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.

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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 eight (8) 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.

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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.

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Links to Indiana Club Web Sites

Bedford Hiking Club
Bloomington Flying Fish Volkssports
River City Ramblers



In February 2014, INVA started the Indiana Volkssport Walking Meetup in order to attract new people to our walks and other events. As of February 2016, we have almost 500 members and have sponsored 74 events around the state during the past two years. We expect to have about 40 events in 2016.

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.

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2016 Mid-America Regional Conference

ConferenceRegional Conference Brochure

The 2016 Mid America Regional Conference (MAC) in will be held in Plainfield Indiana on October 28-30. The conference is being held at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites in Plainfield, located just southwest of Indianapolis International Airport near the intersection of Interstate 70 and Indiana 267. Volkssporters will enjoy fabulous fellowship, with three scenic walks, a swim, and a biking event, along with a meet and greet and a sumptuous buffet at an award-winning winery.


Club News

Coming Soon

Articles and Blogs

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.



The next INVA meeting will be at 1:00PM on Saturday, August 27 at the Garrison Restaurant, 6002 N. Post Rd. Indianapolis, IN 46216. The restaurant is located just outside Ft Harrison State Park (no gate fee) near the Historic Ft. Harrison YRE.

The meeting will immediately follow a luncheon at 11:00 AM at the Garrison to honor Mr. Clarence "CW" Wright who served as President of the Indy G Walkers for 20 years from 1995 to 2015. There will also be a group walk before the meeting at 8:30 AM at the Historic Ft. Harrison YRE at the Lawrence Fire Station #40. See the AVA link for directions to the YRE.


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Mid-America Region News

MidAmerica Region

Coming Soon

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New Executive Director

AVA has announced the new Executive Director is Henry Rosales.

Next NEC Meeting

The next NEC meeting will be held June 10-12, 2016 in Fredericksburg, TX, in conjunction with the 40 Years of Volksmarching celebration.

AVA Checkpoint

The AVA Electronic Newsletter


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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

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Sisters of St Benedict - Ferdinand, IN Ferdinand

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

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

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

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Cliff Terry at Chancellorsville VA battlefield in March 2012 FTVC

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Our Club Officers


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

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

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  • Liz Winsley
  • 1310 Pearl St.
  • Auburn IN, 46706
  • 260-925-5091
  • E-Mail: Liz Winsley

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

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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

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Indiana Clubs

The Volkssport Clubs of Indiana


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