What is the Philladelphia Freedom Walk?
The Philly Freedom Walk is a one-day, 20-mile distance walk around the city of Philadelphia with the objective of being a both a comprehensive tour and physical challenge. It starts and ends at the convenient 30th St. Station, convenient to various mass transportation and parking facilities. The FreeWalkers have created this event and invite the public to join us. The FreeWalkers offer this and over 25 other events each year as opportunity to build awareness of recreational resources, health and fitness, livable communities and alternative transportation options.
Bob Quinlan, is our event leader and creator ot this walk. His love and knowledge of Philly will make this an enjoyable and educational experience. This is our inaugural year for this walk which will take place on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The event is free and open to everyone. We hope to repeat this walk annually.
Can anyone walk the Philadelphia Freedom Walk?
Yes, the walk is open to any individual. Keep in mind that this is not a race and the main group of walkers expect to finish in 9 hours. This assumes being able to walk at a fairly brisk pace, with time given to some interesting stops along the way. That represents being able to walk at an average of about 3 mph. Since the walk is part tour, we expect most of the starting group to remain together or re-join at a later time. You may choose to walk at your own pace too. Chances are excellent that you will meet walkers with a variety of experience and skill to meet your objectives.
To accommodate various skills and fitness levels, participating walkers can meet up with the walk at various designated points along the route. See the Route Schedule for various suggested intermediate spots where you might consider joining in or tailing off. We post a schedule of times where we anticipate the group will be passing various locations so you can plan ahead. There will be a 10-mile course also available if you would like to walk at a slower pace and still enjoy some excellent sites.
Since this is a circular route you might consider setting a shorter walk objective of, say, 3 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles or 15 miles, instead of the entire 21 miles. Getting back to 30th St. Station should be relatively easy at any time.
Why are you doing this type of event?
These events provides a way for the general public to participate together in a large-scale form of exercise while visiting a variety of communities and unique areas from a closer vantage point. In utilizing an available recreational resource, we hope to demonstrate the benefit of these types of resources to the public which we hope in turn will help guide future urban/suburban planning projects. We also hope to benefit The East Coast Greenway Alliance by promoting awareness, membership and donations to support its cause of creating and maintaining a 3,000 mile greenway along the entire U.S. East coast - from Maine to Key West.
Distance walking and "pedestrianism" is as old as mankind. It is as a result of our dependence on automobiles and other forms of transportation that our society has changed the look of its communities. In more recent times, commercial business and roads have marginalized our communities and caused us to limit the use of self-propelled travel. There are health and societal implications to our past policies. Our walking events follow a national movement to consider pedestrian traffic (walking and cycling) in all community and transportation projects.
Philadelphia is a great walking city with trails along the Schuylkill River and the Delaware plus numerous historical places and walkable city streets. Part of the walk incorporates the East Coast Greenway trail.
Does it cost anything to participate in the walk?
No. This walking event is open to the general public and is organized by the FreeWalkers, a free, social network of individuals interested in long distance walking and related walking events. We are supported by the ECGA and other organizations with volunteers for the sole purpose of providing a rewarding physical experience to the participants and to build awareness of pro-pedestrian issues. While the ECGA has provided some supplies to participants, walkers should be prepared by bringing their own drink, food and supplies or be prepared to pay for them along the way.
Sign up now for our email list to stay on top of general news about the event. To sign up as a participant you will need to register as a member of the FreeWalkers. Once registered, you may sign up as a participant for the event. Registered participants get the latest event information and will be able to set their own walking goals. After the walk, we survey participants and post results for registered walkers and and tally with others for the total miles walked that day. We expect to distribute a souvenir personalized "dog tag" for each participant who completes the survey.
Isn’t walking in urban and marginalized industrial areas dangerous? How can I be sure that I’ll be safe if I walk?
The route that is planned for the walk is the current route of the East Coast Greenway Alliance which incorporates the D&R Canal State Park. The ECGA is a well-established organization with the ambitious objective of creating a 3,000-mile multi-use trail from Maine to Florida. We will be walking almost entirely on the East Coast Greenway’s route, except for the starting and ending points. Portions of the walk are comprised of walkable paths, parks, as well as city sidewalks and commercial roads. TWalkers should always be consciously aware of their surroundings and visible to traffic.
How long does the walk take? Where do I start and finish?
The route will start from the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and finish at the same place and so will be conveniently located near rail transportation. While final details are not yet available, you can expect the first 20-mile walkers to begin at 9:00 a.m. This should accommodate the trains from the north and south. We expect the group to finish in about 8 hours (assuming stopping at several popular spots along the way). If you would like to walk a shorter distance we will have various other opportunities to join in along the route as mentioned above.
What if I can’t make it all the way?
Walkers should plan in advance. They should know train stations that are located along their route. Philadelhia offers many areas to park and join in or leave the walk. There are subway services, buses and cabs if you need to leave the walk unexectedly. We'll poll participants prior to the walk for logistics in sharing rides. There will be no formal support for the walk since it is a moderate distance and there are plenty of resources availalbe along the way. But, we strongly advise that you have a contingency plan to call someone you can rely on to pick you up if you need assistance as a back-up plan. Remember, that walking even 20 miles, especially in warm weather is a difficult physical task that requires stamina and an awareness of heat issues, like de-hydration. If in doubt, you should consider one of our shorter distance goals and have a contingency plan.
What happens if it rains or we experience other bad weather conditions?
There is no rain date set for this event at this time. The event may be cancelled if the weather is bad. At this time of the year, heavy rain may cause a cancellation. Check back at the event website phillyfreedomwalk.org or FreeWalkers.org for final details near the day of the event. We'll also keep in touch right to the last minute via email.
Who do I contact to find out more and to keep up to date as the event progresses?
Visit this website http://phillyfreedomwalk.org for the most current information about the walk specifically under the "Contact Us" Section
Be sure to sign up for the NJ2NY50 email newsletter on the home page. This will provide you with ongoing current information.
For general questions on the event email firstname.lastname@example.org