What are the main features of the trail?
The Lawrence Hopewell Trail is:
- Safe, family-friendly, and handicapped accessible wherever possible.
- A connection to local businesses, communities and neighborhoods, and schools.
- An access to open space for recreation and relaxation.
- A health and recreation opportunity for children, families, walkers, cyclists, commuters and naturalists.
- A connection to other area trails, such as the D & R Canal, Circuit Trails, the East Coast Greenway as well as shorter local paths.
When will it be finished?
Soon! Approximately 89 percent of the trail is complete, with only 5 short sections totaling 2.5 miles that remain to be built. It typically takes 2-3 years to get a section built and each of these remaining areas is in some phase of design planning. We hope to have the LHT completed by 2021.
Who owns the LHT?
Multiple public and private organizations own subsections of the land under and around the trail. These organizations make access to the trail available to the public as part of their commitment to our community.
How has the LHT been funded?
Funding for the trail comes from many sources.
Bristol Myers-Squibb and Educational Testing Service have provided significant financial support throughout the LHT’s history. Grants from public and private agencies and foundations have provided funding for various sections of the LHT, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the N.J. Department of Transportation, the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and the William Penn Foundation.
Mercer County, Lawrence and Hopewell Townships have been key partners. Without their longstanding and enduring support, the LHT would not exist. Individual donations, large and small, have also helped support the LHT.
What is the surface of the trail?
Of the 19 miles of LHT currently completed, 8 miles are comprised of stone dust. The remainder is porous pavement or paved roadway.
Does the LHT meet trail construction standards?
Yes. National trail construction generally follows the same process as roadway construction. It must be designed, engineered, permitted, constructed, and include traffic signaling, crosswalks, and other mandated features. For trail standards the LHT follows AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) standards, which have been developed to insure both the safety of all trail users and compliance with the requirements of the ADA for mobility impaired users.
Who can use the LHT?
Anyone. It is free to use. It is open to all bicyclists, skateboarders, joggers and other pedestrians of all ages and ability levels. The LHT is handicapped accessible wherever possible.
Are motorcycles or golf carts allowed on the trail?
No. Except for emergency vehicles, the off-road parts of the trail are not designed to safely accommodate motorized traffic. Motorized wheelchairs are allowed and much of the trail is wheelchair accessible.
What about pets?
Absolutely! All we ask is that you respect others and keep your animal leashed and. Please clean up any waste.
Is hunting allowed on the trail?
Mercer County Park Commission employs deer management programs in some of its locations. The LHT does not manage or control hunting on the lands through which it runs, but hunters may use the trails near where hunting is allowed.
For more information, please see http://www.mercercountyparks.org/#!/about/deer-management/
Why should I support the LHT?
The LHT connects all that is valuable within our community. The LHT connects you to: recreation and open space, friends and family, neighborhoods and schools, businesses and work.
How can I support the LHT?
Lots of ways! You can:
- Volunteer – We always need help. Sign up online!
- Donate – Money or services
- Promote – Talk us up with family and friends
- Advocate – Tell elected officials you support the LHT
- Enjoy – Use the LHT and encourage others to do so
How do I contact the LHT Corporation?
Email us at email@example.com.
TRAIL ETIQUETTE AND SAFETY
The Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) is a multipurpose trail, open to bicyclists, walkers, joggers, hikers and skaters. Please be courteous to all trail users.
The LHT is open year-round from dawn to dusk, weather permitting. If snow or rain renders any segment of the LHT impassable by foot or bike, please refrain from using it.
Trail users must stop and move off trail when law enforcement, patrol, maintenance or other emergency vehicles approach.
Cyclists must obey all New Jersey laws that pertain to bicyclists and pedestrians, including:
- STOPPING: at all road crossings
- YIELDING: to vehicle traffic, slower traffic and pedestrians.
- PASSING: cautiously and on the left of slower-moving users
- SIGNAL: giving an audible signal when passing.
For everyone’s safety, and as a considerate trail user, please follow these guidelines:
• No headphones or earphones while cycling.
• Protective gear, including helmets, is encouraged for all users. In New Jersey, any person under 17 years of age that rides a bicycle or is a passenger on a bicycle or is towed as a passenger by a bicycle must wear a safety helmet. This helmet law also applies to roller and inline skaters and skateboard users.
• No motorized vehicles, other than electric wheelchairs and electric bikes, are permitted on the trail. Horseback riders can use sections of the trail in Mercer Meadows.
• Please do not trespass onto adjacent privately-owned lands or wander onto property clearly posted NO TRESPASSING.
• Pets are permitted on the trail provided they are on a hand-held leash no longer than six feet and the owner removes waste.
• No alcohol.
• Fires are not permitted.
• Please park bikes away from trail corridor and do not leave them unattended.
• In case of emergency, dial 911 and provide name and location.
• Maintenance issues should be reported to the LHT at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the full list of New Jersey Biking Regulations.
GROUP EVENTS POLICY
The LHT is great for enjoying the outdoors, but its limitations must be respected. It is relatively narrow, and not designed for large events whose participants would “occupy” more than half its width, since doing so would interfere with use and enjoyment of the trail by others. The LHT is thus not suitable for bicycle or running races. Small-scale events other than races may be allowed if they can be held in a way that provides for continuous public access and safety.
With these cautions in mind, groups interested in holding an event should follow these guidelines:
- Determine if your planned event is appropriate for the LHT. In addition to the cautions above, note that events may not be held for commercial, advertising, or political purposes, and events may not involve alcohol, fireworks, weapons, drones, hot air balloons, or motorized vehicles.
- Consider the planning and resources required for your event. Event sponsors must have liability insurance, obtain municipal or county permits as required, secure and pay for police or county park rangers to manage traffic or street crossings, and provide sanitary facilities.
- Figure out which LHT segments your event would involve, and how. Use the map of LHT ownership segments to identify who owns the places where you would begin and end your event, and the segments that would just be crossed.
- Estimate (realistically!) how many people would participate. Think about how you would promote the event, and whether you would cap the number of participants (and stick to it).
- Seek permission for gathering at beginning/ending locations. Whatever the size of your event, you will need permission from the owner of the place(s) where you would gather for the start and end. Contact them early. (See contact list.)
- Size matters: Seek permission also from owners of “crossing only” segments if the event is expected to attract more than 50 participants. For modest events (50 or fewer), “through-use” of the LHT will normally be allowable as a general public use, unless the group is formed by public advertising. Larger events may conflict with landowners’ calendars and require their permission. Contact them if you have such a larger event in mind.
To understand what is involved in getting event approvals, we encourage you to contact the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation early, before you seek approval from various landowners. Send your inquiry to email@example.com . You can also review this “group event check list.”