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Marble Hill Grand Opening Event and Hike!!!

Please join us in this momentous occasion, celebrating the grand opening of the all new Marble Hill trail system at Lopatcong Park!

As Chairman of the Warren County Board of Recreation Commission and President of Metrotrails, I am proud to announce the completion of the all new Marble Hill Trail System, which includes mines, overlooks, and more!

The opening at noon is an open public event, so all are welcome to attend regardless of RSVP numbers here. Maps will be given to all in attendance.

Participants will have the option of joining in one, two, or three parts of the event on this day.

Lopatcong Township Park is located at 9 Wildew Ave, Phillipsburg NJ. This is the park where the pool is located. Enter the park and keep to the right. At the far right parking lot, near the ball fields is a kiosk at the paved pathway, pictured here. This is where we will begin the hikes, and where the celebration will occur.

The first part hike (shown as a separate event here) will be a short loop with a bit of out and back, starting at 9 am. We'll follow the new Lopatcong Connector Trail, constructed by Jillane and I with mowing help from the township, on up to the Warren Highlands Trail. We'll turn right and follow it out to the newest section, rerouted from the previous year to the fields. It'll be an out and back to the former site of the Harmony School House. There is a nice panoramic view not to miss!

We'll make our way back from here probably backtracking a bit, but also on a utility line with another view.

At noon there will be the celebration. In attendance will be at least two Freeholders, Director of Warren County Land Preservation Mr. Corey Tierney, Director of Planning Mr. David Dech, and Assistant Director of State Parks Mr. John Trontis, all outstanding and passionate individuals, as well as others. Directly following the celebration, I will be leading the group, which may be larger at this point. We'll again follow the Lopatcong Connector Trail to Warren Highlands Trail, then the new yellow trail down to a new parking lot and kiosk. We'll continue on the yellow trail which loops back to Warren Highlands Trail a little further on. We'll then follow Warren Highlands to a lovely seasonal vista of "Little Water Gap" and St. Anthony's Nose in PA. After that, we follow the Iron Mine Trail to the Fulmer Mine, another great little spot.

I am going to try to organize a few more surprises for this hike, but it's yet to be seen how it will happen. I will update more when everything is in order.

 

 

The following is the official press release:

The County of Warren is pleased to announce that various improvements to the Marble Hill Natural Area Preserve have been completed and that a “Grand Re-Opening” will be held at the Lopatcong Municipal Park (off Belvidere Road) on Sunday April 14th at 12:00pm. The 270+ acre preserve is owned by the County and adjoins over 100 acres of state open space and over 100 acres of municipal parkland. Visitors are invited to attend the ceremony and explore the property. Michael Helbing, the Warren County Board of Recreation Chairman and volunteer who helped construct most of the trail system, will also lead a guided tour of the preserve.

With the help of the state, township and volunteers, Warren County has cleared and blazed nearly 4 miles of new trails, installed multiple informational kiosks and interpretive signs, and created additional parking areas along River Road and Marble Hill Road. “The Martins Jacoby Watershed Association and the National Parks Service deserve special thanks for their generous grant which made all this possible,” noted Dave Dech, Warren County Planning Director. “Although this property had been preserved for quite some time, not too many people knew about it. This is a terrific resource for the public to enjoy and we hope they will come visit.

Situated along Delaware River just north of Phillipsburg, the preserve's contiguous forestland provides coverage for neo-tropical song birds and other migratory song birds that use the river as a flyway during migration. Visitors are invited to follow newly established trails through dense thickets of rhododendron which are particularly colorful in late spring and early summer.

Excavated in the late 1800s for iron ore, they may notice various rock walls and other interesting artifacts - including the Fulmer Mine (or "Ice Cave"). One of the more interesting features on this site, the floor of this cave is often covered with icy stalagmite during the winter months.

Atop Marble Hill and along the main trail, visitors are encouraged to stop and enjoy the Delaware River Vista which overlooks the narrows north of Phillipsburg and Easton (known to loggers who worked the Delaware River as the "Little Water Gap"). Across the gap is Gollub Park, home to a rock outcrop known as St. Anthony's Nose.

“The main trail through Marble Hill is a western section the Warren Highlands Trail. A cooperative effort between the NYNJ Trail Conference, Metrotrails, the Highlands Project, and other conservation organizations, as well as the state and local governments, this trail will extend over 150 miles from Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River. From Marble Hill to Allamuchy Township, Warren County will contain 32 miles of the trail,” explains Helbing.

“Many people don’t realize this, but thanks to continuing Freeholder support, Warren County owns and maintains nearly 1,800 acres of open space,” adds Corey Tierney, Warren County Land Preservation Director. “The improvements to Marble Hill are part of a broader county-wide effort to make our nature preserves more accessible to the public. With the support of organizations like Martins Jacoby and a committed group of volunteers, we can make these areas more enjoyable without straining the budget. I encourage anyone who is interested in building and maintaining trails to contact my office. With your help, we can really make a little go a long way.” The Land Preservation Department can be reached at (908) 453-2650.

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  • Michael H.

    It was excellent! Had a great time, and I was very happy to share the trail system which I took the lead on developing with new and old friends. When I put in the next new trail, I'll be leading another hike up there!

    1 · April 15, 2013

  • Jessica

    It was Great... Lots of fun....Thank you Mike...=)

    April 14, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Thank you for coming! Join again any time!

      1 · April 15, 2013

  • Egbert

    Great! I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

    April 14, 2013

  • Isa M.

    I'm not feeling well. Enjoy your day everyone.

    April 14, 2013

  • Isa M.

    Im not feeling well. Im not going tomorrow. Enjo your day everyone.

    April 13, 2013

  • jeanhee

    :( no p /u. hope to join another time.

    April 13, 2013

  • jeanhee

    or any insight for train/bus travel? public transport to this park is lost on google maps.... help!

    April 13, 2013

    • Michael H.

      There is no public trans to or even near to this site...Warren Co has a bus, but it's too complicated to get to it really in reasonable time.
      Maybe someone from NYC will respond...

      April 13, 2013

    • jeanhee

      fingers cross..!

      April 13, 2013

  • Gen A.

    A coworker needs me to work for them. Sorry to miss this! :(

    April 13, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Horrible! You can always join later parts of it, if that should work out for you.

      April 13, 2013

  • jeanhee

    yes! anyone coming in from NYC?

    April 3, 2013

    • jeanhee

      Great. Wii research and greet back today

      April 12, 2013

    • jeanhee

      hi yes, that helps. can we meet at Journal Square? it's PATH train stop in jersey city otherwise, lmk. thanks

      April 13, 2013

  • jeanhee

    hi is anyone from NYC going tomorrow morning? will be happy to share expenses. lmk. thanks!

    April 13, 2013

  • Michael H.

    Everything is looking good for this! Great weather! Those doing the full day, long hike I mean, I need more to meet me at Crivellaros in the morning, 8:30 at 1690 Morgan Hill Rd, Easton, PA 18042.
    Otherwise, the early part at 9 will be around Marble Hill east, then the part after noon from the opening celebration will include the other overlook, the iron mine, and lots more stuff! Those who want to do 7 miles or less will have to turn back when ready. Maps will be provided, and it's quite simple. There will likely be over 100 people at the grand opening including many dignitaries.
    If anyone has any questions, contact me at[masked]

    April 12, 2013

    • Michael H.

      I hope to stop somewhere nearby for lunch around 11 or so depending on time we finish the first 4 miles.

      April 12, 2013

  • Lenny and C.

    Carmen and I will be there

    1 · March 29, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Aw, can't make it now? Hope you can join again soon!

      April 12, 2013

  • Elise

    Foiled again. Someone else changed the schedule on me and I can no longer attend. Drats. So sorry.

    April 10, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Oh well...Marble Hill is a great little spot, you can always go and explore it another time! I will eventually have maps for it up on my website.

      April 10, 2013

  • Olya

    There is no info about the actual hike?? in this post??

    March 29, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Sure there is...it's in there. I named the trails we will be using, and some of the sights we'll see including the mine and two overlooks, one seasonal, one field panoramic.
      All will have the choice of mileage. The morning part will be short, then a longer section where anyone can turn back at any time and just see the new park. I will lead those who wish to continue on for a total of 15-17 miles so long as they want to keep going.

      1 · March 29, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Fantabulous!

      1 · April 8, 2013

  • Michael H.

    EVERYONE: Please note, if you wish to join me for all three events, it would help greatly to meet me at the end point, Crivellaro's Ristorante, located at 1690 Morgan Hill Rd, Easton, PA 18042.

    Everyone is welcome to turn back at any point in Marble Hill, but I will be showing everyone beyond where the Highlands Trail system re-connects, and we'll follow the route into Easton, then take a road walk up Morgan Hill to finish with dinner and drinks at this tasty establishment!
    Any questions, feel free to call or text me at[masked]

    April 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    *Lo*patcong.

    1 · April 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can I bring my dog?

    April 5, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Yes, that would be fine, just be sure the dog is leashed at the opening at noon. The morning part, 9 am, is under 4 miles, then we might grab a bite to eat nearby and wait till the opening at noon. Anyone is welcome to join either at noon or in the morning. Walking through the preserve will be very safe, and lots of people around, so one can easily turn back any time in the first few miles, or continue till late with my core group.

      April 5, 2013

    • Michael H.

      I was just told that Lopatcong Park does not allow gogs, but the Marble Hill Preserve does. We could have you maybe meet up with the dog late?

      April 7, 2013

  • Elise

    I tried at the last minute to catch the 10 mile hike last weekend. I did not catch the group. I was so disappointed. I had been sick for 10 days. As it turned out, I had not felt much better during the day..but boy did I miss it.

    March 29, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Yep...well there are plenty of other things coming up on my agenda!

      April 3, 2013

  • Isa M.

    Sounds like a great day. Looking forward to it.

    April 3, 2013

    • Michael H.

      It will be! Really interesting trip and a great new park I can't wait to show off some more!

      2 · April 3, 2013

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