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Take a New Journey on an Old Canal for Health and Fun

PRINCETON, NJ - Before there were railroads, automobiles and airplanes a network of 1,000 miles of canals moved people and goods which helped build our vibrant northeast. Canals were built nearby with a towpath to enable horses to slowly draw canal boats and barges carrying coal from Pennsylvania to the booming metropolitan areas in New Jersey and New York.

Today, people move themselves faster over these natural highways as pedestrians, runners, equestrians, and bicyclists. The Delaware & Raritan Canal continues as a one of the state’s most beloved recreation resources.

To experience the beauty of the canal and its towpath, FreeWalkers.org – the long-distance walking network – is holding its 3rd annual one-day, 40-mile walk along the D&R Canal between Trenton and New Brunswick called the “Great Canal Walk” on Saturday, April 6, 2013. It’s a free event and open to the general public to encourage fitness by walking.

 “Residents of this area are careful to maintain a balance with our natural environment. And the Great Canal Walk is a great way to test your fitness and while enjoying the Spring weather and the beauty of the area.", says Ralph Raymond, a Montgomery Township resident and past participant. The walk offers alternate routes to start and finish for those that strive for less ambitious goals but still want to experience the beauty, interaction and challenge of a long walk.

This walk of 40 miles is a part of the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge (crossjerseywalk.org) organized by the FreeWalkers to support the East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA). The Challenge encourages individuals to walk 100 miles across the entire state each year. The greenway is a 3,000-mile route multi-purpose trail from Canada to Key West. The ECGA strives for a larger national vision of a trail by sharing existing trails and advancing pedestrian issues that connect our entire east coast. This pedestrian highway is made possible through its members and public donations.

Blue Ridge Mountain Sportsof Princeton will be providing prizes for a lunchtime drawing in Kingston and Eastern Mountain Sports, will be helping support walkers with supplies along the way. According to Jean DeAngelo, manager of the new North Brunswick EMS store, "Outdoor gear suppliers are active people that love to support local events. We’re always happy to help our communities and encourage those that take on a great personal challenge.”

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For more information on the Great Canal Walk visit TR2NB40.orgor FreeWalkers.orgFor information on te East Coast Greenway visit greenway.orgor, contact Andy Hamilton, ECGA Mid-Atlantic Trails Coordinator, (267) 236-3407 andy@greenway.org