5 Ways to Start Your Own Walking Group

headshot for katy lang program director active transportation arlington va
Katy Lang Tweet Us @walkarlington@walkarlington April 2, 2019

Katy Lang was previously Program Director for Active Transportation. She started living car-free in Arlington in 2010 and is passionate about finding great running routes and safety for people walking and biking.

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Want to walk with friends? Follow these five steps to start and establish your own walking group.

There are lots of great walking groups around Arlington and the greater Washington DC area. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for, start your own!

1. Determine What Makes Your Group Unique

What makes your walking group different from others out there? Are you trying to start a lunch walking group with people at your workplace or open it up to the general public? Will you target a specific audience, such as new moms or people who want to get fit?

Determine your group’s identity so that people know right away what kind of walking group it is and whether it will work for them. This will also give you a framework for structuring your group.

2. Set Up the Logistics

How often and where will you meet? How will you stay in touch with your members? If your walking group is limited to coworkers, an office email blast may suffice, but groups open to the public will benefit from an internet presence.

Importantly, where will you walk? Maybe you will stroll along Arlington’s 50+ miles of paved trails, such as the Custis Trail or Four Mile Run Trail. Or maybe you will explore our urban corridors such as Clarendon or Crystal City.

3. Recruit Members

The easiest recruitment is to ask people you already know—friends, coworkers, and family. You can spread the word online by creating a Facebook page or Meetup.com group. Traditional flyers at coffee shops, fitness centers, community centers, and churches may also help with recruiting.

4. Host Your First Walk

Don’t forget to introduce yourself as the walk leader, set expectations, and review basic safety tips. Then celebrate a great walk!

5. Walk More, Explore More

Consider taking different routes as you develop your walking group and add members. Arlington is filled with walkable, vibrant neighborhoods, historic sites, and unique features you may want to highlight on your walks. WalkArlington has created downloadable, self-guided walking tours, which you can use to choose where you walk.

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/Kittner.com

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