On Tuesday June 30, our Regional Planner Leonard Bonarek led an exploratory walk of the Dinosaur Trail in Gloucester County, NJ, in the southeast corner of the greater Philadelphia region. He was joined by officials from the County, Rowan University, and the municipalities that the trail will connect when completed. Due to the pandemic, this walk was kept at a limited size to ensure participant safety.
Participants came away with new enthusiasm for completing the trail, which when completed will have a transformative effect not just on Gloucester County, but the region: First off, it’s not named “Dinosaur” for nothing. The trail will pass through the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University, and to our knowledge will be the only active dinosaur dig site in North America that will be connected to a regional trail network as extensive as The Circuit Trails. As many families already travel to Philadelphia for vacations that feature biking, the tourism implications of this connection can’t be understated.
Secondly, the trail will connect to the Monroe Township Bike Path, the Mullica Hill Trail, and the Bridgeton Secondary/Elephant Swamp Trail. The Dinosaur Trail will be the hub at the center of these other great trails, all of which will be connected to Philadelphia hundreds of other destinations on the 800+ mile Circuit Trails network.
Lastly, it will connect the municipalities of Deptford, Mantua, PItman and Glassboro to each other as well as and Rowan University. The Dinosaur Trail will be a game changer for Gloucester County as well as the greater Philadelphia region.
Going forward, our aim is to build on this new interest in the Dinosaur Trail by facilitating meetings between the Rowan and the county/municipal governments to discuss how we can accelerate the development of this exciting trail. This walk was part of the advocacy efforts of the Gloucester County Circuit Action Team. If you’re interested in joining the team’s efforts to build more trails in Gloucester County, please reach out to leonard (at) bicyclecoalition.org.