Community and corporate leaders, government officials and members of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Board of Trustees celebrated the completion of 20.25 miles of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) with the official opening of a crucial new 0.6-mile segment, on Friday May 31. Only 2 miles remain to be constructed. The new ETS segment links the portion of the LHT that runs through Carson Road Woods and along Maya Drive, on the south side of Rosedale Road, with planned segments north of the ETS Rosedale Road campus on Province Line Road.
“The new ETS segment will allow LHT users coming from the south side of Rosedale Road to gain access to the northern sections of Lawrence and Hopewell Townships, without traveling on heavily trafficked roads,” said LHT Co-President Eleanor Horne. “It is a crucial link for thousands of walkers, bikers, hikers, and commuters. The new segment at ETS, and indeed the entire LHT, would not have been possible without the long, steadfast support of ETS.”
ETS President and CEO Walt MacDonald explained, “ETS decided to partner with the Lawrence Hopewell Trail in 2002 because we believe in the power of community to marshal resources to get important things done. ETS believes in the importance of developing a sustainable approach to reducing transportation by car on our congested roads and the importance of providing a safe way to get to work, school and the many wonderful parks in our area. The LHT contributes to health, fitness and fun, and is enjoyed by thousands of people, including many ETS employees.”
Bruce Gilbertson, ETS Vice President for Real Estate and Facilities and an LHT trustee, welcomed thecommunity “to enjoy all 2.5 miles of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail on our picturesque Rosedale campus, but most especially the new segment that we opened today. The paved trail is handicapped accessible and is perfect for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skateboarding, and of course, biking, jogging, and walking.”
“The opening of the new ETS segment goes a long way toward the completion of the 22-mile LHT,” said Lawrence Hopewell Trail founder and Co-President Becky Taylor. “The LHT was and is a shared vision among local and state governments, corporate neighbors, land preservation groups, and the community, and ETS was a standout advocate from the beginning. In fact, the very first section of the LHT was constructed in 2004 on the ETS campus.”
County Executive Brian M. Hughes, who spoke at the ribbon cutting, echoed Taylor’s sentiment, saying “Mercer County could not be more proud of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail. It is an example of an effective public/private partnership that benefits everyone. The success of the LHT has inspired us to think more broadly of the importance of trails for health, fitness, and sustainable communities.”
Lawrence Township Mayor Christopher Bobbitt thanked ETS “for its stellar support of the LHT and many other projects over the years that have contributed significantly to the quality of life in our town and the surrounding area.”
The LHT crosses Rosedale Road at the intersection with Maya Drive, where it enters the ETS campus. The trail heads north for .1 mile, then turns northeast and parallels Assessment Road for another .1 mile before turning east and crossing ETS Drive. The new segment begins at that point, winding through a quiet, picturesque wooded area for .3 mile before intersecting with Province Line Road near Audubon Lane. The LHT then continues north on Province Line Road for .8 mile where Pretty Brook Road meets Province Line, where remaining sections of the LHT are planned. The LHT also circles the ETS campus providing users access to other trails on ETS property.