Volksmarching (from the German Volksmarsch meaning "peoples' march") is a form of non-competitive group fitness walking that developed in Europe and has since spread to the United States.
Participants typically walk 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on an outdoor path to a favorite destination, while sharing the company of fellow walkers who enjoy getting out for some exercise and fresh air in a natural environment.
A Volksmarch is not a race, although Volksmarching associations usually offer incentive awards such as pins to record their achievments. People walk at a pace that works to make the event fun for everyone.
Fortunately, the W&OD trail in Leesburg is a perfect location for having our own international Volksmarch right here. We'll start at an authentic German bistro, walk approximately 3 miles to the Dry Mill Winery for tasting and relaxing, and then return the same way on the trail to satisfy our Italian instincts at Fire Works Pizza.
Meetup at Doener Bistro
Doener Bistro is an actual German pub restaurant in Leesburg that serves a wide variety of real Deutsch biers and authentic food items that are popular street fare in modern Germany. Due to the influence of Turkish immigration, these include doner gyros, falafel, currywurst, bratwurst, schnitzel, and fresh salads. The atmosphere at Doener Bistro is bright and cheerful, the food is tasty, and the prices are reasonable.
Our SHR group had a great time at Doener Bistro celebrating Oktoberfest, even though the food and beer offerings were limited for the festival crowd. This time we can enjoy ordering freshly prepared items from the full menu. Check out the details and menu below:
Volksmarch on the W&OD Trail
After gathering at Doener Bistro to gain sustenance for our journey, we'll head out on the W&OD trail towards Purcellville. It's the most scenic part of the trail that we've enjoyed many times while biking. However, this will be out first time traveling by foot at a slower pace to soak up natural and man-made sights we may have missed from our bikes.
True to the spirit of Volksmarching, we'll walk together as a group at a relaxed pace. The trail is generally flat and paved near Leesburg, so it will be an easy and stimulating walk. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
Our destination is the Dry Mill Winery that's located very close to the trail off Dry Mill Rd. about 3 miles away. We can taste some wine and hang out at the winery until we feel like walking back to Leesburg. The total roundtrip walking distance should be approximately 6 miles, which fits the definition of a Volksmarch almost perfectly.
Dry Mill Winery
Dry Mill Winery is conveniently situated near our route in a renovated barn on a pretty lot with indoor and outdoor seating. It offers the usual selection of Virginia wines, as well as live music on Saturday afternoons. It's reviews on Yelp are generally positive as a friendly place to visit and sip wine. The individual tasting fee is $5.00.
Our group's standard policy at restaurants and elsewhere is for SHR members to order and pay for their food and drinks individually. We don't make group reservations due to the uncertainties and "flash mob" nature of Meetups. As individual customers, we get better service and no hassles about splitting checks. So plan to order and pay as you normally would, and then we'll socialize together as we always do...
Full details about Dry Mill Winery below:
Return to Fire Works Pizza
When we're done at the winery, we'll walk on the trail back to our starting point in Leesburg. We can celebrate our day of outdoor exercise by having some excellent pizza at Fire Works, which is located right across Harrison St. from Doener Bistro. Fire Works is highly-rated on Yelp for its wood-fired pizza, large beer selection, and comfortable ambience. We had excellent pizzza and a good time there after our bike ride on Labor Day.
Check out the full menu, photos, and address below:
Parking and Weather
There is plenty of free parking along Harrison St. SE and the Loudon County government parking lot across from Raflo Park by the W&OD Trail. It's just a one block walk from there to Doener Bistro and Fire Works Pizza.
This is an outdoor event that depends upon good walking weather. Check back here on Saturday morning. I'll post a notice and send an email by 9:00 am if we need to change plans or cancel the event. Call Jake at[masked] with questions or to find us.
I hope to see you there!