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It’s beginning to feel a lot like fall. The season technically starts Sept. 22, but already we are seeing a good selection of walks, which is typical of the season.

Kuetzberg, Germany, hosts its sixth annual torch walk Saturday. Start the 5-kilometer route between 7 and 8 p.m. A set of three small flower pots in a holder is the prize. Let’s hope this is the first of many torch walks this year. They will be offering regular walks Saturday starting at 2 p.m. and Sunday between 7 a.m. and noon. Kuetzberg is west of Schweinfurt.

A very close walk for readers in the Kaiserslautern Military Community is this weekend’s walk in Bruchmuehlbach, which is west of Landstuhl. The doors open at 7 a.m. both days. Cut-off time for the 5- and 10-kilometer routes is 1 p.m. with noon the cut-off for the 20-kilometer trail. The prize is a B-medal.

Look for the blue flag of the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club at this weekend’s walk in Hildrizhausen. This is a Stammtisch walk for the club, so they will be there in force. Start all trails between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday’s walk in Schwollen is convenient for walkers in the Baumholder area. You can start the 5- and 10- kilometer routes between at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you want to go 20-kilometers, you must start before 3 p.m.

In Italy, the walk in Budoia is the 38th edition of the Marcia dei Funghi, or Mushroom Walk. This is a very popular event held in conjunction with a mushroom festival including vendors selling all types of fresh mushrooms. The shorter walks have mild hills while the 25-kilometer route has serious grades on Alpini mountain trails.

Look for mentions of more interesting weekend walks in our extended column at legacy.stripes.com/travel/europe-travel.

The big Heidelberg Volksmarch is set for Sept. 25-26. We received the following invitation from the HIWC:

“ The HIWC and the surrounding countryside offer one of the most beautiful and challenging courses you’ll find anywhere in Germany. Whether you enjoy walking through the towns and forest or running in the hills above Heidelberg, this Volksmarch has something for everyone. The HIWC always attends meticulously to every detail, so come out and participate in a great German tradition.”

Volunteers would be greatly appreciated. For more information, contact Rob Floyd at 06227-841226 or 0172-6239338.

The start and finish of the walk will be at the International Gesamtschule behind Nachrichten Kaserne.

The 5 km route will stay below the hills and will be flat and stroller-friendly. The 11- and 22-km trails will meander through the forests and fields throughout the hills above Heidelberg, passing by the Ehrenfriedhof Memorial. This is a monument commemorating those who died in battle in the Heidelberg area during both World Wars. Additionally, the 22-km trail will venture past the spectacular Heidelberg Castle. The start times are between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday.

The volksmarch will be full of surprises, plus good food, and traditional German music both Saturday and Sunday. This year’s beer stein will depict an old scene of the bridge and castle on the front of the mug. We invite everyone to join us for this special event.

In addition, they will be awarding Commander Cup trophies to the military activities with the most participants. So bring your unit, bring your guidons, and come participate in genuine German Style.

If you have a few spare hours on your hands next weekend, volunteer to work at the walk. If you can’t work, bring a cake, cookies or other type of goodies for the club to sell.

For more information, contact Rob Floyd at 06227-841226 or 0172-6239338.

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News from the “In Box:”

Last month, Lynne and Brad Crandall completed their 1,100th volksmarch event and have covered 16,000 kilometers! Wow! Our hats are off to you two!

If you want to join the Heidelberg International Wandering Club as they go to Karpacz, Poland, the weekend of Oct. 9-11. the cut-off date is fast approaching. You need to contact Don Casper and have your money paid by Sept. 26. Don can be reached via e-mail at Don.Casper1@t-online.de. You can get more information on the trip at www.HIWC.de.

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We have always enjoyed the walk in Schinveld, Netherlands. Seeing our Scottish Highlander “friends” and going past the glider field is high on our favorites list. If you are in the Tri-Border area this Sunday, plug “Broekstraat 2” in the trusty GPS to find the Cafe Im Weissen Roessl in Schinveld.

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Another one of our favorite walks takes place in Luxembourg this weekend. Sunday you can walk in Wiltz, where past routes have wound around the hills overlooking the city and the castle. Wiltz was the former headquarters of the 28th Infantry Division and the site of desperate fighting during the Battle of the Bulge. A walk through the countryside around Wiltz will give you an appreciation of the difficult terrain the soldiers had to contend with during the fighting. When you add the terrible winter conditions they experienced, you can imagine their ordeal.

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The Ford automotive plant in Saarlouis, Germany, hosts its 38th volksmarch this weekend. The 6-, 11-, 20- and 30-km trails start Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. In keeping with its traditional model car souvenirs, this year you can take home a Ford Model “T” van in 1:43 scale. To reach the event, take the Saarlouis Steinrausch exit off Autobahn 8 if coming from the Luxembourg or Saarbrücken direction. If driving from Kaiserslautern or Karlsruhe, take the Nalbach exit. It begins at the Ford Werk, Kantine Halle B.

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Finally, a great big “Thanks” to the contributors of this week’s column. They are: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Richard and Donna Glenn, John and Evelyn Golembe, Lew Harrison, Wayne Henry, Nora Hernandez, Doug LeVien, Tim and Luchi Lynch, “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson, Rick Sciascia and Nancy Shawley.

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

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