Giving Back

The Trail that Jake Built - A New Path in Roxbury


ROXBURY, NJ – There came a day in April when Jake Kovalcik, alone on Mooney Mountain, stepped back and looked at what he’d accomplished: By himself, accompanied only by his dog, he’d built a new trail for Roxbury Township’s Veterans Park.

“When I connected the two ends I said, ‘Holy cow, I’m done,’” recalled the Succasunna resident. Finally, a project he began in October and yearned all winter to complete, was finished.

Meandering for 1.5 miles, the new “Red Trail” was a labor of love for the 41-year-old advertising executive, who is a member of the township trails committee. On days when he was working from home and didn’t have to drive to his New York City office, Kovalcik would grab his trail tools and be up on the mountain shortly after sunrise. “The days I didn’t go into the city I would be on the mountain at 7 ’clock with my dog trying to figure out where things should go,” he said. “And after I got it figured, I would dig it all out.”

Sign Up for E-News

Kovalcik will be on hand 10 a.m. Saturday (May 30) for the official opening of the new trail. After the ribbon-cutting, participants will, of course, get to hike Kovalcik’s creation as part of a 3-mile loop hike that will also include the park’s blue and yellow trails.

“He built the trail himself in his spare time,” said Roxbury Recreation Program Director Sandie DiDomenico in an email. “He’s a priceless trails committee member!”

Kovalcik, an avid hiker, mountain biker, runner, cyclist and self-described “outdoors guy in general,” said he was motivated to create the trail by the trail-building efforts of the Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (JORBA), and others, on the Dickerson Mine Preserve in Mine Hill.

“I loved what they did up there so much I was trying to replicate it a little bit if I could,” he said. “I’m on the town trails committee and we’d been talking about it for a while. I’d really like to give Sandie and Dave Stierli a lot of credit for … sort of letting me create it in my own vision.”

In doing so, Kovalcik tried to plot a course that brings users close to interesting and unusual features. While there are no breathtaking vistas he could visit, Kovalcik said the woods include their share of novel sights. “There are a lot of interesting rocks,” he said. “There’s an old foundation I went right past, so people could check that out. There’s a big rock that looks like a giant turtle neck sticking out of the water. I really tried to incorporate interesting things that I hoped people would enjoy.”

Kovalcik figures he spent about 100 hours on the project. “Winter was kind of a bummer,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to get back out there this spring. I had it all laid out. I knew where I wanted to go and I was itching to get back out there.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Thu, July 19, 6:00 PM

La Strada Ristorante, Randolph

La Strada Dinner & Retirement Income Workshop

Business & Finance Food & Drink


Thu, July 19, 7:00 PM

Horseshoe Lake Bandshell, Succasunna

Roxbury Summer Concert Series: Rodeo Gypsies

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Henry Bona Pools & Spas, Kenvil

Bona Pools Customer Appreciation Sale!

Home & Garden


Sun, July 22, 9:00 AM

Henry Bona Pools & Spas, Kenvil

Bona Pools Customer Appreciation Sale!

Home & Garden

Have You Seen Buttons?

July 11, 2018

MOUNT OLIVE, NJ - Residents of Roxbury living near Flanders are asked to keep an eye out for a lost female Yorkie mix that has been missing since July 7.

"Buttons" was last seen near Kevin Drive and Christopher Court in Flanders. The dog, described as friendly but shy, is brown with dark highlights and a white chest patch. If you see her, please call 973-219-9323.


Peyton Knight's Pointers for Safer Driving

Many customers ask my advice for ways to add more years of life to their vehicles. Here are a few pointers from my 35 years of experience in the auto repair industry, as well as some tips to keep you safer on the road.  

1.    Pull Through a Parking Spot.  Pull through to the other side of a parking space so your vehicle faces forward out ...

More Snow! Let Your Kid Drive in It!

ROXBURY, NJ - We are again about to be walloped by a snowstorm. These words, first written at the beginning of winter, need to be reiterated:

Many parents with a new driver at home will see the storm approaching and instinctively decide to not allow their kids to get behind the wheel until the snow's been cleared.

They might want to rethink that.

When it snows, ...

Is Your Car Ready for Old Man Winter?

You know it’s coming: That first frigid morning when you discover your car is covered in ice. Old Man Winter has reared his ugly head once again to wreak havoc on your car and your ride to work. 

Well, I’ve got one thing to say about that: Let’s be ready for him this year!

Owning a repair shop for over 30 years, I have spent many harsh winters coaxing a dead ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Letters to TAPinto Roxbury

A Problem and a Solution

July 17, 2018

Greetings, residents of Roxbury Township.  Let me begin by thanking you for the opportunity to serve as the high school principal for the past 15 years.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to do so.

As I “walk into the sunset,” I’d like to bring an important issue to your attention.  It is a significant issue that will plague the district for years to come if ...

Warsaw of Ledgewood Makes St. Lawrence Dean's List

July 2, 2018

CANTON, NY - Nolan Warsaw of Ledgewood has been selected for inclusion on St. Lawrence University's Dean's List for academic achievement during the Spring 2018 semester.

Warsaw is a member of the Class of 2021. Warsaw attended Roxbury High School.

To be eligible for the Dean's List, a student must have completed at least four courses and have an academic average of 3.6 based on ...

Two From Roxbury Graduate From Roger Williams

BRISTOL, RI - The following local residents were among the 1,127 students who received their degrees in May as part of the Class of 2018

Paul Bohrer of Succasunna N, with a B.A. in Public Health

Samuel Sherwood of Succasunna NJ (07876), with a B.S. in Finance

Fleming Chosen to Represent RHS at Annual NJ HOBY Seminar

ROXBURY, NJ - Roxbury High School sophomore Allison Fleming from Succasunna represented Roxbury High School at this year’s annual NJ Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminar.

Fleming spent three days in June at Kean University with more than 300 other sophomores from around the state.

Founded in 1958, HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop our global ...

Press Releases


July 13, 2018

Events Will Include STEM, Shooting sports, games and More!


STANHOPE, NJ – July 5, 2018– Time for the whole family to experience adventure this summer!  Have some free summer evenings and ready for a summer evening of family fun?!  Families are invited to attend any of four Family Adventure Nights at Camp Wheeler or Watchung Day Camp at no ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...