The Burlington County Commissioners celebrated the opening of the newest section of the Delaware River Heritage Trail on Saturday with the help of more than three dozen bicyclists who went for a ride on the new trail.
The ride was organized as part of the ceremonial opening of the newest 5.5-mile section of the Delaware River Heritage Trail that is envisioned to eventually loop around both sides of the Delaware River.
Featuring bicyclists of all ages and from across the county, the group traveled a close to 3.5-mile stretch of the new path from the Burlington County Parks System’s Crystal Lake Park south through the village of Hedding in Mansfield to the Delaware River and the former Roebling Steel Mill.
Along the way, the group traveled along a portion of the historic Kinkora Railroad right-of-way and through a tunnel beneath Route 130 and across New Jersey’s first signalized railroad crossing for a regional shared use path.
The new trail, known as the Delaware River Heritage Trail 130 Bypass, also passes the former Roebling Steel Mill site, where cables used to build the Golden Gate Bridge and elevators for the Empire State Building were once forged and ends at the Roebling Museum dedicated to the history of the mill and its founder John Roebling.
To the north, the trail connects to the County’s first 2.75-mile segment of the DRHT that crosses through Fieldsboro, Bordentown Township and Bordentown City.
“This new path is a fantastic addition to our county’s trail network and our parks system and I’m thrilled by the great turnout of residents who were able to come to celebrate its opening,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Crystal Lake Park. “Burlington County has incredible amounts of history and natural beauty all around us, and our county and local parks and trails give us all the opportunity to enjoy and experience these resources.”
“Our new trail will be great resource for people to walk, run or bike through some of our county’s most scenic and culturally significant destinations,” added Commissioner Linda Hynes during her remarks at the ceremony. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a foodie, history buff, jogger or cyclist, this trail was made for you.”
The trail is believed to be the largest section of new trail completed on the DRHT to date.
“Imagine being able to run, walk or bike from Trenton south through Burlington County all the way to Palmyra and across the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge to Philadelphia and then north to Morrisville in Bucks County. It’s actually happening and our County is leading the way,” Hynes said.
The new Burlington County path cost around $8.1 million to design and build and 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.
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.