About one mile of the twenty-mile-or-so Lawrence Hopewell Trail passes through Carson Road Woods’ hedgerows, fields, and forests. The land was once farm fields and a peach orchard; in the early twenty-first century, it was preserved as a park, saving it from development. To the north, the LHT passes through the Educational Testing Services headquarters, home of the SAT, GRE, and other standardized tests, before looping back through Rosedale Park and Mercer Meadows, a.k.a the Pole Farm, which are about three miles west of Carson Road Woods.
Frederick Law Olmstead did not want a zoo in the park he designed for the city of Trenton, but Trenton gave the people what they wanted anyway. These barns were added later and housed exotic deer and other animals into the 21st century. Recent work has restored the natural areas, but the abandoned and decaying animal barns remain in place for now.
To see what this area looks like in the summer, see Cadwalader Park Natural Area.
Fall colors are appearing in the Pine Barrens. I rode about 10 miles on parts of the Mt. Misery trail and Glass House Road in Brendan Byrne State Forest, which provide a mix of paved roads, wide graded sand roads, and single track closely hemmed by bushes and trees. I must have been the first visitor that morning, because I was constantly riding through webs spanning the trail and when I stopped for a bit, there were at least three spiders still hanging on to the front of my bike.
Near the end of the ride, the Reeves cranberry bogs provided a peerless photographic opportunity. The bogs were created by William H. Reeves at the beginning of the twentieth century and remained in operation for at least half a century.
The roads around the bogs had some soft sand. The RadMini did not seem to have a problem with it, but I did almost wipe out plowing through a turn a little too fast.
Another quick ride, on both single track and the paved bike path. The lake here was constructed in the 1970s by damming Assunpink Creek. It’s used as a U.S. Olympic training site for rowing.
A quick, 5 mile out-and-back ride along the Ridge Trail in the Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain, New Jersey.
Rancocas State Park is in Burlington County, New Jersey, where the North and South branches of Rancocas Creek meet to form the Forks of the Rancocas. A Lenape village was formerly located here and in the 18th century, agriculturalist Charles Read owned the land. More houses were built in the 19th century, but in the first decade of the 20th century, much of the land was mined for sand, permanently altering the landscape and likely destroying any archaeological remains. Some ruins survived to the present, and trees and other vegetation now cover the scars from mining.
My Radmini e-bike had no trouble with the trails, which includes loose sand, packed sand, lots of roots, a little bit of mud, and the occasional log.