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(Click here to see this week's Volksmarch schedule.)

More from our adventures walking in the U.S.

On June 30, we celebrated our anniversary by taking our 8-year-old grandson on his first volksmarch. We went to Valley Forge National Historical Park and did one of the two year-round walks provided by the Liberty Bell Wanderers. We chose the 10-kilometer Valley Creek walk because it would take us to a covered bridge built in 1865.

After signing in and getting our start card at the visitors center, we drove about a mile to the start of the hike, at the Washington Memorial Chapel. Along the trail we saw several reconstructed log huts like those used by soldiers, as well as stone buildings once used as unit headquarters.

There were deer cautiously grazing at several points. For an additional fee, it is possible to tour George Washington’s headquarters on this route. We followed the Valley Creek Trail to the turn-around point at the covered bridge. This beautiful, single-lane bridge was recently damaged by a truck and has been closed to traffic. The bridge proved to be a quiet place to rest and take pictures. The water in the creek was very fast due to the recent heavy rains, but the trail was safe.

At the end of the walk, we visited the log cabin gift shop behind the chapel and had lunch and some shoofly pie. We then returned to the visitors center to get the IVV stamps for our books. Our grandson made it the whole way with energy to spare!


More dates for your calendars:

• Aug. 5:Rombach, Luxembourg. We have never been to this town, but we have yet to find a bad walk in Luxembourg. The fact that this will be the sixth marathon of the year for Landstuhl Fisher Houses’ volunteer fundraiser Norm Raynal means it will be high on our list of walks to attend.

• Aug. 26-27: Braunfels, Germany. We have done the volksmarch and have been to the Oktoberfest celebration in New Braunfels, Texas, a couple of times, so we wanted to walk in Braunfels, Germany, as well. We have done this walk twice and have enjoyed them both very much. Stars and Stripes reporter Kevin Dougherty wrote a “Quick Trips” article about Braunfels in the May 16 Stars and Stripes. If, by some chance, you did not cut out that article, you can read it again here. Please note that the start for this walk is in the nearby town of Philippstein.

• Sept. 9-10: Heidelberg, Germany. This is always a great walk. Well organized, lots of food, drink and music at the start hall, attractive mugs as prizes and one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Don’t miss this one. It is one of our top two favorite walks.

• Sept. 16:Ensheim, Germany. This is Norm Raynal’s seventh scheduled marathon. Let’s all try to show up and give him a pat on the back, or maybe even a check for the Fisher Houses.

• Sept. 23: Lillois, Belgium. Lillois is just south of Waterloo and the Marche de l’Empereur will undoubtedly take you around and/or through the massive battlefield. The routes are 7, 14, 25, 35 and 60 kilometers. After the walk, visit the Waterloo museums and, if you’ve got anything left in your legs, walk the 200-plus steps up the Butte du Lion monument to get a bird’s-eye view of the battlefield. This will probably be a big, crowded walk, so try to get there early.

• Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Boppard, Germany. A beautiful city beside the Rhine River. This is another well-organized walk that coincides with the town’s annual wine festival. The town has Roman ruins, several riverside restaurants, and on Saturday night will have a fireworks display. Food, wine booths and live bands abound.


This Saturday, Norm Raynal will do his fifth marathon of the year at Malmedy, Belgium, as he raises money for the Landstuhl Fisher Houses. Here’s a chance to see the beautiful Ardennes Forest and support a hard-walking, fundraising marathon man. If you can’t join him in Malmedy, visit


Thanks to the contributors to this week’s column. They are: Manfred Dahl; Mary Campbell; Tom, Petra and Maya Casarez; Theresia Fontaine; Bob Gambert; Wayne Henry; Michael Gdowski; Jan and John Jensen; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; John and Renee Kulick; Tim Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; Mary Jo Piccin; Nancy Shawley, and Ed Whitworth.


Notes about this week’s events:

• The prize for the Königsberg, Germany, walk is a wooden stand with hanging geese ornaments.

Clark Soeldner’s Italian walking notes:

• The highlight of the Bordano walk is the dozens of butterfly-themed murals painted on the houses in Bordano (found on all trails) and Interneppo (found on the 14-kilometer and 21-kilometer). The 7-kilometer is flat, while the 14-kilometer and 21-kilometer are in the hills. A butterfly- theme souvenir is the prize. With a start card, you’ll get reduced admission to the House of Butterflies. To reach the walk, exit the A-23 at Gemona-Osoppo in the Trasaghis direction. Look for the sign to Bordano to the right.

Please e-mail volksmarch schedule information for Central and Western Europe to Please mail brochures, in date order if possible, to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.

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