Resources & Links
International Mountain Bicycling Association: Environmentally and socially responsible mountain biking. Call 888-442-IMBA (888-442-4622) or check out www.imba.com to find leaders near you and membership information.
Clubs and Walking Organizations
American Volkssport Association: AVA's 500 clubs organize more than 3,000 non-competitive events per year nationwide. Call or visit the web site to find a club or event near you. 800-830-WALK (800-830-9255) or www.ava.org
About Walking web site: Links to web sites of national and regional walking and racewalking clubs.
Events (Walking Events, Organizers, & Information)
American Diabetes Association's Team Diabetes Walks: Walk or run a marathon (26.2 miles). Minimum donation is $3,000 to $4,000 depending on your choice of location: Chicago, Disney World, Dublin, Las Vegas, Kona, Maui, San Fransisco, Rome, Quebec, Ottawa, and Vancouver. Call 888-342-2383 or visit www.diabetes.org/teamdiabetes.
American Heart Association (AHA): American Heart Walk is the AHA's premiere walking and fund-raising event that takes place in over 1,000 cities every year. The event focuses on preventing heart disease and stroke by raising money to support research and heart-healthy lifestyle programs. This non-competitive event typically occurs on the last weekend of September or first weekend of October. Call 800-AHA-USA1 (800-242-8721) or visit www.americanheart.org.
Arthritis Foundation's Joints in Motion Event: Walk or run a marathon (26.2 miles). Airfare, hotels, and entry fees are covered if you meet your fund-raising goal. Minimum pledges range from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on your choice of location: New Orleans, Vancouver, Dublin, and Honolulu. Call 800-960-7682 or visit www.arthritis.org.
Avon's 3-Day Breast Cancer Walks: 60-mile group walks including food, tent accommodations and entertainment. Minimum pledge: $1,800. Event locations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Call 888-332-9286, or visit www.avoncrusade.com.
Leukemia Society of America Marathons: Walk or run a marathon (26.2 miles). Airfare, hotels, and entry fees are covered if you meet your fund-raising goal. Minimum pledge varies with event; there are more than 30 events in this series. Call 800-482-TEAM (800-482-8326) or visit www.lsa-teamintraining.org.
March of Dimes WalkAmerica: The March of Dimes' biggest fund-raiser, WalkAmerica supports lifesaving research and community programs that save babies from birth defects, low birth weight and infant death. WalkAmerica will take place in 1,400 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In most communities, WalkAmerica is held at the end of April. Routes vary in length, but most are about 20 kilometers (approx. 12 miles). Call 800-525-WALK (800-525-9255) from January through April, or call the national MOD office at 914-428-7100 any time during the year, or visit www.modimes.org.
MS Walk: The MS Walk will be offered in cities across the nation, with distances from 3 to 12 miles; accessible routes are always available. Complimentary food, beverages, first aid, and special transportation provided. Call 800-FIGHT-MS (800-344-4867) or visit www.nmss.org.
Race for the Cure: The Komen Race for the Cure series has become the largest series of 5K and 1-mile run/fitness walks in the nation, held in 108 cities across the country with over 1 million participants. Proceeds fund both national research efforts and local breast cancer initiatives. Call 888-603-RACE (888-603-7223) or visit www.raceforthecure.com.
USA Track and Field: The national governing body for track and field (including racewalking) in the U.S. The national office can connect you with your local chapter and local racewalking chair, and provide a calendar of events. Call 317-261-0500 or visit www.racewalk.com.
Hiking (Contacts, Information, and Outdoor Outfitters)
American Hiking Society: A national hiking and trail advocacy organization, which can help you get in touch with a club in your area. 301-565-6704 or www.americanhiking.org.
Appalachian Mountain Club: America's oldest conservation and recreation organization, based in the Northeastern U.S. The AMC teaches skills, operates lodges, fixes trails, publishes guides, and works on conservation issues. To join a local chapter or get more information, visit their web site: www.outdoors.org or call 617-523-0636.
Sierra Club: This well-known environmental organization provides information on current environmental issues, teaches conservation skills, and sponsors 330 national and international outings per year. For more information, call the national office at 415-977-5500 or visit www.sierraclub.org.
National Geographic: Complete TrailSmart: National Parks of the USA CD-ROM 5-CD set ($99); a wide selection of hiking and recreation maps are also available through the web site, www.ngstore.com, or by calling 800-NGS-LINE (800-647-5463).
Rand McNally: Download and print maps for all fifty states, as well as over 30 thematic maps at www.randmcnally.com, or call 847-329-8100.
US Geological Survey: view maps on-line at mapping.usgs.gov or call 888-ASK-USGS (888-275-8747) to order or for more information.
Appalachian Trail Conference (East Coast): 304-535-6331 or www.appalachiantrail.org.
Continental Divide Trail Alliance (Rocky Mountain States): 888-909-CDTA (888-909-2382) or www.cdtrail.org.
North Country Trail Association (Great Lakes and upper Midwest): 616-454-5506 or www.northcountrytrail.org.
American Discovery Trail Society (Delaware to California): 800-663-2387 or www.discoverytrail.org.
Lewis & Clark Trail: The National Park Service publishes and distributes a general information brochure and map of the trail, free of charge, to help with trip planning. For a copy of the general brochure contact NPS at (402) 221-3471 or visit www.nps.gov/lecl for information on how to contact visitor's centers along the trail.
Pacific Crest Trail Association: 888-PCTRAIL (888-728-7245) or www.pcta.org.
Outdoor Outfitters and Other Resources
L.L. Bean: Call 800-441-5713 to request a catalogue or visit www.llbean.com for clothing and gear, plus an international park search feature.
REI: Call 800-426-4840 to request a catalogue, or visit www.rei.com for the gear shop, a learn and share feature, classes and events, plus a link to the REI outlet store.
backpacking.about.com: A wealth of information on outdoor gear, services, clubs, and organizations, plus links to related sites.
www.altrec.com: Plenty of gear offerings, plus a how-to-buy feature. Links to other sports, such as cycling, climbing, paddling, and snow sports. Live on-line service, or call 800-369-3949.
www.outfittermag.com: On-line version of the magazine. Check the outdoor directory for listings of packs and bags, accessories, apparel, resources/media, and equipment.
www.kidssource.com: This web site caters to active outdoor families, providing information and gear for parents and children, and helpful links to related sites.
www.greatoutdoors.com: Gear, weather, recipes, and tips for a variety of outdoor sports.
www.gorp.com: Plan a trip, buy gear and maps, read tips and articles about outdoor activities, find or rate a trail, or post a message on the discussion boards.
www.4hiking.com: Gear, tips, trails and tours, and links to related sites, such as hiking and trail organizations.
www.planetoutdoors.com: Wide selection of gear, plus tips and articles. Also check out www.womenoutdoors.com.
www.backroads.com: To plan an outdoors vacation, visit the web site or call 800-GO-ACTIVE (800-462-2848).
www.nps.gov: The National Park Service's web site, with links to many of the major parks, trail, lodging, and reservation information, and more.
If you're considering a health and fitness instructor or personal trainer, ask if they're certified by any of the following groups first:
Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA): Phone: 800-446-2322; www.afaa.com.
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM): Phone: (317) 637-9200; www.acsm.org.
American Council on Exercise (ACE): Phone: 800-825-3636 or 858-535-8227; www.acefitness.org.
IDEA (the international association of fitness professionals): Phone: 800-999-4332; www.ideafit.com.
This national observance encourages children, parents and community leaders to walk to school together with a purpose-to promote safety, health, physical activity and concern for the environment. The ultimate goal is to create a more walkable world community by community. Normally scheduled around the first Wednesday in October.
www.walktoschool-usa.org (U.S. information)
www.iwalktoschool.org (international information)
Here are three manufacturers of pedometers.
Optimal Health Products: 888-339-2067.
New Lifestyles: 888-SIT-LESS (888-748-5377); www.digiwalker.com.
Accusplit: 800-935-1996; www.accusplit.com.
Exerstrider: 800-554-0989, www.exerstrider.com $69.95 + shipping includes poles, instructional video and manual.
Leki: 800-255-9982, www.leki.com Range of models and prices for different needs. Web site offers a dealer locator feature.
Nordicwalker: 877-548-7234, www.nordicwalker.net $69.95 + shipping includes poles, instructional manual and soon-to-be-produced video/CD.
North American Racewalking Foundation: NARF can provide people with racewalking tips and the names of coaches and contacts around the country. You can contact Elaine Ward, the group's managing director, at 626-441-5459 for referrals and educational materials, or visit the foundation's web site at members.aol.com/rwnarf.
USA Track and Field: The national governing body for track and field and racewalking in the U.S. To find your regional track and field office, which can connect you with your local racewalking chairperson and contacts for local walking clubs, contact the national office at USA Track and Field, P.O. Box 120, Indianapolis, IN 46206; Phone: 317-261-0500; Web site: www.racewalk.com.
Powerbelts, from Inergi Fitness/The Walker's Warehouse: 800-797-2358, www.inergifitness.comwww.inergifitness.com.
Walk-Mate: 800-497-FLXO (800-497-3596); www.walk-mate.com or www.flexometric.com.
Here are three great resources on different types of stretching, from three highly regarded experts. All are available through any major bookseller.
Stretching, by Bob Anderson (Shelter Publications, 1980): Easy to use, very simple with clear illustrations, one of the definitive handbooks on static stretching for just about any activity. Shelter Publications, Inc., PO Box 270, Bolinas, CA 94924; 800-307-0131; www.shelterpub.com.
Facilitated Stretching: PNF Stretching Made Easy, 2nd edition, by Robert McAtee (Human Kinetics Publishers, 1999): A very understandable description of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, with stretches for partners, or done alone. Human Kinetics Publishers; www.humankinetics.com.
The Wharton's Stretch Book, by Jim and Phil Wharton. (Random House, 1996): This is the definitive manual on Active-Isolated stretching, by its developers. 51 W. 81st St., New York, NY 10024; 800-726-7559; www.randomhouse.com.
www.walktoschool-usa.org (U.S. information)
www.iwalktoschool.org (international information)
American Discovery Trail, Washington, D.C.: The group that developed the first non-motorized recreation trail stretching from the east to west coast of the U.S. Their motto: "Connecting our communities." 800-663-2387 & web site: www.discoverytrail.org.
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP): PO Box 23576, Washington, DC 20026; www.apbp.org. Most state DOT bike/pedestrian coordinators are members of this organization, which provides training, newsletters, and help finding contacts in your area.
AmericaWalks, Portland, OR: 503-222-1077; www.americawalks.org. A non-profit coalition actively promoting the development of local and regional pedestrian advocacy groups, with a mission of helping to create local groups and assist them in building a more walkable world.
The Bikes Belong Coalition, Ltd., Brookline, MA: 617-734-2800; www.bikesbelong.org. Sponsored by the American Bicycle Industry, this group helps organizations and individuals to develop bicycle trails and safety projects nationwide.
Kidswalk-to-School: a guide to promote walking to school. 888-CDC-4NRG; request by e-mail at: email@example.com or download at: www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/kidswalk.htm. This information-packed booklet is designed for parents, educators and community leaders hoping to organize children and adults to regularly and safely walk to school together. It offers a step-by-step approach for creating a walking school bus.
Local Government Commission, Sacramento, CA: 916-448-1198; www.lgc.org. Education and advocacy group espousing sustainable growth; offers aid to local governments and advocates in creating more livable communities. Large library of practical planning and transportation guides, including the invaluable booklet Real Towns, which is a great first book to read in this area.
National Center for Bicycling and Walking: 1506 21st St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C., 20036; 202-463-6622; www.bikewalk.org. Works to create more walker and bicycle-friendly communities. Organizes the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference every two years.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Washington, D.C.: 877-WALKBIKE; 202-463-8405; www.walkinginfo.org; www.bicyclinginfo.org. Information on creating facilities and environments for walking and bicycling and improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists; maintains tremendous resource listing, and assists in finding funds for infrastructure work.
Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, D.C.: 202-466-2636, www.transact.org. A great source of support for pedestrian development, this group annually publishes Mean Streets (loaded with pedestrian data), and was critical to the passage of safe routes to school legislation in California.
Walk a Child to School Day: October 2, 2001. US: www.walktoschool-usa.org. International: www.iwalktoschool.org. Guidance on organizing an event, on-line registration, and a listing of currently registered events and contacts nationwide.
Walkable Communities, Inc., High Springs, FL: 904-454-3304, www.walkable.org. The consulting firm of Dan Burden, one of the nation's leading experts on creating more walkable settings. He can help your community envision and implement a more walkable future.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Washington, DC. 800-888-7747, ext. 11; 202-331-9696; www.railtrails.org. A national advocacy organization working to convert abandoned rail beds into multi-use trails, has facilitated the creation of over 10,000 miles of rail-trails.
Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance, a program of the National Park Service. Fax: 202-565-1204; www.ncrc.nps.gov/rtca/rtca-ofh.htm. Provides technical support and expertise for trail and greenway development.