Liberty Park Walk & Beer Garden - 6/12/11

Last Sunday, June 12th, Nancy Jonap led our pre-party and end-of-season walk through Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Our original intention was for the 20 of us to walk the standard seven mile loop starting at 1:00 p.m. at the nearby Zeppelin Hall & Beer Garden near Grand and Jersey. But the weather this day was better than expected and called for a little more exploring.

Beyond Liberty

There’s about a two mile walk out a to Morris Pesin Dr at the southern point of the park, perhaps the center area the park is most known for. Beyond that area but not visible from the waterfront in J.C. are two interesting areas we continued to explore – Liberty National Golf Course and Port Liberte. The public walkway continues through these areas which snakes around an irregular coastline and an unfamiliar waterfront for most of us.

Near the far end of the park is walkway heads inland along a waterfront toward a magnificent modern building and a sweeping panorama that is hard to decipher as a golf course. The walkway heads straight to the “Clubhouse” which is a laughable misnomer if there ever was one. This 57,000 sq. foot futuristic building was built about five years ago and was designed to provide a full view of the NY harbor from midtown to the Verrazano Bridge and Staten Island. Built in the form of a ship’s prow, there is simply nothing like it in an area and it stands out in the harbor. Of course, its restaurant and cigar terrace is positioned for the best view. You may also choose to land your helicopter or dock your yacht in its facilities.

I learned later that the golf course is one of the most expensive ever built at $250 million. Its 160 acres was filled and reclaimed from old shipping and industrial land. The Fireman family who made and sold the Reebok brand built this as a labor of love and apparently not to recoup their investment. This is a private course where members pay $500,000 just to join, let alone whatever the annual dues and greens fees are. Its first nationally televised PGA tour was Barclay's tournament in 2009, where Tiger and other notables played. Its known as a great place to golf, if you can get in, and a great venue to shoot on TV with is view of Manhattan, the harbor, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, etc.

Sailing into the Porte

The day was a fine mid-June weather day while we walked, but there were few signs of anyone using the golf course or even the Clubhouse. Although we chalked that up to the elaborate privacy measures where you could not see in the Clubhouse or even the course as much as “they” could see out. So, we continued to walk toward a complex of very luxurious condos in a waterfront setting called Port Liberte. In fact, there were very few people visible in the condos too. This we chalked up to everyone being away in their “other condo” for the weekend, somewhere near other water, I guess.

According to Sam Ezzeldin, our FreeWalker expert of this area, Port Liberte is not a new concept but began over 30 years ago as one of the first exclusive developments along the Jersey City waterfront. With the booming real estate market and the area in view of the harbor and the new golf course, the project expanded over the last 10 years and now there hundreds of units ranging in price from $1.5 to $5 million. Residents can tie up their boat and sail the NYC harbor. It seemed like a place out of place. Maybe this should be Florida? The Carolinas?

But we found out that there are two problems way out here. One is that there is very few commercial businesses nearby to serve the community and on the other side of these exclusive condos is a view of the industrial scrap metal yard where old boats are recycled and reincarnated. It’s the end of the road for boats as well for walkers like us. Here, Sam managed to know the restaurant owner who gave us use of the bathroom!

By this time we were two hours into our walk and running behind. We backtracked and headed to the two mile promenade walkway to take full advantage of the magnificent views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the old Ferry Building and a memorial to the Twin Towers. Unfortunately, I had to take a shortcut and headed back to the beer garden as we were running at least ½ hour late.

Whole Lotta Love at the Zeppelin

The Zeppelin Biergarten is a great unique place that’s only been open about two years. There’s as spacious bar and hall where we saw groups of people mingling along with children playing. The hall opens out to a back yard with food and beer stands, trees, and about 50 picnic tables. It has an old-fashioned country fair atmosphere, at least in the daytime. At night the place turns into something else I’m sure. But for now, it’s a great place for anyone to meet, talk and have a drink, if you want, for as long as you want.

Soon, I distributed “dog tags” for each of our last three walks and our new FreeWalker Awards. The Awards went to individuals that best represented the FreeWalker spirit over our 2011 Spring walking season. Everyone who walked justly deserved their dog tags and acknowledgement to some special people. Here’s who won:
  • Ken Koch (Best FreeWalker)
  • Claudia Acosta (Best FreeWalker)
  • Abby Carman (Best Animal FreeWalker)
  • Mackenzie Roe (Best Young FreeWalker)
  • Mike & Ann Kruimer (Best Support Team)
We broke up around 6 p.m. in agreement that we’d stay in touch and plan for one or two walking events for the Fall. It was Liberty and Justice for all!


Views: 151


You need to be a member of FreeWalkers to add comments!

Join FreeWalkers

Comment by Risa olinsky on July 9, 2011 at 6:41am

I am looking forward to our fall walks and bringing along more walkers from the Maplewood/South Orange community to join in... this great organization.  Congratulation to all and big thank you to Paul in addition for connecting us with East Coast Greenway a wonderful cause.


Comment by Nancy Jonap on June 16, 2011 at 10:52pm
Thank you Paul. It was a wonderful day :-)
Can't wait to walk again with Freewalkers.

Recent Events

Roebling Ramble 

June 17, 2017 - This event combined the history of the Roebling family (built the Brooklyn Bridge and many others) and their rise and fall and the town they created that represented an immigrant's dream 100-years ago.

Our 34 FreeWalkers continued another 13 miles to Trenton to experience a unique festival called Art All Night which offered a huge stage to experience live visual and audio art along with caravan of food trucks for 24-hours straight. The entire day was a unique and interesting experience in history and art.

Hudson River Loop 

June 10, 2017 - It turned out to be a great day for a great event. Our largest event yet with 125 participants. Many making it all the way to the end of 30-miles. If there was any particular challenge it was the heat building up but with some breeze to help as it reached the mid-80s.

This year to accommodate more challengers we expanded the support providing improved signage and a support stop near the GWB. Our thanks to the Hudson River Walkway Conservancy, East Coast Greenway, Shorewalkers and Metrotrails for helping make this a huge success for FreeWalkers and our United Walking effort.

Website Update here

Survey resultsTake Survey. 

Photos here

The Big Walk 2017

May 20, 2017 - Rain at the crack of dawn did nothing to stop 40+ FreeWalkers' at this 8th annual premier long distance event. Fortunately, the weather cooperated, mostly, and we had 11 finish the maximum 50-miles.

The walk from Metropark station to Penn Station NYC is a diverse challenge with many obstacles which draw the best of our long distance walkers.

Website Update here

Survey resultsTake Survey. 

Photos here

Between Walk 2017

April 15, 2017 - With a good temps but overcast skies 23. FreeWalkers walked the 12 miles from New Brunswick to Metropark station. This year's events included a new free bagel stop at Ruthie's in Highland Park and a great personal tour of the newly renovated Thomas Edison Center in Menlo Park.

Jack Shi's Excellent Adventure

Website Update here

Survey resultsTake Survey

Photos here

Great Canal Walk 2017

April 8, 2017 - It was a beautiful day for a walk with a taste of spring. FourWalkers walked the 40 miles from Trenton and 29 walkers favored the shorter, yet challenging 28 miles from Princeton to New Brunswick.

Website Update here

Survey results. Take Survey

Photos here

Spring Ahead 2017

March 19, 2017 - Eight FreeWalkers walked the 12-miles from Trenton to Princeton on a day when winter would not let go. Snow covered trail and cold temps slowed down the trek but sun and good spirits were plentiful. 

See photos here

Roosevelt Island/Astoria 2017

March 4, 2017 - About 40 braved the mid-teens and walked across town to the tram. We explored the island and the FDR 4 Freedoms Monument and park. Eventually crossing the bridge to Queens for some middle-eastern sights, smells and tastes. Ending it all at the famous Czech Beer Hall. 

See photos here

See survey results here

Kennedy 50-Mile Walk 2017

February 4, 2017 - An event for history buffs and hardcore walkers. Our 4th walk along the C&O Canal in Maryland and West Virginia - just like Bobby Kennedy did in 1963. Chilly weather did not dampen the can-do spirit of 50 fellow walkers at our grand annual event.

Learn more>>
See photos here
See survey results here

TRAINing Walk 2017

January 28, 2017 - It's mid-winter and 75 hearty walkers show up at the Morristown train station. This year we went West to East and ended in a cozy bar called Coda. Special kudos to Madison Honda for their hospitatlity.

See photos here
See the survey results here.

Midnight March on Princeton

January 7, 2017 - The Midnight March was our first all-night walking event and first event for the new year. Six brave FreeWalkers played wannabe soldiers and stayed with the troops into daybreak.
Read the entire story here
See photos here

See the video!

Holiday Lights in Dyker Heights

December 16, 2016 - About a dozen FreeWalkers braved extreme cold and outmaneuvered rabid fans of the famous Brooklyn neighborhood. Thanks to Nakis Pericleous for leading us to the holiday kingdom.
See photos here

South Orange - Maplewood Walk & Year-end Party

December 4, 2016 - There were 35 FreeWalkers walking the grand and historic neighborhoods of South Orange and Maplewood followed by our year-end party and awards. Thanks to Risa Olinsky and David Ascher for a great day for a walk, celebration party and a start of the holiday season..
See photos here

Gobble-Gobble for MEND

November 25, 2016 - A crowd of about 40 walked off some turkey and at the same time helped the unfortunate in our communities by supporting MEND of Essex County - a food-bank charity that we support. Gobble-Gobble Walkers were asked to bring food and/or donate to help the hungry.
See photos here

Stroll & Roll - Union County

November 6, 2016 - Familes and FreeWalkers enjoyed a great fall day in Echo Lake Park, Mountainside, NJ as we got about 200 participants strolling and rolling. Kids had as much fun as adults enjoying the games, mild temps and colorful leaves on our first-ever family walking event. Thank you sponsors and Risa Olinsky and Yohana Osorio for organizing!
See photos here

Philadelphia Marathon Walk

October 30, 2016 - Charles Upkike led about 20 FreeWalkers along the route of the Philadelphia Marathon, know for its scenery - especially this time of year.

Legend of Sleepy Hollow Walk

October 30, 2016 - Rick Mohovich led about a dozen FreeWalkers around the Tarrytown area in a walk that passed through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery of Wahington Irving fame.

Tour of Brooklyn - Coney Island

October 29, 2016 - 25 FreeWalkers walked from the New City waterfront to Coney Island on our annual tour of a different section of Brooklyn each year. Always popular and interesting, we enjoyed great weather and scenery as we walked the greenway trail, including under the Verrazano Bridge. Thanks leader Nancy Jonap!
See photos here

Autumn on the Delaware Series

October 20-23, 2016 - Four consecutive days, 120 miles. Walking from York PA to Frenchtown. FreeWalkers walked in support of Jim Gregoire, a FreeWalker and man on a mission to walk the entire US East Coast. Charles Updike, FreeWalkers PA Regional director organized this series of walk to keep him company and provide a great reason to visit the Delaware River area.
See photos here

Sailung Nepal Trek

October 3-16, 2016 - Two weeks trekking te foothills of the Himalayas. Sydney Frymire of Trek of Your Life (TOYL), a FreeWalker and experienced hiker and traveler organizes trips to Nepal which include a bit of volunteerism and plenty of incredible sights.
See photos here

Lenape 34

October 10, 2016 - On Columbus Day each year we brave the wilds of Essex County and travel through five reservations, 8 parks a dozen or so towns as we walk from Millburn to Cedar Grove, Montclair and Newark as we follow the Lenape Trail for 34 miles in our most diverse walk.
See photos here

Endless Summer Walk

September 24, 2016 - Once again we tried our best to hold on to summer and made a 30-mile trek along the bayshore and oceanside from Matawan to Sandy Hook to Asbury Park. Great conditions again this year for a beautiful walk and one of our most popular.
See photos here

Tour of Boston

September 17, 2016 - Fran Price, our FreeWalker leader in Boston, put together a great tour of the highlights of Boston. We walked from South Boston to Copley Square, mostly following the water and the historic trail.
See photos here

Providence - Boston Expedition

Providence to Boston July 23 to July 29 - Loredana, Ken and Nancy have finished thier 110 mile week-long expedition on the ECGA.

Read Loredana's story on why she walks the expedition each year.

See Loredana's 7-day Photo Journal

© 2018   Created by Paul Kiczek.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service