Thursday, May 30 by ezeitler
Saturday, June 1st is National Trails Day, where people all over the country will be getting out to enjoy and build up our trails. We’re lucky to have so many great trails in the parks and along the waterways in NJ and if you go out any time from sunrise to sunset, the crowds will tell you how popular they are for both recreation and transport. Where do you wish we had a trail where we don’t? I know the extension of the Trolley Line Trail as part of the Knight Trail is one item on the wish list of the students in West Windsor and Plainsboro. Where else would a trail help you to get around more safely and comfortably, or help you to get out and about walking and hiking?
For those wanting to get out on National Trails Day, here are some of the events happening in our area in celebration of National Trails Day:
Help build a new trail at Scotts Corner Conservation Area
Help the NJ Audubon Society maintain the trails in the Plainsboro Preserve
Run from Trenton to Piscataway on the D&R Canal Towpath. They start around 5 AM for the 34.1 mile run! Those who “only” want to run 20 miles start at Rocky Hill.
For all the events in New Jersey from the shore to the Delaware Water Gap and to search PA, NY, etc
WWBPA will be at the Farmers’ Market on June 1st to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Stop by our booth and say hi before you head out hiking, walking and biking!
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Monday, April 1 by ezeitler
At our Annual Meeting, Paul Kiczek compelled us with the story of Bobby Kennedy’s 50 mile walk in 1963 which inspired him to start the Freewalkers – a group advocating fitness, adventure and community by organizing epic hikes for everyone. Paul mentioned an NPR story on the 50th anniversary hike that his group undertook in honor of that original adventure. Luckily for us, Paul is located right here in New Jersey so it’s easy and extra fun for us to participate. Several folks from the WWBPA took part in a Trenton to Princeton hike on March 24th. The next event is The Great Canal Walk – Trenton to New Brunswick – on April 6th. Check out the Freewalker’s website for more details on upcoming walks as well as the history of long hikes.
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Wednesday, October 10 by silvia
Our final family bike ride of the season was a big hit: five dozen bicyclists of all ages stretched along the D&R Canal towpath from Turning Basin Park at Alexander Road to Brearley House in Lawrence, plus seven walkers who joined at Port Mercer Canal House. We may have caught one of the last days of summer to boot!
Many thanks to all who took part in our eight-mile ride — residents of West Windsor, Princeton, Lawrence and beyond — and to Terhune Orchards for providing apple cider and apples to quench our thirst at Brearley House.
With the help of our trio of number pickers, the WWBPA gave away a number of items in a drawing, from tools for repairing flat tires to safety gear such as lights, reflective tape and a reflective vest. Plus we all learned about the almost-finished 20-mile Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Brearley House and its New Year’s Eve bonfire night, Princeton’s sharrows and the Princeton Freewheelers. How exciting to learn that there will eventually be bike access from the D&R Canal towpath to the Princeton battlefield — another destination to explore!
This truly was a community bike ride!
We’ve enjoyed sharing new routes with all who came on our rides this year and inspiring them to head out on their own. Our other rides this year have taken us on a trip for ice cream, around historic West Windsor, to the Plainsboro Preserve and down the Trolley Line Trail.
We’d love your feedback and in particular suggestions for another summer’s worth of family rides.
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Monday, September 24 by silvia
Join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance for its sixth annual Community Bike Ride on Oct. 6 (rain date Oct 7) as we head down the D&R Canal towpath to discover how it connects to other bicycling and walking routes.
Our eight-mile ride will leave from Turning Basin Park (Alexander Road and the canal) and head to Brearley House in Lawrence (located on the 20-mile Lawrence Hopewell Trail). We’ll stop there for refreshments and some give-aways, plus hear about the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and the East Coast Greenway before turning back.
This is the last in our series of free family-friendly bike rides for 2012. Meet at the park at 2:15 p.m.; the ride leaves at 2:30 p.m. No preregistration is necessary; just bring a bike in good working order and a helmet. Children under 13 should be accompanied by an adult.
This year, we are adding a walking option, from Port Mercer Canal House. Gather at the parking lot at 2:15 p.m. (departure time is 2:30 p.m.) for the 1.3-mile walk to Brearley House. Because of road construction, the parking lot is only accessible from Route 1, not Princeton.
The ride is so-sponsored by the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Sustainable Lawrence and the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee.
About two dozen people, many of them new faces, joined us on Sept. 15 for a five-mile loop from Community Park down the Trolley Line Trail to Penn-Lyle Road and past High School South back to the park. Thanks for coming along for the ride!
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Saturday, March 24 by silvia
Some upcoming events along the D&R Canal, one of our area’s great resources for walkers, bikers and joggers:
This Sunday is a 12-mile “practice walk” in preparation for the 40-mile Great Canal Walk on April 7, organized by the FreeWalkers. This walk, scheduled as a 4.5-hour walk, goes from Trenton to Princeton. They call it a casual walk to review the trail and get back into a walking groove. More information here.
Saturday March 31 is the D&R Canal Watch 5K Fun Run, staring at 10 a.m. at Washington Crossing State Park. More information at www.canalwatch.org.
The Great Canal Walk, from Trenton to New Brunswick, also welcomes those who want to walk just part of the route. There’s a separate five-mile walk from Upper Ferry Road to the northern end of Titusville, at the junction of River Drive and Route 29. Meet at the intersection of River Drive and Route 29 (just south of Fiddler’s Creek Road). More information at www.canalwatch.org.
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Tuesday, March 6 by silvia
Once again, the FreeWalkers are planning a long walk along the D&R Canal towpath past West Windsor as part of their Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge.
The Great Canal Walk, or TR2NB40, is a 40-mile one-day long-distance walk on April 7 that starts at the Delaware River. Do some or all of it, tracing the footsteps of this 175-year old waterway. This is a superb physical and mental challenge and the first event in a series of four walking events aiming to walk across New Jersey following the East Coast Greenway. The event is free and open to the public, and you can join at any point along the route.
Two other walks are planned: the NB2MP10 – The Tween Walk on April 14, a 10-mile walk from New Brunswick to Metropark, and NJ2NY50 – The Big Walk on May 19, a one-day, 50-mile walk from Metropark to New York Penn Station.
Those interested in taking the Cross-Jersey Challenge have to walk the entire 100-mile New Jersey portion of the East Coast Greenway within the next 12 months and record their efforts on crossjerseywalk.org.You don’t need to participate in any of the three walks.
In addition, the FreeWalkers are planning a grand walk of about 30 miles all along the Hudson River on June 9. Did you know that the entire Hudson River Walkway from Jersey City to the George Washington Bridge is nearly complete and very walkable? Imagine walking all that way and across the GWB then down the Hudson River Greenway along the West Side Highway. Details will be available on freewalkers.org.
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Thursday, June 9 by silvia
Here’s a new resource for cycling in Hunterdon County: www.bikehunterdon.org.
The site features maps of local bicycle tours, including the Delaware & Raritan Towpath, Last Covered Bridge and Round Valley Roundabout routes. An interactive Google map feature allows potential riders to view amenities along the routes including restaurants, bed and breakfast and other lodging, as well as points of interest. A full list of all local bicycle shops as well as where to rent a bicycle is also included. It even includes routes outside Hunterdon County.
Looking for other maps? Check the resources section of the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance’s website.
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Sunday, May 29 by silvia
June 4 is National Trails Day, and the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail is marking the day in two ways, one for walkers and one for bicyclists.
The first option is an approximately three-mile walk from the Mercer Equestrian Center across Rosedale Park to the Hunt House in Mercer Meadows and back. The second is an approximately 12-mile group bike ride from the Brearley House off of Princeton Pike in Lawrenceville to the Hunt House and back with perhaps a quick jaunt a little further down the trail to check out the connection to the D&R Canal and the East Coast Greenway. In each case, a representative from the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail will be your guide.
Both the ride and the walk are free and will start at 9 a.m., rain or shine. Just rendezvous at the starting points. Both areas have parking available.
The Lawrence-Hopewell Trail still has some missing links, but once finished (the goal is 2012), it will create a 20-mile loop from Lawrence to Hopewell and back with Bristol Myers Squibb and Educational Testing Service as anchors.
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Wednesday, April 13 by silvia
Hats off to all 50 or so people who took part in TR2NB40 — a 40-mile walk from Trenton to New Brunswick along the D&R Canal on Saturday. Not all walked the entire route, but it sounds like everyone had a good time. We received two reports, one from WWBPA trustee Michael Ogg and another from WWBPA member Loretta Rice.
Michael did a five-mile roll, as he called it, in is battery-powered wheelchair from the D&R bridge bridge over Route 1 in Lawrence to Alexander Road.
“It was fun talking with others and learning about other walks such as The Great Saunter on May 7, a walk round Manhattan. The first section from the footbridge to Port Mercer can be a bit difficult in a wheelchair: the center of the path is grassy, which today was very muddy, and the gravel and sandy strips on either side aren’t quite wide enough for a wheelchair so one drive wheel was always on soft ground. But Port Mercer still appeared quite quickly. Here was the only big problem: there’s a guard rail on the bend but cars are always hitting it and it was impossible to get back onto the towpath (I’ve written to the Park Superintendent about this). I had to go about 600 yards down Quaker Rd which was not fun as there’s no shoulder and cars go quite fast. Two brave walkers accompanied me. At the bend it was sort of possible to get back onto the towpath. I wouldn’t have done it by myself as the short stretch was dangerously steep but two more walkers made sure I didn’t tip backward.
The towpath from here was better – except where it wasn’t. It was all fine gravel, which was good, but in some places was 2″ of mud, which wasn’t good. The only way to get through these sections was at full speed. (My wheelchair badly needs a car wash.) When I arrived at Turning Basin, the extra resistance from the mud had drained my batteries too much and continuing was out of the question. I bade my farewells and went up Alexander Road to the station.”
Loretta picked up where Michael left off:
“The day started off well, at 10 a.m. when I left my house to pick up walkers at the Princeton Junction train station, and it was clear that the weather was going to be perfect for walking and the train was on time. I picked up four walkers who came in from various points on the Northeast Corridor line and drove to Turning Basin/Alexander to join the Freewalkers on the 40 mile D&R walk. Those walkers who started in Trenton were at Turning Basin in good time, most of them arriving before 11 a.m. A few walkers broke off their walk at this point. After a 15-minute break for water and snacks provided by cheerful volunteers from the East Coast Greenway, I joined the group and started walking. This was only my second time crossing at Alexander since the crossing lights were installed and when I happily activated them, one of the walkers commented, “Hey, they actually work!” as cars stopped and allowed us to cross. As someone who drives across this bridge every day on the way to work, it’s a very different perspective from a pedestrian view; when walking, it’s difficult to tell if the lights have actually begun to flash. I was surprised by this as when viewed from inside a car, the lights are amazingly bright.
Walking on the canal trails is always such a joy, the scenery is beautiful and the clay path makes walking easy on the joints, the only minor negative on this day being the previous day and night of rain created quite a few puddles to be navigated on the sections between Alexander and Kingston. Most walkers kept up a pace between 3 and 4 miles an hour, a comfortable pace that made it easy to carry on a conversation. The not-quite-six miles to Kingston flew by as I chatted with various walkers along the way. On reaching Kingston, the walkers took a break for lunch at the parking lot near the Lock Keeper’s house. The East Coast Greenway volunteers again provided snacks, water and information on the Greenway. Walkers shared stories, ate their lunches, changed socks, a few tended to a blister or two and others sat on the stone wall soaking up the sun. I walked the next section to Rocky Hill for a total of 7.5 miles and broke off my walk there; I am recuperating from a foot injury and am easing myself back into to long-distance walking and got a ride to back to the Turning Basin parking lot.
This was a truly enjoyable event and I’m looking forward to challenging myself further by participating in the 50-mile walk in May. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to complete 20 miles of that walk.”
Yes, there are more walks planned. This walk and others are organized by Freewalkers, who are challenging all to walk 100 miles across New Jersey using the East Coast Greenway.
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Tuesday, March 29 by silvia
Trenton Cycling Revolution, a bicycle advocacy group, is coordinating a community clean-up along the D&R Canal in Trenton on Saturday, April 2. Volunteers will meet at the Mulberry Street entrance to the recently completed section at 9 am and work for approximately two hours. Coffee and gloves will be provided. More information here.
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Friday, March 4 by silvia
Get your legs in shape for the first organized walk of this year’s Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge: a 40-mile group walk from Trenton to New Brunswick that follows the D&R Canal almost the entire way on Saturday, April 9.
Yes, it sounds like a lot, and it’s possible to meet the group for just a portion of the walk (They expect to be at the Route 1 footbridge in Lawrence at 9 a.m., the canal and Alexander Road at 10:30 a.m. and in Kingston at noon, for example). And you can always break it down into smaller chunks on your own.
For those who want to take part, the TR2ND40 website is full of tips, from shoes (your feet will swell!) to what to carry (fanny pack vs backpack) to a training plan. You’ll want to be able to walk at a pace of slightly under four miles per hour. (There will be rest stops.)
Finally, if you need an extra incentive, the number of calories burned is impressive!
And if you want to keep walking, there’s more planned … all part of a 100-mile cross-Jersey challenge using the East Coast Greenway.
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Monday, February 14 by silvia
Here’s a challenge for those who love to walk: Walk the length of the East Coast Greenway in New Jersey — 100 miles — this year.
The challenge comes from Freewalkers.org, the group that started last year with the NJ2NY50 walk, 50 miles from Metropark to Penn Station. Participants can walk the Greenway at any time during the year or take part in some or all of the three walks the group is organizing: the Great Canal Walk (Trenton to New Brunswick along the D&R) on April 9; the Tween Walk (New Brunswick to Metropark) on April 16; and The Big Walk (Metropark to New York City) on May 21.
More information and registration is at Cross-Jersey Walk.
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Tuesday, January 4 by silvia
Some of the participants in the NJ2NY50 Walk
The East Coast Greenway is planning two long walks in New Jersey in 2011.
On April 9, walkers will head from Trenton to New Brunswick following the East Coast Greenway, which uses the D&R Canal towpath for that stretch. Participants can walk all or part of the route, which is about 35 miles.
There also will be a repeat of the 50-mile walk from Metropark to New York Penn Station on May 21. This walk, called NJ2NY50, was a huge success in 2010 and is scheduled this time for May 21st.
Take part in both and you could essentially walk across New Jersey! More information will be on the East Coast Greenway’s website closer to the events. But it’s not too early to start training.
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Friday, November 19 by silvia
Cycling shoppers can look forward to Quaker Bridge Mall’s expansion and renovation, which will include improved bicycle and pedestrian access to the mall. The plan is to provide trail links to both the Avalon Run community southeast of the mall and to Yorkshire Village on the other side of Route 1, behind Mercer Mall, as well as a path along the southern portion of the mall’s loop road.
A macadam path is to be added from Grover’s Mill Rd on the southeast side of the property to the Route 1 access bridge on the southwest corner of the parcel. The path will continue over Route 1 via a new bike/pedestrian lane to be added to the bridge that now connects the mall to Route 1 near Patio World Fireplace & Hearth and Toys R Us. Lawrence Township is working with the Yorkshire Village homeowner’s association to extend that path to Canal View Drive. From that point it is relatively easy to access the D&R Canal towpath (and then the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail and the East Coast Greenway) via the existing residential street and path leading to the neighborhood’s community center.
The size and shape of the new path over Route 1 is still to be determined, as is the timeline for the whole project. The mall’s expansion, which was originally expected to be completed by now, has been delayed by the recession. The mall’s legal counsel was recently before the Lawrence Township planning board seeking a 20-year extension in their overall plan. The township granted an eight-year extension and underscored the importance of bike/pedestrian access over Route 1.
The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance supports Lawrence’s efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian access over Route 1, which will improve connections for West Windsor residents as well. The current bridge over Route 1 on Quaker Bridge Road isn’t suitable for bicyclists and pedestrians. The WWBPA also wants to see the off-road path along Clarksville Road that is in West Windsor’s master plan become reality at some point and is pleased to see that a multi-use trail along Clarksville is part of the new apartment complex now under construction near the railroad bridge.
Our thanks to Lawrence Township’s bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, the Sustainable Transportation Committee, for this report.
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Sunday, September 26 by silvia
This news comes courtesy of WalkBikeJersey, one of our favorite blogs:
The towpath's new look, from WalkBikeJersey
At some point this past summer, a portion of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath was resurfaced and the width standardized using a crushed red shale aggregate. The installation of the new surface has been confirmed from Landing Lane in New Brunswick, all the way down to the Griggstown Causeway but could extend further south than that.
The new surface is a real pleasure to ride on and is even stable enough for cyclists using narrow road tires. With the new smooth surface, riding the canal towpath can now be done at faster speeds and is wide enough for two riders to comfortably ride abreast of one another.
Also, red shale is native to the Piedmont Region that the canal passes through so it looks natural and not out of place like some of the other materials used on the path in the past.
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Sunday, September 5 by silvia
The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is giving a televised presentation to the West Windsor Council and Mayor Shing-Fu Hseuh about why a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly community makes sense. Among our points: Tough times demand smart choices for our roadways, and biking and walking saves everyone money. Plus, a more liveable community is good for property values. We’ll also debunk some common myths, such as only motorists pay for roads and that adding traffic lanes solves congestion.
Come to the Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 7 and join us for the WWBPA monthly meeting immediately after the presentation. (The meeting date has been changed from Thursday Sept. 9 because of Rosh Hashanah.) Or catch it on public access television. The WWBPA thanks the West Windsor Council for the opportunity to make this presentation.
Also on the Council agenda: a grant application for a path between seven office buildings along Alexander Road/Route 1 and the Princeton Junction train station; an engineering contract for sidewalks along North Post Road and Alexander Road; and an engineering contract for the reconstruction of the Alexander Road S-curve between Canal Pointe Boulevard and the D&R Canal.
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Tuesday, August 17 by silvia
Battle Monument, Trenton
On a perfect day for a bike ride, 75 people came out on Saturday, August 14 to celebrate the completion of the missing segment of the D&R Canal towpath between Trenton and New Brunswick – representing New Jersey’s longest segment of the East Coast Greenway. Many members of the WWBPA rode, as did West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh and Council President Diane Ciccione as well as New Jersey Assemblywoman Grace Spencer. Lawrence Mayor Pam Mount was there for the start, and Congressman Rush Holt spoke (but didn’t ride), noting that he began championing this project when he first went to Washington 12 years ago. The 1.5 mile stretch of macadam belies the obstacles. Not only were there negotiations with Conrail but a number of other surprising obstacles came into play – such as issues with billboards. But all of that is now dust under the wheels.
Riders took it slow, taking nearly an hour to ride the seven miles to reach the Battle Monument in Trenton. After a 40-minute rest break hosted by the Trenton Cycling Revolution, the group returned along the same seven-mile route. The ride was capped off with sandwiches, salads and sodas at the Brearley House in Lawrence Township, provided by the East Coast Greenway and New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition.
The WWBPA thanks Don Pillsbury from the Lawrence Sustainable Transportation Committee for this report.
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Sunday, August 15 by sandy
D&R CANAL WATCH BIKE RIDE HISTORY TOUR
Saturday, September 4 – 10:00 a.m. – Griggstown
History bike rides on the D&R
Join canal enthusiast Bob Barth for a leisurely bike ride on the historic Delaware & Raritan Canal towpath. We will stop at historic villages and canal structures, such as locks and swing bridges, and talk about why the D&R was one of the most successful canals in the United States.
Helmets required. Bring water and snack. The ride will last approximately three hours.
Meet at the Griggstown Causeway parking lot.
Questions? Call Bob at 201-401-3121.
For independent rides along the towpath in the Millstone Valley,
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see the National Scenic Byways suggested route:
Bicycle Ramble along the D&R Canal Towpath.
Monday, August 2 by silvia
The WWBPA joins the East Coast Greenway, the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, and the Trenton Cycling Revolution on Saturday August 14 for a 14-mile family-friendly ride on a newly constructed section of the D&R Canal/East Coast Greenway.
The ride starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Brearly House in Lawrenceville along Princeton Pike/Route 206 (also a link to the Lawrence Hopewell Trail). Because the route is partially unpaved, hybrids or mountain bikes will work best.
Elected officials and their staff are invited, so this is a great chance to show how popular bicycling is in the Garden State (ranked the eighth most bicycle-friendly state in the nation by the League of American Bicyclists) and to encourage them to support bicycle-friendly projects.
More details: “Ride with Us” flyer
History and Nature along the D&R Canal
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New York Times, July 30, 2010
Monday, July 5 by silvia
The asphalt has been poured for the 1.5-mile stretch of the D&R Canal Towpath/East Coast Greenway in Trenton that will fill the gap in the route that runs past West Windsor to create a 70-mile path from New Brunswick to Frenchtown for bicyclists, joggers and walkers. Signs, fences and gates still need to be installed, but the lion’s share of this $400,000 project is done.
The section connects with a path near Old Rose Street and uses an old railroad bridge to cross over Route 1 before continuing north to Mulberry Street. Read more in the Trenton Times.
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