Now that Labor Day is behind us, we can look forward to three things. The first is the arrival of cooler weather and the coming autumn colors. Second, with the children back in school, a midweek volksmarch becomes more of a possibility for parents. Third, the days are getting shorter, which means we will have the chance to do some torch walks and soon we’ll “fall back” and get the daylight-saving time hour back.

This might be your weekend to walk in Austria. The Wandersportfreunde Maria Brettfall has planned three days of activities in the town Strass im Zillertal. It is offering four walking routes, including one to the Pilgrimage Church of Maria Brettfall, as well as a permanent volksmarch trail.

For cycling enthusiasts, the club has “out and back” bike trails. Pedal to Kaltenbach and back for the 30-kilometer route, or to Zell am Ziller and back for 46k. Or, for the truly energetic, to Mayrhofen and back for 64 kilometers. You can cut these routes in half by stopping at any of these three towns and taking the train back to the start hall. This gives a choice of six bike distances. Complete one of these walks or bike events and a candle is the award.

On Friday and Saturday evenings there will be musical concerts in town, and Sunday there will be live music in the start hall. So whether you walk, bike or just listen to music, you have plenty of options from which to choose at Strass.

For another unusual weekend, the folks in Markt Schwaben, Germany, are offering three walking routes, two bike distances, and, on Sunday, an inline-skating event. The bad news is that their plans to offer a nice nutcracker as a prize fell through when they were not delivered in time. The walks and biking courses open at 7 a.m.; the skate event Sunday starts at 9 a.m.

The walk in Sien, Germany, appears to be close to Baumholder, while Sunday’s walk in Wittlich is fairly close to walkers in the Bitburg/Spangdahlem area.

There are only two more weeks until the big volksmarch sponsored by the Heidelberg International Wandering Club. That’s plenty of time to arrange to both do the walk and volunteer to help. No amount of effort on your part is too small. Several veteran volksmarch volunteers will be on hand to help and assist you.

For more information, contact Rob or Cath Floyd at or check out the club’s website,

• A message from Henila Wallace states that the Strasbourg, France, walk has been changed from Oct. 2 to Oct. 16. The rest of the walk details, such as times and start location, remain the same.

•The August/September edition of The American Wanderer (AVA Newspaper) announced that Charles “Pat” Patterson recently completed 6,800 events and 105,000 kilometers — that’s a lot of walking! His wife, Cheryl, recently completed 40,000 kilometers. Way to go, “Pat” and Cheryl!

• Tim Lynch reports, “We finally did our first volksmarch after two surgeries and more than seven months of rehabilitation after breaking my leg in Austria last winter. We did the 6k march in Clausen. Wow! What a beautiful walk. The trail took us through the forest and rock formations. What a joy to finally get back into volksmarching after so long. We can’t wait to work up to, and be able to finish, a 10-kilometer route.”

• • •

Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• The “Organisation A.M.T.F. Plombières” in Belgium is hosting its 39th Annual International Walk of the Three Frontiers. The club is offering a patch, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Belgium. We picked up a couple of these patches a year or so ago and they are nice, even if they are a few years old.

• Clark Soeldner reports that the Arzignano, Italy, walk has new routes this year. The six-kilometer trail is easy and accessible to the disabled. The other distances are of medium difficulty and are in the hills.

• • •

And finally, “high fives” to this week’s contributors: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Cath and Rob Floyd; Richard and Donna Glenn; John and Evelyn Golembe; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; John, Mary and Tess Laub; Tim and Luchi Lynch; “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson; Lew Harrison; Wayne Henry; Nora Hernandez; Dave Miller; Rick Sciascia and Nancy Shawley.

E-mail volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now