Before the walk: 

  • Examine the city perimeter on a map and start studying the potential ways around the city’s edge.
  • Consider designating an emergency contact who knows where you’ll be walking and is willing to come find you if you need support. Have their contact information written down on an index card in your pocket (along with any relevant medical info.)

While walking:

  • Stay as close to the border as possible, within reason.
  • Find the way around the city’s edge that suits your own needs and the needs of those walking with you, knowing that it is just one possible path among many. 
  • Take responsibility for yourself. You are undertaking this exploration at your own risk.
  • Prioritize safety & obey the law at all times.
  • Treat everyone and everything that you encounter with respect.
  • If you are used to leading or being an expert, consider stepping back and making space for others to do so. If you are quite content following, consider challenging yourself to step up and spend some time leading the way.
  • If you encounter an obstacle, simply walk around it. While detours and delay might seem frustrating, they are instrumental in setting you up for unique experiences further along the way.
  • Be open to finding beauty in unexpected places.
  • Be ready for fatigue, discomfort, pain, frustration too. The challenges are part of the experience, but listen to your body; you can initiate a break or head home anytime you need to.
  • Remember: there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. 
  • It’s recommended that you keep phones in do-not-disturb mode so as to be fully present with your fellow pilgrims. You can use them for navigation & documentation as needed, and you can share about it later!

After walking:

  • The perimeter walk experience is different every time, depending on the people that you’re walking with, the season and weather, the navigational choices made and split second moments encountered. Consider re-walking a segment (or the whole thing) at a different time, or with different people, to see what changes and what stays the same.
  • Share your experience with others, and seek to learn from how others have experienced the perimeter. You might do this through continued engagement with Walk Around Philadelphia and future online & in-person events. Send us your documentation, and make sure you’re getting updates & invites via the email list!
  • Consider that this simple endeavor of setting out to explore the city’s edge is inaccessible to most Philadelphians. You might help us make this project more accessible and inclusive by developing partnerships for the walk or sponsoring a walker. You can make a contribution here or get in touch with connections or suggestions.