FreeWalkers: a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that offers events, information, & networking educating the public on the benefit of walking.

X-NJ Challenge is On

2015 Challenge Scoreboard
as of 5/13/15 - Note: you must add your miles at crossjerseywalk.org to qualify. All results are drawn from your entries.

Name Miles
Diane Glace 52
Nakis Pericleous 52
Al Walker 52
Paul Kiczek 40
David Ascher 12

Event Planner

Download our current schedule for 2015 which was recently revised. Click here to view FreeWalkers-WalkSchedule-2015-Ver6.pdf (as of 4/15/15)

Distant Thoughts

The Metaphysics of Walking


When you walk the same path many times your relationship to the place and the activity changes.

The Sounds of a Long Walk

Just a few days ago, I noticed, maybe for the first time, the sounds of the Great Canal Walk. For most of the 40 miles and 15 hours that day there was an absence of sound in this body of water as still as glass on that calm day....

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Welcome to FreeWalkers

FreeWalkers is a network of individuals interested in walking. We organize events and provide information designed to encourage the practice of walking. Our group is free and open to everyone. We encourage each member to accomplish challenging goals as we work together, experience, and promote pro-pedestrian issues.

Disclaimer

FreeWalkers is an informal group of individuals who plan interesting and challenging walks and invite others to join but do not accept responsibility for their safety and welfare. Walkers who participate in any event should understand that they are participating separately and should be physically prepared and adequately supplied. Any advice offered makes no claims of expertise. Walking a long distance requires above average physical stamina, necessary rest and adequate food and water; which the walker must be prepared to carry or purchase along the way. We encourage all participants to walk together as a group and to have an emergency phone contact or other means of assistance in case of problems.

We Support

X-Jersey Challenge

Final list of entrants for the X-Jersey Challenge as of Dec 31, 2014. The goal was 100 miles across NJ in 2014.

You can join anytime but you must record your miles by the end of the year at crossjerseywalk.org

FreeWalker Miles
David Ascher 100
Ian Hoichstead 100
Kelley Koley 100
Ivan Kossak 100
Malar Mani 100
Al Walker 100
Paul Kiczek 95
Kelley Boero 80
Cory Storch 68
Glenn Markukulin 63
Dan Jeffries 52
Gale Shepardson 26
Olivia Lewis-Chang 12
Yohanna Osario 12

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Walking History

1 Man, 1 Canal, 1 Long Walk: Creating a National Park

On January 3, 1954, an editorial article appearing in the Washington Post which became a flashpoint for those that opposed the U.S. government's building a parkway that would pave over the old 185-mile C&O Canal. It was a long hike proposed by Associate Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas that would settle the matter and set a trend toward preserving nature and history.

The Long Walk that Saved the Canal

 

Photos

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Blog Posts

It's Not Hiking: The Patient Practice of Long Distance Walking

Posted by Paul Kiczek on July 27, 2015 at 2:43pm 0 Comments

Check out the FreeWalkers in a national article on Long Distance Walking. The author provides a great story and photos of our experience, and background information. It includes information on another association with similar methods and goals called the LDWA based in England. We're getting nice…

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Michael Helbing is About to Be the First Person to Walk the Perimeter of New Jersey

Posted by Paul Kiczek on July 24, 2015 at 4:49pm 0 Comments

Most FreeWalkers know of Michael Helbing and his Metrotrails organization that tackle challenging, unique and off-beat trails around New Jersey. And. if you know Michael you know he has a singular passion of walking the entire perimeter of New Jersey. A lot of that is coast and good deal is difficult to access.…

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How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

Posted by Paul Kiczek on July 24, 2015 at 4:43pm 0 Comments

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

Research volunteers who had strolled along the quiet, tree-lined paths showed slight but…

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Best Reasons to Exercise: Greater Energy, Better Mood, Less Stress and More Connections

Posted by Paul Kiczek on July 24, 2015 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Research has shown that even people who say they hate to exercise or have repeatedly fallen off the exercise wagon can learn to enjoy it and stick with it. "Health" is not an optimal way to make physical activity relevant and compelling enough for most people. Better are immediate rewards…

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bronx coast to coast walk

Posted by bruce dain on July 20, 2015 at 11:22pm 1 Comment

a great walk. great leader, well mapped out/planned out. a great group of people. should be an annual event. all walks should end in city island The Bronx never looked better.

Take A Hike To Do Your Heart And Spirit Good

Posted by Paul Kiczek on June 24, 2015 at 2:12pm 0 Comments

Too many people think you have to exercise really, really hard to get a benefit, and nothing could be further from the truth. You're actually getting probably 95 percent or more of the benefits when you're walking as compared to jogging." this according to Tim Church, physician and exercise…

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Latest Activity

Paul Kiczek posted photos
Friday
Profile IconAbby Kitten and Neill Kramer joined FreeWalkers
Thursday
Profile IconRichard M. Glaser, Joy Rafey, Jessica and 9 more joined FreeWalkers
Tuesday
Paul Kiczek posted a status
"Nice bump from the Atlas Obscura article yesterday. Props to Andy Wright and Anika Burgess for covering long distance walking."
Tuesday
 
 
 

Recent Events

Live from the trail:
Hartford-Providence Expedition

Columbia to Putnam July 29 - Loredana, Ken and Nancy are on a 110 mile week-long expedition on the ECGA. This day they have company. Read Reporter's Notes for the latest news from our explorers.


Hudson Loop Walk 2015

About 65 FreeWalkers got past the morning rain and were rewarded with a great day for walking the Hudson. Always a treat this time of year and a fan favorite.

See survey results here.

Take survey if you have not responded and walked that day.

Boston Greenbelt Walk 2015

About 35 walkers made their way through the towns, parks and lands surrounding Boston from Newton to Malden on May 30 for our annual journey marking a great new trail to enjoy. There's a vibrant walking community here for FreeWalkers!

See survey results here.

Take survey if you have not responded and walked that day.

The Big Walk 2015

Our 6th annual "Big Walk" was held on May 16th with a small tough group of 18 challenging the elements and the extreme distance. The rains finally came but it didn't dampen the spirits!
Survey results
Event Photos

Camino Portuguese Walking Tour

From 4/18 to 4/25 22 FreeWalkers traveled to Spain to walk the ancient pilgrim trails from Tui to Santiago de Compostela. Part of the famed Camino de Santiago. We walked 75 miles north to Santiago seeing the province of Galicia through villages, cities and farmlands. A most memorable European adventure. See survey results here.

The BeTween Walk

On 4/18, 19 FreeWalkers participated in our 5th annual 12-mile easy walk through Middlesex County. Group pic? Always an interesting detour in the heart of NJ.

Great Canal Walk

On 4/11, 30 FreeWalkers participated in our 5th annual 40-mile tough walk along the D&R Canal. Survey show 5 of 13 respondents made it to the end.

See survey results here.


EMS Private Club Sale & Camino Meeting

James Gallagher, mgr of EMS Bridgwater opened his store up for a private sale - 20% off everything, free prizes, pizza & discussion of prepping for the Camino. Great event for 15 FreeWalker guests.

Spring Ahead Walk

25 walked the D&R Canal from Trenton to Princeton 3/22/15. See photos here.

Old Croton Aqueduct Trail #2 Walk

19 walkers trekked along the icy trail from Tarrytown to Van Cortland on March 15. See photos here.

Summary by Jack Shi.

Kennedy 50-Mile Walk

On February 7, 2015 about 40 walkers braved the cold and re-lived the 50-mile walk along the C&O Canal that Bobby Kennedy made famous.

See Kennedy50.org for details.

Hudson Waterfront South Walk

On Superbowl Sunday, February 1st, over 60 walkers from four walking groups joined together to walk 20-miles from Liberty State Park to the Bayonne Bridge. This was our first "UnitedWalking Event" a successful one to kick off our new big event program.

Click here for details.

Past Events

Tour of Brooklyn 2014 & Year End Party

On November 16, 2014 about 35 FreeWalkers followed our native Brooklynite, Renata Luisi and walked from Penn Station to Willaimsburg topping off the 2014 season with a rousing visit to the Radegast Beer Hall.

The Battle of Short Hills Walk

On October 18, 2014 about 29 FreeWalkers followed a Revolutionary War historic battle march into the Watchung mountains as well as experience other historical sites along the way.

The Origins Walk: Lenape34

On Monday, October 13, 2014,our 5th annual 34-mile trek through the wilds of Essex County will took place - a tough event to finish.

The Endless Summer Walk

Over 32 FreeWalkers extended their 2014 summer by walking our 4th annual Jersey shore event on September 27th.

In Their Footsteps

These FreeWalkers have demonstrated our spirit of determination, adventure and community and help set the standard for the rest of us. Awards were presented at the June 22nd Celebration Event. Click here to learn their personal story and what it means to be a FreeWalker.

Words to Walk By

Why We Walk

Why choose this as our goal? Why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

-From President Kennedy’s 1962 speech at Rice University

Why We Don't (Walk)

Why choose doing as little as possible as our goal? Why take a long nap? Why, 35 days ago, insist on flying first class across the Atlantic? Why does Texas play Rice?

We choose to look at the moon. We choose to utter platitudes in this decade and do few other things, not because they are hard, but because they are easy, because that goal will serve to attract votes, because true challenges are those that we are unwilling to address, ones which we are willing to pass onto others, and ones which we intend to ignore.

From FreeWalker, Art McDonald, Rock Hill, SC

Read Art's inspiring essay "On Walking RFK's 50"

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