ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today issued a proclamation designating the month of October as “Walktober” in Maryland, recognizing the state’s official exercise—walking—for its health benefits and its important role in the state’s transportation and recreation network.
“Maryland was the first state in the country to designate an official exercise, and walking is an invaluable source of health and well-being for all Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “During the COVID-19 emergency, citizens have turned to walking not only as a beneficial physical activity, but also as a commuting option. During Walktober, I encourage people of all ages and abilities to take a step toward good health and enjoy Maryland’s beauty on foot.”
Maryland named walking as the official state exercise in October 2008. The Hogan administration continues to support pedestrian access and infrastructure initiatives across the state, and works with the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and other partners to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and accessibility.
In Maryland, there are more than 1,200 miles of trails on state public lands alone. Walktober events include the sixth annual Walk Maryland Day on October 7. This year, walks are being organized across Maryland with social distancing, face-covering requirements and other COVID-19 considerations. Residents can become Walk Maryland Day “Sole Mates” by joining one of the official walks, or register walks they take alone or with others. Registration is available at mdot.maryland.gov/walktober.
“Pedestrian access and walkability are critical for every community across Maryland,” said Transportation Secretary Greg Slater. “Governor Hogan’s designation of Walktober will raise awareness and encourage us all to consider how walking improves our health, our well-being, our economy and our overall quality of life.”
Walktober events are a collaborative effort between the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Planning, the Maryland Department of Commerce, the Maryland Office of Tourism and MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration’s Maryland Highway Safety Office, as well as partners including AARP Maryland, America Walks, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Department of Parks and Recreation, the University of Maryland Extension, Horizon Foundation, Garrett Trails and agencies in Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Howard, Harford, Prince George’s and Wicomico counties.