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LOOP TRAIL PLAN

FOR:

The Borough of Mendham

SUBMITTED:

May 9, 2011

Prepared by:

Paul W. Ferriero, P.E., CME

Borough Engineer

N.J.P.E. Lic. No. 32978

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

i

Acknowledgments:

Mendham Borough Council:

Neil J. Henry Jr.,

Mayor

Louis S. Garubo,

Council President

John M. Andrus,

Councilman

Brad Badal,

Councilman

David Sharkey,

Councilman

Dr. Veronica Daly,

Councilwoman

Stanley Witczak III,

Councilman

Administrator:

Ellen M. Sandman

Borough Engineer:

Paul W. Ferriero, PE

Loop Trail Planning Team:

Adam Slutsky (Team Leader),

MB Environmental Commission

Kerry Miller,

Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions

Joseph S. Kosinski,

Ferriero Engineering, Inc.

Diana Callahan,

MB Land Use

George Connolly,

MB Open Space

Laurie Felber,

MB Environmental Commission

Ralph Boe,

MB Environmental Commission

Wayne LeBlond,

MB Environmental Commission

Charles Topping,

MB Open Space

Tony Perrone,

MB Environmental Commission

Jon Wagar,

Schiff Natural Lands Trust

Ken Obrien,

MB Department of Public Works

Carl Callahan,

MB Department of Public Works

Paul Cascais,

MB Planning Board/Environmental Commission

Bruce Taterka,

Science Teacher - West Morris Mendham HS

Jackie Schram,

Board Member - West Morris Mendham HS

Bridget Poole,

Board Member - West Morris Mendham HS

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION .........................................................................................................1

II. LOOP TRAIL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN................................................................ 1

1. G

2. L

A. Patriot’s Path to Cosma Place ................................................................................ 2

B. Cosma Place to West Field .................................................................................... 2

C. West Field to Heather Hill Way............................................................................. 3

D. Heather Hill Way to Talmage Road....................................................................... 3

E. Talmage Road to Mendham High School.............................................................. 3

F. Mendham High School to Main Street .................................................................. 4

G. Main Street to Patriot’s Path .................................................................................. 4

3. F

III. TRAIL STANDARDS................................................................................................... 5

1. D

2. A

3. M

IV. REFERENCES .............................................................................................................. 8

V. APPENDIX A:...............................................................................................................9

Master Plan Map.................................................................................................................... 9

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

1

ENERAL REQUIREMENTS .......................................................................................... 1OOP TRAIL DESCRIPTION .......................................................................................... 1UNDING..................................................................................................................... 4ESIGN ....................................................................................................................... 6CCESSIBILITY............................................................................................................ 7AINTENANCE & ALTERATIONS ................................................................................ 7

I. INTRODUCTION

The Mendham Borough Loop Trail is a designated path around the Borough comprised of

woodland trails, paths, and sidewalks. The trail is designed to create access to forested

properties and preserved open space providing new passive recreational opportunities to

these natural resources within walking distance to all Borough residents. New connections

will also make it possible for residents and children to more easily and safely walk and bike

to schools and businesses throughout the Borough.

The Loop Trail was originally conceived in the early 1980s and was designed to provide a

path around Mendham Borough, connecting the east and west sides of Patriot’s Path and

forming a loop around the municipality. The Borough currently has a developed trail

system that is not well connected to all areas of the municipality. The Loop Trail will

connect the system of preserved open space together and will provide a link to Mendham

Township and the Schiff Natural Land Trust’s extensive trail system. Much of the Loop

Trail is located within the public road right-of-way or on existing sidewalks. There are

however, several sections that traverse forested properties and preserved open space, such

as the Borough-owned Cosma Tract. The northern extent of the Loop Trail consists of

Patriots’ Path, an interconnected network of trails that expand throughout Morris County.

II. LOOP TRAIL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

1. G

ENERAL REQUIREMENTS

The total length of the proposed Loop Trail measures approximately 5.1 miles. Conceptual

connections to the Schiff Natural Land Trust trail system will expand the future loop trail

system to 6.3 miles.

The trail must be located on land that is either:

a) Publicly owned; or

b) Privately owned with a governmental agency holding an easement for public

access. Land subject to the Green Acres Tax Exemption Program or a

limited term access covenant under the Open Lands Management Program

does not qualify as an easement under this requirement.

All trail routes shall be designated as multi-use providing opportunities for pedestrians and

bicyclists. No motorized vehicles except authorized trail maintenance vehicles and

emergency vehicles shall be allowed on the trails.

2. L

OOP TRAIL DESCRIPTION

The Loop Trail system utilizes various types of existing and proposed surfaces and

pathways. The designated path is consistent with the route originally proposed by the

Mendham Borough Environmental Commission in 1984. The only significant deviation

suggested by this report is the utilization of the existing sidewalk improvements along

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

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Talmage Road to complete the southern segment of the loop trail rather than proposing to

construct a new path along Cherry Lane. Existing site conditions and inadequate public

access along Cherry Lane were the factors that concluded a route along Cherry Lane to be

infeasible at this time. The proposed route achieves the original goals of providing a loop

trail around the Borough, and provides conceivable opportunities for future connectivity at

various points along the trail.

The trail segments are described between specific destinations and in terms of the existing

status of each. The following sections provide a brief narrative of the Loop Trail,

beginning in the northwesterly most corner of the trail at the connection with Patriot’s Path

on Loryn Lane. A summary of the various trail segments is contained at the end of this

section in a chart which identifies the trail surface type, length, and access status. A map of

the entire loop trail path is included in the Appendix. A description of the various types of

trail surfaces identified in the chart can be found under the Trail Standards in Section III.

A. Patriot’s Path to Cosma Place

This segment of the trail system utilizes existing paved roadways and sidewalks located

within public lands and rights of way (ROW). The Loop trailhead begins at a defined

access to Patriot’s Path at the end of Loryn Lane. Trail identification signage is proposed

at this location. The proposed trail continues from the intersection with Patriot’s Path

along existing roadway and sidewalks on Loryn Lane and Deerfield Road. The trail then

continues along for approximately 0.2 miles within the paved traveledway of Linden Lane

to a proposed connection through existing Borough ROW to the Cosma Tract. An

additional trail marker is proposed on Linden Lane at this location to identify the trail

route. The entire length of the trail segment measures approximately 0.6 miles. In order to

complete the segment, approximately 300’ of trail between Linden Lane and the existing 8’

wide gravel path through the Borough owned open space property must be defined and

constructed. It is anticipated that trail surface construction will utilize a wood mulch base.

This segment of the trail offers future opportunity for an alternate natural trail surface

through the northern extent of a Borough owned open space tract. Approximately 0.5

miles of wooded trail may ultimately connect Cosma Place and Patriot’s Path through the

northern end of Linden Lane. This connection cannot be achieved until a suitable stream

crossing is provided to link Linden Lane with the northern end of the open space property.

Until such time as an additional connection becomes feasible through the northern end of

the Cosma tract, this segment of the trail will utilize the Loryn Lane trailhead and Linden

Lane connection to provide a path from Patriot’s Path to Cosma Place.

B. Cosma Place to West Field

Public traveled ways and sidewalks characterize this segment of the proposed trail. The

entire trail segment is approximately 0.36 miles long. From Cosma Place the path traverses

0.21 miles of sidewalk along Lake Drive to the Borough owned West Field property and

gravel parking area. No improvements are required to implement this segment of the loop

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

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trail. A trailhead kiosk is proposed in the parking area of West Field. Future

improvements to the route include potential public sidewalk from the West Field parking

area to Main Street, and future traffic signage and crosswalk improvements at the

intersection with Main Street.

C. West Field to Heather Hill Way

This trail segment will connect the Borough owned West Field property with Borough

owned open space located at the end of Heather Hill Way. Heather Hill Way then consists

of approximately 0.3 miles of sidewalk from the open space property to the intersection

with Hilltop Road. Approximately 0.2 miles of this proposed segment utilizes existing

natural hard surface paths that are defined through privately owned lands between the

Borough owned West Field Property and open space tract at the end of Heather Hill Way.

Implementation of this trail segment requires a pedestrian access easement through the

privately owned property, but little else in terms of trail construction or improvement.

An existing pathway through the privately owned lands may provide a future connection

from the proposed loop trail to the Schiff Natural Land Trust trail system. Although an

existing natural hard surface path is partially defined along this route, an easement for

pedestrian access would also be required to complete this future connection.

D. Heather Hill Way to Talmage Road

Aside from the existing crosswalk across Hilltop Road from Heather Hill Way, this entire

0.23 mile segment of the loop trail requires improvement to be used safely and effectively

by pedestrians. Steeply sloping grades and existing residential improvements along the

roadsides limit the construction alternatives available to achieve this connection. This

segment of the hiking trail will need to be improved utilizing concrete sidewalk within the

existing Hilltop Road ROW. The County of Morris owns and maintains the ROW along

Hilltop Road, so future construction will require coordination and approval from Morris

County. The ROW width along Hilltop Road varies, but it is predominantly 50 feet wide in

the vicinity of the required improvements. The pavement area of Hilltop Road is

approximately 24 feet wide, so a ROW area along the east side of the roadway 13 feet in

width would encompass the sidewalk improvements. Completion of this trail segment also

requires crosswalk improvements at the crest of Talmage Road in the vicinity of the

intersection with Hilltop Road. Design plans, County approval, and funding will be

required before this segment of the trail may be implemented to connect Heather Hill Way

to Talmage Road. Future easements through private lands may provide alternate

opportunities to implement a connection between Heather Hill Way and Talmage Road.

E. Talmage Road to Mendham High School

A significant portion of this trail segment utilizes existing public sidewalks for pedestrian

movement along Talmage and Coventry Roads to the Borough owned open space property

which borders Mendham High School. The open space tract which borders the high school

property is partially improved with sidewalk and gravel paths to the public access located

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

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on Franklin Road. Less than 0.1 miles of gravel path is required and proposed to stabilize

the remainder of this trail segment to define the route to the high school property along the

existing soccer fields. Opportunity also exists to connect the loop trail via Franklin Road to

the Tempe Wick Reserve open space tract located within the Township of Mendham. This

conceptual future link will require analysis and coordination with the Township of

Mendham to determine an appropriate access trail from Franklin Road to the Tempe Wick

Reserve trail network.

F. Mendham High School to Main Street

This segment of the loop trail is proposed through lands owned by the West Morris

Regional High School Board of Education (BOE). The 0.55 mile segment through the

High School property is a critical link between Main Street and the Borough owned open

space tract extending to Franklin and Coventry Roads. The proposed trail through the BOE

property will require an easement to the Borough to permit trail construction and pedestrian

access. Detailed topographic surveying, engineering design, and coordination with BOE

representatives will be required to define the trail type and route. Preliminary trail

planning suggests that gravel paths and sidewalks will be best suited for this segment and

will likely comprise the majority of the trail construction. The trail surface composition

may vary along the proposed route to conform to BOE requirements and to minimize

impact to existing areas of the property. Steep areas of the property dictate that certain

sections of the trail will require stepped, ramped, or terraced walkways to accommodate the

changes in grade. Trail planning through this segment will evolve to consider aspects of

location, trail volume, and accessibility in order to establish the safest and most appropriate

pathway possible. Future traffic signage and crosswalk improvements at the intersection

with Main Street may be considered to increase pedestrian and motorist safety.

G. Main Street to Patriot’s Path

The last trail segment completes the loop around the Borough back to Patriot’s Path and

measures approximately 0.57 miles in length. This section of the trail is located entirely

within the public ROW and uses existing sidewalks along Main Street and Dean Road.

Other than a proposed trail marker at the intersection of Patriot’s Path and potential future

traffic signage modifications at the Main Street crosswalk, there are no proposed

improvements necessary to implement this segment of the loop trail.

3. FUNDING

The trail will be funded through dedicated sources at the county, state and federal levels.

These grant fund sources include the National Trails Grant Program through the DEP and

the Safe Routes to Schools and Bikeway Programs from the DOT.

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

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Loop Trail Summary

Trail

Segment

Length

(miles) Type Access Phase Description

0.45 I, II Boro. ROW Existing Existing roadway and sidewalk.

0.06 IV Boro. ROW Proposed Path from N. Linden to Cosma tract.

0.08 III Boro. ROW Existing Existing gravel path through Cosma tract.

0.50 V Open Space Future Wooded path and stream crossing through Cosma tract.

Patriot's Path to Cosma Place

0.02 IV Boro. ROW Future Connection from end of North Linden to Patriot's Path.

0.10 II Boro. ROW Existing Cosma Place to Lake Dr. Sidewalk

0.21 I, II Boro. ROW Existing Lake Drive to Main Street

Cosma Place to West

Field 0.09 II, III Open Space Existing Main Street to West Field parking area.

0.11 III Open Space Existing Existing

0.22 V Easement Proposed Easement required for existing path.

0.05 V Open Space Existing Connect private land to Heather Hill Way ROW.

West Field to Heather Hill Way

0.30 I, II Boro. ROW Existing Heather Hill Way sidewalk.

0.23 I, II County ROW Proposed Sidewalk construction Heather Hill necessary for pedestrians.

Way to Talmage Road 0.01 II Boro. ROW Proposed Crosswalk improvements.

0.77 I, II Boro. ROW Existing Talmage Rd and Coventry Rd sidewalks

0.15 I, III Open Space Existing Existing path from Coventry Rd to Franklin Road

Talmage Road to Mendham High School 0.10 III Open Space Proposed Define gravel path along soccer fields to HS prop.

0.39 I, III Easement Proposed Define path along ballfields through HS property

0.11 III Easement Proposed Define gravel path around HS parking area

Mendham High School to Main

Street 0.05 I, II Easement Proposed Utilize existing sidewalk from parking area to Main St.

Main Street 0.57 I, II Boro. ROW Existing Main Street and Dean Rd sidewalks.

to Patriots Path
 

 

 

 

 

III. TRAIL STANDARDS

Proposed trails shall be designed and constructed with the goals of producing minimal

disturbance to the natural environment; ensuring the safety and enjoyment of the user;

protecting adjacent resources and property; preservation of the aesthetic quality of an area;

and adequately functioning for the intended use. All trail routes shall be designated as

multi-use providing opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists. No motorized vehicles

except authorized trail maintenance vehicles and emergency vehicles shall be allowed on

the trails. Trails shall consider a design which is compatible with the landscape,

surrounding land and trail use. Should conflicts arise on specific trail segments in the

future, the Borough may restrict the use on certain segments to avoid environmental

degradation, conflicts with properties adjacent to the trail, or trail user conflicts.

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

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In general, standards for construction of bicycle paths included in the American

Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Guide for the

Development of Bicycle Facilities, 1999 are recommended for construction of new

facilities (see below). However, these may not necessarily apply to mountain bike or

multiuse trails. Maximum path width in wetlands or wetland buffers must comply with

rules of the New Jersey Land Use Regulation Program, which may require a narrower

maximum width.

1. DESIGN

Trail design guidelines must consider aspects of the specific trail segment proposed.

Generally, no trail shall be constructed with a path less than 4’ wide, a vertical clearance of

less than 8’, and a horizontal clearing distance less than 6’ wide. Terrain and geographic

location shall dictate the configuration, path surface, path width, clearing width, clearing

height, grade, turning radius, sight distance, water crossings, and special requirements.

Tree removal shall be avoided to the greatest extent possible.

Surfaces of the Loop Trail are defined by the following five types:

Type I:

in the trail system. Sidewalks are proposed for those sections of the trail

where pedestrian use and Municipal or County Standards dictate

construction. Sidewalks may be constructed of concrete or asphalt but must

conform to the Standards of the agency with jurisdiction over their

construction.

Sidewalks. These routes typify existing sidewalks which complete linkages

Type II:

to complete the various segments to enable multi-use activity. Some trail

segments include areas along public roadways where sidewalk construction

does not exist or is infeasible.

Pavement. Many sections of the trail utilize public roadways and sidewalks

Type III:

where the anticipated use or volume may cause erosion and stability

problems for natural or wood mulch surfaces. Gravel paths serve to define

the trail and provide a stable surface while promoting surface water

infiltration. Gravel paths shall have a constructed width of 6’-8’ wide, a

minimum vertical clearance of 8’, and a horizontal clearance of 10’-12’

wide.

Gravel surface paths. Gravel surface paths are proposed for trail segments

Type IV:

be utilized where surface soils are unstable or the volume of trail use poses

soil erosion and stability hazards. Wood mulch paths shall have a

constructed width of 4’-6’ wide, a minimum vertical clearance of 8’, and a

minimum horizontal clearance of 8’-10’ wide.

Wood mulch surface path. These routes are similar to Type V trails but shall

Type V:

paths through open space areas. These sections of trail utilize existing

terrain and focus on minimizing impact to existing vegetation and land

surfaces. Proposed and existing natural paths shall have a minimum width

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

7

of 4’-6’ wide, a minimum vertical clearance of 8’, and a minimum

horizontal clearance of 8’-10’ wide.

Pedestrian access easements shall be a minimum of 10’ wide through privately owned

lands in order to maintain minimum trail tolerances.

A detailed design plan for each proposed trail segment shall be prepared to evaluate the

construction requirements for that particular location.

Natural hard surface paths. These trail segments typify existing wooded

2. A

ACCESSIBILITY

New trails and existing trails that require maintenance/repair should be designed or

modified to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities when possible. Proposed

accessibility guidelines for trails have been developed by the Regulatory Negotiation

Committee on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas.

Departures from specific technical provisions of the accessibility guidelines include areas

where compliance would be detrimental to a significant natural feature, which may include

a large rock, outcrop, tree, or a water feature which would block or interfere with trail

construction or would be directly or indirectly altered or destroyed by construction of the

trail to the extent that the trail could not, at that point, be made accessible. This includes

areas protected under Federal or State laws, such as areas with threatened or endangered

species or designated wetlands that could be threatened or destroyed by full compliance

with the technical provisions. It also includes areas where compliance would directly or

indirectly substantially harm natural habitat or vegetation. Compliance with the technical

provisions, particularly running slope (16.2.7), may not be feasible in areas of steep terrain

which may require extensive cuts or fills that would be difficult to construct and maintain,

or cause drainage and erosion problems. Also, in order to construct a trail on some steep

slopes, the trail may become significantly longer causing a much greater impact on the

environment. Certain soils are highly susceptible to erosion. Other soils expand and

contract along with water content. If compliance requires techniques that conflict with the

natural drainage or existing soil, the trail would be difficult, if not impossible to maintain.

This condition may also apply where construction methods for particularly difficult terrain

or an obstacle would require the use of equipment other than that typically used throughout

the length of the trail. One example is requiring the use of a bulldozer to remove a rock

outcropping when hand tools are commonly used.

3. MAINTENANCE & ALTERATIONS

Maintenance of the various trail segments utilizing acceptable practices and methods

suitable to restore the particular type of trail surface shall be performed by the Mendham

Borough Department of Public Works. Maintenance activities include, but are not limited

to, the restoration of surface treatments, clearing of brush to maintain trail height and width

tolerances, signage maintenance, and the maintenance of bridges and structures.

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

8

Routine or periodic maintenance or repair of existing trails or trail segments is exempt from

the technical and scoping provisions for accessible trails. Maintenance and repair is

performed to return the trail or trail segment back to the standards or conditions to which it

was originally designed and built. In outdoor environments, the ability to maintain the

facility is generally more limited, occurring relatively infrequently, except in highly

developed areas. This type of work is not an alteration; it does not change the original

purpose, intent, or design of the trail. The act of maintenance and repair includes, but is not

limited to: Removal of debris and vegetation such as downed trees or broken branches in

the trailway, clearing trail of encroaching brush or grasses, removing rock slides, etc.

Maintenance of trail tread such as filling of ruts and entrenchments; reshaping trail bed;

repairing trail surface and washouts; installing rip rap (rock placed to retain cut and fill

slopes); constructing retaining walls or cribbing to support trail tread, etc.; erosion control

and drainage, replacing or installing necessary drainage structures such as drainage dips,

water bars, or culverts; realigning sections of trail to deter erosion or avoid boggy/marshy

areas, etc. Repair of trail and/or trailhead structures. This includes replacing deteriorated,

damaged, or vandalized parts of structures such as sections of bridges, boardwalks,

information kiosks, fencing, and railings; painting; removing graffiti, etc. Where

practicable and feasible, the Borough shall maximize the opportunity to improve

accessibility on trails through trail maintenance and repair activities.

IV. REFERENCES

?

Management Handbook,

United States Department of the Interior National Park Service, NPS TrailsMarch 1983.

?

Development of Bicycle Facilities

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Guide for the. (AASHTO Guide), 1999.

?

Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas Final Report

United States Access Board, Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Accessibility, September 30, 1999

?

Bikeways: Planning and Design Guidelines

New Jersey Department of Transportation. Bicycle Compatible Roadways and. Updated 1999.

?

Minnesota.

Rathke, D, and Baughman, M. for Minnesota Extension Service, University ofRecreational Trail Design and Construction. 1997.

?

for Accessibility Guidelines: Outdoor Developed Areas

U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. Recommendations. September 1999.

?

U.S. Forest Service. Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook. 2007.

?

Office of Natural Lands Management, Recreational Trails Program,

Projects Funded in New Jersey

Borough of Mendham Loop Trail Plan

May 9, 2011

9

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Parks and ForestryRequirements for, 2011.

V. APPENDIX A:

Master Plan Map





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