A myriad of trails and greenways crisscross the Raritan Basin. They range in size and popularity from the 69.5 mile Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail that enjoyed over 1.38 million visitors last year (NJDEP 2018c), to the 15 mile Columbia Trail along the South Branch of the Raritan in Hunterdon/Morris counties, to small out-and-back trails like the two mile Farrington Lake trail in Middlesex County. Trails provide opportunities for recreation with health benefits previously outlined for open space. Trails function as transportation corridors for walking and biking – connecting neighborhoods, shopping and entertaining areas, schools and more. Greenways also function as buffers between built and natural environments, they add value to open space for the public by providing access, and they enhance quality of life in communities by providing a sense of place and opportunities to interact with neighbors (NPS 2008)
There are several greenway projects in the region focused on enhancing access to the Raritan and connecting communities across the basin. These include the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the Middlesex Greenway, the Raritan River Greenway project, the Holland Brook Greenway project, and the Black River Greenway project to name a few (SRRI 2009).
Our study captured data on 927 miles of trails and greenways for hiking, biking, or a combination of the two. Expect many more miles maintained by municipalities, land trusts and other non-profits. No comprehensive central database of trails across the basin exists.