This is the fourth of 12 posts in our A Laker’s Dozen: 12 “Sweet” LHF Achievements from 2016 series – reflecting on and celebrating 2016 and the Lake Hopatcong Community.
Progress on the Lake Hopatcong Trail
Through funding from a NJ DEP Recreational Trails Grant, the trail around Lake Hopatcong is underway in the Borough of Hopatcong. The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is providing services for trail mapping/blazing and the creation of a trail brochure for the Hopatcong section. The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference will provide training for volunteers on trail blazing and trail maintenance which is scheduled for Saturday, March 4 and March 18, 2017. (Training registration will be available on our website in the New Year!) A third training on invasive species identification for the trail will be held on a Saturday in late April/early May.
The Salt Shakers Trail Running Club, a fundraising runners and walkers club open to all ages and abilities, provided a letter of support for the grant project to assist the foundation with the necessary trail maintenance and signage. We welcome volunteers to participate in the recreational trail initiative. Click here to volunteer. The Borough of Hopatcong Mayor and Council voted unanimously to support the foundation’s 2015 Recreational Trail Program grant application. Without support from these two partners, it is unlikely the foundation would have received it’s first trails grant from NJ DEP.
NJ DEP Division of Parks & Forestry, Hopatcong State Park, and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) are also involved in the effort. Since part of the trail will be on the Morris Canal Towpath which runs along Lakeside Boulevard across from the State Park, approval was needed for the trail blaze. Another section of the trail will run from Veterans Park and enter the state-owned Cowboy Creek property attaching to an existing off-road vehicle trail to connect into the Highlands Trail. SHPO and the State Park approval of the Lake Hopatcong Trail Blaze was required since the Morris Canal is on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. The small section of the trail in Cowboy Creek will have to be built as part of the project.
Cliff Lundin, volunteer chair for the LHF recreational trails team, has been a wealth of knowledge on the trails in Hopatcong. From taking consultants from the Land Conservancy around to show them the existing trails, to meeting with municipal elected officials and others about the trail, his assistance has been invaluable.
A second NJ DEP grant was submitted in 2016 for the next phase of the trail in Jefferson Township. Ken Fox a trails team volunteer worked with LHF staff to develop a proposed route through the township. After reviewing the route with the Tonwship Administrator, the grant application was submitted.
Volunteers are such an important part of what we do at the foundation that a future Laker’s Dozen post will be dedicated to celebrating and acknowledging our wonderful volunteers, but until then know that we truly appreciate and thank all of you. You make what we do for Lake Hopatcong and our surrounding communities even more special.
The Lake Hopatcong Trail, when completed around the entire lake, will be approximately 35 miles and will have significant regional impact.
National Trails Day Hike
As part of the foundation’s recreational trails initiative and to celebrate National Trails Day, each year the foundation hosts a hike through one of the four towns around Lake Hopatcong. This year to change it up a bit, thanks to the historical expertise of our board chairman (and Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum president) Marty Kane, about 40 people enjoyed a historic walk on a beautiful summer evening through Breslin Park in Mt. Arlington.
Look for the fifth post in our A Laker’s Dozen: 12 “Sweet” LHF Achievements from 2016 series on educational field trips next week!