The Bedford Hiking Club is sponsoring a walk April 17 at Starve Hollow Recreation Area in Vallonia.
The walk is a volkswalk with a group walk at 9:30 a.m., but walkers can start any time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and walk on their own on the trails. Registration for the volkswalk is at the west shelter house at the beach. Walkers must complete the walk by 3 p.m.
The marked walk includes a 5K (3.1 miles) walk that follows the lake through the campground and then through a cypress stand among cypress knees and across a historic iron bridge. The cypress stand along the lake is quite interesting, wildflowers are coming up and the 5K is fairly flat though likely to be a bit muddy, so wear sturdy shoes.
People who wish to walk the 10K (6.2 miles) will continue on into the hills on the opposite side of the lake. Views in this section are outstanding, and the woods are beautiful now with the trail winding through different types of ecosystems. Some short sections are quite steep, so a walking stick is recommended for balance.
Walkers will be given directions for both the 10K and 5K. Walking is free; however, if you wish to walk for credit, there is a $3 fee. There is a daily fee to enter the recreation area or a state park pass applies.
The walk is sponsored by the Bedford Hiking Club. It is called a volkswalk, which is German for people’s walk. The International Volkswalk Association has walks on almost every continent, so this is part of a network of walks that people can do for free or credit. Credit is a stamp in a volkswalk book that keeps track of the volkswalks a person completes for a later award or just for their own satisfaction.
People can come and just walk for the joy of walking, but anyone who thinks they might be interested in learning more about volkswalking is welcome to come learn more about this popular sport.
In general, it will take a person two and a half to three hours to complete the 10K volkswalk. People walk at their own pace and are encouraged to stop and enjoy the views. The club recommends people bring water and a snack, and if you’re interested in wildflowers, you may want to bring a wildflower guide.
Wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather in layers (a small daypack is handy for shedding layers as the day warms up). It is not a timed event. Dogs are welcome but should be on a leash. Masks are requested for registration.
For information on the volkswalk, contact Teena Ligman at 812-278-0139 or [email protected]. For information about Starve Hollow, visit in.gov/dnr/forestry/properties/starve-hollow-sra.
The Bedford Hiking Club also sponsors two nearby year-round walks. Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell has a beautiful walk voted in the past as one of the top 10 volkswalks. The second walk is the Limestone Walk in Bedford.