Saunter will attempt great feat
By Albert Amateau
The 2007 Great Saunter, the 22nd annual shoreline trek around Manhattan Island conducted by the hiking and environmental group Shorewalkers, is expected to attract close to 1,000 walkers on Sat., May 5.
The 32-mile event, sometimes called The Great Schlep, will step off at 7:30 p.m. from the plaza at Fulton and South Sts. across from the South St. Seaport. About 10 hours later, those who complete the entire route traversing 20 city parks and promenades will rest their tired feet and raise a glass back at the Seaport.
Most participants come from New York but the Great Saunter attracts people from all over the country and around the world.
Of course, not all the walkers will reach the final destination; participants can join and leave The Great Saunter at different rendezvous points along the way. The walk goes south to the Battery and up the Hudson River promenade, arriving at the Circle Line Terminal at W. 42nd St. for a 9:45 a.m. rendezvous and news conference.
The next stop will be at 11:20 a.m. at the north end of Riverbank State Park at W. 145th St. atop the North River Waste-Treatment Plant, to be followed at 1:30 p.m. for a lunch break near the flagpole at Isham St. in Inwood Park.
The route then goes south along the Harlem River, past Highbridge Park to the East River. At 5 p.m. The Great Saunter will pause in Carl Schurz Park on the East River at the flagpole near E. 86th St. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. walkers will celebrate the end of The Great Saunter at Heartland Brewery at the Seaport.
Along the way, well see the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, cherry trees in bloom, daffodils, people fishing and Hudson River Park, said Cy Adler, founder and president of Shorewalkers. Well see Brooklyn, Governors Island, Staten Island in the distance, New Jersey, The Bronx and Queens. The pace is steady but not fast. Most of the route is fairly flat, except for the steep hills and thick forest of northern Manhattan that most people have never seen, Adler said.
The event is open to everyone. Nonmembers of Shorewalkers who preregister at www.greatsaunter.org will be asked to donate $10, and those signing up at the start of the event are asked for a $15 donation, which includes membership in Shorewalkers.
Great Saunter sponsors include the city Department of Parks and Recreation, Con Edison, The River Project, Time Warner Books, Friends of Hudson River Park, Roma Wines and Spirits, The Durst Organization, Riverside South Planning Corp., Dive Bar, Heartland Brewery and others.