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WALK THE GREAT D&R CANAL ON APRIL 6, 2013

Starting from the Delaware River, trace the footsteps of this 175 year old waterway and transportation system across Central New Jersey - from Trenton to New Brunswick. The Great Canal Walk is a forty-mile, one-day long distance event that is a superb physical and mental challenge and the first event in a series of walking events aiming to walk across New Jersey following the East Coast Greenway.

Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is one of central New Jersey's most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding. The Great Canal Walk follows the main canal section from downtown Trenton through Lawrenceville and Princeton, as well as the charming villages of Kingston, Griggstown, Blackwells Mills and East Millstone, ending up in New Brunswick. 

The D&R Canal, which remains largely intact, was originally built across central New Jersey to provide an efficient and safe route for transporting freight between Philadelphia and New York. For nearly a century after it opened, the D&R Canal was one of America's busiest navigation canals. Howard Green, research director of the New Jersey Historical Commission has said of the canal, "It is one of the most beloved parks in the state, a sinewy, snake-like greenway through one of the most heavily populated parts of the world. It has gone from being the machine in the garden, to being garden in the machine."

The TR2NB40 - Great Canal Walk is the first long distance walking event planned by the FreeWalkers for 2013.  FreeWalkers.org is a social network of long distance walkers that encourage fitness, pedestrianism, and friendship while pursuing personally challenging goals. This is the third year the FreeWalkers are partnering with the East Coast Greenway on a new program called the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge which sets a goal of walking the 100 miles of the ECG, across the entire State, at any time during the year.  

FreeWalker events are interesting and physically challenging walks that appeal to a broad population. According to Paul Kiczek, a Morristown resident and its founder, "Many are attracted to a personal challenge for various reasons, but are often put off by the difficulty, experience or skill required. FreeWalker events encourage everyone to strive for an ambitious personal goal and then plan and motivate themselves to achieving it." According to Kiczek, "This is not a race. Walkers benefit from the exercise, friendships and delight of discovering a hidden world nearby. Everyone who walks is a winner."

The public is encouraged to join FreeWalker events. All walking events are free. Walkers can participate even if they choose to walk less than the total distance and wish to walk at their own pace. For more information on the TR2NB40 - Great Canal Walk visit http://TR2NB40.org. The East Coast Greenway Alliance is non-profit organization developing a public multi-use 3,000 mile trail from Canada to Key West, a major portion of which runs across New Jersey (visit http://greenway.org). For the latest information on the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge visit http://crossjerseywalk.org.

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