Leaders of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail today announced plans to open at least 50% of the 20-mile multi-purpose bicycle and pedestrian path to public access by the end 2008.  They also said current progress points to completion of the entire loop linking Hopewell and Lawrence Townships by 2012.

“It is an exciting time for us,” said Lawrence Hopewell Trail Co-President Rebecca Taylor.  “We are very grateful to our funders and supporters who have maintained and strengthened their commitment to LHT.  We now see the light at the end of the trail.”

“All of the stars and planets seem to be aligning this year,” observed Lawrence Hopewell Trail Co-President Eleanor Horne, Vice President, ETS.  “We recently received a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb that will allow us to proceed soon with work in Lawrence Township and we look forward to other segments opening in Hopewell Township in 2008.  The 2012 final completion date for the entire trail is particularly appropriate since it is our tenth anniversary.”

Some of the destinations along the 20-mile Trail loop include Lawrenceville School, the Main Street district of Lawrenceville, Lawrence Township parks, the Dyson Tract in Lawrence Township, Mercer County Park Northwest, Rosedale Park, the Bristol-Myers Squibb research campus in Hopewell and worldwide pharmaceutical headquarters in Lawrence, Hopewell Township open spaces, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association farmlands, and the Educational Testing Service campus.

According to Taylor and Horne, there are approximately six new and substantial sections of the trail ripe for opening this year.  They are:

  • Portions of the Dyson Tract in Lawrence Township;
  • Segment through Mercer County Park Northwest;
  • Segment through Rosedale Park;
  • The scenic route near the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; and
  • Other connections in Hopewell Township neighborhoods near the Watershed

Beginning this spring and summer, organizers and volunteers will mark the new segments – even temporary routes – with signage allowing public access in areas that at a minimum can accommodate pedestrian use.
Taylor and Horne stressed that meetings with neighbors along each new segment of the trail will be planned prior to any openings.

Since joining forces in 2002, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Educational Testing Service, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and a wide array of local organizations have worked with and through the non-profit Lawrence Hopewell Trail to complete the following segments:

  • Lawrence Village Park – Paved trail leads from Yeger Drive through the park, down Craven Lane and through the Village of Lawrenceville to the corner of Gordon Lane and Main Street (Route 206).
  • Keefe Road Segment – Paved 600 feet segment that links Village Park with the County’s Northwest and Rosedale Parks, future sites for Trail segments.
  • Lawrence Main Street Segment—Trail takes existing streets and roads to the Lawrenceville School.
  • Lawrenceville School – The Trail winds through the campus of this private school to an exit onto Lewisville Road in Lawrence Township.
  • Educational Testing Service– Residents and visitors can enjoy about 1.2 miles of paved Trail through the park-like campus off of Rosedale Road.

In Hopewell Township, a segment of the Trail currently runs along Pennington-Rocky Hill Road on the Bristol-Myers Squibb Hopewell Campus between Old Mill and Titus Mill Roads, providing safe passage to hikers, joggers and cyclists on this very busy stretch of roadway. The Trail passes a popular seasonal produce stand and allows users to take in views of surrounding, state-preserved farm lands.