Pennsylvania Offers Free “Walk With A Doc” Program

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announces the second annual month-long effort promoting ‘Walk with a Doc’ programs. 

PENNSYLVANIA STATE | As part of a movement to promote health, nature, and local parks and trails, the DCNR announced the second annual month-long effort encouraging communities and health professionals to get active together during ‘Walk with a Doc’ programs across Pennsylvania throughout the month of September.

According to, walk with a Doc communities offer free, physician-led walking groups throughout the year. Walks begin with a brief discussion on a current health topic, and then participants enjoy a healthy walk and conversation. In an effort to make hope and health accessible to everyone around the world, their doctor-led walking groups are a safe, fun, and FREE place to get some steps, learn about health, and meet new friends. Join Walk with a Doc by attending a walk near you, or let them help you start a walking program with your local doctors, medical students, or health professionals.

“The first year of the program showed the success of this effort that introduces people to new trails to try and makes the connection between health and the outdoors,” said DCNR Deputy Secretary Lauren Imgrund. “There are many partners in this collaborative effort with the same goal of healthy people and close to home and welcoming local parks, trails, and natural places.”

Throughout September, communities and health organizations are hosting ‘Walk with a Doc’ events around the state. The effort is a collaboration between DCNR, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, Geisinger, the Walk with a Doc program, and the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.

“Our’ Walk with a Doc’ program joins our medical knowledge of the ‘what and why’ of physical activity with DCNR’s expertise of ‘where.’ It’s a natural partnership that links professionals and communities in the pursuit of better health. Geisinger is a proud partner in this venture, and we look forward to its continued growth in all our regions,” said Dr. Michael Suk, chief physician officer and chair of Geisinger’s Musculoskeletal Institute and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

According to the DCNR, walking is one of the best things you can do for your health, and numerous studies point to the health benefits of spending time in nature.

Getting regular physical activity on trails helps: 

  • Reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Control weight.
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
  • Strengthen bones and muscles.
  • Improve mental health and mood.
  • Improve sleep quality.
  • Increase your chances of living longer.
  • Increase positive feelings about the quality of life.
  • Keep your lungs healthy.

Pennsylvania’s events are a part of the international Walk with a Doc program. In communities around the globe, doctors gather at least once a month to give a brief presentation on a health topic and then lead participants on a walk at their own pace.

Find or start a walk with a Doc event near you: