Latest phase of the bike path already embraced

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Mark Fritz of Lancaster County, Pa., walks his dog Daisy along the newest section of the bike path in Middle Township Monday.  Mark Fritz of Lancaster County, Pa., walks his dog Daisy along the newest section of the bike path in Middle Township Monday.

Formal opening set Friday

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Mark Fritz of Lancaster County, Pa., took his 3-year-old dog, Daisy, a lab/sheltie mix, along the new section of the bike path Monday night, but rain cut their walk short.

Asphalt Paving Co. of Gloucester County was contracted to work on Middle Township’s phase four of the bike path. The $299,007 project was supported through state Department of Transportation grant money.

“This is great that they did this,” Fritz said of the new extension.

A formal opening is planned Friday, Oct. 12, starting at 4 p.m. at Indian Trail Road of the bike path. A punch list of items needs to be finished, but the path can be used, according to officials.

People appear to be enjoying the new section, said Committeeman Tim Donohue at a recent Township Committee meeting.

The path can be used for running, walking, jogging, rollerblading, skateboarding, bicycling and operating a two-wheel non-motorized scooter.

Phase three of the bike path, from Shell Bay Avenue to Indian Trail Road, spans more than a mile.

Phase one of trail opened in 2003 and starts along Court House-South Dennis Road in Cape May Court House. Since then, the bike path has been extended twice, from Goshen Road to Shell Bay Avenue and Shell Bay Avenue to Indian Trail Road.

The bike trail also connects the Atlantic Cape Community College’s Cape May County Campus, Cape May County Park and Zoo and Clarence and Georgiana Davies Sports Complex in Middle Township.

On Sunday, Mark Fritz and his 8-year-old daughter, Krystal, rode bicycles on the path to the Cape May County Zoo, beginning at phase two.

“And it was really nice,” Fritz said.

He said his family has been on the trail in Lower Township but not the one in Middle Township. They camped at Adventure Bound Camping Resort just down the road from the recreation trail.

Middle Township officials are not finished with expanding the bike path. They’re looking to do another section.

Donohue said that section of the bike path could go from Indian Trail Road to Satt Boulevard in Rio Grande, a popular road used to access a plaza that has Walmart and other stores.

Mayor Dan Lockwood said phase four of the path extension could run through Green Creek in Middle Township.

He said the hope is to connect the bike path to all recreational facilities in Middle Township: the Clarence and Georgiana Davies Sports Complex of Cape May Court House, Martin Luther King Community Center of Whitesboro and the former Fort Apache Campground, now called the Robert “Ockie” Wisting Recreation Complex in Rio Grande.

Middle Township’s path could also be connected with Lower Township’s.

State funding has not been secured yet for phase four of the bike path, he said.

On a frigid Monday morning, Carole Donohue of Cape May Court House ran along Middle Township’s new bike path extension as part of a 20-mile run.

She said she probably gets out on the bike path three times a week.

Carole Donohue, who is Committeeman Donohue’s wife, said she’s able to run to Indian Trail Road without worrying about vehicles along the way.

“This is lovely,” she said.

Donohue said she has noticed more people out on the bike path since phase one opened nearly a decade ago.

“That’s what we needed,” she said.

She said she has been running for 22 years.

Donohue has three marathons coming up, the Atlantic City Marathon later this month, Bucks County (Pa.) Marathon in November and the Fortitude for First Descents Marathon in Lewes, Del., in December.


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