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Posted on: July 6, 2021

Burlington County to celebrate opening of new segment of Delaware River Heritage Trail

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Burlington County has a fantastic new addition to its regional trails network, offering walkers, runners and bicyclists an amazing journey through some of South Jersey’s most scenic and culturally significant destinations.

The County recently completed construction of a new 5.5-mile segment of the Delaware River Heritage Trail and the Board of County Commissioners is inviting residents from across the state to help them celebrate with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Those who are interested can ride their bikes or hike on the new trail.

The celebration will be held Saturday, July 10, at Crystal Lake Park in Mansfield. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 11 AM. Commissioner Balvir Singh will officially start off the bike ride. 

Those interested in participating in the bicycle ride should bring their own bicycle and helmet. Attendees will also be invited to run or walk the trail if they prefer.

“South Jersey is a land rich with history, innovation and natural scenery, and this new addition to the Delaware River Heritage Trail offers up opportunities to experience and enjoy them all,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “A 5-mile hike on this segment alone will take you from historic Bordentown through Crystal Lake Park and the Village of Hedding, beneath Route 130 to the Delaware River and the former industrial town of Roebling. We’re incredibly excited by this new addition to both our County’s growing network of regional trails and the eventual completion of the full Heritage Trail on both sides of the Delaware River.”

The Delaware River Heritage Trail 130 Bypass

Burlington County’s new section, known as the Delaware River Heritage Trail Route 130 Bypass, extends from the highway’s intersection with Burlington-Bordentown Road, near the Rivergate Apartments in Fieldsboro, south through the village of Hedding and along the Delaware River to Roebling Park and the Roebling Museum. 

The trail also connects with another Delaware River Heritage segment that travels 2.75 miles through Fieldsboro, Bordentown Township and Bordentown City. That segment was completed in 2013.

“Whether you’re in training for a marathon or just looking for a serene walk beside the river or through the country side, Burlington County has some of the best trails in the entire state, and this new path makes our network even better,” 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 invite residents from across our county and beyond to help us celebrate this great new addition.” 

There are two trail heads within Crystal Lake Park at the Route 130 Northbound entrance and at the park’s Axe Factory Road entrance. A third trail head was constructed at the shared parking lot with the Roebling Museum dedicated to the history of the Roebling Steel Mill and its founder, John A. Roebling, an engineer and industrialist who is also credited with designing the Brooklyn Bridge.

In addition to connecting to the museum, the trail crosses through 1.64 miles of Crystal Lake Park, a former farm that features both upland and lowland forests, a 10-acre lake and picnic pavilion. It also travels along a portion of the former Kinkora Railroad right-of-way and through a tunnel beneath Route 130 to the Delaware River.

A standout trail project

The 130 Bypass is believed to be the largest section of new trail constructed on the DRHT to date. The bi-state project was initiated in 1996 by the U.S. National Park Services but is now being coordinated by the Delaware River Greenway Partnership, a nonprofit group that promotes stewardship of the lower Delaware River and its tributaries.

The new trail segment also features a signalized crossing of the NJ Transit River Line light-rail tracks near Roebling that is New Jersey first regional AASHTO-compliant shared use path with a signalized at grade railroad crossing.

The $8.1 million project was funded almost entirely with grants from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program, which is administered through the New Jersey Department of Transportation Local Aid Office.

WSP performed the design work on the project and Michael Baker International was responsible for construction administration and inspection services. Richard E. Pierson Construction Co. began construction on the trail project in 2019 and completed the project last month.

Adding up to 800 miles

The newly completed trail is one of several new trail 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.

Trail projects nearing completion include the Rancocas Greenway Amico Island to Pennington Park segment that will travel along the Rancocas Creek and link two County Parks in Delran and Delanco. Construction has also started on the initial phase of the Arney’s Mount Trail in Springfield, which includes a 2.2 mile path up and around Arney’s Mount, the highest point in Burlington County at 240-feet above sea level.

Burlington County’s system is part of the planned 800-mile Circuit Trails network interconnecting four New Jersey counties and five Pennsylvania counties in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Currently over 350 miles of Circuit Trails have been built and advocates are pushing for more miles to be built in the coming years.

“The completion of this new section of the Delaware River Heritage Trail speaks to the progress being made toward our goal of building out 500 miles of Circuit Trails by 2025,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, chair of the Circuit Trails Coalition and executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “This 5.5-mile trail will increase connectivity within the region, add recreational and active commuting opportunities for the community, and become another reason for people to go to the trails for their favorite outdoor experiences and activities.”

 DRHT-Crystal Lake

Cyclists from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia enjoy a recent afternoon ride on the new segment of the Delaware River Heritage Trail through Crystal Lake Park in Mansfield.

DRHT-path

A look at the new 5.5-mile segment of the Delaware River Heritage Trail as it passes through Crystal Lake Park in Mansfield. The Burlington County Commissioners plan to celebrate the opening of the new trail on Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the park.


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