Man's 14-month journey walking across America wraps up in New Haven

Holden Ringer ended his 14 month walk across America in New Haven.

Desirae Williams and Tom Krosnowski

May 8, 2024, 5:06 PM

Updated 20 days ago


While Fairfield County travelers were stuck grappling with major highway shutdowns this week, a determined walker found a way to get where he needed to be by avoiding vehicle travel altogether.
Holden Ringer, a professional walker, journeyed across 20 states since March 2023 by foot, capping off a 14-month trip in the city of New Haven. Ringer came out of it with a whole new outlook on the heartbeat of America.
“I wouldn’t have been able to make this walk without the kindness and generosity of so many people across the country. I don’t think it’s lucky, I think there’s just a lot of incredible people out here that are willing to help,” said Ringer.
Although it started for fun, Ringer's walk soon took on a cause - leading to a partnership with America Walks to advocate for pedestrian safety.
“Probably 20 to 30% of the drivers I’d see were on their phones. Looking into drivers’ eyes while walking into traffic, it very much changed your perspective." Ringer said. "I’ve walked in every neighborhood imaginable, but these arterial highways are the places I’m most scared of.”
From the Pacific Coast down through the south and then up the Atlantic, Ringer said he's seen every type of neighborhood.
Fueling his energy on canned pears and Pop Tarts, he said the biggest danger wasn't figuring out where to settle down for the night. It was instead dodging all of the distracted drivers and the lack of safe walking infrastructure across much of the country.
He reflected on how although the country can seem divided but said he was overwhelmed by strangers' generosity, offering him meals and places to stay.
"Even if I was walking through the rain, the snow or whatever conditions I was given, I always had a smile on my face, and I think so much of that was, 'I know that I met great people in this town, and I'm going to meet great people in this next town,' and that was true," said Ringer.

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