Walk Guide

Lead a Walk! Your Guide

Do you have an idea for a walk, but you’re not sure how to make it happen? Do you want to lead a walk, but you still need an idea? This guide can help you out.

Anyone can lead a walk. Yes, this means you!

I Need a Walk Idea!

Your walk can be about anything. Here are some common themes to get you started.

  • Parks, green spaces, and the great outdoors: The Portland metro region has a wide variety of parks and places to hike in or to walk to. Help others explore your favorite green.
  • Drinking and eating: From a coffee crawl to a sushi stroll, food-filled walks can add deliciousness to walking fun.
  • Hidden gems: Know a place that’s off the beaten track? Perhaps you know the best public staircase in Portland or a cool sculpture in Forest Grove.
  • Local history: Do you know the history of your neighborhood (or want an excuse to learn more)? Plan a walk that tours places of historical interest, and give a little talk at each stop.
  • Hobby: What do you love to do? Teach people to geocache, organize a poetry walk, or lead a photo/walk excursion.
  • Activism: Lead a walkability audit or a crosswalk action. Host a tour of recent successes and walking needs. Describe the goals or needs of your community to others, and invite them to join your efforts.
  • Dress code: Everyone loves a parade! Get out in your get-ups and wave to your passerby fans. (One thought: no transportation mode sets hats to better advantage than walking)

Practical Considerations

Starting location: A good starting location is accessible by a few transportation options (on foot, by bus/MAX, by bike, and/or driving) at a place where people can chat while they wait. Bonus points for access to a bathroom!

Departure time: Some people will show up late. We’re all having fun here, so there’s usually no reason to leave right on time. If your walk does need to be punctual, mention that in the event description.

Weather: If your event will happen rain or shine, note that in the description (and suggest an umbrella). It’s a good idea to start an all weather walk somewhere with shelter, because waiting around in the rain can be a bummer.

Conflicting walks: It’s OK to schedule your event at the same time as another walk. However, you might not want to if you’ll both appeal to the same kind of people.

Plan a route: Have a map for yourself of the route, and pre-walk it. Because not every pedestrian walks, kindly make your walk/event as accessible as possible. If your walk is not accessible (if it involves stairs or unpaved paths, etc), please note that.

Keep people informed, together, and welcomed: Before you leave, give a rough overview of the route you’ll be taking. (If the route is a mystery, let people know that.) It’s good to generally keep the group together. Finally, let people know you’re glad they came on your walk.

Food and beverage: Walks that end at a place with food give people a chance to socialize after the event. This can be a BYO food, a potluck, or a cafe/restaurant.

Spread the word: After you’ve added your event to the calendar, you can promote it some more. Telling people in person is the most effective promotion. Invite your friends; invite your neighbors; invite people you meet on other walks. (If you want to get fancy, you can print out fliers to remind people of your event.) You can also promote your walk online –via Twitter and Facebook.

Make Your Walk a Reality

Ready to add your walk? Add it to the calendar. If you’ve got a question that this page doesn’t answer, check with the Calendar Crew.