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
"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
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
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.
DAYS ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS IN NEW JERSEY SATURDAY, JUNE
2 AND SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2001
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,
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,
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,
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, email@example.com.
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,
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,
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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,
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, email@example.com.
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,
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,
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com.
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,
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com.
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,
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,
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
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.