Indiana Volkssport Association


Indiana Volkssport Association (INVA)



The Indiana Volkssport Association (INVA) promotes the health, physical fitness and well-being of the people of Indiana by organizing, promoting, and conducting scheduled programs of non-competitive, family-oriented participatory lifetime sports.

INVA has been sponsoring and supporting walking, biking, swimming, and cross country skiing events in the state of Indiana since 1985.

Walking, or “volksmarching” is the most common type of event and usually consists of a marked or guided 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) route. Each participant is encouraged to walk at a pace that is comfortable and enjoyable. Volksmarch is a German term, literally meaning “a people's walk”. Local clubs host a walk that has been chosen for its natural beauty, scenic interest, historical value and safety. The trails are well marked or maps are provided.

Trails may be in cities, towns, parks, forests, anywhere there is a pleasant or interesting area to walk. Walks may be on city streets, in quaint little towns, through state parks, rugged forests, or anyplace with interesting scenery. Shorter routes are often available for those who desire. Biking and swimming events are occasionally offered as well. Events are always non-competitive, so you can choose your sport and participate at your own pace.

INVA INVA INVA is affiliated with the American Volkssport Association, an organization which promotes walking and other sporting activities for “fun, fitness, and friendship” and the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV), an international organization composed of national associations and clubs that organizes popular sports (volkssports) events.

Back to Top


Indiana clubs

INVA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established as a not-for–profit, voluntary membership corporation under the laws of the state of Indiana exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.

INVA is the state association responsible for coordinating and officially sanctioning all AVA and IVV events in the state of Indiana, including all events sponsored by local clubs in Indiana.

Currently there are nine (9) local clubs operating in Indiana which sponsor Volkssport events in addition to INVA. Events sponsored by these clubs are listed in the “Indiana Clubs” section of this website.

Back to Top


Indiana DNR/State Parks

Don Vartanian at Lover's Leap at
Shades State Park

Since 1986, INVA has co-sponsored walks in Indiana State Parks and Recreation Areas with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These walks wander through some of the most scenic areas of Indiana which showcase our state's natural beauty.

The number of walks vary from year to year. In 2012, there were 9 events on DNR properties - four that were sponsored by INVA and five by local clubs (including two year round events). The walks are part of the Governor's INShape program to improve the health and fitness of Indiana citizens.

The DNR header with attached bar as depicted on the right are being sold to commemorate this event and will be available at each walk while supplies last. Each state park or recreation area has a separate bar. This event counts towards the acquisition of IVV achievement awards. IVV record books will be available for purchase at the event. IVV Credit may only be entered into IVV Event or Distance Books.

Back to Top

Lincoln Highway

Lincoln Highway Events INVA

Starting in 2010, INVA began promoting the historic Lincoln Highway program with a series of walking events in towns along the old 1928 route of the Lincoln Highway, currently US 30.

On January 1, 2014 the Lincoln Highway program ended and INVA’s sponsorship reverted to the local area clubs. The five walks remain as year round events for the Hoosier Hikers (Valparaiso, Plymouth, and Warsaw), Auburn Duesey Walkers (Columbia City), and Three River Strollers (Fort Wayne). The original Lincoln Highway patches for these walks will be available for a limited time as B awards.

Back to Top

Links to Indiana Club Web Sites

Bedford Hiking Club
Bloomington Flying Fish Volkssports
River City Ramblers



Last year, INVA has started the Indiana Volkssport Walking Meetup in order to attract new people to our walks and other events. In less than a year, we now have almost 200 members and have sponsored 34 events around the state.

You can join up by going to Indiana Volkssport Walking Meetup. Any Indiana club can use our meetup site to promote their sanctioned traditional walks or set up a date and time for doing a year round (YRE) or seasonal event. Just use the SUGGEST A NEW MEETUP on the home page. Jim Blessing is the organizer for the main meetup site and Cliff Terry is the co-organizer.

In January 2015, we expanded our INVA meetup to include two satellite sites for the Evansville and Ft. Wayne areas.

Evansville Volkssport Walking Meetup-River City Ramblers. Just begun in January 2015 under the INVA umbrella after operating as a separate site for a year. Karen Jaeger is the co-organizer for the meetup site.

Ft Wayne Volkssport Walking Meetup. Also began in January 2015. Susan Budd is the co-organizer for the meetup site.

Back to Top

Girl Scouts

Girl Scout/INVA Walk Together and AVA Master Program 2015

GS Logo

The Girl Scouts of Central Indiana and the Indiana Volkssport Association (INVA) are committed to getting as many people as we can to enjoy the benefits of walking! Let us help your troop develop fun, fitness and friendship through our walking program. We make walking fun.

Register for a single walk and receive the Girl Scout Walk Together patch (photo below), an award to commemorate the walk and an event and distance log book to get stamped for each walk. The first walk is $10 and includes the log books, patch, and button. Each additional walk is $5 and includes a different button or award.

Sign up your troop for any six walks for $30 for the AVA Master Program. To qualify “teams” of at least one adult and one youth participate in 6 walks in a 12 month period. Upon completion of all six walks, you will also receive the special Master Volksssport medal (photo and package details below, or download this flyer).

    Girl Scouts
  • Saturday, March 21 2015 - Eagle Creek Park (Indianapolis west side) – Start at the Earth Discovery Center and enjoy exhibits containing live native animals, fish and a backyard habitat area, Walk a marked trail through Indianapolis’ largest park. Hike by the bird sanctuary at the reservoir that include sightings of blue herons, hawks, falcons, and occasionally bald eagles.
  • Sunday April 19 2015 - Monon Greenway (Carmel) – Stroll in upscale Carmel. Pass by the impressive Civic Center, Palladium, and the Arts & Design District which includes art galleries, sidewalk cafe restaurants, and trendy boutiques. Take a photo of yourself with the quirky public art of J Seward Johnson Jr., “the Norman Rockwell of American Sculpture” including the famous World War II statue of “Sailor Kissing Girl”.
  • Saturday April 25 2015 - Renwick Village (Bloomington) — Trail starts at the Southeast YMCA and passes along the scenic Jackson Creek Trail, the beautiful Hyde Park neighborhood, and the quaint Renwick Village, a “Smart Growth” community.

  • Award
  • Saturday May 2 2015 - Whitewater Canal (Metamora) – Discover Metamora - a restored pre-Civil War canal town. The walk starts at the historic Grist Mill and wanders along the Whitewater Canal towpath. Step back in time while taking a leisurely 25-minute cruise on the a horse-drawn canal boat, Ben Franklin III. Along the route, you pass the Duck Creek Aqueduct, a covered bridge that carries the canal over the creek.
  • Saturday May 16 2015 - Strawtown Kowteewi Park (Cicero) - Trek along paths once used by Native Americans and enjoy the natural beauty of the prairie and wetlands in this unique park. Participate in an actual archaeological dig for artifacts and other programs offered at the Taylor Center of Natural History.
  • Sunday May 24 2015 - Forest Park (Noblesville) - Walk along the beautiful White River Greenway (a rail to trails pedestrian walkway) that wanders through Forest Park to picturesque Potters Covered Bridge (1871) along the White River.
  • Saturday June 7 2015 - Indiana University Campus (Bloomington) - Wander the beautiful Indiana University campus, discover interesting facts about composer Hoagie Carmichael, and explore downtown Bloomington’s historic buildings and landmarks.
  • Saturday Aug 22 2015 - Brown County State Park (Nashville) - Hike the rugged hills and beautiful trails of Indiana’s largest State Park.

Master Program package: $30.00 for each participant ($60.00 value). Each participant will receive:

  • 6 walks
  • 6 buttons/awards
  • 1 IVV event book
  • 1 IVV distance book
  • 1 Walk Together patch
  • 1 Master Volkssporter Medal awarded upon completion of 6 walks
Register Online at
Girl Scouts of Central Indiana Volksmarch for Fun Family (2056)

Click for details on the AVA Master Program

This is a continuing program. You may join at anytime. We continually add walks throughout the year. Upon enrollment you will receive an updated list of walks. Six walks must be completed in twelve months to receive the Master Volkssporter medal.

Back to Top

Traditional Events

INVA 2016 Traditional Events


Club News

2014 Goals



  • At least 50 participants at all events
  • Support NEC Meeting in Indianapolis June 13th & 14th
  • Use Meetup group to bring in new walkers
  • Promote Mid America Conference & walks - Illinois (November)

New 2014 Seasonal Events




The Hoosier Hikers are starting a new seasonal bike event at the Round the Clock Restaurant, 1607 South Calumet Road, Chesterton, Indiana 46304. The event starts on April 1 and ends October 30. The seasonal bike event incorporates the Prairie Duneland Trail between Chesterton and Portage, Indiana. The route is a Rail-to-Trail project that provides an improved multi-use trail in Northwest Indiana. Several museums, restaurants and parks are along the route. For more information, contact Bob Buzolich by phone at (574) 339-9140 or send an e-mail to Bob Buzolich.

Other seasonal events are planned by the Goodtime Trailblazers in Anderson and Muncie. The start date and locations are being worked out at this time by Tom Martin.

Articles and Blogs

Be sure to read the blog on the AVA website on our own Jan Van Vlack about her adventures and love of our sport at the AVA's Walking Blog. Jan was among the first five participants to complete the Centurion Program with 100 walks in 2013. Way to go Jan!

Walk this way Volksmarchers - Tom Martin of Indianapolis, Don Vartanian of Indianapolis and Jan Van Vlack walk through Franklin College campus which is part of the Franklin 10K Volksmarch course.

They'll Take a Walk on the Mild Side - The article entitled "They'll Take a Walk on the Mild Side" by Paul Shepherd is in the Local Living section for Noblesville, Fishers, Geist, and Hancock Co. It is a half page on Volksmarching with interviews from Clarence "CW" Wright, Don Vartanian, and Cliff Terry.

Your BFF and Bloomington Seasonal are back!

The Bloomington Flying Fish (BFF) have officially been restored as a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The signed letter from the IRS dated February 14, 2014. The effective date of exemption is May 15, 2011 – retroactive 3 years ago. BFF has also been immediately reinstated as an active club in good standing with AVA. Congratulations to Carol Parkinson, BFF President!


Also back is the beautiful seasonal event on the Indiana University campus starting April 1, 2014. The walk starts at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Bloomington at 310 South College Ave. See details at Indiana University.


Meeting The next INVA meeting will be in Bloomington, Indiana on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM (location to be determined). The final INVA meeting will be at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 1:00 PM.


Lincoln Highway Program

LHOn January 1, 2014 the Lincoln Highway program ended and INVA’s sponsorship of these events reverted to the local area clubs. The five walks remain as year round events for the Hoosier Hikers (Valparaiso, Plymouth, and Warsaw), Auburn Duesey Walkers (Columbia City), and Three River Strollers (Fort Wayne). The original Lincoln Highway patches for these walks will be available for a limited time as B awards.

2014 DNR/State Parks Program


The 2014 DNR/State Parks Program Event locations and dates for the are shown below.

Regular Event Date(s) Sponsoring Club
Potato Creek State Park February 22 Hoosier Hikers
Clifty Falls State Park March 29 INVA
McCormick’s Creek State Par June 21 INVA
Quabache State Park July 12 INVA
Turkey Run State Park October 18 INVA
Prophetstown State Park October 25 Goodtime Trailblazers
Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Area To Be Determined Goodtime Trailblazers
Year-Round Event Date(s) Sponsoring Club
Pokagon State Park Jan 1- Dec 31  Auburn Duesey Walkers
Spring Mill State Jan 1- Dec 31  Bedford Hiking Club

NEC Meeting in Indy June 13-15

AVA’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Plainfield, IN was very successful. A big thank you to all who helped in the meeting and walk in Avon.

See you on the Trail

Cliff Terry

President, Indiana Volkssport Association

Back to Top

Mid-America Region News

MidAmerica Region

Mid-America Region Conference


This year's Mid America Conference will be held on Halloween weekend (Oct 31-Nov 2) at the State House Inn, 101 E. Adams Street, Springfield, IL, phone (217) 528-5100. See attached Midamerica Conference flyer. The room block is for 30 rooms at $89.99 per night plus tax. 20 rooms will be with 2 double beds and 10 rooms with 1 queen bed. The State House Inn has free parking and serves a hot breakfast. The Group name is ITWC.

Indiana will support the finish table on Saturday, November 1. Please contact Cliff Terry if you would like to volunteer for this or any other activity to help support the conference.

January 10-11 NEC Meeting in Tuscon, AZ

Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 4:04 PM

Subject: NEC meeting

After a cold trip to Tucson, we spend several enjoyable days, walking and conducting business.

We met the candidate for the position of Executive Director, Stephanie Sinclair. She is very knowledgeable in the workings of 501C(3) organizations. She is from the San Antonio area, and has knowledge of companies and organizations that provide grants to 501C(3) organizations. She also knows of educational institutions that provide interns and class groups that will do work for our type of organization.

Stephanie is 28 years old, married, with an 18 month old daughter. As a young girl she did volksmarches with her mother and grandmother. We adjourned our meeting to do a walk. As we walked Stephanie spent time walking and talking with each one of the walkers. She answered one question I asked her like this -- "I don't like the word can't, if you can't do something one way, you need to research to see if you can find another way of solving the problem." She is also very knowledgeable about social media and ways to advertise our sport on the Internet.

The new special programs for 2015 will be Amphitheaters, Animal Safari, Board Walks, Doin' the Louisiana Purchase, Food for Thought, and Volcanoes. Did you know that there are 18 states that have volcanoes?

U.S. Route 1 was not approved. More work need to be done on this before it can become a special program.

The Training Development Committee will be working on revising instructions on starting a club. Also they will be working on a presentation for ways to work the start finish point.

The AVA Liaison to the IVV-Americas reported that the information requested by AVA has not been sent to us. So at this time we will do nothing until this information is received.

Glen Conyers, SCRD is working on an emergency notification program. This emergency information would be added to walk directions. It would give the walker information on how to reach local emergency providers, and the local official AVA spokesperson.

9 g- Regional Realignment: The recommendation of the committee was not to be realigned. This recommendation was accepted. There will be no realignment.

11a - Youth Master program. The logbooks will become a salable item.
11b - Club Challenge, The motion was withdrawn.
11c - Clarification of Club membership, The motion carried
11d - Technology of Events, The motion was withdrawn
11e - Event Cancellation Policy, The motion was amended and approved. Will read: the club may reschedule the event without additional sanction fee.
11f - Clarification of After Action Reporting - Traditional, The motion carried
11g - Clarification of After-action Reporting Seasonal, Amended and carried
11h - Stamp return policy, Amended paragraph 2 instead of "These seasonals", will read "Clubs will" motion carried
11 I - Motion was withdrawn
11I-2 This was overruled by the IVV


There was a lot of discussion. We agreed that it is confusing to new people the difference of club membership and AVA membership. It was suggested that we discuss in our local meetings that being a member of AVA is important. We need to explain to club members the roll of the AVA headquarters and it's staff. AVA's contributions are almost all behind the scenes, leading to the misconception that "the national organization doesn't do anything for us" Bottom Line need more club members to become AVA members.

Our last duty was to vote on the recommendations of the committee to hire an Executive Director. The vote was unanimous to approve. Stephanie will start her job on Monday January 27, 2014.

I would like to see as many walkers as possible attend the sessions of the next NEC meeting, It will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, Friday June 13th, and Saturday June 14th. The meeting location to be announced. Dennis will at times ask for comments, you need to come and voice your opinions.

Linda Neu
Mid-America Region Director

Back to Top



New Executive Director

AVA has announced the selection of a permanent Executive Director as Stephanie Sinclair. She is very knowledgeable in the workings of 501C(3) organizations. She is from the San Antonio area, and has knowledge of companies and organizations that provide grants to 501C(3) organizations. She also knows of educational institutions that provide interns and class groups that will do work for our type of organization. Stephanie, as a young girl did volksmarches with her mother and grandmother.

Next NEC Meeting

The next NEC meeting will be held June 13-14, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN.

AVA Checkpoint

The AVA Electronic Newsletter


Back to Top



INVA Photo Albums on Google

2014 Indiana State Walks

Convention in Orlando, FL 2013

President's Day 2013

Indiana Walks 2013

Mountain Walks 2012

Civil War Battlefield Walks

Indiana Walks 2012

Lincoln Highway/National Road

Our Association Photos

Worker's Walk in Little Nashville, IN Art Colony

Back to Top

Sisters of St Benedict - Ferdinand, IN Ferdinand

Back to Top

Cheryl Elser & Tom Martin at Baylor Park, Milltown, IN FTVC

Back to Top

Don Vartanian at Harper's Ferry, March 2012 Harpers Ferry

Back to Top

John & Jackie Felton posing on Main St, Carmel, IN, June 2012 FTVC

Back to Top

Cliff Terry at Chancellorsville VA battlefield in March 2012 FTVC

Back to Top


Our Club Officers


  • Cliff Terry
  • 152 Stony Creek Overlook
  • Noblesville, IN 46060
  • 317-776-1848
  • E-Mail: Cliff Terry

Back to Top


  • Don Vartanian
  • 6330 Woods Edge N. Dr. #2-B
  • Indianapolis, IN 46250
  • 317-842-1072
  • E-Mail: Don Vartanian

Back to Top


  • Cheryl Elser
  • 2909 Rolling Meadows Lane
  • New Haven, IN 46774
  • 260-749-6304
  • E-Mail: Cheryl Elser

Back to Top


  • Robert Buzolich
  • 1703 E. Howard St
  • South Bend, IN 46617
  • 574-233-4441
  • E-Mail: Robert Buzolich

Back to Top

Member-At Large


The American Volkssport Association


The American Volkssport Association (AVA) is a noncompetitive sports organization with a national grassroots network of some 300 clubs conducting about 3,000 Volkssport events annually in 50 states. Fifty thousand plus participants can enjoy walking (includes jogging and running), swimming, cycling, snowshoeing, cross country snow skiing and roller skating.

The AVA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle through fun, fitness and friendship for people of all ages and abilities.

The International Federation of Popular Sports


The International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV) is an international organization composed of national associations and clubs that organizes popular sports (volkssports) events. The Federation is a not-for-profit organization. It was founded in 1968 by clubs from Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria. It was registered by the Court of Munich, Germany on January 20, 1972, and entered into the Register of Associations under No 7820 at the Office of Records.

Links to Indiana Club Web Sites

Bedford Hiking Club
Bloomington Flying Fish Volkssports
River City Ramblers

Back to Top

Indiana Clubs

The Volkssport Clubs of Indiana


Select the Title above or click on the Indiana Map to open in a new Window/Tab (depends upon your browser's settings). You then close that window or tab to return back here.

Back to Top