TRENTON, N.J.—Today Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced the opening of the new Baldpate Mountain hiking trail for use by the Mercer County community. The trail, which spans a total of two miles, takes hikers from the base of the mountain all the way to the summit—the highest point in Mercer County.
Mercer County used funds from the Federal Recreational Trails Program to finance the construction of the trail. The program gave Mercer County a total of $24,000, which was administered through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; however, the County completed the project with money to spare thanks to reliance on volunteer labor and in-house services. A total of 850 hours of labor by 41 community volunteers forged the Baldpate Mountain trail. Under the supervision of volunteer coordinator Alan Hershey, volunteers moved heavy boulders, smoothed patches of soil and gravel, and built stone steps to make the trail accessible, attractive, and easy to use.
“I want to thank all of our volunteers for their exceptional efforts in completing this trail,” said Hughes. “Volunteerism plays a crucial role in creating strong, healthy communities, and I want you to know how much I appreciate the hard work you’ve done to give this amazing resource to Mercer County residents.” Hughes also acknowledged the D&R Greenway Land Trust for its instrumental role in coordinating the construction of the trail.
Hughes enthused that “there’s no more fitting way to celebrate National Trails Day than by enjoying the outdoors on a brand-new trail,” and encouraged residents to participate in tomorrow’s County-sponsored hike to the summit of Baldpate Mountain. The hike begins tomorrow at 10:00 am, with County-operated shuttles running from the parking lot at Brymer Nursery on River Road to the base of the trail during the hour prior to the hike.
Hughes concluded by announcing upcoming improvements to active recreation resources in Mercer County. Over the next few months, Park Commission employees will improve signage on other County hiking trails including those in and around Rosedale Park, Herrontown Woods Arboretum, and Mercer County Park. The Park Cimmission will also continue to upgrade general facility signage in other areas of County parks using materials produced in-house in cooperation with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. In addition, the Park Commission will work to expand parking resources for active recreation facilities.