Upcoming walk highlights all 16 Estacada murals

The sport of volkswalking is introduced to Estacada in just a couple of weeks

For some, the idea of non-competitive sports is a tough concept to grasp, but for the East County Wind Walkers Volkswalking Club, the idea is central to who they are.

Volkswalking is a noncompetitive walking event that was founded in Germany in the 1960s. The idea is that all participants walk along a certain trail or route simply as a means to enjoy the journey.

Since its inception, the idea has expanded to include roller-skating, swimming, cross-country skiing and biking, all of which fall under the umbrella of volksporting.

Each year, the East County Wind Walkers club hosts several events throughout the area and, this September, they're headed to Estacada. The walk in Estacada will feature both a 6-kilometer and 10-kilometer course that will highlight Estacada's murals throughout town.

'We try to do our walks in areas with something of interest and where it's safe for people to get out and walk in different areas of the state,' said Regina Blake, president of the Wind Walkers. 'And we found the murals in Estacada and saw this as a new challenge we want people to see.'

What she means by 'challenge' is an event for which a volkswalker can receive a stamp in their book after finishing. While the activity is free to everyone, some people purchase books to keep track of how many miles they have walked and what challenges they complete. After filling their book, walkers can send it to the American Volkswalking Association and in return, receive a certificate and a patch highlighting the achievement.

What makes this event unique is the inclusion of geocaching to the event.

'We want to get people out walking who do this geocaching,' Blake said. 'Hopefully, they will come out and try volkswalking and find some geocaches.'

The route will feature all 16 murals painted by the Artback Artists Cooperative around Estacada, as well as the labyrinth at the Estacada Library, for walkers aiming to complete the 10K. Walkers completing the shorter route will see 14 of the murals and skip the library.

'Some people use these events to racewalk, but we encourage people to take their time, step into some local businesses and even stop for lunch along the way,' Blake said.

The event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, and walkers have until 4 p.m. to complete the course. The event starts at Timber Park.

For more information, visit eastcountywindwalkers.org.