If walking the Geneva Lake Shore Path isn’t on your things-to-do List, and yes, that’s different than your bucket list, in my opinion, then you need to put it on now! And to make it that much easier to plan for and do, ‘Walk, Talk & Gawk’ has the guide to help. Let’s learn a little bit about ‘Walk, Talk & Gawk’ through the recent interview I did with Chris, one of the partners of the business.
Let’s start with a little bit about how ‘Walk, Talk & Gawk’ came to be, the original idea and conception.
In the early 1990s, Pat and I were introduced to the shore path by a colleague of mine who lived in Williams Bay. We all enjoyed walking and loved the scenery of the path. Often people stopped to ask us questions and we realized how much we didn’t know! when we went to the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce, they gave us a photocopy of two pages of a book about hiking trails in Wisconsin and there was misinformation about the length of the path. We decided to research and write a guide that was accurate.
We sent for official charts and physically walked sections with a measuring wheel and discovered that contrary to public opinion, the path is 20.6 miles, not 26! We decided to divide the path into seven sections ranging from 2 to 3.5 miles and adopted a format with inserts that a walker could choose from according to their plans, thereby eliminating the need to carry around a book. In 1995 we came out with our first edition. Subsequently, there have been others who have published guides. We believe that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery!
How many times have you walked the shore path yourself?
Over the last 25 years we have walked the path many times, generally, one to three sections at a time, although I did walk the entire path one time. We have published several updated editions because what you see along the way is constantly changing. Two of the estates mentioned in our 2012 edition were razed and, therefore, eliminated form our newest edition, for example.
What do you think it is about the shore path that draws so much attention and interest in having it on one’s bucket list?
The shore path is unique. There are not many places where you can walk next to the water around an entire lake! The beautifully landscaped mansions are surpassed only by the natural beauty of Geneva Lake! What began as an Indian trail has been protected as a public path over the decades.
What’s your favorite section or area of the Shore Path?
My personal favorite section is Black Point because of the new estates there, but it is also the most challenging. My Fitbit said we climbed 42 flights of stairs the last time we walked there!
If someone had limited time available with being in the area, and couldn’t walk the entire shore path, what section(s) would you suggest as the must walk section(s)?
If someone has limited time, but would like to get a feel for the experience of walking the shore path, it would depend on which town they were in to recommend a section. That’s when our guide would come in handy.
From your experience with walking the shore path, and even from any feedback you’ve received from others, what words of wisdom do you have to offer someone about to head out and walk the shore path?
For walkers I would recommend that they bring what they need with them and bring it back out. there are few places to get food or water. Also, very few public restrooms or trash cans are available. This practical information is included in our guide.
Is there anything you’d like to add, a question you’d like to answer that I haven’t thought to ask?
23 years ago there was very little awareness of this magnificent resource. Interest has grown in part because ‘Walk, Talk & Gawk’ has provided needed information. We have met incredible people throughout the years, including our business owners. We have received countless notes about what this area means to so many people. We have helped groups plan events also, ranging from “let’s celebrate mom’s successful cancer treatment”, to entertainment for weekend wedding guests. What a treasure to have in our backyard!
A treasure in our backyard is right! It’s always the things out our front door or in our backyard that we put off doing ‘coz we figure it’s always going to be there and we can do it tomorrow or do it later. Trick is, we never seem to get to doing any of it and we’re then missing out. Don’t miss out on walking the Geneva Lake Shore Path, even if it’s a section at a time, over a span of time!
For more details on ‘Walk, Talk & Gawk’, go to VisitWalworthCounty.com,
specifically using this direct link.