What we're about

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

Established in 1985 as an affiliate of the American Volkssport Association (AVA.org), 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:  https://www.iowaswalkingclub.org.

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:  https://www.iowaswalkingclub.org.

Hope to see you on the trail!

Upcoming events (4+)

Weekday Walk - Des Moines Botanical Gardens

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

We'll rally in the Botanical Gardens parking lot and head north along the trail following the Des Moines River to Birdland.

Weekday Walk - Annett Nature Center

Annett Nature Center Park

We will meet at the Annett Nature Center south of Indianola. The Center's grounds comprise 160 acres, including ponds and wetlands. The mowed grass and crushed rock trail winds through prairie and wooded areas. There are pollinator gardens and an osprey observation tower. The Nature Center features a variety of interpretive exhibits. Bring your lunch, and we'll enjoy a picnic at one of the shelters after our walk.

Weekday Biking!!! - High Trestle Trail, Madrid

Flat Tire Lounge

Something new! We know many Weekday Walkers also enjoy biking, so we'll give it a try in June. As with Weekday Walks, we'll meet and head out on a leisurely ride for approximately an hour.
We'll meet at the trailhead right off Highway 17 by the Flat Tire Lounge, 304 S Madison Street in Madrid. This is a rail trail, so it's nice and flat.

Weekday Walk - Bill Riley Trail

Ashworth Swimming Pool

We will meet in the Ashworth Pool parking lot and walk the trail to Waterworks Park and back. To reach the parking lot, from Grand Avenue, take the road on the east side of the Des Moines Art Center south through Greenwood Park. The pool is at the end of the road.

Past events (225)

Weekday Walk - Urbandale Trails

7001 Meredith Dr