List of people who have walked across the United States

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This is a list of people who have walked across the United States. Walking or running across the United States has long been a challenge, especially to bring publicity to social causes. The definition has been based upon going from coast to coast in the United States, not including the Gulf of Mexico.

Philip Cihiwsky[edit]

Phil Cihiwsky, 59, from Loveland, Colorado walked from San Diego, California to York Harbor, Maine starting his walk on March 4 and completing it on October 4, 2013. He walked 3300 miles unsupported, crossing 15 states in 7 months while raising awareness about food insecurity issues among older adults for Meals On Wheels and encouraging the people he met along the way to support home delivered meal programs in their own communities .[1][2]

Helga Estby[edit]

Helga Estby, a 36-year-old from Spokane, Washington, and her 18-year-old daughter Clara walked from Spokane to New York City in 1896, setting off on May 5, 1896, passing through 14 states along the way, and arriving at the latter on Christmas Eve. She did so in response to a $10,000 challenge from a sponsor given to any woman who would walk across the United States. She brought with her a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and a curling iron. She wanted the money in order to save her family's 160-acre (0.65 km2) farm. She did not receive it.[3][4][5]

Louis Michael Figueroa[edit]

Louis Michael Figueroa, age 43, of Tucson. In 1982, at the age of 16, Figueroa became the fastest and youngest person to run across the United States covering the route from New Brunswick, NJ to San Francisco in 60 days to fulfill a promise to a friend who was dying of bone cancer.

In 1996–1997 he walked from Bangor, ME to San Diego, CA for local AIDS networks in memory of his brother Jimmy, who died of the disease. The walk was plagued by delays due to Figueroa's battle with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

In 2005, he began a walk around the United States for victims of child abuse. Figueroa walked for six months and covered 6,437 kilometres (4,000 mi) of the 12,070 kilometres (7,500 mi).[6]

On June 4, 2010 Figueroa left from where he previously stopped, 6.43 kilometres (4.00 mi) west of Somerset, PA and arrived in Tucson on January 15, 2011.[7][8][9][dated info]

Aaron Huey[edit]

Aaron Huey, age 25, left Encinitas, California on January 22, 2002 and arrived in New York City 3,349 miles and 154 days later. His only travel companion was his dog Cosmo. He did not carry a cell phone and had no support team.[10] Huey covered the why and how in his 2010 Annenberg Foundation lecture,[11] and Huey also wrote journals of his travels along the way.[12]

Polly Letofsky[edit]

Polly Letofsky, 37, walked around the world and as a natural portion of that walked across the United States. She started in Vail, Colorado, and headed west through Arizona, California, then walked around the world entering US shores again in NY. NJ, PA, Upstate NY, Ontario, CA, MI, WI, MN, IA, MO, KS, CO. Her walk around the world was the culmination of a childhood dream, but moreover was an advocacy campaign for breast cancer around the world. In each country the funds raised stayed in that country. Her book, 3mph: The Adventures of One Woman's Walk Around the World has become a best seller. [13]

David Madden[edit]

David Madden, a 19-day champion on Jeopardy!, he hiked the length of the United States as a fundraiser for the Fisher House Foundation, a charity that provides free accommodations for family members of veterans at American military hospitals.

Barbara Moore[edit]

Barbara Moore (1903–1977),[14] a Russian-born health en

To , walked 3,387 miles from San Francisco to New York City in 46 days in 1960.[15]

Richard H. Noble[edit]

From March 12, 2011 till June 9, 2012, this gay rights activist walked the Rainbow Pride Flag across the north/west and the south/east, dividing his walk into two parts, along with road trips and other walks across The Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation of South Dakota and a 63 mile walk from Palm Springs to the 29 Palms Marine Base where he hung a Rainbow flag ushering in the historic repeal of the discriminatory military law of Don't Ask-Don't Tell. The story was featured in The Advocate and was listed as one of the reasons to have PRIDE in 2012. The walk received 11 City Proclamations and 3 resolutions all in support of modernizing civil rights laws with The American Equality Bill. Noble reached Jacksonville on June 9, 2012 without injury as was the great concern carrying the international symbol of gay pride, The Rainbow Flag, setting state, national and international records for LGBT freedom. The 15 month walk went into 10 states and crossed 2700 miles.

Peace Pilgrim[edit]

Peace Pilgrim (born Mildred Lisette Norman) was an American pacifist, vegetarian, and peace activist. Starting on January 1, 1953, she walked across the United States for 28 years until her death in 1981. She had no organizational backing, carried no money, and would not even ask for food or shelter. When she began her pilgrimage she had taken a vow to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." At the time of her death, she was crossing the United States for the seventh time.

Chad Sigmon[edit]

Chad Sigmon was 38 years old when he ran across America starting April 1, 2013 from Jacksonville, FL and ending August 1 in San Diego, California. He ran for Mental Health Awareness and help end mental health stigma. He averaged around 22 miles a day for a total of 2,650 miles.[16][17]

William and Constance Stockdale, and their dog Taj Mahal[edit]

In 1949, for his honeymoon, he and his wife and boxer dog "Taj Mahal" walked "across America afoot," 3525 miles from Putnam, CT to Los Angeles, CA from Sept. 1949 to March 1950. Bill and Connie as they were known were some of the first known people to ever attempt this. This adventure was the start of a long and fulfilling career as a travel lecturer and writer for Bill. He and his wife visited over 65 countries on six different continents. He shared his love of travel through writing, television, and lectures. He wrote many articles for the Travel Section of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Worcester Telegram. He died on September 14, 2009 at age 91, leaving his wife of 60 years.[18]

Björn Suneson[edit]

Björn Suneson, a 59-year-old Swedish marathon runner and economics journalist, began his run across the United States on June 11, 2007 in Florence, Oregon and finished in Virginia Beach, Virginia September 14, 2007. Amazingly enough, heading in opposite directions, with no prior knowledge of the existence of the other (according to his website) he and Joseph Casamassima crossed paths in Gibbon, Nebraska—about the half way point for both men.[19]

Björn Suneson, this time aged 62, ran across the US again, starting April 10, 2010 at Westport, Washington and finishing July 17 at Tybee Island, Georgia.[20]

Suneson has run across the USA a third time. At age 64, he claims to be the first to have run across the United States three times without a support vehicle. This time he ran from Seaside, Oregon (on 20 March 2012) to Ocean Grove, New Jersey (on 25 June 2012).[20]

Katie Visco[edit]

From March 29 through December 29, 2009, Pave Your Lane’s Founder, Katie Visco; ran across America, from Boston to San Diego to spread this campaign. At this time, Visco became the 2nd youngest and 13th woman overall to run the 3,132 miles coast to coast.[21] The full detail of Katie's run can be found here

Bob Wieland[edit]

Bob Wieland is a Vietnam War veteran who lost his legs to a mortar mine in 1969. He "ran" across America on his hands, taking three years, eight months, and six days to travel from coast to coast and raise money for Vietnam war veterans.[22]

Zachary Bonner[edit]

Zachary Bonner is a homeless youth advocate. He started a non profit when he was 6 years old called the Little Red Wagon Foundation. At age 8 after seeing a documentary on a woman named Peace Pilgrim he decided to walk from his home in Tampa, Florida to the state Capitol Tallahassee. The following year at age 9 he continued his walk to Atlanta, Georgia and that summer at age 11 he walked from Atlanta to Washington DC. [23] He vowed to become the youngest to walk Coast to Coast and at age 12 completed that mission by walking from Jacksonville Beach to the Santa Monica Pier. During his walks he used media attention to raise awareness to homeless youth and highlighted many programs working to help these kids.[24] The journey took Zach 7 months to complete.

Joe "Tiger" Patrick II[edit]

Joe "Tiger" Patrick II is a Peace Dale, Rhode Island Army veteran. After volunteering at Ground Zero for 3 weeks he decided he wanted to do something to bring awareness to the men and women who died as a result of the events during the 9/11 attacks, and those who have died while serving in the military for the United States of America.[25][26] He committed to walking for the cause. He completed a memorial walk in 2011 and on his second walk in 2013 he walked approximately 3,000 miles across the United States beginning in April 2013 in the City of Coronado, California and ending in Washington D.C. in October 2013.[27][28] During this walk he carried a memorial panel that he created on canvas, which displayed the faces of over 6600 color images of U.S. service members, and weighed over 50 pounds. He also carried an American flag and a bat used by Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox second baseman).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Susan Morse (2013-10-05). "Man walks across country for Meals on Wheels". Seacoastonline. 
  2. ^ Dwane Brown (2013-03-04). "Volunteer Will Walk And Wheel 3,200 Miles To Support Meals On Wheels". KPBS News. 
  3. ^ Christy Karras (2003-06-01). "Book Honors Pair's Courageous, Forgotten Walk Across America". The Salt Lake Tribune. pp. D6. 
  4. ^ Margo Hammond (2006-06-23). "Get on the road with a good book". St. Petersburg Times. 
  5. ^ Chris Rodkey (2003-07-13). "The Nation: Women Get No Mileage From Cross-Country Trek". Los Angeles Times. pp. A.27. 
  6. ^ "Figueroa Video Interview on WTOC-TV of Savannah, Georgia". 
  7. ^ "Man to walk across U.S. for children's rights". Arizona Daily Wildcat. 2004-11-30. 
  8. ^ "The real 'Forrest Gump' stopped by police in Elm Grove". BrookfieldNow. 2010-07-06. 
  9. ^ "Long-distance walker on journey to protect children". Contra Costa Times. 2010-11-23. 
  10. ^ "Walking Across America". The Seattle Times Sunday Magazine. 2005-04-24. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Aaron Huey: Photographer, Argonaut, Rock Star
  13. ^ Wendy Bumgardner (2004-07-28). "First American Woman Walks Around the World". 
  14. ^ "Dr. Barbara Moore, Who Walked Across U.S., Is Dead at 73". New York Times. 1977-05-15. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  15. ^ The Wheatgrass Book, Ann Wigmore
  16. ^ Local Chad Sigmon travels coast to coast raising mental health awareness - The Exponent Telegram : News
  17. ^ Increasing mental health awareness - Arizona Range News: News
  18. ^ OBIT - Worcester Telegram & Gazette -
  19. ^ "Swede completes record-breaking US Run". The Local. 2007-09-14. 
  20. ^ a b Björn Suneson: Keep on running
  21. ^ Mario Fraioli (2009-12-29). "Katie Visco Completes Run Across America". Running Competitor. 
  22. ^ Rote, Kyle; Pettigrew, Joe (2009). Living Life in the Zone: A 40-Day Spiritual Gameplan for Men (2009 ed.). Thomas Nelson Inc. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-8499-4652-3. 
  23. ^ "Fla. boy walking to D.C. for homeless kids". Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  24. ^ Marshall, Joyce (21 May 2010). "12-year-old Florida boy takes Six Flags break during 2,500-mile walk | Today's Buzz". Star Telegram. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  25. ^ Prater, Erin (19 June 2013). "A war veteran, a flag and a mission". The Gazette. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  26. ^ Miller, Roxann (22 Aug 2011). "Rhode Island man treks through Chambersburg on way to ground zero". The Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Faces of Our Fallen". The City of Coronado California. City of Coronado, California. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  28. ^ Rangel, Alexis (7 May 2013). "One man's extraordinary walk across America". Imperial Valley Press News. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 

Further reading[edit]