New Jersey residents are encouraged to take advantage of the great outdoors on Saturday, June 6 by participating in a variety of recreational activities in conjunction with the 22nd Annual National Trails Day to be celebrated nationally and statewide.
More than 30 events are planned in North, Central and South Jersey, from walking and horseback riding to cycling and kayaking. Everyone is encouraged to be outdoors, even for a short while, to explore any of the State’s more than 1,500 miles of trails near their homes.
“New Jersey’s quality of life is enhanced by our broad network of trails, which connect our communities to a vast array of green spaces,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. “In celebration of National Trails Day, the first Saturday in June is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the many trails in some of our magnificent state, county and local parks.”
An initiative of the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1993 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. It is now an annual event designed to promote the many attributes of recreational trails.
“It’s a day to get out on a trail and celebrate our connection to people, places and the outdoors,” said State Park Director Mark Texel. “Whether you live in a city, suburb or a rural area, there is probably a trail nearby where you can walk, jog, cycle, ride horses, ski, canoe, bird-watch and more. These are just some of the many trail activities available in New Jersey.”
The intent of National Trails Day is to develop a public understanding of the importance of recreational trails and the efforts to establish, preserve and maintain them. Trails provide health and fitness opportunities, outdoor classrooms to study nature, greenways for wildlife conservation, links to history and regional tourism opportunities.
Dozens of activities are planned on National Trails Day for trail enthusiasts and novices across New Jersey, including:
- Lessons on the ecology and history of Gypsy Pond (Bergen County)
- A trail dedication ceremony at the Dick Flint Natural Area in Washington (Warren County)
- An overview of the Taylor Steelworkers Historic Greenway (Hunterdon County)
- Trail stewardship projects at Wharton State Forest in Hammonton (Atlantic County)
- A celebration of the 50th anniversary of Double Trouble State Park (Ocean County)
- A one-mile narrated hike along Pompeston Creek (Burlington County)
- The following is a list of trail activities and events scheduled throughout New Jersey to celebrate National Trails Day. For more information, visit: www.trails.nj.gov.
Below is a comprehensive list of National Trails Day activities and events. For additional details on trail activities, including directions, contact information, RSVP requirements (if applicable) and other key facts, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/natural/trail_day.htm and click the link for 2015 events.
For more information about New Jersey Trails program, visit: www.trails.nj.gov.
NORTH NEW JERSEY
Pompton Aquatic Park, Pompton Lakes. Saturday, 6/6 – “Pompton Aquatic Park Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Hike.” 10 a.m.-noon (approximate). A ceremony and hike will celebrate completion of park improvements and 2.79 miles of new trails.
Verona Community Center, Verona. Saturday, 6/6 – “Verona In Motion: Let’s Take a Hike.” 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Morris Canal Inclined Plane West Loop Trail, Stewartsville. Saturday, 6/6 – “Morris Canal Inclined Plane No. 9 West Loop Trail.” 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The Warren County Department of Land Preservation and the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg will clear and establish a loop trail.
Dick Flint Natural Area, Washington. Saturday, 6/6 – “Dick Flint Natural Area Trail Dedication.” 1 p.m.-3 p.m. A new two-mile trail will be dedicated.
Meadowlands Environmental Center, Lyndhurst. Friday, 6/5 – “National Trails Day.” 10 a.m.-noon. Landscape architects with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will escort groups through DeKorte Park and explain its history. Free.
Gypsy Pond, Ridgewood. Saturday, 6/6 and Sunday, 6/7 – “Wildscape Gypsy Pond Event.” Noon-2 p.m. The pond’s ecology and history will be discussed and a debris cleanup is planned.
Columbia Trail, Chester. Saturday, 6/6 – “4th Annual Pedal for Preservation.” 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. A family friendly cycling event that includes a guided hike option.
Giralda Trail, Chatham. Saturday, 6/6 – “Giralda Trail Opening to the Public.” 10 a.m.-11 a.m. The township will open the Giralda Tract and a two-mile walking/biking trail to the public.
Roxbury Ice Age Trail, Landing. Sunday, 6/7 – “Lake Hopatcong Foundation Annual Group Trail Hike.” 1 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Guided trail hike.
Stephens State Park, Budd Lake. Saturday, 6/6 – “JORBA Trail Maintenance.” 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A spring/summer brush back of heavier growth trails at the park.
Kittatinny Valley State Park, Andover. Saturday, 6/6 – “Off the Beaten Track 5K Trail Run/Walk.” 8 a.m.–noon. A trail run/walk is scheduled through the park.
Tillman Ravine, Stokes State Forest, Sandyston. Saturday, 6/6 – “National Trails Day Hike.” 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Hike Tillman Ravine to visit a gorge and see Tillman Brook.
Warbasse Junction, Lafayette. Saturday, 6/6 – “Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee 2015 National Trails Day Celebration.” 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A hike of between 4 and 5 miles at Warbasse Junction in Lafayette is planned, and a display will be set up at the junction of two railroad lines.
Mountain Inlet Sanctuary, Hopatcong. – Saturday, 6/6 – “Hopatcong National Trails Day Hike.” 10 a.m.-noon. Join the Hopatcong Environmental Commission for a 1½-mile narrated hike.
Equine Center at Lusscroft Farm, Wantage. Friday, 6/5, Saturday, 6/6, and Sunday, 6/7 – “10th Annual National Trails Day Overnight Benefit Equine Ride.” Bring your own horse for the day or the weekend to explore trails at Lusscroft Farm, affiliated with High Point State Park. Fee.
CENTRAL NEW JERSEY
Mercer County Park, West Windsor. Saturday, 6/6 – “JORBA Trail Maintenance – Mercer County Park.” 9 a.m.-noon. A spring/summer brush back of heavier growth trails.
Forest Resource Education Center, Jackson. Saturday, 6/6 – “Forests, Streams & Bogs: exploring Jackson trails!” Guided hikes offered at 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
Henry Hudson Trail, Marlboro. Saturday, 6/6 – “Marlboro Mayor Hornik’s Ice Cream Bike and Stroll.” 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Ride or stroll the Henry Hudson Trail with Mayor Jonathan Hornik. Free ice cream treats will be available afterward.
Washington Valley Park, Martinsville. Saturday, 6/6 – “Trail Maintenance Projects.” 9 a.m.-noon. Somerset County Park Commission will do trail maintenance projects at Washington Valley Park.
Middlesex Greenway Trailhead, Metuchen. Saturday, 6/6 – “Middlesex Greenway National Trails Day.” 9 a.m.-noon. Litter cleanup and removal of invasive plant species.
Thompson Park Conservation Area, Monroe. Saturday, 6/6 – “National Trails Day.” 9:30 a.m.-noon. Trail extension project.
Union Forge Park, High Bridge. Saturday, 6/6 – “Taylor Steelworkers Historic Greenway Overview.” 10 a.m. Trail walk for wildlife watchers and history buffs.
Double Trouble Village Interpretive Center, Bayville. Saturday, 6/6 – “Cedar Creek Watershed Hike.” 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A hike of between 4 and 5 miles, over sandy trails throughout the Double Trouble Historic District. Meet at Double Trouble Village Interpretive Center. Fee. Free for children under 6.
SOUTH NEW JERSEY
Wharton State Forest, Hammonton/Shamong. Saturday, 6/6 – “National Trails Day at Wharton State Forest.” 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Trail maintenance project. Parking fee.
Bass River State Forest, Bass River. Saturday, 6/6 – “Trails Day – Volunteer Trail Maintenance.” 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Help set new trail markers, update trail color stickers, clean interpretive panels, remove trash along trails, and trim back brush. Refreshments provided.
Parvin State Park, Pittsgrove. Saturday, 6/6 – “2nd Landing Natural Area Cleanup and Spruce Up.” 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Join Parvin State Park Appreciation Committee for cleaning up, tree trimming, painting, graffiti removal and trail marking at 2nd Landing Natural Area.
Delaware Heritage Trail, Edgewater Park. Saturday, 6/6 – “Delaware River Heritage Trail Flyer Handouts.” 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Help Edgewater Park Township’s Environmental Advisory Committee distribute flyers of the Delaware River Heritage Trail.
Croft Farm, Cherry Hill. Saturday, 6/6 – “National Trails Day in Cherry Hill.” 9 a.m.-1p.m. Join the Cherry Hill Environmental Board for stewardship projects or activities including removal of invasive species at Croft Farm. A presentation is planned at the beginning of the event.
Cooper River Park, Camden. Saturday, 6/6 – “Walk in the Woods at Cooper River Park.” 10 a.m.-noon. A guided tour of the upper Cooper River Park and the Camden County Parks Environmental Center will be followed by a trails walk along Cooper River, around Evans Pond and the 80-acre Croft Farm.
Riverton Memorial Park, Riverton. Saturday, 6/6 – “4th Annual Great Pompeston Rubber Duck Race.” Noon-5 p.m. In addition to the race, there will be guided walks along the creek, live music, kids games and refreshments.
Saturday, 6/6 – “6th Annual ‘Walk the Walk’,” 11 a.m.-5 p.m. One-mile walk along Pompeston Creek.
Nature Center of Cape May, Cape May. Saturday, 6/6 – “Delaware Bay – Birds & Beers by Bike.” 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Naturalists from New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May and Cape May Bird Observatory will lead an approximate 40-mile tour that includes visits to Cox Hall Creek Wildlife Management Area, rides on the DRBA’s Cape May-Lewes Ferry, a visit to Cape Henlopen State Park, the Junction & Breakwater Trail connecting Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Fort Miles, and stops at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Rehoboth Beach and the Cape May Brewing Company.