def #63 03/31/10
OCEAN COUNTY GETS READY TO BUILD 3RD SECTION OF TRAIL
THE THIRD section of the Barnegat Branch Trail, which will bring users through scenic areas of the Pines in Berkeley
Township, is expected to be under construction early summer and completed by the fall.
“This section travels through a beautiful area of the Pinelands in Ocean County with Cedar Creek being a centerpiece,” said
Freeholder Director James F. Lacey, who is liaison to the county’s Barnegat Branch Trail.
The trail, when completed will be a 15.6-mile linear park that runs from Barnegat Township to Toms River Township. About
three miles of the trail beginning at Burr Street in Barnegat to Waretown has been constructed and is open to the
The Board of Freeholders on April 7 is expected to authorize advertising for the construction of the third section of the
trail, which will span two-miles from Cedar Creek at Dudley Park to Maryland Avenue in Berkeley Township.
Cedar Creek was once the center of a timber industry, and sawmills used the creeks and tributaries of the Toms River.
Work on the third section of the trail will include construction of a 10-foot wide path of crushed stone and dust surface
through the area providing a path for bicyclists, walkers, joggers, and nature enthusiasts. The work also will include
safety markings at trail crossings at Serpentine Road and also Central Boulevard, construction of parking areas,
installation of benches, landscaping and interpretive signs.
Also, an elevated boardwalk through environmentally sensitive areas in Dudley Park will be constructed in order to improve
access to the trail through the municipal park.
“When this section is done, residents of the central part of the county can conveniently access the trail,” Lacey
Ocean County appropriated $750,000 to build the third phase of the Barnegat Branch Trail. Those funds will be added to a
$313,000 grant from the state.
“This park is unique to Ocean County and features areas that residents and visitors may not have been able to experience
since they are deep in our natural woods,” Lacey said. “Each time we add to it, the park grows in popularity.”
When completed, the Barnegat Branch trail will be readily accessible to the almost 170,000 residents of the seven host
municipalities and is within a short drive of Ocean County’s population of almost 600,000.
Its proximity to many of the county’s parks is another benefit to those people using the trail.
“Work was completed in late spring on the second phase of the trail,” Lacey noted. “Some portions of the trail will be
completed before others.
“We are addressing each area so that we can provide the best design that would bring the most benefits to an area,” he
The Barnegat Branch trail follows the existing right of way of the former Barnegat Branch Division of the Central Railroad
of New Jersey.