West Side Rag’ Passing 3 miles per hour

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Posted May 7, 2022 11:24 AM by West Side Rag

Walkers in the annual Great Saunter enjoy a brief respite from the rain as they pass under the West Side Highway at Riverside Park on Saturday. Photograph by Daniel Katzive.

By Daniel Katzive

Walkers on the great ride, an annual 32-mile hike along the entire Manhattan coastline, passed through our neighborhood Saturday morning, undeterred by the pouring rain that kept most of us out of the parks. They were about a fifth of the way through their effort to circumnavigate the entire island.

The annual event is organized by NYC shore walkersa nonprofit group that describes its mission as “promoting and preserving New York City’s waterfront, and raising awareness of its shores by hosting invigorating hikes throughout the metro area.”

The walkers left between 7am and 8am from Battery Park with the objective of having lunch in Inwood Hill Park. At 9:30 a.m., a steady stream of wet but determined hikers crossed Riverside Park South, using the bike path and service road under the West Side Highway for an all-too-brief respite from the steady rain.

The walkers we spoke to estimated that the entire journey would take around twelve hours, although one told us that a fast walker could probably complete the journey in around 9 hours.

The shore walkers website indicates that this is the 35th year that the Grande Balade has taken place and that registrations for the event are sold out. The group says that historically about half of the participants complete the entire circuit back to the drums at the end of the day.

The Saunter, held on the first Saturday in May each year, is the main event for the Shorewalkers group, but the organization also runs shorter walks in the area throughout the year, according to the website.

Google map of the route created by Shorewalkers NYC.

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