The Walk of Life

                                                                 by Neil Offen

Early on a chilly Saturday morning that would turn blisteringly hot, we set forth, we brave few, on a trek that would challenge us like nothing before, that would test our mettle like our mettle had never been tested and help us find out what mettle actually was and why it was spelled that way.

It would also show exactly how dumb but stubborn we really were.

At 7:30 precisely, we began The Great Saunter, the 32-mile circumnavigation of the island of Manhattan. Why did we do it? Well, of course — because it was there.

For nearly a year, my daughter and I had been training for this. Or more precisely, had been talking about training for this. Now this was at hand. Or more precisely, at foot.The author with his daughter Nora

We had convinced my friend Mitch to do this with us, since we felt we needed someone responsible to call for the ambulance. Also, we needed someone who had done even less training than we had.

We headed off to New York’s Battery, the southernmost part of the island. The Statue of Liberty was there, off in the harbor, waving supportively at us, instinctively knowing that we already were her tired and huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. Wait till she sees us at the end.

Read more: The Walk of Life

The Great Saunter 2015

                                           by  Jack Shi, hike leader    

On Thursday night I was cycling back after rock climbing in Brooklyn. As I slowed down and took a sip of water, I hit a pothole I didn’t see and the next thing I knew, I was midair on my way to the ground. I had fallen on my right side. I walked my bike to the WTC PATH station and took the train home. I worked from home on Friday and had checked it out at the medical clinic. I had abrasions in multiple areas throughout my body, hyperextended my neck, and a piece of my wrist bone had chipped off.

Saturday was the Great Saunter, the epic 32-mile walk around the island of Manhattan in a day. I had every reason not to go, but I had to. I did not finish last year due to inadequate gear and am leaving in 3 weeks to go cycle across the country. I needed to try to do as much as I can in New York before I go. This was on that list. I also really believed that if I could not finish this, I would not be able to do the 50 miles of walking in a day in 2 weeks as part of the Freewalkers Big Walk. Strong motivation that, my dreams.

My dad came with me and after waiting in line to get our packet, we were off!

 To read more of this article and view pictures by Jack Shi please go to the following link:

Old Croton Aqueduct: Hike Report

           by Jack Shi,  hike leader

Thank you for coming on one or more of my walks! I had a blast leading all of you and hope to do it again!

Last Sunday, after we explored the inside of the Old Croton Aqueduct, I handed three $1000 checks from my company, Royal Bank of Canada, to Mavis Cain, the president of the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct. They will be using this money to further the restoration of the Keeper's House and Museum. Some of you also helped me pick up many bags of trash along the way so thank you. But most of all, I deeply appreciate all your fine company and kind words. A person I walked with on one of my first long walks texted me yesterday saying her friend was raving about a Shorewalker leader and it turned out to be me!

I have finished posting about the latest series of three walks on my blog. You can find the links to all of them here:

My Trip

As some of you know, I recently resigned from my job to cycle across the country. I leave for Bar Harbor by Acadia National Park on Friday May 22nd, stopping overnight in Boston. I rented a vacation house there for a week with plenty of beds. Please let me know if you are interested in joining me there to hike, bike, rock climb, and sea kayak! Feel free to bring friends/family. I depart from there on Thursday May 28 to start the almost 70 day, 4300 mile bike ride to Seattle, Washington with BikeTheUSForMS. We will pass through 15 states and average 70 miles per day. After the ride, I'm spending 12 days exploring Seattle, Vancouver, and the three National Parks there for the first time. 

We are raising money to research and treat Multiple Sclerosis and I need to raise $1 for every mile I'm riding. My best friend's mother has MS and I'm doing this in her name. Please help!

Donate to my Cyclist Page:


30 Years of the Great Saunter

A brief history of the Shorewalkers

 Since 1982, Shorewalkers has been a leading advocate of environmental and other quality-of-life projects in the New York City Metropolitan Region, emphasizing the opening to the public of waterfront property.

Shorewalkers’ first hike took place Sunday, December 12, 1982 along the west coast of Manhattan. Our announcement read:

"Explore the changing Hudson River Coast, Battery Park, the Westway Route, active piers, through Penn-Central railroad yards and into Riverside Park. Lunch stop in Harlem. Wilderness above the George Washington Bridge, wind up in an Irish pub in Inwood"

We walked through Penn Central Yards, which were then active railroad freight lines between 59th St. and 72nd St. The rail yards have since been converted to blocks of dull condominiums and a strip of green called Riverside Park South. And it really was wilderness north of the George Washington Bridge along the deteriorating waterfront through little used parks, one of which is still unnamed. At the time, Irish Inwood bars dispensed beer at 15 cents a glass, a price that shocked several lawyers who walked with us. "Westway" was the highly debated proposed highway in a tunnel from 42nd St. to the Battery to be built on landfill. It would have added at least 300 acres of parkland to the Hudson River Park. Alas, it was never built.

Read more: 30 Years of the Great Saunter


It is with sorrow that we announce the passing of Michael Pollack on Aug. 27, 2014.  Mike was a long time hike leader and volunteer for Shorewalkers.  In addition to leading memorable hikes in which he imparted interesting and little known facts
Mike Pollackabout New York neighborhoods, he helped us here on the website posting many of the hikes.


Mike will be missed.


The Board of Directors

Want to be More Creative? Take a Walk

Reprinted from the New York Times Apil 30, 2014

                                   Gretchen Reynolds

If you are unable to think of a catchy, creative way to present sales data or begin a newspaper column, take a walk. A brief stroll, even around your office, can significantly increase creativity, according to a handy new study.

Read more: Want to be More Creative? Take a Walk

Great Saunter 2015 Dates to Keep in Mind

APRIL 14TH - ONLINE DEADLINE: last day for registering online in time for the Great Saunter Mailing on April 17th.  (If you miss this day you can bring your Confirmation email on May 3rd - and pick up your Great Saunter materials then.)
MARCH 20TH - MAILED IN REGISTRATION DEADLINE: last day for Shorewalkers to receive registration by mail for Memberships or the Great Saunter in order to be entered for the Great Saunter. After March 20th you must register for the Great Saunter in person.  Payment in person will be for the Great Saunter only. All paperwork received after  March 20th will not be processed until after May 3rd.

For more information on Great Saunter Registration and F.A.Q. click here!

Pete Seegar: A Shorewalker Along Many Rivers

By Cy A Adler

Pete was a great shorewalker and a friend. He told me about his long mileage walking experience as a teenager. We started walking, talking, and writing to each other in the 1960's.We walked the Hudson together.  When he joined the Shorewalkers as a Life Member he donated over $500. He loved to walk.
Pete wrote  “ I love the title Batt to Bear For folks who like walking from here to there...” as part of the introduction to my book Walking the Hudson From Batt To Bear. He wrote the introduction to Walking Manhattan’s Rim-The Great Saunter.  We will miss him.
We explored areas of the Hudson Coast together along shore north of Peekskill and south of  the P’ok bridge
Since he was sensitive to the sun I lent him my shirt with sleeves. Several times we walked   legs of the Great Saunter together. He liked to take the train to Spuyten Dyvil and join me at Inwood Hill Park. 
We wrote a song--The Shorewalkers Saunter--based on  blues melody.  It has become a walking standard:    
You don’t know this town, 
you don’t know this town, 
you don’t  know this town   
Till you join the Shorewalkers and they get you walking around 
Pete  was an extraordinary composer and musician. We wrote other songs together, Pete doing mainly the melodies and me the lyrics. One song was  about the Happy Hudson Bass,  another--Where Was Our Brave President--about  George Bush.
A few years ago, with Susan Wright we  worked on a children’s cantata: Thank You Skin, Couldn't Live Without You.  He wrote a song for it which was performed by kids at the Beacon H.S. 


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