FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 25, 2011
Contact: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tina Casey, 908-527-4346
Union County Opens New Section of East Coast Greenway Bike Trail
Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced that an important new link in the East Coast Greenway bike trail is now officially open in the county’s Lenape Park in Kenilworth. The East Coast Greenway is a 3,000 mile bike trail running up the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine. The new Lenape Park Trail will enable Greenway travelers to avoid heavy traffic as they go through Union County.
“Bringing this nationally significant bike trail through our densely populated region is quite an achievement, and on behalf of the Freeholder Board I would like to thank the state Department of Transportation, the East Coast Greenway and all those who worked to make it possible,” said Deborah Scanlon, Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
The new Lenape Park Trail routes cyclists away from heavy roadway traffic. It enters the park just west of Dorset Drive on Kenilworth Boulevard and follows the existing Lenape Dike into Black Brook Park.
The trail extends for 1.45 miles and passes through parts of Cranford, Kenilworth, Springfield and Union. It also enables a greenway connection from the county’s Echo Lake Park in Mountainside in the west through Black Brook Park in the east.
“The East Coast Greenway is an important new recreation resource for our residents, and it will also bring in visitors from throughout the United States and beyond, helping to stimulate economic activity in Union County,” said Scanlon.
Funding for the new trail was through a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation, and $170,000 from the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.
The East Coast Greenway stretches from Maine to Florida. When it is completed, it will provide a designated cycling route from Key West in Florida to Calais at the tip of Maine. It will form a 2,950-mile “Appalachian Trail” for cyclists, combining off-road and urban experiences.
In addition to using as much parkland as possible, the Greenway goes through almost every major city on the East Coast.
In New Jersey, the Greenway stretches for about 92 miles, from the Delaware to the Hudson River. It passes through 27 towns in six counties including Union County. The route is currently 48 percent on traffic-free paths, and it has the second highest percent of completed trail in any Greenway state.
So far, 62 miles of the New Jersey route have been completed. The Lenape Park section is the only new link achieved this year.
In Union County, the Greenway runs from Rahway, through the center of the county, up to Cranford and Kenilworth, where it turns through Lenape and Black Brook parks before heading east to Hillside, where the path connects to Essex County’s Weequahic Park in Newark.
The Greenway enters on the south side of Weequahic Park and follows a path along the eastern side of the 311-acre preserve, before exiting onto Elizabeth Avenue.
Future plans include a designated bike lane connecting Weequahic Park with Branch Brook Park in Essex County.
Directions to the new Lenape Park Trail: The new trail begins on the north side of Kenilworth Boulevard, just west of Dorset Drive. Drivers should park on Dorset Drive.
More information about the East Coast Greenway is available at www.greenway.org.
For more information about all Union County parks, recreation programs, and special events visit visit www.ucnj.org.
Union County Freeholders Angel G. Estrada (L), Christopher Hudak (C) and Bette Jane Kowalski (R) speak with Andy Hamilton (2nd L), Elizabeth Brody and Mike Kruimer of the East Coast Greenway Alliance during the officially opening of an important new link in the East Coast Greenway in the county’s Lenape Park in Kenilworth. The East Coast Greenway is a developing trail system, spanning nearly 3,000 miles as it winds its way between Canada and Key West, linking all the major cities of the eastern seaboard. More than 25 percent of the route is already on safe, traffic-free paths. The new trail link in Union County extends for 1.45 miles and passes through parts of Cranford, Kenilworth, Springfield and Union. For more information about the East Coast Greenway visit www.greenway.org (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)
For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release. Please join the County of Union online at www.ucnj.org, on Facebook at www.ucnj.org/facebook, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/countyofunionnj.
Union County Office of Public Information