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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2014

Contact:  Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NATIONAL TRAILS DAY ACROSS
NEW JERSEY THIS WEEKEND

RESIDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO EXPLORE THE NATURAL BEAUTY AND WONDERS OF RECREATIONAL TRAILS IN ALL 21 COUNTIES

(14/P57) TRENTON — A series of recreational, educational and stewardship events are scheduled statewide on Saturday, June 7, and Sunday, June 8, as part of the 21st annual National Trails Day celebration to take place nationally and across New Jersey.

More than 20 official National Trails Day trail events are planned in North, Central and South Jersey. All residents are encouraged to get outside, even for just a short while, to explore any of the state’s 1,500 miles of trails near their homes to help celebrate the event.     
  
“The quality of life in New Jersey cities and towns 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. “This first Saturday in June is the time to lace up your hiking boots, launch your canoes and kayaks, grab your bikes or saddle your horses, and head out on one of those great trails in some of our magnificent state, county and local parks, and our wealth of natural areas in New Jersey.’’

As part of the commitment to New Jersey’s extensive trails network, the Christie Administration in April approved 39 applications totaling $755,054 for recreational trails projects in 15 counties across New Jersey, plus a host of projects that cross many other county and municipal lines.

As an initiative of the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1993 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the National Trails System Act.  It is now an annual event designed to recognize and promote the many benefits 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 the city, suburb or in the country, there is probably a trail or pathway that has been created close to you. Walking, jogging, cycling, horseback riding, backpacking, skiing, canoeing, kayaking and nature observation are just some of the trail activities that bring us to the outdoors.’’

The intent of National Trails Day is to develop a public understanding of the importance of recreational trails and the efforts required to establish, preserve and maintain them. 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.

There are a variety of activities planned on Saturday for trail enthusiasts and novices throughout New Jersey, including:

  • A one-hour narrated hike overlooking Henderson Cove in Lake Hopatcong (Sussex County)
  • A two-hour plant walk with botanist Edith Wallace (Bergen County)
  • Completion of a new hiking trail at Thompson Park (Middlesex County)
  • A trail surveying project at Wharton State Forest (Burlington County)
  • Trail stewardship projects at Croft Farm in Cherry Hill (Camden County)

In addition, volunteers are invited to help collect information about the State Park System’s 1,000-plus miles of official trails by taking the Trails Tracker Survey. Information gathered in the survey will be used in future informative trail brochures that will accompany newly-designed trail maps. Those interested in obtaining a copy of the Trails Tracker Survey can email their request to kiethabiggers@gmail.com. Surveys can also be picked up at the park office of participating state parks.

The following is a list of trail activities and events scheduled in celebration of National Trails Day, including several within State Parks and Forests. For additional information see the New Jersey Trails program website: www.trails.nj.gov.

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS IN NEW JERSEY

NORTH JERSEY:
The Terra Cotta Road Brickyard Trail, Port Murray (Warren County).  Saturday, 6/7 – 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. The Warren County Dept. of Land Preservation and the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg are combining efforts on National Trails Day to re-establish a one-half mile segment of the Terra Cotta Road trail on the Brickyard Property in Port Murray.

Footbridge Park, Blairstown.  Saturday, 6/7 – “National Trails Day.” 10 a.m. -2 p.m.
The Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee (PVTC) will host a moderate 5 to 7 mile hike on the Paulinskill Trail.

High Point State Park, Sussex, Montague. Saturday, 6/7 – “National Trails Day Equine Ride and Overnight Stay.” Fee for overnight stay with horse.

Paulinskill Valley Trail, Kittatinny Valley State Park, Warbasse Junction. Saturday, 6/7 – “National Trails Day Celebration.” 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Visit the exhibit at the junction of two former railroad lines or hike the scenic and tranquil rail-trail and learn about the history of the railroads that used to transport passengers, agricultural products, and iron ore through Sussex and Warren County. Free.

Madison Recreation Complex, Madison.  Saturday, 6/7 – “Madison Recreation Complex Trails Dedication.” 11 a.m. – 12 noon. The Madison Recreation Complex Master Plan Advisory Committee worked with the Land Conservancy of New Jersey to design and build a series of trails in an area known as the Madison Recreation Complex. This is the first phase in developing a passive component of the complex.

Richard W. DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst. Sunday, 6/8 – “Richard W. DeKorte Park Plant Walk.”  10 a.m. to 12 noon. Join a free two-hour plant walk with botanist Edith Wallace and Bergen County Audubon Society President Don Torino in search of plants that attract birds and butterflies, and which ones would work in your home gardens.
 
Roland-May Eves Inlet Sanctuary, Lake Hopatcong.  Sunday, 6/8 – “Lake Hopatcong Foundation National Trails Day Nature Hike.” 1- 2 p.m. Join members of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation to explore the trail at Roland-May Eves Inlet Sanctuary overlooking Henderson Cove, Lake Hopatcong. It is a narrated one-hour moderate hike to learn about the geology of Lake Hopatcong, wildlife habitat and other interesting information.

CENTRAL JERSEY
Gateway National Recreation Area /Sandy Hook Unit, Highlands. Sunday, 6/8 – “National Trails Day Hikes.” 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a National Park Service and Stewardship/Trail Project program.

Cheesequake State Park, Matawan. Saturday, 6/7  – “Natural Trails Day Hike.” 10 a.m. start. Participate in trail maintenance hike along the Cheesequake trails. Hike starts at trail head parking lot. Park entrance fee per car.

Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve, Franklin Twp. Saturday, 6/7 – “National Trails Day Celebration at Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve.” 9-11:30 a.m.   Program activities include: photography, geocaching, hooping, hiking (with pets), and history, plus there will be informational displays.
 
D&R Canal State Park. Saturday, 6/7 – “Six Mile Run Reservoir Site.” 10 a.m. The naturalist and historian of the D&R Canal State Park will lead a group through the Six Mile Run Historic District on one of the many trails available to the public. Meet at the Route 27 parking area. Free pre-registration required.

Johnson Park, Piscataway.  Saturday, 6/7 – “16th Annual Towpath ‘Training Run.” 6-11 a.m.  A trail run on a National Scenic Trail in Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park organized by Raritan Valley Road Runners. Ranging from 1 to 34.5 miles.  RSVP required. 

Pryde’s Point Trail, West Amwell. Saturday, 6/7 – “National Trails Day Celebration at Pryde’s Point Trail.” 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Join a walk on Pryde’s Point Trail, beginning at one of the highest points in Hunterdon County and looping down to Alexauken Creek.

Smithville Park, Eastampton.  Saturday, 6/7 – “Guided and Individual Hike.” 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon. There are 1.1 mile and 2 mile trails.

Thompson Park, Jamesburg. Saturday, 6/7- “National Trails Day – Thompson Park.” 9: 30 a.m. to 12 noon. Join the Middlesex County Conservation Corps to work on the completion of a new hiking trail at Thompson Park and to perform maintenance on existing trails.

SOUTH JERSEY

Double Trouble Village State Historic Site. Saturday, 6/7 and Sunday, 6/8 – “National Trails Day Hike & Clean Up.” 9 a.m. Enjoy a 4-5 mile hike and little clean up over flat sandy trails around Double Trouble Historic District. Dress for weather and bring water and snack. Garbage bags and pickers will be provided. Please bring work gloves. Free pre-registration required.

Bass River State Forest, Tuckerton. Saturday, 6/14  – “National Trails Day Volunteer Project.” 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Help maintain 12 miles of marked trails by trimming trails and picking up light trash. Enjoy free hot dogs and chips afterwards. Meet at Bass River State Forest Office.

Croft Farm Trails, Cherry Hill.  Saturday, 6/7 – “St. Michael’s Lutheran Church Trails Day in Cherry Hill.” 9 a.m. to 12 noon. These stewardship/trail projects will remove invasive species, install trail posts at two locations, replace vandalized trail signs, and install a post with informational signs on proper pet conduct on the trail.

Bunker Hill Trails, Cherry Hill. Friday, 6/13 – “Cherry Hill Trails Conservation Stewardship Day.”  9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Stewardship and trail project to install two trail posts with signage on White/Red Trail Intersection and construct a raised footpath on Purple Trail.
 
Kresson Trails, Cherry Hill.  Saturday, 6/21 – “Cherry Hill Mountain Bike Trail Riding Instruction.” 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Mountain bike trail riding instruction and riding hosted by the Cherry Hill Environmental Board. 

Wharton State Forest – Batsto Historic Village, Hammonton. Saturday, 6/7 – “Trails Survey Day at Wharton State Forest.” 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Join the effort to survey the trails, either on foot, bicycle or horseback.
 
Whitesbog Preservation Trust, Browns Mills. Saturday, 6/7 – “Historic Whitesbog’s Botanical Trail & Suningive’s gardens.” 12 noon to 3 p.m. The Whitesbog Preservation Trust is working to restore and enhance these trails with a trail grant provided by the DEP. Participants will help Whitesbog’s Landscape Committee restore and enhance the Botanical trail: remove invasive species, transplant native species or pot up for later relocation, move and transplant shrubs, line trails and mulch walkways, and help to weed gardens.  

IMPORTANT:For more specific details on event listed below, including directions, contact information, RSVP requirements (if they apply), and other key facts, please visit: www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/natural/docs/2014%20Event%20List%20NTD.pdf

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