Burlington County’s push to develop additional miles of pedestrian and bicycling trails continued this month as construction started on a new trail linking Amico Island Park in Delran to Pennington Park in Delanco.
The new path is one of several new trails projects in the works or near completion in Burlington County, which already has more than 1,000 acres of developed parkland and 50-plus miles of interconnecting hiking, biking and running trails.
“Whether you’re in training for a marathon or just looking for a serene walk along the creek or through the country side, Burlington County has some of the best trails in the entire state, and this new path promises to make our network even better by connecting two of our most popular parks,” said Commissioner Linda Hynes, the Board’s liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “This path will showcase a portion of our county full of history and a variety of natural scenery, wildlife and terrain. We’re thrilled to see work commence and we can’t wait to see it open later this fall.”
The Amico Island to Pennington Park Trail is being constructed by Richard E. Pierson Construction Co. and is being funded entirely with a federal transportation grant.
The project includes a new trailhead at the entrance of Amico Island, along with a four-mile handicap-accessible path that will wind through neighborhoods and park properties in Delran, Riverside and Delanco, including beneath the River Line light rail bridge and along the banks of the Rancocas Creek behind Newtown’s Landing and through portions of Pennington Park.
In addition to the trail, the County is making improvements at both Pennington and Amico, including bike racks, bicycle repair stations, kiosks and additional parking and picnic tables.
Construction on the trail and enhancements have started in Pennington and require the closure of the parking lot adjacent to the dog park and many of the existing trails through the park. The closures are considered safety precautions and are expected to remain closed until the new trail is completed in the fall.
The park playground, dog park and other areas remain open.
“We understand these closures will be an inconvenience for people who enjoy the park and its many amenities, but safety is our top priority. We will look forward to the fall when we can welcome back park enthusiasts to the finished trail and all the enhancements that are part of it,” said Mary Pat Robbie, the County’s Director of Resource Conservation. “The good news for those who enjoy hiking, biking or walking through Pennington is that there are plenty of other great trails that are open at nearby Amico Island and the County’s newest park, Willingboro Lakes. If you have not visited those parks already, now is a great time.”
The 55-acre Amico Island Park is about four miles away off Norman Avenue and features 1.9 miles of trails, including paths near the Delaware River and Dredge Harbor.
Willingboro Lakes is located off Route 130 and Beverly-Rancocas Road and features 2.9 miles of hiking trails, fishing piers, a play area, pavilion and picnic sites.
In addition, to the Amico Island to Pennington Park trail, construction is near complete on a 5.5-mile segment of the regional Delaware River Heritage Trail through Florence and Bordentown, including a new at-grade crossing of the River Line tracks near Roebling Station.
The segment is anticipated to be ready to open to the public in June and is expected to become a key portion of the planned 60-mile loop along both sides of the river from Trenton to Palmyra and Morrisville to Philadelphia’s Tacony neighborhood in Pennsylvania.
Construction has also started on Arney’s Mount Trail, a 2.2 mile path up and around Arney’s Mount in Springfield, the highest point in Burlington County at 240-feet above sea level.
All three trails projects are expected to eventually connect to the County’s existing regional network and become part of the Circuit Trails, a planned system of over 800 miles through Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties, as well as Philadelphia and four suburban counties in Pennsylvania.