Burlington County wants to expand its network of accessible walking and biking trails with a study involving a potential 50 miles of new paths through central and southern towns like Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Maple Shade, Medford, Evesham, Tabernacle and Shamong.
The Southern Regional Trails Study will also investigate possible connections to trails already built or in development in other towns and Camden County. County commissioners voted last week for the Taylor Design Group to undertake the study, funded with $100,000 from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. The county has already received and invested more than $19.3 million in grants towards trail development.
Besides the possible new routes, the Southern Regional Trails Study is expected to look at constructing new off-road paths on easements and rights of way. The goal will be to develop feasible routes connecting the county’s existing trails with other local trail networks, parks and destinations, eventually linking up with other trails in neighboring Camden County.
Finding routes to connect to local trail networks in various stages of development in Evesham, Medford and Maple Shade is one of the study’s major goals.
Among the potential routes that will be studied are:
- A new trail through parts of Moorestown and Maple Shade that would connect with both the Rancocas Greenway and the planned Pennsauken-Merchantville Multi-Use Trail in Camden County. The envisioned trail would provide links to the Burlington County Agricultural Center, Swede Run Field in Moorestown, the Moorestown Recreation Center and other community parks and downtown destinations in both Moorestown and Maple Shade.
- A new trail through Mount Laurel, Medford and Evesham, with possible links with Rowan College at Burlington County’s campus in Mount Laurel, the Mount Laurel Community Gardens and Evesham destinations like the former Garden State Beagle Club property, Savich Field, Arrowhead Park and the Black Run Preserve.
- A Marlton-Cherry Hill branch through Evesham with links to the Evesboro Downs Sports Complex that eventually connects to the Cooper River Trail in Camden County.
- A trail through Medford Township and Tabernacle with potential links to destinations like the Hartford Crossing Sports Complex, Freedom Park and the Burlington County Institute of Technology-Medford Campus.
- A Medford-Tabernacle Loop trail south through Medford, Tabernacle and Shamong to Camden County, with potential links to Picketts Mill Park, the YMCA of the Pines camps and Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge.
All of the proposed paths would be part of the planned 800-mile circuit trails network that is expected to connect Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties with five Pennsylvania counties in the Philadelphia region. The paths would also be completely accessible for those with mobility challenges.