MVA Patch The Maryland Volkssport Association
Walking is Maryland's State Exercise
If you like walking, you'll like us.

This page last modified November 18, 2019

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The Maryland Volkssport Association (MVA) is the official representative within Maryland of the national (AVA) volkssports association. The primary purpose of the MVA is to promote the continuation and expansion of volkssporting. Volkssports are non-competitive, family-oriented sporting events that includes walking, biking, and swimming.

The MVA works closely with the AVA's Atlantic Region Director to ensure that the rules, regulations and policies of the IVV and AVA are followed by the MVA clubs.

The primary goal of the MVA is to promote the conduct of volkssport events by its member clubs. Other goals include:

  • increasing public awareness of volksevents through publicity;
  • increasing the number of participants in events;
  • encouraging and aiding the formation of volkssport clubs;
  • increasing/maintaining/facilitating communications among members and affiliate clubs;
  • providing a conduit for member clubs to have "one voice" to address issues with the Atlantic Region Director and/or the national headquarters of the AVA, and with other state organizations.

MVA Meetings

The MVA typically meets once each quarter, usually in conjunction with a scheduled weekend volksevent. The time and place for each meeting is established at the preceding meeting. The next meeting will be held:

December 31, 2019 at 12:30 pm at the Savage Mill event
Savage United Methodist Church
9050 Baltimore St
Savage, MD 20763
Savage, MD

Maryland Year Round Events

The following map has markers showing the starting points for all Maryland YREs. Thanks to Google Maps for making this facility available.


When at all possible, Sanction Requests should be made through the AVA's on-line Electronic Sanction Request (ESR) process. Once that sanction request is submitted, the requestor should send an email message to President Bob Schmick to let him know there is a request awaiting his approval. In the event that your club is not able to use the ESR, you may submit a paper request. Such requests must be mailed to Bob at 824 Buckingham Dr. Severna Park, MD 21146. Email related to sanction requests should be addressed to MVA President, Bob Schmick,

Trail Marking Hint

One very important thing that we often forget to tell novice volkswalkers is how to identify a turn on a trail marked by colored streamers. We all often miss turns, whether we are following written directions, a drawn map, or physical markers like streamers, ribbons, stakes, etc. But it is easier if you know that double ribbons or streamers of the same color indicate that a turn is coming at the next intersection. The direction of the turn is indicated by the next single ribbon or streamer. So, when you see two markers together, at the next intersection look to the left and right and continue in the direction of the single streamer.

Events in other countries:

For information about events in other countries, check the IVV web site, In addition, any English speaking volkssporter wishing to participate in IVV events may contact Hans Fuhr (Bunsenstr. 10; D-65203 Wiesbaden 12; Germany). Mr. Fuhr will be happy to provide what information may be available.

There is also an international calendar of events available from the AVA.

One last resource is The Stars and Stripes, a daily publication available to US Military and Government civilians stationed outside the United States. One of the great advantages of the European edition is the Thursday edition which contains a listing of all upcoming volksmarches for the weekend.

MVA Special Events

From time to time, the Maryland Volkssport Association sponsors special events, intended to increase the level of interest in volkssporting and to attract new participants to our activities. Those special events will be described fully on these web pages.

Online Start Box

An Online Start Box (OSB) is not a new idea. Many clubs have online registration. This system differs in that it avoids using the USPS mail for any aspect. The waiver is signed on line. The event registration and payment is done online. Walk instructions and maps are downloaded and, upon the completion of the event, the event stamp on an insert card, is provided.

Click Here to go to the OSB.

Eastern Shore of Maryland Walk Events

Maryland also offers year-round walk events in Salisbury and Crisfield on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. These events are also available every day of the year via the AVA On-Line Start Box (OLSB), accessible at Online Start Box.

Western Maryland Walk Events

MVA also offers year-round walk events in Frostburg and New Germany State Park (near Grantsville) in the mountains of western Maryland. These events are also available every day of the year via the AVA Online Start Box (OSB), accessible at Online Start Box.

C&O Canal Walks

The C&O Canal runs along the Potomac River from the mouth of Rock Creek in Georgetown to Cumberland, MD. Its 74 lift locks raise up from near sea level to an elevation of 605 feet at Cumberland. The towpath was originally built 12 feet wide as a path for mules that pulled canal boats. Today, the towpath provides a nearly level byway for hikers and bicyclists. Its watered sections provide quiet waters for canoeists, boaters, and anglers.

These events are available every day of the year via the AVA Online Start Box (OSB), accessible at Online Start Box. For additional information about walking or biking the C & O Canal, please Click Here.

The canal was proclaimed a national monument in 1961 and named a national historical park in 1971. Its 184.5 mile length preserves both history and nature. From tidewater at Georgetown in Washington, D.C., to Cumberland on the Allegheny Plateau, the C&O Canal winds through the Piedmont, past the Great Falls of the Potomac, and then through the ridge-and-valley section of the Appalachian Mountains. Its rich floodplain forests are gifts of the river's frequent floods.

Several years ago the MVA, under the leadership of Diane Ference and Steve Duex, then president and executive Vice President, conceived an idea for a series of one-time events that would span the entire Canal over a period of three years. After much planning, the dream seemed destined to become a reality. Mother Nature intervened with a series of floods the winter before the proposed start of the series and rendered the canal "unwalkable" for an entire year. Not to be discouraged, the walks were again planned to begin the following year. This time, they were successful. Each MD Club took the responsibility for planning a 5 or 10k out and back walk for at least one segment and the MVA coordinated the distance walks complete with shuttle busses back to the parking areas. Thanks to all the efforts of countless people, 1052 people completed all or parts of the C&O Canal. In addition, a sizeable donation was made to the National Park Service as a result of the series.

Recognizing that even more walkers want to either complete or walk parts of the Canal, the MVA now offers the series as Year Round events. Our thanks go to Diane and Steve for their vision and incredible commitment of time and effort that was necessary to make this a reality.

For a free list of maps, books, and other publications about the canal, write Parks and History Assn., 126 Raleigh St., SE, Washington, D.C. 20032.