There’s no quirky story behind this ride, just a fresh milestone for one of New Jersey’s best trails.
I thought this new section of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail that gets users off Old Mill Road was all about one bridge over the Stony Brook. When we rode it, I discovered that it’s several bridges with one big steel bridge as the centerpiece.
And by bypassing the equestrian center and master gardeners’ site in Mercer Meadows park, I’d estimate it lops a mile off the route.
Coming from Lawrenceville, you wind your way through much of Mercer Meadows, past the Hunt House and on some new stretches of asphalt that fill in some often-muddy sections of trail. When you get to Rosedale section of the park, you peel off to the right through the parking area to a trail in the woods.
First you reach the big bridge, and after that you cross four smaller wooden ones, following a stone dust path.
You eventually cross Old Mill Road onto another stone dust path, pass a nesting area for some bald eagles and you’re at Pennington Hopewell Road. Go left on the paved connector into Pennington or go right to continue your loop on the LHT.
You can watch the virtual opening here.
I love the LHT for the variety you get over 22 or so miles and how it connects to the D&R Canal towpath (also part of the East Coast Greenway).
This segment comes a year after another piece was completed. I can’t wait for the final permit for the boardwalk section through Maidenhead Meadows to come through and construction can begin. That will get people off the busiest road section (there’s a shoulder but …). You can read about riding the full loop here.
Interested in a weekend of biking in the Princeton area? Here’s more of what you can do, history lesson included. And if you are looking for a camping spot in this era of social distance, here’s all you need to know about one nearby.