New Jersey Conservation Foundation
New Jersey Conservation Foundation Menu
NJCF Homepage Contact Us Donate Events Search NJCF
New Jersey Land Conservation Organization
Donate to New Jersey Conservation Foundation
State We're In New Jersey Conservation Foundation Blog
Get on the Circuit for National Trails Day
5/26/2016 Volume XLIX, No. 20

The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day, a great day to celebrate trails across America. On June 4, how about celebrating by hiking, biking, horseback riding, dog walking, birdwatching, geocaching or enjoying nature on a trail?

According to the American Hiking Society, the United States has some 200,000 miles of trails. The idea of celebrating these trails – and transforming them from a collection of local pathways to true interconnected networks - evolved in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. The first National Trails Day was held in 1993.

This year marks the 24th annual National Trails Day, and the good news is that our New Jersey trail networks are thriving and growing.

One exciting new trail network is the Circuit, which began in the Philadelphia-Camden metropolitan area and is expanding into nine New Jersey and Pennsylvania counties.

The Circuit is unique in connecting urban, suburban and rural communities in one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Eventually the Circuit will be a 750-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian trails,  providing people with access to parks, communities and jobs.

When the Circuit is finished in about two decades, more than half of the region’s population – about 3.2 million people – will live within a mile of a Circuit trail!

Currently, the Circuit has about 300 miles of trails, but many more are in progress – including a critical section of ramps and walkways that will make the Ben Franklin Bridge fully accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists and wheelchairs for the first time. Right now, pedestrian travel between Camden and Philadelphia is hampered by a steep set of stairs on the New Jersey side.

The Circuit idea was born several years ago by groups with a shared vision of trails and public accessibility in the Philly-Camden area. The Circuit Trails Coalition had its first success in 2010, when it received a $23 million federal transportation grant. That, in turn, led to a $10 million grant from the William Penn Foundation … the first of many from the Philadelphia-based charitable foundation.

The Circuit includes trails in four New Jersey counties - Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer – and five in Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware.

Among the New Jersey trails are the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail in Mercer County, which will total 22 miles when completed; the 69-mile Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park Trail, which stretches from New Brunswick to Trenton to Frenchtown along a V-shaped route; the Cooper River Trail in Pennsauken; the Pemberton Rail Trail in Burlington County; and the Monroe Township Bikeway in Gloucester County.

In Pennsylvania, trails along the Circuit include the famous 135-mile Schuylkill River Trail, named the best urban trails in America in 2015 by USA Today; the 14-mile Chester Valley Trail, and the 14-mile Pennypack Trail.

“Hundreds of miles of happy” is how the Circuit describes itself. And happy is what people tend to be when they’re outdoors, experiencing nature, breathing fresh air and enjoying a respite from the stresses of everyday living. That’s no joke: medical studies show that outdoor exercise improves both physical and mental health. 

This year, get happy on the Circuit trails on National Trails Day, June 4!

For more information about the Circuit – including maps and trail descriptions – visit the website at And check out the spring/summer edition of Rails to Trails magazine, which has a big feature article on the Circuit -

And to learn more about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at or contact me at



Vernal pools: Now you see 'em, now you don't

State targets illegal dumpers in parks and forests

Former governors and elected leaders stand up for environment

Join CSAs to support local farms, save money, eat better

Weather extremes may be New Jersey's new normal

Bald eagles and ospreys rebound in New Jersey

Pine Barrens prescribed fires: A renewal force

Take a walk on the bottom of the sea!

Energy efficiency saves money and land - and creates jobs!

The Pines of March

Trees are more social than you think!

New Jersey's geological 'layer cake'

Keeping the 'great' in Paterson's Great Falls

Some good news!

Take action to defend and protect land and water

Interested in ecology? Become a Rutgers Environmental Steward

2016 wins and losses for New Jersey's land and water

Kick off a healthy New Year with First Day hike

Energy infrastructure: the new sprawl

Two great books for connecting kids with nature

Why do some trees stay green while others lose their leaves?

Melting ice, rising seas, hotter planet

Our forests never sleep, even in winter!

Documentary brings Great Swamp battle back to life

Defending the land they loved

Four years after Sandy, rising sea levels predicted

New Jersey: Small state, big diversity

10 great natural areas for enjoying fall colors

Removing obsolete dams brings rivers back to life

Humpback whales a welcome sight off NJ coast

NJ wine industry boosts agritourism

For good health, bathe in a forest!

Let's NOT make a deal!

New Jersey's spectacular waterfalls

Urban trees boost health and land values

Blue Acres: A win-win for open space, owners of flooded homes

Get mosquitos to buzz off - naturally!

Flawed pipeline approval process needs reforms

Speak out for our Atlantic Ocean and coast!

Help Pokemon Go lead into outdoors and nature

NJ 4th in peaches; don't miss out on peach season!

Water, water everywhere - keep it safe to drink!

Growing beer in the Garden State

Celebrate NJ's Revolutionary War parks and open spaces on July 4

Override Governor's veto of open space bill

Taming the wild blueberry 100 years ago

Celebrate and take action during National Pollinator Week

Get on the Circuit for National Trails Day

New tax deduction would give boost to NJ non-profits

Best nature movies


April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011


New Jersey Conservation Foundation on FacebookNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on TwitterNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on FlickrNew Jersey Conservation Foundation YouTube ChannelShare      
New Jersey Conservation Foundation           Bamboo Brook, 170 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931           908-234-1225 
home  | nj statewide eventscontact us  |  sitemap  |  privacy policy  |  DONATE