In a survey several years back, Princeton residents valued hiking above all other forms of recreation. Princeton has a wealth of nature trails to explore. Anyone wishing to escape the hustle and bustle can quickly reach the boulder fields and mature forests of the Princeton ridge, the meadows of Tusculum, or the creekside trails of Herrontown Woods.
Not surprisingly, trails don’t always maintain themselves. There is brush to clear, erosion to repair, and muddy stretches to cover with stepping stones or boardwalks. Township crews do some of this work. They mow pathways around the meadows at Tusculum, and built the beautiful boardwalk across the marshy land below Coventry Farm, but much of the work is done by dedicated volunteers.
FOPOS has become increasingly active in monitoring and maintaining trails in Princeton. Volunteer crews, led by board members Ted Thomas and Clark Lennon, have made dramatic improvements in trails at Mountain Lakes and elsewhere. Scout groups help in some preserves, such as Autumn Hill Reservation, and former FOPOS board member Andrew Love has given sustained attention to trails at Woodfield Reservation over the years.
FOPOS board members past and present with a particular passion for trails conceived a circum-Princeton trail route, and have worked over the years to realize this dream. One vital link–a footbridge over the Stony Brook behind Hun School–was completed in 2010 after years of advocacy and planning.
IMPROVEMENT IN TRAILS AT MOUNTAIN LAKES
The Friends’ trail crew is led by Ted Thomas and Clark Lennon. Their spirited weekend workdays and Clark’s ongoing work with a brush cutter have improved the comfort and accessibility of trails on some 300 acres of public land. Thanks to stepping stones and boardwalks, mud season at Mountain Lakes is now less muddy. Each year, volunteers also rise to the challenge of the many trees felled in windstorms like Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. By relocating some trails and removing fallen trees that have crisscrossed others, FOPOS volunteers help to quickly restore access to miles of trails in Princeton’s open spaces.
If you would like to get involved with the FOPOS Trails Crew, please contact us at email@example.com