and start walking at 10. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 11 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN MILLSTADT, ILLINOIS ON THREE-MILE THURSDAY! Meet and register at Millstadt Village Park, 112 W. Gooding Street, at 5:45 pm. We'll be walking at 6 pm. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 13 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN MASCOUTAH, ILLINOIS. Meet and register at St. Louis World Coffee at 9:45 for the walk that starts at 10 am. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 13 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS IN FOREST PARK, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI! You can register online or physically at the Visitors Center. We meet at the Visitors Center, 5595 Grand Drive in Forest Park, at 9:15. Walk at 9:30. For more information, please go to the Gateway Milers' website, gatewaymilers.org.

APRIL 16 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN BELLEVILLE ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY, TO DO THE DOWNTOWN, HISTORIC DISTRICT, AND RICHLAND CREEK GREENWAY! Meet and register at Pour@322 Coffeehouse, 322 East Main Street in Belleville at 9:45. Walk at 10. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 18 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS FOR THREE-MILE THURSDAY IN HISTORIC COLUMBIA, ILLINOIS. Meet and register at 5:45 for a pleasant evening walk that starts at 6 pm. The walk starts at the Police Department, 1020 N. Main, but please park at the Masonic Lodge #474, 1207 N. Main, the corner of N. Main and East Temple. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 20 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN JEFFERSON BARRACKS IN LEMAY, MISSOURI. Meet and register at Walgreens, 2700 Telegraph Road, at 9:45 for the walk that starts at 10. We drive a short distance to the Start in Jefferson Barracks Park. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 20 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS IN BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS, THROUGH THE DOWNTOWN AREA, THE HISTORIC DISTRICT, AND RICHLAND CREEK GREENWAY! Meet to register at Pour@322 Coffeehouse, 322 E. Main Street in Belleville at 9:15. Walk at 9:30. For more information, please go to the Gateway Milers' website, gatewaymilers.org.

APRIL 23 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN BELLEVILLE EAST ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY! Meet and register at BE YMCA, 2627 Carlyle Avenue, at 9:45. We start walking at 10 am. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 25 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON THREE-MILE THURSDAY IN THE PARKS OF O'FALLON, ILLINOIS. Meet and register at Schnucks in the Customer Service Department across from the florist at 5:45. We start our evening walk at 6 pm. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

APRIL 27 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS ON A NEW TRADITIONAL WALK IN MAPLEWOOD, MISSOURI! Meet and register at Ryan Hummert Park, 2400 Ssutton Boulevard, from 9:30 to 11 am. For more information, please go to the Gateway Milers' website, gatewaymilers.org. The brochure is in production. The Illinois Trekkers and Saint Louis Walkers will be there.

APRIL 30 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY FOR THE CAPITAL WALK IN SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS! Meet and register at the Carpenter Street Hotel, 525 N. 6th Street in Springfield, at 9:45. We start walking at 10 am. For more information, please go to the Illinois Trekkers' website, illinois-trekkers.org.

MAY 4 - WALK WITH SAINT LOUIS WALKERS IN FLORISSANT, MISSOURI, FOR THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF THE FLOWERS WALK! Register at the gazebo near St. Ferdinand's Shrine between 9 and 11. The route goes past the classic car show this year. The brochure is in production. More details will be forthcoming. Mark your calendars!

MAY 11 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON THEIR TRADITIONAL EVENT WALK IN WILSON PARK IN GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS. Registration is any time between 9 and 11 am. The Gateway Milers will meet for a group walk at 9:15-9:30. Other details will be forthcoming. Mark your calendars.

MAY 18 - WALK WITH SAINT LOUIS WALKERS ON THEIR DOWNTOWN ST. LOUIS WALK. Meet to register at the Pear Tree Inn, 2211 Market Street. The Saint Louis Walkers will try to get free parking in the hotel garage. OSB Registration is available as well. Meet at 9:15 and we start walking at 9:30. For more information, email DeAnne at deeebee333@gmail.com or click the red CONTACT button.

MAY 25 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS IN RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MISSOURI! Meet at 9:15. Registratiion must be online (OSB). The walk begins at 9:30. For more information, please go to the Gateway Milers' website, gatewaymilers.org.

Events were updated on April 1, 2024.

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AVA and REGIONAL WALKS in 2024

April 1-8 - National Walking Week - Celebrate it by walking!

April 8 - Total Solar Eclipse Walk in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, at SportsPlex, just off of I-55. Walk an 11K or a 5K first, then buy lunch at one of the food trucks and sit back and wait for the eclipse. Bring a lawn chair and your eclipse glasses! For more information, email deeebee333@gmail.com. To download a brochure, click HERE.

April 25-27 - The Ozark Hill Hikers have five new Arkansas County walks! The schedule includes walking Little Rock on April 24. A pizza party is planned for April 25. For all the details, please download the flyer HERE.

May 8-12 - Sunflower Sod Stompers' "Huffin & Puffin" events in Kansas. ttyler50@gmail.com

May 24-26 - Canadian Walking Festival. Kingston, Ontario, Canada. www.walks.ca

June 1 - 38th Annual Spring Volksmarch at Crazy Horse. Email henry@ava.org to join the AVA bus tour, May 30-June 3.

June 14-16 - Mid America Conference in Kentucky - gatewaymilers.org. Group rate: June 12-16 at Home2Suites in Frankfort, KY. 502-234-2450. Ask for MA Conference group rate. Walks: Friday, Cove Spring Park, north of Frankfort - Saturday morning, Bardstown, KY - Saturday afternoon, Harrodsburg, KY - Sunday, Shelbyville, KY - To download a brochure, please click HERE.

October 18-20 - US Freedom Walk Festival, Arlington, VA. usfreedomwalk.org

October 24-27 - South Central Roundup in Kansas. "Hoofin' It On Halloween." Walk the Kansas counties of Harvey, Marion, Reno, Rice, and Saline. Sponsored by the Sunflower Sod Stompers. ttyler50@gmail.com

Florissant brochure.pdf
Walk our **Year-Round Events (YREs) solo or with your family/friends whenever you want. Go to the locations below and follow the instructions. $4 for each walker. How to open an Online Start Box (OSB) account and how to use the OSB to register for a walk is found at the bottom of this website. Scroll down or click the OSB tab at the top of this website.

Belleville, Downtown, Historic District & Richland Creek Greenway - Register at Pour@322 Coffeehouse, 332 East Main St, Belleville, IL. Please consider buying a drink or a food item as a Thank You. - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. POC: Susan Hodgson, 618-416-5533.

Belleville, IL (East) - Register at BE YMCA, 2627 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL - Walk or Bike - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. The Walk Binder is at the Reception Desk. POC: Packy and Susan Botula 618-236-9521.

Columbia, IL Downtown - A Walk in Historic Columbia. Register at the Columbia Police Department, 1020 N. Main Street - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. POC: Sue Bacon 571-345-8301. Parking is available at the Masonic Lodge #474, 1207 N. Main Street.

Edwardsville, IL - A Walk through Edwardsville Parks (Walk/Swim) - Register at the Reception Desk at the YMCA, 1200 Esic Drive. - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. Vickie, POC, 618-792-3881.

Edwardsville, IL - Register at the Reception Desk of the Edwardsville Library, 112 S. Kansas St, Edwardsville, IL - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers.

Fairview Heights, IL - St. Clair Square Mall - Register at Walgreens, 6505 North Illinois Street, Fairview Heights. Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. Please call the mall to ascertain their hours. POC: Trudy Duffman, 618-670-6920.

Glen Carbon, IL - Old Town Walk. Register at Casey's General Store, 70 W. Main Street in Glen Carbon and drive to the Start, which begins outside the Glen Carbon Centennial Library, 198 S. Main Street. Park for free at the library. Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. It's a good idea to call Casey's to verify their hours before you drive there. POC: Dee and Leonard Wojtysiak 618-530-3211.

Jefferson City, MO, Capital Walk - This walk has an ONLINE START BOX (OSB) only. (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this website or click the OSB tab at the top.) Sponsored by Saint Louis Walkers. POCs: DeAnne and Gordon Brown, 314-878-8647. Special Program: Walk with America's Veterans

Kirkwood, MO - Register at the Kirkwood Library, 140 E. Jefferson Ave, Kirkwood, MO - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers.

Marthasville, MO - This walk has an ONLINE START BOX only. (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this website or click the OSB tab at the top.) Sponsored by Saint Louis Walkers. POC: DeAnne and Gordon Brown, 314-878-8647. Special Programs: City Hall and Rails to Trails. One 5K loop has the City Hall; the other 5K loop has Rails to Trails.

Maryville, IL - Register at CMT YMCA, 1 Town Center Drive, Maryville, IL - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. The Walk Binder is at the desk. Just ask for it. Call Vickie at 618-792-3881.

Mascoutah, IL - Register at St. Louis Coffee World Coffee Shop, 200 E. Main Street in Mascoutah. Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers.

Millstadt, IL - Register at the IGA, 625 E. Washington Street in Millstadt. The walk starts at Millstadt Village Park, 112 W. Gooding Street. - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers

O'Fallon, IL - Register at the YMCA, 284 N. Seven Hills Road, O'Fallon, IL - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers.

O'Fallon, IL - Walk in the Parks - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. The Walk Binder is in the new Customer Service Department (across from the florist). POC is Nikki at 618-973-3825. Schnucks is located at 907 E. Hwy 50 in O'Fallon.

St. Charles, MO - Sponsored by the Sunflower Sod Stompers of Topeka, KS. Register at the Best Western Plus The Charles Hotel, 1425 S. 5th Street, St. Charles. Phone: 636-946-6936. The Start/Finish is on the east side of 5th Street. Walkers drive a short distance from the Best Western, cross 5th Street, and park at the Lewis & Clark Boathouse and Museum where the walk starts. That address is 1050 South Riverside Drive. For the latest information, please call Trudy at 618-670-6920. Special Programs: City Halls, Rails to Trails, and Veterans. .

St. Louis City - The Fabulous Central West End, St. Louis - Sponsored by Saint Louis Walkers. The Walk Box is at the Visitors Center in Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive. Call the Visitors Center, 314-367-7275, to ask their hours. The walk starts from there. The Online Start Box (OSB) is also available for registration. (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this website or click the OSB tab at the top.) For more information, email deeebee333@gmail.com. The Walk Box also contains materials for our Forest Park Walk.

St. Louis County - Creve Coeur Park, Maryland Heights, MO - Sponsored by Saint Louis Walkers. POCs DeAnne and Gordon have the Walk Box. Please call us at 314-878-8647 or email DeAnne at deeebee333@gmail.com and we can make arrangements. The Online Start Box (OSB) is also available for registration. (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this website or click the OSB tab, above.) Restrooms and porta potties are available around the park. Bring hand sanitizer. The map and directions are precise in distances and have the Start Point at the Creve Coeur Lakehouse Bar & Grill, 2160 Creve Coeur Mill Road. Both routes are level, rated 1A. Creve Coeur is a favorite because there are so many activities in the park and changes of scenery. Special Program: Par for the Course.

St. Louis City - Downtown - Sponsored by the Saint Louis Walkers. Register at the Pear Tree Inn by Drury, 2211 Market St., St. Louis, MO - Our Walk Box is at the front desk or you can also register through the Online Start Box (OSB). (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this web page or click the OSB tab above.) NOTE: DO NOT bring dogs. They are not allowed in the buildings that we pass through on the trail. If the Horseshoe Casino (formerly Lumiere) restrooms on your right are closed, walk across the lobby to the other side for the restrooms. There is a soda and water machine in the back of the casino. You are welcome to visit any of the public museums along the route: Soldiers Memorial (free), St. Louis Public Library (free and like a palace), The Arch (small admission fee to go up to the top), the Arch Museum (free), the museum at the Old Cathedral (very small admission fee), the Old Courthouse (free) but has been closed for renovation, opening in 2024. Restrooms are available in most of these buildings. The phone number for the Pear Tree Inn St. Louis Near Union Station (their listed name) is 314-241-3200. POCs: DeAnne and Gordon Brown. For more information, please email deeebee333@gmail.com. Special Programs: Border Crossings, City Hall, Step to the Beat, and Walking with America's Veterans.

St. Louis City - Forest Park - Sponsored by Saint Louis Walkers. The Walk Box is at the Visitors Center in Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive. Call to verify the Visitors Center's hours, 314-367-7275. The walk starts from there. The Online Start Box (OSB) is also available for registration. (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this website or click the tab above.) For more information, email deeebee333@gmail.com. NOTE: Our route goes into the Zoo. Dogs are not permitted in the Zoo or in any buildings. If you have your dog with you, just add on about 1/4 mile wherever you please to make up the distance. The Zoo is free to all. The 10k route passes the Jewel Box which is the Art Deco greenhouse (not usually open to the public), the Korean Veterans Memorial, and the St. Louis Planetarium and Science Center. The 10k and the 5k routes both lead into the Zoo (see the above Note), pass the Art Museum (free, restrooms) and the Missouri History Museum (free, restrooms). No one can enter the Planetarium at the Forest Park entrance, ever since Covid. If you want to see the Planetarium and the Science Center (they are connected by the Skybridge), you have to drive to the entrance of the Science Center on Oakland. Free admission. Special Programs: Par for the Course, Step to the Beat, and Walking with America's Veterans (10K). The Walk Box also contains materials for our Central West End walk.

St. Louis County - Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery and Park, Lemay, MO - Register at Walgreens, 2700 Telegraph Road, Lemay - Sponsored by the Illinois Trekkers. NOTE: Do not bring your dog. Dogs are not allowed in National Cemetery. POC: Sue Bacon, 571-345-8301. Special Program: Par for the Course and Walking with America's Veterans.

St. Louis County - Queeny Park, Town and Country, Missouri - Sponsored by Saint Louis Walkers. Registration by OSB (online start box) only. (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this website.) The walk and parking instructions are given when you register online, but you would enter the park on the Weidman Road side (west side). Enter the park and take the first left you come to. Drive down that narrow road to the large parking lot. Park all the way down to be close to the Start of the walk and to the porta-potty. Queeny's address is 550 Weidman Road, St. Louis, MO 63131. For more information, send an email to DeAnne at deeebee333@gmail.com. She and Gordon are the POCs and have the stamp. If you'd like to make other arrangements for walking, please call us at 314-878-8647. Special Program: Par for the Course.

St. Louis County - Richmond Heights, MO - Register at Richmond Heights Community Center, 8001 Dale Ave - Sponsored by the Gateway Milers. The Walk Box is at the Reception Desk.

St. Louis City AND County - University City, MO - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers. The Online Start Box (OSB) is available for registration. (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this website and by clicking the OSB tab above.) Special Programs: City Halls, Par for the Course, and Step to the Beat. Free parking is available in the large lot across from the University City Library at Kingsland and Loop North. This parking lot is behind the restaurants on the north of Delmar Boulevard and east of Kingsland.

St. Louis County - Webster Groves, MO - Register at the Webster Groves Parks and Recreation Center, 33 E. Glendale, Webster Groves - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers. Call the Rec Center to see if you can access the Walk Box: 314-963-5600.

Springfield, IL - Capitol Walk- Register at the Carpenter Street Hotel, 525 N. 6th Street in Springfield. POCs: Dee and Leonard Wojtysiak, 618-530-3325.

Washington, MO - Sponsored by Saint Louis Walkers. Register as an Online Start. There is no physical Box. (OSB instructions are at the bottom of this website or click the OSB tab at the top of this website.) The Start of the walk begins at the Amtrak Station, 301 W. Front Street, Washington. POCs: DeAnne and Gordon Brown, 314-878-8647. Special Programs: City Halls and Par for the Course.

History of the Saint Louis Walkers

(formerly St. Louis-Stuttgart Volksmarch Club)

Why did we have that funny name?

Why do we use red, black, and gold?

Volkssporting (meaning "people's sports"--could be walking, running, swimming, or biking) was brought to the United States by servicemen and women who had been stationed in Germany and who came to love the German sport of group walking. The first walk in this country was June 12, 1976, in Fredericksburg, Texas. (The stamp number for that walk is 0001.) Volksmarching spread rapidly in the years that followed, both in the United States and in Canada.

In 1986 St. Louis-Stuttgart Sister Cities Club formed a sub-committee in order to organize a Volksmarch club to introduce St. Louisans to that popular German tradition. Its mission was to organize 10 kilometer (6.2 miles) walks in keeping with the guidelines of the American Volkssport Association (AVA)--which we now call "America's Walking Club"--and the International Volkssport Verband (IVV).

The initial walk in October 1986 had a surprising turnout of over 500 walkers. Inspired by success, the sub-committee walked themselves into a freestanding organization with their own officers (but still affiliated with the St. Louis-Stuttgart Committee) and opened membership. The group scheduled six to eight single-day walks each year (Traditional Events) and also set up three separate year-round events (YREs, walks that can be done 365 days/year) in Downtown St. Louis, the Central West End, and Ferguson. Since 1986 this club has sponsored over 200 walks and has registered more than 30,000 people from across the U.S. and from many foreign countries.

Over the years a number of other Volkssport clubs were formed in the Greater St. Louis area. Eventually, eight clubs were hosting walks in the St. Louis area and in southern Illinois. As Volkssporting grew, the national organization grew, and our club grew. The AVA began hosting a national convention every two years, and members of St. Louis-Stuttgart attended and represented our club in business affairs and voting. Two of our club members became regional directors in the national organization, Victor Shaff and Ed Tod. Volkssporting in Canada was organized under the Canadian Volkssport Federation. The AVA and the CVF alternate conventions every two years. In 2021 the AVA met in Madison, Wisconsin; in 2022 the Canadians met in Penticton, British Columbia; in 2023 the AVA met in San Antonio, Texas. The Canadians will meet in Kingston, Ontario, in May 2024 for their 3-day Walking Festival. We're all invited!

In recent years, Volkssporting has lost some of its popularity as other organized sports, running, and children's activities have replaced walking. Nevertheless, our club continued and in 2021 we celebrated our 35th anniversary. Every year we plan a number of traditional events and we have eight Year-Round Event (YRE) walks, including two of the original walks: Downtown and the Fabulous Central West End. In 2021 we established Online Start Boxes (OSB) for all our walks.

Because we are no longer associated with the St. Louis-Stuttgart Sister Cities Club or with the German Club here in St. Louis and for simplification, the club voted in January 2020 to change our name to Saint Louis Walkers. The coronavirus pandemic slowed everything down, but our name change was finally approved by the Missouri Secretary of State in early 2021. We acquired a new logo: the St. Louis Arch in red, a blue line for the Mississippi River, and a gold line for a trail. The AVA sent us a new banner with our logo on it and AVA's as well.

We welcome new walkers and new members. Scroll below for a membership form. Please join us in enjoying this fun and very healthy sport where we develop friendships by walking together.

And we use red, black, and gold for the colors of the German flag to remind us of our history!

What some walkers say about walking with the AVA clubs:

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We walk because it is good for us and AVA makes it fun. We meet people and see things we wouldn't see otherwise. We walk mostly for our health--we can eat more!

David Bonewitz, PhD
Former AVA Board President
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I controlled my diabetes and lost weight. I kept my blood sugar down. I have seen so many interesting and historic places all around the country. I have explored and hiked with my own family. There are so many wonderful sights to see!

Nancy Wittenberg,
AVA Board President
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Volkssporting is an important part of my life. I learned a lot traveling, walking in new places. I get to walk in the country and in the cities. All over the world, I have Volksmarched. It is important to keep a healthy balance and Volksmarching does that.

Ellen Ott, President of the Randolph Roadrunners Volksmarching Club

Contact us
Feel free to send us an email with your questions or comments.

OFFICERS OF SAINT LOUIS WALKERS:

DeAnne Brown, President - deeebee333@gmail.com - 314-878-8647

Leonard Wojtysiak, Vice President - lpw46@icloud.com - 618-530-3211

Steve McGrath, Secretary - normsrestaurant@gmail.com - 760-793-2976

Gordon Brown, Treasurer and TrailMaster - brownstl@swbell.net - 314-878-8647

Membership is $6/year/walker or $12/household. Be sure to include your address, phone number, and email, list the members of your family who live with you, and send a check for $6 or $12, payable to Saint Louis Walkers to: Gordon Brown, Treasurer, 12448 Glenbush Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043. We keep your addresses and phone numbers confidential.

Click HERE to download a 2024 Membership application.

MEETINGS IN 2024

Our regular meetings are on Zoom at 7-7:40 pm on the second Wednesday every other month. Our next regular meeting will be February 14, which happens to be Valentines Day! Members receive an Agenda and a Zoom link by email a day or two before.

SAINT LOUIS WALKERS POLO SHIRTS

To order a Saint Louis Walkers Club polo shirt with an embroidered logo, call SpectraGraphics in O'Fallon, Illinois, at 618-624-6776. Their email is art@spectragraphicsinc.com and their website is www.spectragraphicinc.com. It's best to phone them and pay for the shirt over the phone.

Mens Holloway 222530 white SS Polo = $45.95

Ladies Holloway 222730 white SS Polo = $45.95

QUANTITY OF 2 OR MORE ON THE SAME ORDER = $41.95 EACH

The pricing includes the left chest embroidered Saint Louis Walkers logo. The Club paid for this.

The men's shirt runs a bit large, the ladies shirt runs true to size. The sizes are Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large.

FACEBOOK

Go to our Facebook page for photos and last-minute information. We're under "GROUPS" on Facebook. Press f or CONNECT FACEBOOK below:

Hours
  1. Monday
    9:00am
    10:00pm
  2. Tuesday
    9:00am
    10:00pm
  3. Wednesday
    9:00am
    10:00pm
  4. Thursday
    9:00am
    10:00pm
  5. Friday
    9:00am
    10:00pm
  6. Saturday
    9:00am
    6:00pm
  7. Sunday
    9:00am
    12:00pm
Online Start Box (OSB) Acct.
You do not have to be a member of AVA or any club to open an Online Start Box (OSB) account. The use of the OSB is open to everyone. Follow these five steps:

  • Step 1

    To open an account, go to my.ava.org. Read the home page. Click the “New Account” tab at the top, read the information, and then click the “Got It!” button. That opens the screen where you type your name, email address, a password with at least eight characters, and then enter what you read in the box with funny characters to verify you’re not a robot.

  • Step 2

    Read the information, then click the “Got It!” button. In the next screen that opens, verify your email address and your password. Click the “Verify Login” box.

  • Step 3

    You'll get a notification that “Your new account has been created and this is your account home page.” An email will be sent to you with a verification code in it and instructions on how to verify it. Type that verification code in the box called “Action Code.” Click “NEXT”

  • Step 4

    Type your name in to sign the Athletic Waiver. Click “Got It!” and then “NEXT.”

  • Step 5

    Set up your OSB. AVA has a secure site. The Event Bank is where you deposit funds. Use your credit card. Each walk costs $3 per walker, so deposit an amount divisible by 3. A small transaction fee is added each time you add funds to your Event Bank. A small deposit is charged higher fees than a large one. The minimal deposit is $3, the maximum $100. Fees will range from about 49 cents for one event to about 10 cents per event if you deposit $100.

Using Online Start Box (OSB)
First, open an Online Start Box (OSB) account. The instructions for opening an OSB are above, shown in five steps. Below are instructions on how to use the OSB to plan your walks, register and pay, get your map and walk directions, and finish your registration at the Finish Table.

  • Step 1

    For information on how to use the OSB, go to my.ava.org. Read the information in the green boxes. Log in. Click the "Find A…” tab on the top right.

  • Step 2

    Choose "Search by State." All the walks in that state will be listed, including Traditional walks. Note that at this time the system will only allow you to register via the Online Start Box (OSB) for YREs (Year-Round Events) or seasonals.

    Click on the state you want to walk in.

  • Step 3

    Note the large OSB marked next to some walks. These are the walks set up with Online Start Boxes. Not every walk has an OSB. Those walks would have a Physical Start Box (PSB) and you would have to drive to a specific location to register for that walk. Some have both. Sometimes the POC (Point of Contact) will have the Walk Box, and you are free to call them.

    Scroll down the list of walks to find the one you want. Click the VIEW button.

  • Step 4

    The VIEW button leads you to a screen with important information pertaining to the walk. After you read the details, click the "Register on OSB for the event" button. The OSB Event Registration allows you to register other people who might be walking with you. You can connect them to your account by clicking the "Go to Connections" button.

    Be sure that the box by your own name is checked and click "Register for the Event" button. You are asked to confirm your registration.

  • Step 5

    This Registration screen allows you to download and print your walk directions in a PDF format. $2 will be deducted from your account for the walk directions, which you print out, and the remaining $1 will be deducted at the Finish Table. Each walker pays $3.

    Click "Done" which brings you to the Finish Table screen. You can also return to the Finish Table after your walk. Log out.

    NOTE: You can register before you walk and get walk directions and then return to the Finish Table after your walk to complete this process OR you can fully register after your walk but you won't have walk directions although you will have finished the registration process at one sitting.

  • Step 6

    After you have finished your walk, go to the Finish Table to end the registration process. Log in to my.ava.org. "My Account" screen opens. Click "Start Box" tab at the top and then the "Finish Table" tab. Click "Go to the finish table." Click the walk that you finished. The screen changes.

    Type in the date you walked, the distance, and check any Special Programs. Click "Submit and go to confirmation page."

    Click "Download PDF" to get your stamps. The stamps will be printed on your paper as insert cards, and then you cut the numbers out and paste them in your books. We suggest downloading the PDFs one at a time and setting the print size at 70%.

    Logout.