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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 5/29/01
01/61
CONTACT: Sharon A. Southard or Amy Collings
(609) 984-1795 or (609) 292-2994

NEW JERSEY TO HOST STATEWIDE EVENTS CELEBRATING NATIONAL TRAILS DAY

Take to the trails. Whether you live in the city, suburb or country there is probably a trail or pathway close to you. So, lace up your hiking boots, launch your canoe, grab your bike or saddle your horse, and head for a favorite trail. This year's National Trails Day begins Saturday, June 2, and continues through the weekend with more than 30 trail events and activities planned at many state parks and forests, and at local parks throughout New Jersey. (A list of events is attached.)

"This is a good opportunity to get out of our cars, take a hike or bicycle along our greenways and scenic trail corridors. It's also a way of reminding us of the value of working together to create a statewide premier network of trails, greenways and open space," said acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco. "DEP's Division of Parks and Forestry and New Jersey Trails Council have led the way by writing a comprehensive trails plan which addresses our recreational and trail needs and offers ways to obtain federal grants to support our trails."

DiFrancesco said that currently the state is working on its goal to build 2,000 miles of bicycle paths across New Jersey which was an initiative under former Governor Christine Whitman. He noted that more than 100 miles are completed with more than 1,250 miles of trails in progress. He said approximately $43 million in grants, including federal monies, have been provided in the last three fiscal years for the bike project.

DiFrancesco stated that planning is currently underway for the High Point to Cape May Bicycle Touring Route scheduled to open by the end of the year. The route is the first of its kind for New Jersey and totals 240 miles traversing through 10 counties and 52 municipalities.

State Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn encourages families, outdoor lovers and environmental enthusiasts to take advantage of the many different types of outdoor recreational activities that the Garden State offers.

"From the Highlands to the Pinelands, from the Hudson to the Delaware, New Jersey has more than 1,000 miles of marked or mapped land trails, approximately 500 miles of canoeable waterways and access to a variety of terrain and landscapes statewide," said Shinn.

Praising New Jersey's trail system, Shinn pointed out one of the state's recently completed projects is the reconstruction of the bridges along the Sussex Branch Trail. Following the route of the abandoned railroad corridor, trail users can now pass through a 21-mile landscape of farmland, forests and streams starting from Byram at the southern terminus, connecting with the Paulinskill Valley Trail in Lafayette and continuing north to the Frankford-Branchville boundary.

As an initiative of the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day was first celebrated in 1993 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. It is now an annual event. It is a day to get out on a trail and celebrate our connection to the outdoors. Walking, jogging, cycling, horseback riding, backpacking, skiing, skating, canoeing and nature observation are just some of the trail activities offered.

Trails Day was created to develop a public understanding of the importance of trails and the significant efforts required to establish, preserve and maintain them throughout the year.

"Trails provide health and fitness opportunities, outdoor classrooms for nature study, greenways for wildlife conservation, links with our historic past and economic boosts to regional tourism," said Celeste Tracey, supervisor of DEP's State Trails program. "National Trails Day helps to bring these efforts and values into focus so that more of the public is introduced to a satisfying and affordable recreation."

There are a variety of activities for trail enthusiasts and novices throughout New Jersey. Trails Day events include a scenic Delaware River canoe trip along the shores of Worthington State Forest, helping staff and the NJ Cycling Conservation Club with trail cleanup and maintenance at Allaire State Park, taking a hike in Edison's Dismal Swamp along the Middlesex Greenway, or joining the Whitesbog Preservation Trust on a moonlight walk around historic Whitesbog Village in Browns Mills.

For additional information contact Valerie Salice, National Trails Day Coordinator for New Jersey, at DEP's Division of Parks & Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management, PO Box 404, Trenton, NJ 08625, 609-984-1339.

NATIONAL TRAILS DAYS ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS IN NEW JERSEY SATURDAY, JUNE 2 AND SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2001

NORTH

Fredon Township, Sussex County. 6/2 - Celebrate National Trails Day with The Nature Conservancy by helping to create a new public trail system at Muckshaw Ponds Preserve, a stunning mosaic of sinkhole ponds within a limestone-rich forest. 9am to 1pm. Please call to pre-register and for directions. Contact: Joanne Steinhart, TNC, 908-879-7262, ext. 30.

Kittatinny Valley State Park, Andover. 6/2 - National Trails Day Celebration. Learn about our prominent rail-trails from the Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee. Members will be setting up an information table and directing hikes in the State Park and on the Paulinskill Valley Trail. Starting at 10am in the main parking lot off Limecrest Rd. Contact: Len Frank, PVTC, 908-852-0597.

Lewis Morris County Park, Morristown. 6/2 - Morris Trails Conservancy and the Morris County Park Commission are co-sponsoring a trailside brunch, awards ceremony and silent auction followed by different interpretive hikes throughout the park. Proceeds will go to Pyramid Mt. and we will be honoring Lucy & Karl Meyers. Meet 10am at the Cultural Building, 300 Mendham Rd. Call for reservations and information. Contact: Janet McMillan, MCPC, 973-326-7604, jmcmillan@morrisparks.net.

Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown. 6/2 - The National Park Service is planning two events for National Trails Day. Please call the Jockey Hollow Visitors Center, Washington Place for details and information. Contact: Ranger Greg Smith, Park Trails Coordinator, 908-766-6841.

Paulinskill Valley Trail, Blairstown. 6/3 - Paulinskill Valley Trail Bike Ride. Bring your own bike and join our naturalist for an interpretive bike ride on one of our rail-trails. Learn about local fauna and flora, as well as some railroad history. 10am to noon. Meet at the Footbridge Park parking lot in Blairstown. Contact: Lynn Groves or Elliot Gott, Kittatinny Valley State Park, 973-786-6445, kittvlly@warwick.net.

Ringwood State Park, Ringwood. 6/2 - Trail Maintenance. Join the staff of Ringwood State Park and the Ramapo Valley Cycling Club for clean-up and maintenance of multi-use trails while earning pay dirt points. Meet 9am at the Skylands parking lot C. Route 511 to Skylands Rd. Contact: Rebecca Fitzgerald, Ringwood State Park, 973-962-7031.

Skylands Botanical Gardens, Ringwood. 6/3 - Guided Garden Tour. Tour the New Jersey State Botanical Gardens with members of the Skylands Association. Meet 2pm at the Skylands Carriage House. Route 511 to Skylands Road. Contact: NJBG/Skylands Assn., 973-962-9534, www.njbg.org.

Stokes State Forest, Kittatinny Valley State Park and D&R Canal State Park. 6/2 & 6/3 - Bring your own horse on one of several trail rides being planned by the Somerset County Horse and Pony Assn. and NJ RailTrails. Trails include the Paulinskill Valley/Sussex Branch Trails, Six-Mile Run/D&R Canal State Park and trails in Stokes State Forest. For more information contact Susan Data-Samtak, 908-725-9649, PasoVasz@aol.com.

Sussex Branch Trail, Lafayette. 6/2 - Sussex Branch Trail Bike Ride. Bring your own bike and join our naturalist for an interpretive bike ride on one of our rail-trails. Learn about local flora and fauna, as well as some railroad history. 10am to 12 noon. Meet at the Warbasse Junction Rd. parking lot off Route 94 in Lafayette. Contact: Lynn Groves or Elliot Gott, Kittatinny Valley State Park, 973-786-6445, kittvlly@warwick.net.

Worthington State Forest, Columbia. 6/2 - Trails Day Scenic Delaware River Canoe Trip. Join staff of Worthington State Forest for a 4-mile canoe trip along the Delaware. The history, ecology and the many recreational uses of the river will be discussed. Pack Shack Adventures will transport our group to the Poxono Boat Launch where we will begin our trip and finish at our Worthington meeting place. Co-sponsored by Worthington State Forest & Pack Shack Adventures. Please call for reservations. Meet 10am at the boat launch behind the Worthington State Forest office off Old Mine Rd. Contact: Patty Bennett, 908-841-9575, worth@voicenet.com.

CENTRAL

Allaire State Park, Wall. 6/2 - Allaire Trails Clean-up Day. Volunteers, groups and individuals are needed to spend some time walking the trails while cleaning up the area. Meet 9am at the Nature Center off of Route 524. Please call to pre-register. Contact: Lorraine McCay, Naturalist, 732-938-2003, allaire@superlink.net.

Allaire State Park, Wall. 6/2 - Trail Maintenance and Clean-up. As part of the monthly trail maintenance program join the Allaire Trail Users Group and the Bicycle Hub of Marlboro for this workday. Meet 8am at the parking area on Hospital Road. Contact: Wally Tunison, the Bicycle Hub, 732-946-9080.

Cheesequake State Park, Matawan. 6/2 - Enjoy a guided nature walk along the scenic Green Trail with State Park Service staff. Participants will pass through three ecosystems. Along the route we will remove light trash and stop for a mid hike refreshment. Early arrivals will receive a NTD commemorative gift. Wear hiking boots; bring water and insect repellant. Meet 11am at the Interpretive Center. Contact: Jim Faczak, Naturalist, 732-566-3208, jfaczak@monmouth.com.

Dismal Swamp, Edison. 6/2 - 6th Annual Middlesex Greenway National Trails Day Hike. Take a hike through Dismal Swamp along the Middlesex Greenway. The hike will highlight the work of the Edison Wetlands Assn. and the Greenway- Wetlands partnership to develop and mark trails. Meet 10am at the Triple C Ranch and Nature Center, 206 Tyler Rd. Contact: Walter Stochel, 732-906-0529, wstochel@earthlink.net.

Eagle Rock Reservation, Essex County. 6/3 - National Trails Day Hike. Join the Essex Co. Park System and the Sierra Club on a 5-mile hike through scenic Eagle Rock Reservation. Family participation is encouraged for this moderate hike. Meet 10am at the reservation on Eagle Rock Ave., West Orange. Contact: Sarah Hanson, 973-268-3516.

Monmouth County Park System, Lincroft. 6/2 - Join the park system staff and volunteers for a day of trail construction, maintenance and dedication. 9am. Choose one of two park locations: Turkey Swamp in Freehold or Thompson Park in Lincroft. Lunch and National Trails Day T-shirt & gift will be provided for all pre-registered volunteers. Volunteers must pre-register. Contact: Doreen Giordano, 732-842-4000, x4283, dgiordan@shore.co.monmouth.nj.us.

Shipetaukin Woods, Lawrence Township. 6/2 - Enjoy a 45-minute walk along the trail of Shipetaukin Woods with the Lawrence Township Conservation Foundation. The 63-acre area contains wooded wetlands. Trail may be wet. Wear boots. Meet 11am at Carter Rd., opposite Carson Rd. in Lawrence. Contact: Joyce Copleman, 609-896-9714.

Sourland Mountain Preserve, Hillsborough & Montgomery. 6/2 (rain date 6/3) - The Somerset County Park Commission and Eastern Mountain Sports need volunteers for a trail workday. Boardwalks will be built, brush cleared, trash picked up, and trail erosion stopped. Wear old clothes and old shoes or work boots, bring gloves…and be prepared to sweat! Food and beverages will be provided. 10am-3pm. Meet in the parking lot on East Mountain Road. Contact: Dave Dendler or Christine Biskey, 908-369-1458, dadendler@parks.co.somerset.nj.us.

Washington Crossing State Park, Titusville. 6/3 - Rocks and Minerals Day. The Rocks and Minerals Club of Lower Bucks County will be at the Interpretive Center displaying a variety of geologic specimens and answering visitors' questions 12pm to 4pm. At 1:30, Ralph Thomas will present a program on mineral identification and how minerals are used in everyday life. There is a $3 state park entrance fee. Contact: Wayne Henderek, 609-737-0609, washxing@superlink.net.

SOUTH

Batsto River, Burlington County. 6/2 - Bring your own canoe and join the Mohawk Canoe Club on an 11-12 mile canoe trip along the scenic Batsto River through Wharton State Forest and the Pinelands of south Jersey. The trip is scheduled for 9am. Meet at the Atsion Ranger Station along Route 206. You must pre-register. Contact: Kevin McCarthy, eddytern@eclipse.net.

Belleplain State Forest, Woodbine. 6/2 - National Trails Appreciation Day. Join State Forest staff and volunteers for trail maintenance and dedication of 7 miles of trail. 10am to 2pm. Light morning refreshments will be available. Bring a bag lunch. No trail work will be done if it rains. Follow brown signs, Route 550, Woodbine. Contact: Kathleen Meyer, BSF, 609-861-1354, Dookieshoo@aol.com.

Cape May Point State Park, Cape May Point. 6/2, 3pm & 6/3, 11:am & 2 pm. Nature Walks. Meet at the park office and join us for a free 1-hour guided walk of the Red Trail. Visitors will learn plants, trees, birds and possibly reptiles and amphibians. Contact: Matt Pelligrine or Dean Cramer, CMPSP, 609-844-2159.

Cape May Point State Park, Cape May Point. 6/3 - Beginner's Bird Walk. Would you like to learn about birds, but are afraid of embarrassing yourself on a bird walk? Well, have no fear! This is a fun, family style 1.5-hour bird walk for those of us who cannot tell a blue bird from a bluejay. Meet 9am at the park office. Contact: Matt Pelligrine or Dean Cramer, CMPSP, 609-844-2159.

The Dorothy Reserve, Estell Manor. 6/2 - Join the Great Egg Harbor Watershed Assn., the National Park Service and the NJ Conservation Foundation for a trail cleanup and planting native plants. 11am to 1pm. Meet at the trail entrance on Maple Ave. Contact: Belinda Irizarry, 609-567-4762, gehwa.gehwa@verizon.net.

Egg Harbor PAL Ready to Ride Facility, Egg Harbor Twp. 6/2 (rain date 6/3) - You are invited to the grand opening of the Egg Harbor Twp. Police Athletic League's Ready to Ride, Riding and Training Facility. 11am. The Ready to Ride Facility is located on Ridge Ave. Contact: Sgt. Hector Tavarez, 609-645-8413.

NJ Audubon Society, Cape May. 6/2 - Harbor Safari. Explore the marsh and other habitats lining the water's edge of Cape May Harbor with the NJ Audubon Society. Encounter marine life of the shallows. Discover the beauty and wonders of south Jersey's coastal plants, upland areas and a seaside garden. Learn the history and current happenings of the harbor. Meet 11am at the Nature Center, 1600 Delaware Ave. Contact: Sue Ann Slotterback, 609-272-1871, nccm@njaudubon.org.

Ocean County Park, Lakewood. 6/2 - South Jersey Canoe & Kayak Classic. Here is your chance to view over 100 models of canoes and kayaks with an opportunity to test paddle. There will be clinics and demonstrations, games, music, food and more. Get prepared for your next water trail excursion. 10am to 4pm. Ocean County Park, Route 88, Lakewood. Contact: OC Dept Parks & Recreation, 609-971-3085.

Wading River, Burlington County. 6/3 - Join members of the Mohawk Canoe Club on a canoe trip along the Wading River through the scenic Pinelands of south Jersey. Meet 9:30am, on Route 563 at the Wading Pines Campground sign south of Chatsworth. Bring your own canoe. Please call to pre-register. Contact: Michael Paul, 609-882-8487.

Wharton State Forest, Burlington County. 6/3 - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Mullica River Trail & Barrier Free Trail. Join the staff of Wharton State Forest as they honor the groups and individuals who have worked on the trails, 11:00 am. Guided hikes will be offered in the afternoon. Batsto Historic Village, Route 542 Westbound, 8 miles east of Route 30 in Hammonton. Contact: Gilbert Mika, Naturalist, 609-567-4559.

Whitesbog Village, Browns Mills. 6/2 - Volunteer Work Day. Help the Whitesbog Preservation Trust clean up trails, ponds, etc., in and around historic Whitesbog Village. 10am-3pm. Meet at the general store of the historic village on Whitesbog Rd. Please call to register. Contact: Sue Goldstein, 609-893-4646.

Whitesbog Village, Browns Mills. 6/2 - Moonlight Walk. Join the Whitesbog Preservation Trust on a 1-2 mile or 3-5 mile hike around historic Whitesbog Village. Meet 7pm at the general store of the village on Whitesbog Rd. Contact: Sue Goldstein, 609-893-4646.

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Last Updated: September 29, 2001