Walkers and volkssport fans will be heading to the coast as the Capitol Volkssport Club holds its fourth biennial Seabreeze Walking Festival Feb. 14-16 in Ocean Shores.
This year’s event includes six walks and a bike ride in Ocean Shores and nearby locations.
Volkssports are non-competitive events promoting fun, fitness and friendship through walking, said Perki Sweet, a member of the Capitol Volkssport Club.
The last time the event was held, in 2013, it attracted 355 participants who completed 1,165 walks.
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“The people who come from all over the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia, are what make it a special weekend,” Sweet said. “It’s a time for seeing old friends and making new ones.”
First-time volkswalkers can take part for free, and the festival is open to all ages.
All the walks begin at the Ocean Shores Lions Club, 832 Ocean Shores Blvd. NW, although the actual starting point for four of the walks may be anywhere from 5-18 miles away.
Here is a look at the scheduled walks:
JETTY WALK: This 10-kilometer walk takes participants through the neighborhood at the south end of town, on the beach and out on the Ocean Shores jetty.
BAYSIDE WALK: There are two options, one 11 kilometers and one 21 kilometers. These walks go through developed and undeveloped portions of town, and around Duck Lake. The longer route includes a portion on the beach.
BIKE RIDE: There are three options for this easy ride, covering 13, 25 or 30 kilometers. All the rides are on flat roads through Ocean Shores.
DAMON POINT: The walk begins 5 miles south of the starting point and needs to be carefully timed with the tide. This is a former island in the Chehalis River, now connected to the mainland by a sand spit. If the weather is good, you can see Mount Rainier and the Olympics. Seals, eagles, sandpipers, and an occasional snowy owl are sometimes encountered.
GRIFFITHS-PRIDAY OCEAN STATE PARK: Located 8 miles north of Ocean Shores, this park is between Conner Creek and the mouth of the Copalis River. Because of the creek's relentless undercutting of the bluff and the ocean pounding of the dunes, the area is constantly transforming. The first 5 kilometers of this walk goes through dune grass and wind-battered pine trees. The 10K walk continues across a bridge and along the ocean, looping back along Conner Creek where the destructive handiwork of the creek can be seen up close. The will be 5-, 7- and 30-kilometer options.
SEABROOK: 15 miles north of the starting point, this community sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean. This walk includes paved streets in the town, a trail through the woods surrounding the town and the beach.
MOCLIPS: 18 miles north of Ocean Shores, is well worth the drive. Here you can enjoy the rugged landscape and the rocky bluffs as you walk on the beach from Moclips south to the town of Pacific Beach. The return has the option of walking through Pacific Beach State Park and the town of Pacific Beach or returning along the beach.
Walkers may begin between 8 a.m.-2 p.m., and finish by 5 p.m., the first two days. On the final day, participants should start between 8 a.m.-noon and finish by 3 p.m.