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Calling all bicyclists! If you’re looking to ride some of New Jersey’s prettiest roads while supporting a great cause, check out the 3rd annual Tour de Open Space on Sunday, May 3.

Sponsored by New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the Tour will follow scenic roads bordering preserved farms, natural areas and historic sites along the Wickecheoke Creek in bucolic western Hunterdon County.

This year’s Tour de Open Space offers a 35-mile rolling route, a 25-mile hilly route and an optional 6.5-mile loop to extend either route. In addition, there will be a family-friendly ride along level terrain on the canal path at Delaware &Raritan Canal State Park.

The Tour begins and ends at the historic Prallsville Mill on Route 29 in Stockton, with the rolling and hilly rides leaving at 9 a.m. and the family ride leaving at 10:30 a.m. Registration will open at 8 a.m., with coffee and snacks offered to riders.

A rest stop midway through the rolling and hilly rides will be held at a preserved farm along Pavlica Road in Delaware Township. Riders can enjoy snacks and drinks while seeing a local historic site, a cemetery with markers dating to the 1700s. Other landmarks along the Tour routes include the Green Sergeant’s Bridge – New Jersey’s last functioning covered bridge – and the Locktown Stone Church.

The rides will be followed by a barbecue lunch at the Mill, provided by More Than Q caterers of Stockton.

The cost of the Tour de Open Space is $45 per person on or before April 20, and $50 per person after that date. Children 12 and under may participate in the family ride for free. Cyclists must provide their own bikes, and helmets are mandatory. The event will be held rain or shine.

To register online and see route cue sheets, go to http://njconservation.org/Tour-De-Open-Space.htm. For more information, contact Bill Lynch at blynch@njconservation.org or 908-997-0725.

Sponsors include Rojo’s Roastery in Lambertville, which will provide coffee at the event; and New Hope Cyclery, which will provide an on-site bicycle repair station. Additional sponsors are needed; please call Bill Lynch for information.

Funds raised by the Tour de Open Space will support New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s mission of preserving land and natural resources for the benefit of all. The Foundation has been working in the Wickecheoke Creek region of Hunterdon County for more than 30 years, permanently preserving nearly 4,000 acres of open space and farmland.

The Tour de Open Space is part of New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s “Step into Nature” series of walks, talks and fun outdoor activities.

For more information about New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its programs and preserves, visit www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LANDSAVE (1-888-526-3728).

 

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