Volkssporting: it may sound a little foreign, but you have probably done it before without realizing it.
Volkssporting – literally “the sport of the people” – is a form of non-competitive walking for fitness or recreational purposes.
On Saturday, Apr. 26, the German sport is coming to DeForest. The Dairyland Walkers, a Madison-based subsidiary of the American Volkssport Association, will host an Upper Yahara River Trail Walk, offering both 5K and 10K options.
“The Dairyland Walkers try to walk in different areas in Dane County and throughout the state of Wisconsin,” walk organizer Mary Liebig said. “Since we hadn’t walked in DeForest before and the Upper Yahara River Trail is so new and so nice, it seemed like a good way to walk in a different area and in a really nice setting.”
The walk will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, starting at Conservancy Commons Park Shelter, DeForest. Most of both the 5K and 10K routes are on the Upper Yahara River trail, which includes 2.37 miles (one way) of 10-foot wide porous asphalt and boardwalk in a wooded setting along the river. Both routes wind around for 1.5K through the Conservancy Place neighborhood. Liebig said there will be maps of the routes available and the trail will be marked with easy-to-follow arrow directions.
“The trail itself is very scenic and it’s nice walking on the porous asphalt,” Liebig said. “I love walking by the Yahara River, and I think people will enjoy the scenery, the condition of the trail and Conservancy Place.”
Liebig said the walk will meet the Dairyland Walkers motto’s criteria: fun, fitness and friendship.
“Not only are people benefiting from the fitness – you’re getting good exercise – but you’re meeting other people out there and we also do walks in areas that are especially scenic or have historical significance.”
The walk is open to he public and has no age restrictions. The walk is suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. Participants can register on the day of the walk at the start table in Conservancy Commons Park Shelter. The walk costs $3 for Adult International Federation of Popular Sports credits and $2 for youth and adults who are not seeking credits.
DeForest Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Director Kelli Bialkowski said the village is honored to showcase the trail to the walkers.
“The community is proud of what we have built together and are confident guests will be impressed,” Bialkowski said. “The notion that a parks amenity has inspired guests from out of town is a demonstration to the economy that a well-supported parks and recreation system can stir.”