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Two Cherry Hill trail sites have been designated as National Recreation Trails by the United States Department of the Interior.
The trails – located at the historic Barclay and Croft Farm sites – are the only New Jersey locations to be selected for the National Recreation Trails program in 2011 and are among just 41 sites given the title this year.
“I’m pleased and proud to be home to two of the nation’s richest trail networks on the grounds of our local historical sites - Barclay and Croft farms,” Mayor Chuck Cahn said. “These trails provide a multitude of benefits for our community, chief among them the ability to connect our residents with nature and expand the recreational and educational opportunities available to people of all ages.”
Cherry Hill is home to 51 township parks, 3 Camden County-owned parks, and an expanding trails program that together give residents and visitors a wealth of opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy the vast natural resources and wildlife the community has to offer, Cahn noted.
The trails at Barclay Farm, located off of Barclay Lane, are an interconnected system of three paths that cover about three-quarters of a mile situated on an 18th Century farmstead that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The final stop on the Cooper River Historic Trail, this particular trail network includes a handicapped-accessible branch that features a stone surface; a hiking trail that passes through mature forest along the Cooper River’s north branch; and a nature trail that features 10 interpretive stations and runs along the Cooper River, a pond, and wetland.
The trails at Croft Farm – once a working mill and farm and a stop on the Underground Railroad – have played an important role in the growth of Southern New Jersey for more than 300 years. The Farm itself is on both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places; the network of six trails covers 1.45 miles and winds through different natural habitats including meadows, scrub-shrub, early successional forest, and mature forest. Croft Farm Trails are promoted at yearly events to connect people with nature, increase support for Open Space lands, and to highlight outdoor recreational opportunities in the community.
“Particularly in this age of video games and television, it is critical that communities make available space for our children to play, explore and learn while living a healthier, more active lifestyle,” Cahn added. “The people of Cherry Hill have always taken great pride in our open spaces; they’re part of the special quality of life we enjoy in this community, and it’s extremely gratifying to see these truly remarkable places recognized on such a large scale.”
Issued annually by the United States Department of the Interior, the National Recreation Trail designation recognizes trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation and promote a healthier lifestyle for all Americans. This year’s designees join more than 1,100 previously selected trail locations that span more than 13,000 miles across the United States.
Read more about the Township's trails program and the director of our Environmental Committee in the Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20110706_Taking_the_wilderness_cause_to_congested_Cherry_Hill.html