As a Jersey girl from way back, who remembers when Parkway tolls were a quarter and still reads the instructions on the pump when I get my own gas in other places, I've seen a lot of my home state. I hit Route 17 the day I received my driver's license in Lodi, and I've been behind the wheel ever since.
The next several weekends will be different, as I've traded car keys (and beloved flip-flops) for serious walking shoes.
The Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge is just what is sounds like, a chance to walk about 100 Jersey miles across the East Coast Greenway. A free program, the walks are described best by the organizers:
The Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge will follow the East Coast Greenway’s entire New Jersey trail (plus some extensions, including a Manhattan walk) which represents about 100 miles out of its 3,000 miles length along the Eastern U.S. from Maine to Key West.
While walkers may choose to walk the distance at any time on their own, the FreeWalkers have scheduled three free organized walks that in total cover the entire 100 mile stretch of the ECG:
- April 9, 2011 – “Great Canal Walk” Trenton to New Brunswick - TR2NB40.org
- April 16, 2011 - New Brunswick to Metropark - NB2MP10 (NB2MP10.drupalgardens.com)
- May 21, 2011 – “The Big Walk” - Metropark to Penn Sta. NYC - NJ2NY50.org
Mass transportation and carpooling is encouraged for the walks which happen to be mostly in proximity of the Northeast Corridor and other rail lines for easy connections. Busses and light rail can also be used for participants from various areas.
So much for "What exit?" jokes; the walks across New Jersey are a wonderful escape from daily reality, and an opportunity to remember why it's the Garden State. I hope to see you out there.
For more information on the program or related events contact Paul Kiczek, FreeWalkers, firstname.lastname@example.org.