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The 50-Mile Kennedy Walk 2017 is History

A hearty group of 50 showed up for our for our Kennedy50 Walk in 2017 on Saturday, February 4, 2017.

We hope you all enjoyed the adventure. Speaking for the support team this year, we had a great time in a whirlwind 18-hour 50-mile chase. We'd like to have your opinion on the event if you participated by completing the online survey which we request via email or you can click here. You can see the results to date here.

This year our group of 50 represented 12 states and Quebec, Canada. We had at least 10 individuals who were experienced Kennedy50 walkers and came back again for another try. The weather was sunny and good for walking as long as you kept going and didn't mind the low temperature and mild wind. We expect to post some thoughts about the event in the coming days so visit this site again for an update and consider joining us again next year and for other events we are planning in the greater DC area.

We value your interest and involvement and we will be striving to make next year's event even better. We hope you will join us.

If you have any questions on the event contact us at

Paul Kiczek
Founder, FreeWalkers

Background on the 50-Mile Walk

On February 9, 1963, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy walked from Great Falls, Maryland to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The journey was initialized by his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who had reiterated an earlier 50 mile military walking challenge of President Teddy Roosevelt.

Now, we've recreated the same walk at the same place and roughly the same time each year. This event is organized by the FreeWalkers, a social network of long distance walkers, that hosts spectacularly challenging national and international walking events. This event is a special one since it commemorates the significance of the "50-mile hike" started in 1963. 

Bobby, ever the spark plug in an active administration, decided to take the challenge himself, long before the troops. So, three days after the initial idea was set in motion, the Attorney General set out with his staff on the most natural long trail in the area, the C&O Canal Towpath, and headed north to Harper's Ferry. It was more than they bargained for, and only one would make the distance. In dress Oxford shoes, no less. Guess who?

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Celebrating the Can-do Spirit of 1963 in 2013

We welcomed a group of 30+ long distance walkers and recreated this historic walk on Saturday, February 9, 2013 - exactly 50 years to the day when Bobby walked his famous 50 miles. There were Oxford dress shoes, office attire and many carrying "big sticks". It's fair to say the Kennedy spirit was palpably in the air!

That walk and a thirst for physical challenge led to a popular, short-lived U.S. fad walking extreme distances of up to 50 miles in 1963. 80 kilometer marches also resulted then in Europe and continue today. The "50-mile Walk" is yet a testament to fitness, endurance and determination. You may choose to join us next time, walk your own long distance walk elsewhere, or just follow along on this website as we get ready to again fulfill the challenge here and in Europe this spring and summer. 

park map of 50-mile walk


50-MKW Summary - Walking with Bobby

Distant Thoughts | Walking with Bobby Kennedy - Here's a post-event wrap up of the experience of creating the 2013 walk and how it rolled out. Its a story of inspiration, perspiration and a little luck from the spirit of the Kennedy's.