Monday, February 29, 2016
Our Trailwork Lauded in Recent Letter
Thanks to Sophie Glovier, whose letter in the Mailbox of Town Topics mentions the efforts of our Friends of Herrontown Woods to reclaim, mark and maintain public trails through 200 acres of open space in Herrontown Woods and adjoining Autumn Hill Reservation. These two Princeton nature preserves had become largely abandoned after storms and invasive shrubs blocked trails. Our group of volunteers has experienced the exhilaration and the sweat of reopening trails through this marvelous, boulder-strewn landscape, most of which was donated in 1957 by Oswald and Elizabeth Veblen. Leading the trail reclamation work has been Kurt Tazelaar, who views the preserve as his gymnasium, a place to get a workout while improving trails and shifting the ecological balance from invasive shrubs to natives.
Though town and county staff maintain parking lots, all of Princeton's nature trails remain accessible only through the largely volunteer work of nonprofits. Elsewhere in Princeton, Friends of Princeton Open Space has for decades maintained trails in and around Mountain Lakes, and the DR Greenway also does some maintenance of local greenspace. Sophie Glovier has been involved with both of those organizations over the years, and her research of local trails turned into the popular book, Walk the Trails In and Around Princeton.
There's also an informal Friends group keeping Gulick Park's trails clear. For those wishing to get out and about after comparative winter confinement, many of Princeton's trails are a bit muddy this time of year, though as you can see in the photo, along the Princeton ridge, there's lots of opportunities for rock-hopping.