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Have fun, get fit, and make friends with Iowa’s Walking Club

Established in 1985 as an affiliate of the American Volkssport Association (, Iowa’s Walking Club provides a variety of opportunities to walk around the greater Des Moines metro and throughout Iowa.  The connection with the AVA expands those opportunities to over 200 clubs and more than 2,500 events each year throughout the United States.  There is no membership requirement (although membership has its benefits!) and all events are noncompetitive.

Weekday Walks are a great introduction to the club, and it costs nothing to join us.  These are informal and very social group walks, usually about an hour long, exploring neighborhoods, parks, and trails throughout Des Moines and its suburbs.  Between April and October, we try to schedule at least one walk each week and sometimes more.  There are less frequent opportunities, indoors and outdoors, in the colder months, including some mall walking for those interested. These events are posted to our Meetup group, our Facebook page, and our website.

Traditional Walks are scheduled several times throughout the year, usually on Saturdays.  Walkers receive instructions and a map and can start and finish the walk on their own schedule within a set time window.  Traditional walks are sanctioned by the AVA “for credit,” meaning walkers can choose to get a booklet to stamp and keep track of the number of events and/or kilometers they walk.  It costs $3 to sign up for the walk, an amount that helps the club cover its expenses. These events are posted to our Meetup group, our Facebook page, and our website.

Year-round and Seasonal Walks are do-it-yourself opportunities, where members of the club have created instructions and maps to follow, usually in 5K and 10K formats.  The available walks change from year to year, and many are outside Polk County.  Walkers can obtain the instructions/maps at a cost of $3 and then complete the walks at their convenience and stamp walking books for AVA credit.  It’s a great way to explore Iowa.  Year-round and seasonal walks don’t appear on Meetup.  To learn more about these walks, visit our website:

Group Walks are sort of long-form weekday walks, occurring both in and outside of the Des Moines metro.  Scheduled usually on weekends, walkers meet to explore one of the year-round or seasonal walks or may try something completely new.  Like traditional walks, these are usually at least 5K in length and may involve some travel time.  Carpooling is an option, as is enjoying lunch or dinner together along the way.

Membership is optional, but we hope you’ll give us a try and decide to join.  It costs $10 per year for a single membership, $12 for a family, and that puts you on our membership list to receive our monthly newsletter by email.  The newsletter identifies all our walking events and club meetings for the month.  For membership, visit our website:

Hope to see you on the trail!

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