On Wednesday, April 29th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order allowing for parks and golf courses to reopen at sunrise on Saturday, May 2nd. The Executive Order also allows Counties the option to reopen their parks as well.
Up until now, the recent shutdown in New Jersey resulted in nearly all of Circuit trails in New Jersey being closed. The two notable exceptions were the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and the Monroe Township Bike Path. Some of the closed paths were important transportation routes and some people continued to use the trails, including several people who told us that their trails were important to safely reach their jobs.
Opposition to the trail closures was fierce and the need to enforce the trail closure raised tensions.
In Middlesex County, a Metuchen Man was arrested after refusing a police officer’s orders to get off the Middlesex Greenway Trail. On April 26th the Attorney General ordered the closure of the 24 mile Henry Hudson Trail in Monmouth County. The County kept the trail open in spite of the Executive Order because of its importance as a transportation route.
The County Freeholders publicly opposed the closure and the mayor of Middletown Township wrote a detailed letter to the Attorney General. The trail, which is the longest paved trail in the state, runs parallel to Route 36 for several miles serving as a side path to the busy highway.
We thank the Governor for reversing his position and we look forward to getting back on the trails. Hopefully, these openings will take a little bit of pressure from trails and parks in Bucks County, especially the D&L Trail along the Delaware River.
We encourage you to visit our lesser known trails blog post which will be updated shortly to include New Jersey trails.