Longest group walks : Adventures : International

These were walks involving three or more long-distance participants.

A Walk of the People – A Pilgrimage for Life

Length: 7,000 miles (11,000 km)

Date: March 1984-November 1985

Miles walked per month: 368 miles (592 km)

Details: A Walk of the People – A Pilgrimage for Life called for an end to the Cold War with better relations between the U.S. and former the Soviet Union. Walkers started at Point Conception, California, and went through Texas and the Deep South to New York City. A core group of eight flew to Dublin, Ireland, and walked to the border of former East Germany. They obtained visas to Hungary and walked to that border before visiting several cities by train. Some walked to Geneva, Switzerland, then organised a trip to Moscow, Soviet Union, by train. The project attracted a wide range of support from across the political spectrum and was covered in the media by hundreds of newspapers and radio and television stations in those countries. It was the only walk from the U.S. to Moscow that went through the Deep South, Northern Ireland, and Hungary, so that added to the mileage.

ABethlehem Peace Pilgrimage

Length: 6,500 miles (10,500 km)

Date: April 1982-December 1983

Miles walked per month: 342 miles (550 km)

Details: This peace walk of about 20 core people started from Seattle and walked across the U.S. to Washington, D.C. Members then flew to Ireland and walked through much of Europe, taking a boat from Greece to the Middle East. The project ended in Bethlehem in the West Bank. It was led by Jesuit Fr. Jack Morris and Fr. George Zabelka, the pastor for the airmen who dropped the atomic bombs on Japan in 1945.

ASan Francisco to Moscow Walk for Peace

Length: 5,900 miles (9,500 km)

Date: December 1960-October 1961

Miles walked per month: 590 miles (950 km)

Details: Organised by the Committee for Non-Violent Action, about ten core people started from San Francisco and walked to New York in six months. More people joined in Europe, and the project, led by pacifist leaders A.J. Muste and Bradford Lyttle, covered about 5,900 miles (9,500 km) in just ten months. Unlike numerous projects, they were able to walk through the Soviet Union, and the distance walked per month was significantly higher than most long group walks.

AA Walk to Moscow

Length: 5,500 miles (8,900 km)

Date: March 1981-October 1983

Miles walked per month: 275 miles (443 km)

Details: This peace walk started from Bangor, Washington to Boston. Members continued in the United Kingdom, walking to the border of former East Germany. Some stayed in a village for nine months to negotiate for visas to walk in Czechoslovakia and Poland. Some then travelled to cities in the Soviet Union by train and tried to walk to Moscow but were stopped and sent back to Minsk.

World Peace Walk

Length: 5,500 miles (8,900 km)

Date: April 1982-August 1984

Miles walked per month: 190 miles (310 km)

Details: Led by writer and activist C.B. Hall, participants walked from Seattle to New York and then across much of Europe. They were not allowed to walk in Eastern Europe but obtained visas to camp and meet people in East Germany for a few days. Some visited Moscow to meet with Soviet Peace Committee officials. 

HikaNation

Length: 4,286 miles (6,898 km)

Date: April 1980-May 1981

Miles walked per month: 330 miles (530 km)

Details: HikaNation was a 14-month cross-country backpacking trip starting at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California on April 12, 1980, and ending at Cape Henlopen, Delaware on May 27, 1981 after traversing over 4,286 miles and passing through 14 states and Washington, D.C.

Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life

Length: 3,100 miles (5,000 km)

Date: December 1994-August 1995

Miles walked per month: 388 miles (624 km)

Details: Led by Nipponzan-Myōhōji-Daisanga Japanese Buddhist monks, this walk started in Auschwitz, Poland, and ended in Nagasaki, Japan. More than 1,000 people from different nations joined at various times along the route that passed through war zones in Bosnia, as well as troubled parts of Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Iraq, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Great March for Climate Action

Length: 3,100 miles (5,000 km)

Date: March 2014-November 2014

Miles walked per month: 388 miles (624 km)

Details: Led by former Iowa state representative Ed Fallon, the Great March for Climate Action called attention to the need for a more substantive response to climate change. About 30 people hiked most of the distance.

The Longest Walk

Length: 3,000 miles (4,800 km)

Date: February 1978-July 1978

Miles walked per month: 600 miles (970 km)

Details: Several hundred Native Americans and supporters marched from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco to Washington, D.C., to affirm American Indians’ land and water rights. Some elders and organisers camped on the National Mall to end the Longest Walk. Similar projects were organised in 1980, 1984, 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016.

United Souls of Awareness Walk

Length: 3,000 miles (4,800 km)

Date: April 2006-April 2007

Miles walked per month: 267 miles (430 km)

Details: Four musicians/artists in their 20s walked from Venice Beach, California to New York to encourage creative pursuits.

Alexander Gabyshev's Walk

Length: 2,000 miles (3,200 km) [forced to stop by authorities]

Date: March 2019-May 2020

Miles walked per month: 133 miles (214 km)

Details: Gabyshev, a shaman, started walking from the Republic of Sakha in far east Russia with the goal of reaching Moscow some 5,000 miles (8,000 km) later and performing a ritual to cause President Vladimir Putin to resign. He was joined by two other core walkers, and as many as 1,000 people greeted him during the first almost 2,000 miles (3,200 km). In September 2019, Russian authorities detained him and sent him to a psychiatric hospital. In early 2020, authorities stopped his walk for the third time. He was committed to a Russian mental asylum by court order in May 2020, a move criticised by officials from Amnesty International and other organisations.

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