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FreeWalkers to Walk 100 miles Across State in 2011 in Support of East Coast Greenway

Public Invited to Walk the next Cross-Jersey Challenge Event:“Great Canal Walk” - Trenton to New Brunswick on April 9th

The long distance walking group called the FreeWalkers has set a daunting 2011 goal for its members and the public in a new program called the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge. The program consists of walking 100 miles across the entire state – from Trenton to New York City within the next 12 months. The first 2011 FreeWalkers event, the TR2NB40 – Great Canal Walk on Saturday, April 9, will provide an opportunity to walk 40 miles in one day from Trenton to New Brunswick.

The Great Canal Walk fits the natural-to-urban walks that have become the hallmark of the FreeWalkers. While this walk is almost entirely on the towpath of the Delaware and Raritan Canal, a very walkable, flat and well maintained natural trail, it also meanders through cities, small towns, and parks as well as cross highways and industrial areas. The D&R is maintained by the state park system and is a valuable, if often overlooked, recreational and historic resource. About 175 years ago the canal served as the major transportation system for supplying valuable natural resources to the booming industrial Northeast New Jersey and New York areas.

The Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge will follow the East Coast Greenway’s entire 100-mile New Jersey trail, part of which includes the D&R Canal. The East Coast Greenway is a multi-use, developing trail system, spanning nearly 3,000 miles as it winds its way between Canada and Key West, linking all the major cities of the eastern seaboard. The ECG is always a fascinating mix of trails, unexpected routes and local hidden sights, which can delight even the most seasoned hiker. The East Coast Greenway Alliance hopes to benefit from donations and the increased awareness and use of this unique public resource.

The FreeWalkers were formed last year based on the success of two major events –  “The Big Walk NJ2NY50” and “The Origins Walk LENAPE34”. “The Big Walk” was a one-day 50-mile walk from Iselin to New York City in support of the East Coast Greenway (ECG) While these walks are usually of a challenging distance, they always include opportunities to walk shorter segments to meet personal goals. Learn more at the event’s website http://tr2nb40.org or by signing up for the event online at http://freewalkers.org.

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The Great Canal Walk – TR2NB40 is an independently organized distance walking event which is supported by the East Coast Greenway Alliance (http://greenway.org). For more info on ECGA, contact Mik Oliva, ECGA Mid-Atlantic Trails Coordinator, 973-768-1095, mike@greenway.org.