Join a Naturally Historic Walk Along the D&R Canal on April 9, 2011
Starting from the Delaware River, trace the footsteps of this 175 year old waterway and transportation system across Central New Jersey - from Trenton to New Brunswick. The TR2NB40 - Great Canal Walk, a forty-mile, one -day long distance walk, is a superb physical and mental challenge and the first event in a series of three walking events aiming to walk across New Jersey following the East Coast Greenway.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is one of central New Jersey's most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding. The Great Canal Walk follows the main canal section from the Calhoun St Bridge in downtown Trenton through Lawrenceville and Princeton, as well as the charming villages of Kingston and Griggstown to Blackwells Mills, ending up in New Brunswick. The D&R Canal, which remains largely intact, was originally built across central New Jersey to provide an efficient and safe route for transporting freight between Philadelphia and New York. For nearly a century after it opened, the D&R Canal was one of America's busiest navigation canals.
The TR2NB40 - Great Canal Walk is the first walking event planned by the FreeWalkers for 2011. FreeWalkers.org is a social network of long distance walkers that encourage fitness, pedestrianism, and friendship while pursuing personally challenging goals. Notable among several FreeWalker events last year was the successul NJ2NY50 - The Big Walk, a one-day 50-mile walk from Metropark Station in Iselin to Penn Station in New York City for the benefit of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. This year the FreeWalkers are partnering with the East Coast Greenway on a new program called the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge which sets a goal of walking the 100 miles of the ECG, across the entire State, at any time during the year. The TR2NB40 - Great Canal Walk represents the first of three segments and 40 miles of the 100 total in that challenge.
FreeWalker events are oriented toward interesting and physically challenging walks that appeal to a broad population. According to Paul Kiczek, a Morristown, NJ resident and its founder, "We realize that many people are attracted to a personal challenge for various reasons, but are often put off by the difficulty, experience or skill required. FreeWalker events encourage everyone - from the young to the old, from the fit to the wanna-be-fit - to commit to a goal of walking a long distance and then motivate themselves to getting there. Walking is something almost everyone can do. But accomplishing a personal goal is something everyone can be benefit from." According to Kiczek, "Walkers benefit from the exercise, friendships and delight of discovering a hidden world right along a natural trail, street or even a highway."
The public is encouraged to join FreeWalker events. All walking events are free. Walkers can participate even if they choose to walk less than the total distance and wish to walk at their own pace. For more information on the TR2NB40 - Great Canal Walk visit http://TR2NB40.org. The East Coast Greenway Alliance is non-profit organization developing a public multi-use 3,000 mile trail from Canada to Key West, a major portion of which runs across New Jersey (visit http://greenway.org). For the latest information on the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge visit http://crossjerseywalk.org.