This past weekend the Psyclists got together after a month hiatus to brave the 90+ degree weather for a 14-mile excursion from Princeton to Lawrenceville.
We first rode through the comfortably shaded Institute Woods, and then picked up the D&R Canal Towpath southbound until we reached the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) connector. Here we were met with our first construction detour where we had to ride 0.5 miles along Meadow Road to Princeton Pike instead of following the LHT through the office park to reach Princeton Pike. Not a big deal, but just be aware of that small detour and follow the signs.
About a mile later we encountered our next obstacle: The LHT through the Lawrenceville School campus was closed due to construction. Getting around this one is a bit trickier, but all you need to do is make a left to go behind the field house and then travel on the grass along the south side of the pond. Eventually you’ll end up on Woods Drive which will let you traverse the campus. The upshot is you get to ride through the most scenic areas of the campus before reaching Lawrenceville Village.
In the village there are a few snack/drink options including Starbucks, the Gingered Peach, and the Purple Cow Ice Cream. We decided to turn around there, but one could continue to follow the LHT northward into Village Park and beyond.
The trails were in excellent condition, but we did struggle at times on the D&R Towpath where the gravel and sand would get a bit too deep for comfort. There isn’t much you can do in those situations beyond slowing down and trying to keep the bike steady to push through the gravel without wiping out. This is also where having wide tires, especially on a recumbent, is beneficial.
Next week we plan to explore some more of the LHT between Pennington and Lawrenceville.
The Princeton Psychology/Neuroscience cycling group dusted off their bikes and reconvened after a long winter.
Today’s route took us along the scenic D&R Canal towpath from Princeton to Rocky Hill. From there we crossed to the other side of the canal and looped back with a stop at PJ’s Pancake House in Kingston for some coffee and snacks.
Interesting sightings included a few dozen sunbathing turtle, some hissing geese, and a great blue heron flyby.
In total, we rode 13 miles– most of which were flat except for the steep hill along Rt 27 into Kingston.
While the condition of the NJ towpath made for very easy riding with well packed fine gravel, the PA side was in dire need of maintenance on the northern end. Once we reached New Hope on our way back down to Washington Crossing, the PA towpath did improve dramatically.
The LHT is a mix of paved and gravel trails running through Lawrence and Hopewell Townships, and offers safe, off-road access for cyclists, runners, and hikers to enjoy nature. The trail is a member of the Circuit Trails, a 750-mile network of trails connecting communities in the Greater Philadelphia Region. It is still a work in progress, but is very close to completion with just 3 miles left of the 22 mile circuit.
From Princeton we headed south along the D&R Towpath until we reached the LHT connector trail that took us to the historic Brearley House. From there we passed through Bristol Meyers Squibb and the Lawrenceville School campus, and headed into downtown Lawrenceville. We continued north through Village Park before reaching the most scenic segment of the ride through Mercer Meadows. There we visited a few more historic sites (the Pole Farm, the Hunt House) before looping back and stopping at the Gingered Peach in Lawrenceville for some tasty baked goods and coffee.
If you’re interested in doing this route yourself, note that there were a few trail segments with deep pockets of fine sand/gravel making riding a bit tricky at times. Yours truly did manage to fall over once, but thankfully I don’t have far to go from the low seated recumbent!
Yesterday a few members of the Princeton Psychology/Neuroscience cycling group (the Psyclists) convened after a long pandemic hiatus for a relaxing ride along the Delaware and Raritan (D&R) Canal.
The D&R Canal State Park consists of over 70 miles of multi-use, car-free paths along the historic canal. The route of the main towpath goes in a U-shape starting north in Milford and traveling southward along the Delaware river all the way to Trenton before curving back north passing Princeton on the way up to New Brunswick. The trail consists of crushed stone and packed dirt, and is best suited for hybrid and mountain bikes. As far as casual/recreational cycling goes, it is one of the main attractions of west/central NJ.
Yesterday’s ride took us from Princeton northward for 6 miles to the small town of Rocky Hill. There we visited Buy the Cup, a locally owned coffee shop, before reversing course and heading back. Despite the recent flooding in the area, the towpath was in surprisingly good condition and the meandering geese stayed out of our way!