Ocean County officials are getting together Saturday to participate in National Trails Day by highlighting a section of the Barnegat Branch Trail in Waretown.

You're invited as well to participate in a number of activities along the trail from Country Lane to Railroad Avenue from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to the event hosted by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders and several Ocean County departments along with Ocean Township agencies.

“This will be a day where people can learn more about our trail," Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia Haines, who is the Chairwoman of Ocean County’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said. "They can try out the exercise equipment, they can view the interpretive display at the Country Lane Trailhead, participate in nature walks and just enjoy all that the outdoors have to offer along the trail."

As part of the event, visitors can walk the trail with an Ocean County Parks Department Naturalist, in addition to attending a bike rodeo and bike safety talks and demonstrations by the Ocean County Security Department.

Attendees can also meet with members of the Ocean Township (Waretown) Police Department, First Aid Squad and other agencies.

The free event will include information tables from Ocean County Parks and Recreation, Public Information, Cultural and Heritage and Planning.

In addition, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department will be hosting K-9 demonstrations and providing child ID.

A personal trainer will be at the outdoor exercise equipment by Railroad Avenue to demonstrate the equipment.

“We are having something for everyone,” Haines said. “We especially want to introduce our children to the trail. This is a great leisure activity and a learning experience.”

The Barnegat Branch trail, when completed will be 16-mile linear park and follows the existing right of way of the former Barnegat Branch Division of the Central Railroad of New Jersey.

The completed trail will span from Barnegat to Toms River.

Ocean County, to date, has completed six phases of the trail, which includes almost eight contiguous miles from Burr Street in Barnegat to Musket Road in Lacey.

In addition, almost 2.8 miles from Dudley Park at the Cedar Creek in Lacey to Hickory Lane in Berkeley have been completed.

Work on the South Toms River portion of the trail is expected to get under way shortly.

“The Barnegat Branch Trail is a great addition to the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation. It not only gives residents a route to travel by bike or walking, but also allows access to many of our County Parks that are nearby,” Haines said. “I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the nice weather and see the trail for themselves during the National Trails Day event.”

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