Volunteers are the backbone of the LHT — clearing trails, installing signage, stenciling paved areas, and keeping an eye out for the many maintenance issues that our heavily-travelled trails need addressed. We owe a lot to these folks, and we wanted to share their LHT stories. If you want to join one of our volunteer teams, shoot us an email — we’d love to have you!
“Me with my 11 year old nephew, Louis, as we explore the trail through Rosedale Park in early spring.” Courtesy of Anne Hayton
Meet Anne Hayton — a Hopewell resident, retired member of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, an avid cyclist, and one of the LHT’s star volunteers.
LHT: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Anne: I moved from Ocean County to Hopewell in 1983, upon starting my career with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in Trenton. I was hired into a newly formed unit to address hazardous waste disposal sites and other contaminated sites across New Jersey. I’ve been an avid cyclist my whole life and was thrilled to find the beautiful rural roads in and around Hopewell Township for bicycling. I met my future husband at NJDEP and we settled in Hopewell Borough, raising two boys who are now young adults and off on their own. Bicycling has been a large part of our family’s recreation both locally and during vacations in New England. My husband and I are now both retired from NJDEP but remain very active in outdoor-related activities.
LHT: How long have you been volunteering on the LHT? What inspired you to lend a hand?
Anne: Pretty recently, I began routinely volunteering as a trail monitor this past spring, April 2021. Prior to this, I’ve participated several times as a volunteer for the annual Full Moon Bike Ride — a fun and whimsical event on the LHT at Rosedale Park, typically held at the end of summer or early fall. I simply treasure having the LHT in our community. I want to help keep it in good shape and encourage others to explore and use this wonderful trail which traverses our local natural resources!
LHT: What kinds of projects have you worked on?
Anne: I currently perform routine trail maintenance on an approximately four-mile segment in the northernmost area of the LHT in Hopewell Township. The maintenance includes keeping the trail free of large debris, clipping and hedging for improved trail visibility and safe passage, and occasional poison ivy control.
LHT: Do you do work on other trails or in other parks? Where and what type of work?
Anne: Not currently, however, years ago, I spent two weeks building new trails and restoring old ones in a remote section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
LHT: How did you discover the LHT? What are your favorite segments?
Anne: I first became aware of the LHT by observing the installation and then expansion of the first several segments of the trail years ago. Later, I was excited to learn about the full vision for this trail (and observe the solid momentum behind its development!) from the terrific individuals who planned the LHT, shepherded its construction, and manned booths sharing trail information to the public during our local community events such as the Hopewell Harvest Fair, Pennington Day, and Lawrenceville’s sustainability. The whole trail is terrific: through our seasons, different segments can become breathtaking! Hallmark segments for me include: the Whiskey House section between Pennington Rocky Hill Road and Carter Road, which twists through a deeply wooded area and wetlands (one of the segments I help maintain); along Princeton Pike, passing by the incredibly majestic oak tree on Princeton Pike in Lawrence Township; and finally, the many, beautiful and highly varied sections that traverse Mercer Meadows and the Pole Farm.
LHT: Do you have advice for other folks who have thought about getting involved with the LHT?
Anne: It’s really rewarding to become an advocate for this local treasure by pitching in to help keep it beautiful and safe for all users. As with other things in life, many hands make light work.
“My trusty trail maintenance cart with tools, at the intersection with Wargo Road.” courtesy of Anne Hayton
A view of the new bridge over the Stony Brook leading to Rosedale Park, courtesy of Anne Hayton
The trail intersection and rest area at Wargo Road, courtesy of Anne Hayton