Waco Walks

Waco Walks is an informal group that grew out of the efforts of Act Locally Waco. Our group encourages Wacoans to get to know their community by walking it.   We host several walks a year in various parts of the community.  Sometimes we just walk and enjoy the scenery, and many times we include an educational element such as history or science in the city.  We also advocate for making Waco a more walkable community.  All are welcome! We would love to have you join us.

Click here to join the email list for Waco Walks.

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May 11 | Meet up 11:00 AM | Tornado Memorial
Corner of 4th Street & Austin Avenue

On May 11, 1953, at about 4:30 in the afternoon a terrible tornado swept through downtown Waco with winds so strong almost 200 buildings were either destroyed outright or were damaged to the point that they later had to be torn down. 114 lives were lost. For this walk Eric Ames from Baylor University will retrace the path of the tornado through downtown and share some of the facts, stories and legends associated with the terrible storm. Please join us as we remember and learn about the tornado that shaped Waco’s history. May 11, 11:00. (Please note the slightly later start time.)  Meet up at the Tornado Memorial at the corner of 4th & Austin Avenue, downtown.

DATE: May 11

TIME: 11:00 AM (Please note the slightly later start time.)

LOCATION: The Tornado Memorial at the intersection of 4th and Austin.

WALK LENGTH: Approximately 2.5 miles

ORGANIZERS: Eric Ames and Ashley Bean Thornton

GOT QUESTIONS?: Please contact Eric Ames by email at [email protected] or Ashley Thornton by email at [email protected]

ACCESSIBILITY: Most of the walk will be on sidewalks and city streets, but you may need to negotiate a few curbs and a few grassy patches.

HYDRATION: Please bring your own water.

DOGS: Doggies are welcome, but they MUST be on a leash and you MUST come prepared to scoop the poop!

WEATHER/CANCELLATION PLAN: We plan to walk rain or shine, so if it looks like rain, bring an umbrella. In the event that it is a terrible storm or something happens and we have to cancel, we will send out a note to the email list. To subscribe to the email list, click here: http://eepurl.com/cG7kdj.

**** All Waco Walks events are walk at your own risk. ***

The Calendar

Schedule for 2024

  • 2024 - February 24 - Black History Monty Walking Tour
  • 2024 - March 16 - Economic Development Walk Downtown
  • 2024 - April 20 - Oakwood Cemetery
  • 2024 - April 27- Sanger Heights Tree Walk
  • 2024 - May 11 - Tornado Remembrance Walk


Previous Walks

2021 Walks


2020 Walks

2019 Walks

2018 Walks

2017 Walks

2016 - Getting Started

Virtual Tornado Walk

The Historic Waco Foundation, and Eric Ames, local historian and author, have worked together to put our annual May 11 "Tornado Walk" on-line for you to Enjoy!  Here are the links:

Stops 1 & 2

Tornado Walk: Stop 1 & 2

May is a significant month for the history of Waco. This year marks the 67th anniversary of the tornado that struck Waco. Because we can’t host an official Waco Walk, we are bringing the walk to you! We’re posting the 8 stops we would normally take leading up to May 11th. Download the map, put on your walking shoes and take the walk with us! First stop: The Tornado Memorial on 4th and Austin.This Virtual Tornado Walk is hosted by Eric Ames and Waco Walks.

Posted by Historic Waco Foundation on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Stop 3

Tornado Walk: Stop 3

Our next stop is a little down from the Suspension Bridge as we talk about the rubble site after the tornado. We're posting new videos everyday so keep checking back with us!

Posted by Historic Waco Foundation on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Stop 4

Tornado Walk: Stop 4 - The Alico

The Alico is our 4th stop on the Tornado Walk. It survived the tornado due largely to its construction and became a beacon of hope during the storm.

Posted by Historic Waco Foundation on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Stop 5

Tornado Walk: Stop 5 - Katy Park

Home to various minor league teams, Katy Park was a central hub for the Waco community.

Posted by Historic Waco Foundation on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Stop 6

Tornado Walk: Stop 6 - First United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church is now located on Lake Air and Cobbs Drive but was originally in the heart of downtown Waco when the tornado hit.

Posted by Historic Waco Foundation on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Stop 7

Tornado Walk: Stop 7 - Artesian Bottling and Manufacturing Company

Located on 5th Street and Mary, the Artesian Bottling and Manufacturing Company (later the Dr Pepper Museum) was not directly hit by the tornado although it was heavily damaged by the storm. The scars of this tornado are still visible on this building today.

Posted by Historic Waco Foundation on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Stop 8

Tornado Walk: Stop 8 - R.T. Dennis Building

Our final stop is at the sight of what used to be the R.T. Dennis Furniture Co. Thank you for watching our Tornado Walk. We hope you download the map and follow the trail on your own! You can download the map here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53e2b0a6e4b020de6665758f/t/5eb17016fcf9c7222f65018f/1588686872366/walk_map-2020.png

Posted by Historic Waco Foundation on Friday, May 8, 2020



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