I think many of the groups in the US owe their start to former US military families who enjoyed them in Germany and then brought the idea back with them. Although there are also parts of the US that still have social and fitness clubs that trace back to the immigrant social clubs and Turnverein.
There are also state associations and a lot of local groups. They sponsor frequent group walks of 5k and 10k as well as do it yourself walks that are open year round or seasonally.
There are over a dozen walks in my county. I'm looking forward to getting started. Some of the walks are in town, several are on historic trails and there are some through wooded parks and nature preserves. www.ava.org/
I think part of what I've identified is that I really am motivated by the idea of checking off the completed walks and km's.
It sort of makes me laugh because for years I've been trying to get my kids interested in some of the cool historic trails and longer, involved hikes where you hike several different segments to earn a patch with multiple segments.
I guess it turns out that that really is the right lure for me (even if it isn't for them).
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