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Fellow Fans of the Kennedy50,

The Kennedy50 2018 event will occur on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Following the tradition, we’ll basically follow the same path and schedule as last year with some improvements that will make this an even more memorable experience. 

Pricing is simple this year. The Standard participation fee is $100 per person with the same level of support for everyone. If you can stay with us for 2 days, the Deluxe package includes a 2-day stay.

That means all shuttle rides, supplies and meals are included as noted below and elsewhere here. The only difference is we have put together an inexpensive Deluxe support 2-day hotel package at the Clarion Hotel in Harpers Ferry which will be our event HQ. We strongly encourage you to register for the full package and enjoy the entire weekend. Even bring the family and firends along to cheer you on and visit beautiful Harpers Ferry.

Here’s a list of some of some of the new features for the 2018 Kennedy 50:

  • Multiple Ride Options – Harpers Ferry (Sat morning & Sat night) to Anglers, shuttles, rescue rides
  • Special New Rides - also added Friday afternoon shuttle from Union Station to Harpers Ferry and Sunday afternoon drop off at Union Station. You must request here.
  • Scheduled Support Stops – 6 guaranteed stops with open/close schedules
  • Check-In Timing – Check in at 6 locations to report your times
  • More event food and support – more variety and healthier choices
  • Friday Reception at Event Central HQ (Harpers Ferry) – early check-in, info table, buffet
  • Deluxe Support Weekend Package option includes:
    • 2 nights (Fri & Sat) at the best hotel in Harpers Ferry
    • Each room – 2 Queen beds
    • Continental breakfast plus 2 meals – Pre-event & post event
    • Heated swimming pool
    • Gym / Fitness Center
    • Restaurant/Bar

We're looking forward to walking with you.

Paul Kiczek
FreeWalkers Founder


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. You can see the results of our post-event survey here.

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.





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?

Click Here to Learn More >>


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.


Press Release - 100 Walkers to Relive the Kennedy 50-Mile Hike

on Sat, 01/06/2018 - 16:54

POTOMAC, MD – At 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 10, 2018, a group of hearty long distance hikers known as FreeWalkers plan to travel 50 miles by foot in one day. They will walk from Old Anglers Inn in Potomac, Maryland to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, along the banks of the Potomac River on the C&O Canal Towpath.  This event will mark the 5th annual Kennedy 50-Mile Walk, famous for re-creating a very long, one-day event that moved the nation 55 years ago.

Among those who plan on walking the walk are Kerry Kennedy Townsend, granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and Matthew Algeo, author of “

Jackie's Cartier Watch (with bonus painting) Sells for $379,500 at Auction to Kim Kardashian West

on Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:45

The supporting article appeared in Forbes Magazine, June 21, 2017 and Town and Country 

The Watch and the Painting

A Cartier Tank watch owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sold in June 2017 for $379,500, more than tripling its high-auction estimate of $120,000 at Christie’s New York “Rare Watches and American Icons Sale.” The anonymous buyer was believed to be Kim Kardashian West. Kardashian has since posed for a photo shoot re-enacting Jackie's look of the 1960's presidency.

The 18k gold square-shaped watch manufactured in 1962 was given to the former first lady from her brother-in-law

Walking for a Change

on Sat, 12/24/2016 - 11:52

Would you attempt to walk 50 miles in a day if dared to do so? Attorney General Robert F. “Bobby” Kennedy apparently could not pass up the challenge—especially when it was coming from his older brother, President John F. Kennedy. 

On February 9, 1963, the Saturday after the President issued his challenge, Bobby Kennedy recruited four of his aides and set out to walk 50 miles along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath from Great Falls, Md. to Harpers Ferry, WV. Of the five who set out, Bobby Kennedy was the only one to complete the challenge finishing in 17 hours and 50 minutes.

My first 100K or the value of training

on Sun, 12/01/2013 - 05:00

by Imants P.

Here's one walker's opinion on walking long distance events, including the 50-Mile Kennedy Walk 2013. Practice and conditioning are the key to a successful outcome, but results may vary...

The first time I heard about the Sierra Club One-Day-Hike (ODH) was in March of 2012 when I bumped into the organizer Mike Darzi on the Northwest Branch trail near Silver Spring, MD. In one minute Mike was able to convince me to try one of the ODH events. With relatively short training on top of my already decent shape I finished the 50K in good time.

The Summer of 62

on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 02:01

This is a post from John Brennan that appeared in - was originally posted as the "Summer of 62'" on Jan 5, 2010, Not sure the dating here because the 50-mile hike took off in 1963, but the article sure demonstrates the spirit of the times. Did California lead the way?

The Summer of '62?

What made the year especially memorable for me was a hike I took with two fellow thirteen-year old school friends. Mind you, this was no ordinary jaunt, and no ordinary event.

Walking 50 Miles: Tucson 1963

on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 22:36

Jim Magner, author of A Haunting Beauty: Vietnam Through the Eyes of an Artist (, relives his 1963 experience walking 50 miles in Arizona during the 50-mile Hike craze. HIs  journey, told in 5 parts follows:

 Part One, the stage is set.

It was a Friday night in early February, 1963. My buddies Gene and Richard, and I, along with a couple of other guys who walked the dogs between races at “Greyhound Park,” drove to a canyon 20 miles northeast of Tucson in my 55 Ford convertible.