Join us in building a new national trail  

Morris Township, NJ - This year as America approaches the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, when the United States and the world were shocked by an act of terrorism beyond imagination, our citizens throughout the country have an opportunity to be part of a national trail to be called the September 11th National Memorial Trail; built as a tribute to all those who perished in America’s single worst terrorist attack.  The establishment of a hiking, biking and driving trail will provide a physical linkage connecting the three national memorials commemorating the tragic events that occurred at the Flight 93 National Memorial, the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon. 

JOIN US IN PLANNING THE NEW JERSEY SECTION OF THE SEPTEMBER 11TH NATIONAL MEMORIAL TRAIL.  We need your help identifying the best routes! With support from the Morris County Park Commission, the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program, and trail and outdoors organizations, a public planning meeting/ open house will be held.  Attend all or part of any meeting.

July 6, 2011, from 2 - 5PM

Morris County Park Commission Headquarters

353 East Hanover Avenue

Morris Township, New Jersey

sept_11_trail

The September 11th National Memorial Trail will eventually be a 1,100-mile motorized route and non-motorized hiking and cycling trail connecting the three national memorials.  Localities along the planned route would be vital hubs with the trail serving as an important recreational and transportation venue for promoting tourism, economic development, healthy bodies and minds, and cultural and educational opportunities for generations to come. The goal is to have the route established with a number of segments open for use in time for the tenth anniversary of the September 11th 2001 attacks.

The non-profit September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance (www.911MemorialTrail.org) has been planning the trail based on the use of existing roads, trails and greenways wherever possible.  Planning meetings have previously been held in Pennsylvania. It has received the support of the Pentagon Memorial Fund, the Flight 93 Advisory Commission, the Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland state governments, the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy and the East Coast Greenway Alliance among others.  The trail is shaped as a triangle forever connecting together the Flight 93 National Memorial, the Pentagon Memorial and New York City’s National September 11 Memorial.  In fact, two of the three legs of the connecting trail are already in place.

The first leg (blue) of the trail begins at the Pentagon Memorial extending north along the National Park Service’s 184-mile Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/CHOH)  which follows the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.  to Cumberland, Maryland; then connecting to the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage (www.atatrail.org) completed to Pittsburgh under the leadership of The Allegheny Trail Alliance.  It would proceed east for approximately 24 miles from the Great Allegheny Passage near Rockwood to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County.

The second leg (yellow) extends east from the Flight 93 National Memorial to New York City’s National September 11 Memorial.  This 441-mile segment would follow existing or new trails to be built; especially taking advantage of Pennsylvania’s many rails-to-trails.

We need your ideas on the New Jersey section of the Trail. One of the potential New Jersey routes from Pennsylvania to New York City could be the Liberty Water Gap Trail.  This 130-mile system of trails links six trails from the Delaware Water Gap to the East Coast Greenway and the Hudson River Waterfront Walk.

The 337-mile third leg (green) from New York City’s  National September 11 Memorial to the Pentagon Memorial would follow the East Coast Greenway; a greenway being developed for non-motorized multi-use.  Under the direction of the East Coast Greenway Alliance (www.greenway.org) and called the “urban equivalent of the Appalachian Trail”, this 3,600 mile planned greenway extends from Maine to Key West, Florida.  Significant success has been made on the development of the East Coast Greenway route from New York City through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland to the Pentagon in Virginia.  Currently approximately 26 percent of the route is off-road.

As the September 11th National Memorial Trail approaches Philadelphia along the East Coast Greenway it would connect with The Garden of Reflection; “the Official Pennsylvania Memorial to the Victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorists.”  The trail would then continue on the East Coast Greenway through Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia across the Memorial Bridge and Virginia’s Mount Vernon Trail to the Pentagon.