For the past 25 years, the Shorewalkers have held their largest fund-raising event on the first Saturday in May. Called the Great Saunter, the 32-mile walk around the perimeter of Manhattan raises public awareness for increasing shore access for walkers and bikers and generally popularizing walking around the city.
"Circumnavigating Manhattan is the ultimate and extreme city walking tour and promises the seemingly impossible: a path less traveled on an overly trodden island. Half sightseeing tour, half endurance test, the journey at Manhattan's edge takes you into the shadows of 19 bridges, through as many parks and past art installations, city landmarks and 360 degrees of ever-changing views."
The Great Saunter was started by Shorewalkers founder Cy A. Adler, who wrote a book on the subject titled "Walking Manhattan's Rim: The Great Saunter", which covers his history on the streets and shores of Manhattan. He details the trail and each park, neighborhood and culture that he found along the way.
"I did the walk solo one Saturday, starting with a coffee at dawn from the Starbucks above the Chambers Street subway near the top of Battery Park City. You can, of course, start anywhere, but your feet will thank you if you pick a place close to a non-walking way home; clockwise from the Southwest also maximizes shade. It will take at least 10 hours, so give yourself 12. In his book, Mr. Adler suggests bringing "water, an extra pair of socks and Vaseline for your feet if it's hot out."
Read more about the Great Saunter here.