Burlington County’s push to develop another 20 miles of
pedestrian and bicycling trails by 2025 got a lift this week as the Board of
Chosen Freeholders advanced the construction of two new trail projects that
will connect existing parks and show off some of the county’s most stunning
The Board of Chosen Freeholders voted Wednesday to approve
a $3.7 million contract for the construction of the proposed Amico Island to
Pennington Park trail. The planned 4-mile pedestrian and bicycle path will
begin within Amico Island in Delran and end at Pennington Park in Delanco,
linking two of the county’s most popular parks and further bolstering the
county’s network of interconnecting trails through the Rancocas Greenway, a
collection of some 1,200 acres of parks and open space territory the county has
preserved and maintained along the Rancocas Creek.
The board also announced the start of construction of Phase
I of the planned Arney’s Mount trail project that will link the nearby Kinkora
Trail between Mansfield’s Community Park and Springfield’s Veteran Memorial
Park with the county’s other network of trails within the Greenway. The
proposed path will also loop through county-owned land surrounding Arney’s
Mount in Springfield, which at 240-feet above sea level is the highest point in
Both trails projects are being funded entirely with federal
grants the county secured to expand the county’s network of pedestrian and
“From the Delaware River and on through the farm belt and
into the wonderous Pinelands, Burlington County is home to some of New Jersey’s
most varied and beautiful natural scenery, wildlife and history. Our trails and
parks allow all our residents the opportunity to experience and enjoy these
resources,” said Freeholder Linda Hynes, who is the board’s liaison to the
Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “These trails also provide
healthy recreation for children, seniors and entire families. Expanding our
network is an investment I’m proud we’re making.”
Amico Island to Pennington Park Trail
The contract for construction of the Amico Island to
Pennington Park trail was awarded to the Richard E. Pierson Construction Co.,
which was the lowest, responsible bidder for the project. Their bid was also
slightly below the planning engineer’s estimate.
The 4-mile, handicap-accessible trail begins at Amico
Island Park, the 55-acre peninsula at the confluence of the Rancocas Creek and
Delaware River that is renowned for its natural scenery and mix of wildlife and
terrain. The trail will continue east through Riverside and across the
Delanco-Riverside Bridge and beneath the River Line light rail bridge and
through Delanco to Pennington Park, a 150-acre area that offers views of the
Rancocas Creek as well as its own network of trails plus playgrounds, picnic
areas and two dog play areas.
Both county parks will act as trail heads, and the planned
trail route also passes by Whomsley Field, a popular Riverside municipal park
and recreation facility.
In addition to the trail, the county plans to make
improvements at both Pennington and Amico, including bike racks, bicycle repair
stations, kiosks, and additional parking and picnic tables.
“Pennington and Amico Island are already two of most
popular destinations in our parks system and this trail will only enhance
them,” Freeholder Hynes said. “Families will be able to walk or bike the trail
and enjoy the natural beauty and passive recreation available at both sites.”
The new trail will also be part of the larger Rancocas
Greenway Trail the county has planned to run across 30 miles and through 13
communities on both sides of the Rancocas all the way to the Ocean County
border, where it will connect with that county’s trail network.
“Our vision is for a hiker or cyclist to be able to take
our trails from one end of the county to the other and onto Ocean County.
Conceivably, you will be able to go from the Delaware all the way to the
Atlantic,” Hynes added.
Construction of the Amico Island-Pennington Trail could
begin in early fall.
Arney’s Mount Trail
Construction of Phase I of the Arney’s Mount Trail is
expected to kick off later this month and will consist of a new trailhead off
Tower Drive in Springfield with parking for cars and horse trailers, as well as
a handicap-accessible, path that will loop for 2.2 miles around Arney’s Mount
and through county-preserved property around the hill.
Plans also call for the construction of separate turf
equestrian trails and so-called “adventure trails” up and around the mount,
which offers views across the county as far as the Philadelphia’s skyline.
“Burlington County is so fortunate to be home to such a
natural wonder and we’re thrilled to finally provide our residents with a safe
way to access this hidden jewel,” Freeholder Hynes said.
The county awarded the $2.8 million construction contract
to Command Company Inc. in March and construction is expected to finish early
Phase II of the project calls for the development of a new
3.5-mile connector trail that will extend from the Mount west and then north
through preserved farms and open space to the county Fairgrounds off Route
206. That section is still in the design and permitting phase and is not
anticipated to be ready for construction until sometime next year.
Adding up to 800 miles
The new trails will add to the county’s
existing 50 some miles of regional and park trails and more than 1,000 acres of
developed parkland, including the county’s recently completed section of the
Delaware River Heritage Trail.
The trails will also be part of the Circuit
Trails, a planned network of over 800 miles of trails through Burlington,
Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties as well as Philadelphia and four
suburban counties in Pennsylvania.
Currently over 300 miles of trails have been constructed on the Circuit Trails network and advocates are pushing for a total of 500 miles to be completed by 2025.
The Freeholders approved a resolution last year
expressing the board’s support for the Circuit Trails and affirming the
county’s commitment to develop its part of the interconnecting network, which
includes the Schuylkill River Trail and Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, the
Manayunk Bridge and the Cooper River Trail.
“As an avid marathon runner, I know how wonderful it is to
have a peaceful and safe place to stretch your legs and enjoy all the natural
beauty and history our county and region has to offer,” Hynes said. “I’m
overjoyed that we can be part of this regional network and its promise to
provide even more trails and destinations for our families to walk, run or