Trails through time

Welcome to the European Ramblers’ Association (ERA) – Hiking Europe

Celebrating over five Decades of walking and cultural exchange across Europe

Since its establishment in 1969 in Germany, the European Ramblers’ Association (ERA) has stood at the forefront of promoting walking as a quintessential European recreational activity. Our journey through the decades has been marked by an unwavering commitment to enhance the walking experience across the continent while fostering an appreciation for our rich natural and cultural landscapes.

Our Mission

The ERA is an influential umbrella organization that unites about 60 member organizations from nearly 30 European countries. We are dedicated to fostering networking and cross-border cooperation among these members to ensure that the beauty of walking and the richness of Europe’s landscapes are accessible to all.

Our History and Evolution

Founding Vision and Early Achievements

In the late 1960s, visionary founders recognized the need to link walking enthusiasts across Europe. The establishment of the ERA catalyzed the development of extensive walking routes that would soon traverse national borders and connect disparate cultures. The European long-distance paths, our early major initiative, now offer hikers culturally and environmentally rich experiences across multiple countries.

Growth and Influence

By the 1990s, ERA had expanded significantly, embracing new member organizations from Eastern Europe post the Cold War. This era also saw ERA beginning to influence European policies related to outdoor activities, conservation, and sustainable tourism.

Modern Focus and Digital Adaptation

Today, the ERA emphasizes sustainable practices and the importance of free movement across borders—crucial for the cultural exchange and accessibility we champion. We have embraced digital tools to enhance route planning and member engagement, ensuring our paths are both accessible and well-documented.

Our Achievements

  • European Long-Distance Paths: A network of routes encouraging exploration and understanding across diverse European terrains.
  • Advocacy and Policy Influence: Our ongoing dialogue with European policymakers ensures that the interests of walkers and the preservation of natural trails are prioritized.
  • European Walking Day: An annual event that unites walkers across the continent, celebrating our shared heritage and the joy of walking.

Current Initiatives and Future Directions

As we look forward, ERA is committed to overcoming challenges such as environmental threats and the urban development that encroaches on our beloved trails. We are also focused on broadening our reach to encourage more people to take up walking, highlighting its benefits for health, cultural enrichment, and environmental stewardship.

Join Us

We invite you to explore our website to discover the myriad trails we support, learn about our member organizations, and find out how you can get involved in safeguarding and enjoying Europe’s walking routes. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a novice looking to start, ERA offers resources, guidance, and a community of like-minded enthusiasts eager to welcome you.

Together, let’s walk the path of cultural exchange and environmental respect. Join us in preserving and enjoying Europe’s rich hiking heritage.

For more information on membership, events, and the latest on our advocacy efforts, please visit our Membership and Events pages.

European Ramblers’ Association (ERA) – Hiking Europe: Connecting Cultures, One Step at a Time.