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

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

Saint Louis Walkers Club is about
Fun, Fitness, & Friendship!
Come Walk With Us In 2021!

NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, walks listed below offer both a 5k or a 10k route. $3/walker. Pets are welcome on SOME, but not all the walks. Contact the club to be sure.

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NEW AVA GUIDELINES TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 DURING GROUP WALKS:

REGISTRATION will likely be conducted outside. Line up single file six feet apart. Masks are required at registration. Put $3 cash or a check and your completed Start Card inside a bag that will be nearby. Bring your own pen and hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available at the Registration.

We are required to keep a maximum of ten walkers per group. If we have more than ten, we will need to break up the group and stagger departures by about 5-10 minutes.

Walkers are advised to stay six feet apart on the trail. Masks are optional but strongly encouraged to be worn when around others. Be sure to use your hand sanitizer when using restrooms or porta-potties.

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WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAYS. Diane Prost is coordinating these walks. Click HERE to get to their website for up-to-the-minute details.

THREE-MILE THURSDAYS START UP AGAIN IN APRIL.

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NOVEMBER 30 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY IN MARYVILLE, ILLINOIS. Meet to register at the CMT YMCA, 1 Town Center Drive, Maryville, at 9:45am. Begin the walk at 10am. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 4 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS IN UNIVERSITY CITY, MISSOURI. Meet in the old Cicero's parking lot at the corner of Delmar and Kingsland, at 9:15am. Step off at 9:30am. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 4 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON THEIR CHRISTMAS GROUP WALK IN THE PARKS OF O'FALLON, ILLINOIS, AND THEN ENJOY A CHRISTMAS LUNCH AND PARTY! Meet at Schnucks, 907 East Hwy 50 in O'Fallon, Illinois. Registration begins at 9:45 and step off is at 10:15. $3/walker.

After the 5k walk, gather at the Silver Creek Saloon, 2520 Mascoutah Avenue in Belleville. The party begins at noon with lunch (order off the menu) and a game and then a Christmas gift exchange. Bring a wrapped gift suitable for a person of any gender with a value of $20. Please RSVP by email to njwilcoxen@aol.com or text to 618-973-3825. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 7 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY IN HISTORIC COLUMBIA, ILLINOIS. Parking is limited at the City police station, where the walk starts. Please park at the Masonic Lodge #474, 1207 N. Main Street at 9:45. We begin walking at 10 am. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 11 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS TO SEE THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN KIRKWOOD, MISSOURI. Register at 5:30pm at Kirkwood Public Library, 140 East Jefferson Avnue. Step off at 5:45pm. Members can also register online if they prefer. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 11 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI. Registration is 9:45-10 am at the Best Western Plus The Charles Hotel, 1425 S. 5th Street in St. Charles. Drive to the Walk Start at the Lewis & Clark Boathouse and Museum, 1050 South Riverside Drive, a short distance away. For more information, click HERE. $3/walker.

DECEMBER 11 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS FOR THEIR SECOND WALK OF THE DAY, THEIR BELLEVILLE LUMINARY WALK. Meet to register at Balance Coffee & Tea, 732 S. Illinois Street in Belleville, Illinois at 4:45 pm. Step-off at 5 pm. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 14 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY IN EAST BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS. Register at the YMCA, 2627 Carlyle Avenue in East Belleville at 9:45 am. Step off at 10 am. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 18 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS IN ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI. Main Street will be filled with holiday cheer! Besides, there's Grandma's Cookies! Meet to register at Best Western Plus The Charles Hotel, 1425 South 5th in St. Charles, at 9:15. Walk at 9:30am. There is no OSB for this walk. For more information, click HERE. $3/walker.

DECEMBER 18 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN JEFFERSON BARRACKS, LEMAY, MISSOURI. Meet to register at Walgreens, 2700 Telegraph Road in Lema (south of St. Louis) at 8:45 and begin walking at 9 am after a short drive to the Start of the route. At 11 am "Wreaths Across America" will remember and honor our veterans by laying Remembrance Wreaths on their graves and reading their names aloud. Walkers are encouraged to volunteer with "Wreaths Across America." Send an email to baconse@google.com to join the volunteers. For more information, click HERE. $3/walker.

DECEMBER 21 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY IN GLEN CARBON, ILLINOIS, THE "OLD TOWN." Meet to register at the Glen Carbon Library, 198 S. Main Street at 9:45 am. Walk starts at 10 am. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 25 - NO WALKS! HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE!

DECEMBER 28 - WALK WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS ON TREKKIN' TUESDAY IN MARYVILLE, ILLINOIS. Meet at the CMT YMCA, 1 Town Center Drive in Maryville at 9:45 am. Step off at 10. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

DECEMBER 31 (Friday) - CELEBRATE NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH THE ILLINOIS TREKKERS IN MASCOUTAH, ILLINOIS. The walk is on city streets and sidewalks and walkers will see pretty Christmas lights and decorations. Meet at Skootr's Restaurant & Bar, 323 East Main Street (Illinois Highway 177) at 4:30-5pm to register. Everyone will be off the trail by 7pm. The walk is rated 1A, which means level and paved. Please be sure to bring a flashlight. $3/walker. Children 12yo and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Pets must stay on a leash. Pets will not be able to enter the restaurant after the walk.

After the walk the group will gather at the Mascoutah Steak House, 1415 McKinley Street. Reservations are required. Call Susan at 951-818-6662 or email her at susanljones52@gmail.com to make reservations.

JANUARY 22 , 2022 - WALK WITH THE GATEWAY MILERS AT THE NATIONAL SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF THE SNOWS IN BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS. The walk starts at the Shrine Visitors Center, 442 S. DeMazenod Drive in Belleville, Illinois. Lots of free parking. Register at 9:15 and walk at 9:30am. $3/walker. For more information, click HERE.

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REGIONAL TRIPS

Mid-America Regional Conference in Dayton, Ohio will be held June 17-19, 2022. For more information, please go the Gateway Milers' website, www.gatewaymilers.org or to the Illinois Trekkers' website, www.illinois-trekkers.org.

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Events updated November 29, 2021

<span style="color:rgb(244, 0, 0)"><strong><span class="display-lg-font" style="color:inherit;display:inline-block">Saint Louis Walkers Club is about</span></strong></span>

Walk our **Year-Round Events (YREs) or Seasonal Event Walks (SEs) solo or with your family/friends whenever you want. Go to the locations below and follow the instructions. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, some access to some of our walks may still be changing. $3/walker

Belleville, Downtown, Historic District & Richland Creek Greenway - Register at Balance Coffee, 732 S. Illinois St, Belleville, IL. Because of Covid, walkers should not enter the coffee shop. Instead, call them at 618-641-9900 and someone will bring the binder to you. When you are finished registering, call them again and someone will come out to your car to pick it up. Please consider buying a drink or a food item from their drive-through 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 YMCA is open. The Walk Binder is at the desk. POC: Packy and Susan Botula 618-236-9521.

Belleville, IL, The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. ALERT: The Shrine Guesthouse is now OPEN! The Walk Binder is at the desk. The address of the Shrine Guesthouse is 451 S. DeMazenod Drive. The Shrine Restaurant has closed permanently. POC: Trudy Duffman, 618-670-6920.

Belleville, Oakland Historic District - Register at the YMCA, 200 S. Illinois Street, Belleville - ALERT: Open to members only. Sponsored by The Gateway Milers.

Central West End, St. Louis - Sponsored by the Saint Louis Walkers. The Walk Box is back again at the Visitors Center in Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive. The walk starts from there. The Online Start Box (OSB) is also available for registration. For more information, email deeebee333@gmail.com

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.

Creve Coeur Park - Sponsored by the Saint Louis Walkers. POCs DeAnne and Gordon have the Walk Box. Please call us at 314-878-8647 or email me at deeebee333@gmail.com and we can make arrangements. The Online Start Box (OSB) is also available for registration. You can also pencil it in your book to be stamped and paid for at a later date. Restrooms and porta potties are available in the park. Use hand sanitizer. Walk around one lake for a 5K, walk around both lakes for a 10K. This walk is level and is a favorite because there are so many activities in the park.

Edwardsville, IL - A Walk to Edwardsville Parks (Walk/Swim) - Register at the YMCA, 1200 Esic Drive. - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. ALERT: The YMCA is open only to members, but the POC has the Walk Binder. Call Vickie at 618-792-3881 to make arrangements.

Edwardsville, IL - Register at the Edwardsville Library, 112 S. Kansas St, Edwardsville, IL - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers. ALERT: The Edwardsville library is closed to all customers. Walkers call the library at: 618-692-7556 when you arrive and the staff will bring out the walk binder. When done with the binder contact the library staff again and they will come out to get the binder.

Fairview Heights, IL - St. Clair Square Mall - Register at Walgreens, 6505 North Illinois Street, Fairview Heights. Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. ALERT: The Mall is OPEN but has limited hours. Call the mall for up-to-date info on their hours. Right now, the hours are: 11am-7pm M-S and noon-6pm on Sunday but these hours can change. POC: Trudy Duffman, 618-670-6920.

Forest Park - Sponsored by the Saint Louis Walkers. The Walk Box is back again at the Visitors Center in Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive. The walk starts from there. The Online Start Box (OSB) is also available for registration. 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. Covid regulations require that you make reservations to enter the Zoo even though the Zoo is free. Call 314-646-4771 to make reservations. If you have not made reservations or if you have your dog with you, just add on about 1/4 mile wherever you please to make up the distance. The 10k route passes the Jewel Box, the Art Deco greenhouse (not usually open to the public), and the Planetarium and Science Center (restrooms available, free museum, walk-in basis). The Planetarium is in Forest Park, and there is an enclosed walkway over I-64 that leads to the 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).

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: Susan Hodgson, 618-416-5533.

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery and Park - Register at Walgreens, 2700 Telegraph, Lemay, MO - Sponsored by the Illinois Trekkers. NOTE: Do not bring your dog. Dogs are not allowed in National Cemetery. POC: Sue Bacon, 571-345-8301.

Jefferson City, MO, Capital Walk - This walk has an ONLINE START BOX (OSB). Sponsored by the Saint Louis Walkers. For information on how the OSB works and how to register, please click HERE. POCs: DeAnne and Gordon Brown, 314-878-8647.

Kirkwood, MO - Register at the Kirkwood Library, 140 E. Jefferson Ave, Kirkwood, MO - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers. ALERT: The POC has the Walk Box. Call Cindy at 636-208-3425.

Marthasville, MO - ONLINE START BOX. Seasonal walk, March 1-December 31. Sponsored by the Saint Louis Walkers. See the above link under Jefferson City for instructions on how to register online. POC: DeAnne and Gordon Brown, 314-878-8647.

Maryville, IL - Register at CMT YMCA, 1 Town Center Drive, Maryville, IL - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. ALERT: The YMCA is open only for members. The POC has the Walk Binder. Call Vickie at 618-792-3881.

O'Fallon, IL - Register at the YMCA, 284 N. Seven Hills Road, O'Fallon, IL - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers. ALERT: The walk is temporarily suspended. Click HERE for updated information.

O'Fallon, IL - Walk in the Parks - Sponsored by The Illinois Trekkers. ALERT: Schnucks' Customer Service Counter is closed, but Nikki, POC, has the Walk Binder. Please call Nikki at 618-973-3825. You can contact Nikki or just keep track of your walks in your IVV books and stamp and pay later. Schnucks is located at 907 E. Hwy 50 in O'Fallon.

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

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 west 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. Almost all restaurants and shops on Main Street are open. For the latest information, please call Trudy at 618-670-6920.

St. Louis - 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. NOTE: Please DO NOT bring dogs. They are not allowed in the buildings that we pass through on the trail. The tunnel leading to the Lumiere Casino is open. Restrooms are available in the casino. If the restrooms on your right are closed, walk across the lobby to the other side for the restrooms. 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), the Arch Museum (free), the museum at the Old Cathedral (very small admission fee), the Old Courthouse (free) but has been closed for renovation. Restrooms are available in most of these buildings, but their hours may be restricted due to the pandemic. The phone number for the Pear Tree Inn St. Louis Near Union Station (their listed name) is 314-241-3200. This walk is also available as an Online Start Box. POCs: DeAnne and Gordon Brown. For more information, please email deeebee333@gmail.com.

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

University City, MO - Sponsored by The Gateway Milers. - POCs DeAnne and Gordon have the Walk Box. You can come by our house to register. Please call us at 314-878-8647 first or email me at deeebee333@gmail.com and we can make arrangements. The Online Start Box (OSB) is also available for registration. During this pandemic, you can also pencil the walk in your book to be stamped and paid for at a later date.

Washington, MO - Sponsored by the Saint Louis Walkers. Register as an Online Start. The start of the walk begins at the Amtrak Station, 301 W. Front Street, Washington. We did have the Walk Box at the Amtrak station but it was stolen, so we cannot register physically there. This is a seasonal walk, March 1-December 31. POCs: DeAnne and Gordon Brown, 314-878-8647.

Webster Groves, MO - Register at the Webster Groves Parks and Recreation Center, 33 E. Glendale, Webster Groves, MO - Sponsored by the Gateway Milers. ALERT: The Rec Center is closed indefinitely due to COVID-19.

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. After some time there were over eight clubs 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 are meeting in Penticton, British Columbia; in 2023 the AVA will meet in San Antonio, Texas.

In recent years, Volkssporting has lost some of its popularity as other organized sports, running, and children's activities have displaced walking. Nevertheless, our club continued and this year, 2021, we will celebrate our 35th anniversary. Every year we plan a number of traditional events and we have seven YREs or seasonal walks, including two of the original walks: Downtown and the Central West End. As of 2021, we have Online Start Boxes (OSL) for all our walks. We are adding an eighth YRE in 2022.

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 the Saint Louis Walkers. The coronavirus pandemic slowed everything down to a crawl, but our name change was finally approved by the Secretary of State for the State of Missouri in early 2021. We acquired a new logo very recently.

We welcome new walkers and new members. Scroll below for a membership form. Please join us in enjoying this fun and very healthy sport.

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 THE SAINT LOUIS WALKERS:

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

Dee Wojtysiak, Vice President - drw48@icloud.com - 618-530-3325

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

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.

CLICK this link to download a 2021 Membership application. If you join after September 2021, your membership will continue into 2022 for the full year.

MEETINGS IN 2021

We meet on Zoom on the second Wednesday every other month at 7 pm. We will most likely continue meeting on Zoom even after the pandemic eases. Our most recent meeting was October 13. Our next meeting will be at our Christmas and 35th Anniversary party on December 8. It will be a very brief meeting, mostly to introduce our new officers for 2022.

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
Thanks for submitting!