One Man’s Inspiring, 130-Mile Walk Along the Jersey Shore

Last September, Gregory Andrus embarked on a year-long, 130-mile walk along the Jersey Shore, with the goal of overcoming personal challenges.

The author and photographer is documenting this healing journey in his book, A Walk Along the Jersey Shore, to be published in 2025.

Since Andrus, 54, of Toms River, began his twice-weekly walks last fall, he has covered over 45 beaches, venturing out in every kind of weather, including snowstorms and howling winds. He began at Sandy Hook and hopes to reach Cape May by December.

“I’m taking my time and want to experience all four seasons,” he says.

A couple of years ago, Andrus, who suffered abuse as a child and has struggled with alcoholism and homelessness, began working with a therapist to deal with this past trauma and ongoing depression.

“I decided to continue my healing process at the place I find most healing—the New Jersey beaches—and walk the entire length.”

He’s cheered on virtually by over 65,000 members of his Facebook group, Portraits of the Jersey Shore, launched in 2015. Since then, he’s interviewed and photographed over 2,000 individuals at the shore. Many are included in his first book, Portraits of the Jersey Shore, published in April 2018.

On walking days, Andrus drives to the next town on his list, parking in a nearby neighborhood “to get a sense of each town.” He turns off his phone, using only its voice-memo app to tape conversations with locals. Once on the beach, he walks south, averaging six to ten miles per walk.

“This is a personal walk of healing for me,” says Andrus.

He also aims to raise awareness of the causes that matter to him: mental health, homelessness, addiction and child abuse.

“I want to help people remember that life is beautiful and it’s worth fighting through the difficult times.”

Follow Andrus’s journey here.

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