Barnegat Branch Trail Planning, Ocean County, NJ

Women walking new trail section of Barnegat Branch Trail

Beginning in 2008, BH has worked as a subconsultant to Strauss and Associates assisting the Ocean County Department of Recreation and Parks in generating design and construction documents for various trail amenities for the first section previously built and subsequent sections through a continuing on-call contract for landscape architectural and trail planning services.
Sensitive use of interpretative elements brings visitors richer meaning to the cultural landscape preservation and visitor education. The Barnegat Branch Trail provided Buchart Horn a unique opportunity to develop sign designs for educational and interpretive elements along the Barnegat Branch Trail.
In addition to highlighting the cultural and natural history of the area, there were opportunities along the trail for environmental restoration illustrated to inform the trail users of the important work taking place along the trail. Other site amenities planned or designed by BH included:

  • Trailhead facility design
  • Community buildings at various points along the existing and proposed trail
  • Landscape plans to provide shade to trail users, stabilize the project areas, and enhance the opportunity for recovery of the indigenous flora and fauna
  • Trail design for environmentally sensitive areas
  • Conceptual stream crossing alternatives
  • Modifications to existing roadway traffic patterns to ensure safety of the trail user

Additional tasks included:

  • Coordination with adjacent owner’s concerns and requirements for security
  • Coordination planning with local municipalities
  • Evaluation of historically significant structures adjacent to and within the trail right-of-way
  • Architectural design of community and visitor centers
  • Construction administration assistance
  • Strategic planning for future trail development

Ocean County has borne witness to the incredible popularity of the first trail segments. The public response has been overwhelming, with user groups appearing at all times of the day and season. When complete, the Barnegat Branch Trail will be a 15-mile trail connecting the historic villages and other residential communities of Barnegat, Waretown, and Toms River to the many recreational and educational facilities in the immediate area. Buchart Horn has been involved in the design of the first three phases.