HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Raritan River Greenway Bikeway Duke Farms Connector Trail is now open.
This half-mile section of paved, 10-foot-wide multi-use trail connects to the Nevius Street pedestrian bridge in Raritan to the North Gate entrance to Duke Farms in Hillsborough, and provides access to 18 miles of walking, hiking and biking trails within Duke Farms.
Users can access the trail at several locations including the parking area on the Raritan side of the Nevius Street Bridge, or downtown via the Raritan train station, which is within walking distance of the greenway. Users can also walk from various locations within the Regional Center in Somerville, Raritan and eastern Bridgewater along the existing multi-use trail or from Duke Farms.
Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the opening of the Duke Farms Connector Trail at Raritan River Greenway were Hillsborough Township Committeewoman Olivia Holmes; county Park Commission Deputy Director Cynthia Sullivan; Raritan Borough Mayor Charles McMullin; Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia L. Walsh; Duke Farms Executive Director Michael Catania; and Somerset County Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher.
“The trail is an important connection to the overall Raritan River Greenway Bikeway,” said Gallagher. “Residents have been anticipating this path for quite a while. We are very pleased that the county engineering division was able to collaborate with Duke Farms so that the public has access to this scenic pedestrian and bike trail.”
The Duke Farms Connector Trails were proposed by the Somerset County Walk, Bike, Hike Study, the initial draft the Somerset County Preservation Plan and as the mission of Duke Farms, which recently donated a 2.2-acre Access and Trail Easement to the county for the construction of the trail.
“This new trail will allow visitors to access Duke Farms from the Nevius Street Bridge and downtown Raritan Borough, and connect to the Peter’s Brook Greenway and the Raritan Greenway with the more than 18 miles of trails at Duke Farms,” Catania said.
Long-term Goals for Trail Development
According to the 2005 Park Commission Capital Facilities Study and the 2019 Needs Assessment, paved and non-paved walking, biking and hiking trails have been identified as one of the top priorities for residents.
Through additional land acquisitions and trail development, the county’s long-term objective is to create a continuous network of trails along the entire eight-mile length of the Greenway. Specifically, the goal of Somerset County’s Walk, Bike, and Hike Plan through partnerships between county, private and nonprofit facilities is to develop a countywide network of trails and shared paths to improve recreational experiences throughout the county.
A long-term goal of the Raritan River Greenway is to create a continuous open space network along the Raritan River. This eight-mile network will link to other Somerset County park facilities including Duke Island Park and Torpey Athletic Complex through connections to local and nonprofit open space initiatives within the county including Duke Farms and Somerville Borough’s Peter’s Brook Greenway.