Skip directly to content

What is the 50-Mile Kennedy Walk?


The 50-Mile Kennedy Walk is a one-day, 50-mile walk between Great Falls, Maryland and Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. The walk is hosted by the FreeWalkers, a non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting the physical and mental benefits of walking - in particular we beleive in special benefits of a long distance challenge.  The event is not dedicated to any cause or charity, although we support other charities that help us foster our objectives. We are an informal gathering of self-sufficient individuals who have an interest in the history and personal challenge of walking this extreme long distance, in the heart of the winter.

As far as we know, our first 2013 walk was the first to actually reprise the 50-mile walk taken by Robert F. Kennedy on February 9, 1963 (although the Sierra Club's annual "One Day Hike" covers much of the same ground). Extreme as it was then, that walk set the physical fitness bar then, which an anxious public used at the time to test their own capabilities. We are looking to channel the spirit of Bobby, Jack and Teddy as we make our trek along the Potomac.

We invite the public to join us with the caveat that any walker must understand that they are independently walking and have a backup plan for assistance.  The walk starts at the Old Anglers Inn parking lot and continues north all along the C&O Canal towpath until Harper's Ferry where we cross the pedestrian bridge over the river where you can choose to end or continue to the Event HQ at the Clarion Inn. The C&O towpath is completely flat but may have snowy or icy conditions at this time of the year, so it can be dangerous. Anyone interested in walking along with us should have experience walking or running long distances. Walking at a fairly steady pace of 3 MPH would require about 17-18 hours with only an hour or so of rest. We are not expected to all walk together, although it is advisable to have someone to walk with over such a long distance.