2023 Kennedy50

Be a part of the greatest international long-distance walking movement, where it all started sixty years ago.

Sat, February 4, 2023
3:00 AM – 9:30 PM EST
C&O Canal National Park

Potomac, MD to Harpers Ferry WV

Are you ready to walk fifty miles like Bobby?

The FreeWalkers Kennedy50 is a unique one-day fifty-mile walk inspired by the challenge presented by President John F Kennedy and the efforts of his brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. On February 9, 1963, Bobby succeeded in hiking from Great Falls, Maryland to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. 

Come be a part of the greatest international long-distance walking movement, where it all started sixty years ago. This year’s entries are limited, so register soon. 


The 50-Mile Hike - FreeWalkers Mark 50th Anniversary from Paul Kiczek on Vimeo.


  • Full Package cost before October 1, 2022: $150/pp
  • After October 1, 2022: $180/pp


Refundable prior to October 1, 2022, minus a $25 registration fee.

NON-REFUNDABLE after October 1, 2022.

Refunds must be requested through risa@freewalkers.org.

Your Kennedy50 registration includes:

  • Kennedy50 souvenir T-shirt and personalized event bib
  • Pre-event meet and greet, with dinner included
  • Transportation from Harpers Ferry to the starting line, with a grab-and-go breakfast
  • Breakfast, lunch and evening food stops
  • Support stations with provisions every few miles.
  • Cyclist and on-foot sweep of trail
  • Transportation to Harpers Ferry for non-finishers along the way.
  • Post-event dinner at Clarion Hotel.
  • A social-media-ready online tribute to your finish

Description of Route

The walking route follows the historic C&O Canal towpath, flat and mostly gravel or paved, along the Potomac River Valley, making navigation simple as can be. 

The walk’s starting point, across from Old Anglers Inn, is just off of Route 495 in Potomac, Maryland, and just eight miles from Metro stations at Bethesda or Spring Hill, Virginia. Day parking is available. 

Lodging & Meals

Your registration allows you to take advantage of special hotel discounts for the weekend. Breakfast is included in your Clarion Hotel reservation. The number of rooms available is limited. If you are coming as a couple, please ask about a room with king-size bed, as there are only a few. The Clarion Harpers Ferry, just two miles from the Harpers Ferry Station with rail connections via Amtrak and MARC to Washington DC, will be the site of the pre-event and post-event dinners. Other options include B&B’s and the Quality Inn Harpers Ferry. Participants are responsible for their own accommodations, any hotel cancellations and transportation to and from the event. Unregistered dinner guests are welcome for $30 per night/dinner. Please let us know if a guest will be joining you.

Support and transportation

All participants will enjoy regular support along the route, with food, fluids and limited transportation options. Shuttles to the starting point from the Clarion will be provided as will shuttles back to the Clarion from the trail.

Walking teams

The format of this walk is tailor-made for creation of a walking team with family, friends, and your fellow walkers to share the experience. The achievements of registered walking teams will be highlighted on the FreeWalkers social media sites. 



  • Check-in at Harpers Ferry begins at 3 p.m.
  • Meet and greet buffet dinner starts at 5 p.m.


  • Shuttle at 1:30 am to Anglers Inn with announcements and orientation.
  • Those who are coming locally meet there.
  • Walk kicks off at 3 am at Anglers Inn parking lot.
  • Breakfast break (10 miles).
  • Lunch stop with sandwiches, snacks and drinks.
  • Afternoon/evening break with hot food and drinks.


  • Cross the finish line by crossing the bridge over the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers into Harpers Ferry.
  • Shuttle from Harpers Ferry to the hotel.
  • Post-walk buffet dinner and celebration.


  • Breakfast for Clarion Hotel guests.
  • Goodbye till next year!


Come be a part of the Kennedy50 experience!