By: Megan McGaha
Rock Spring Park in Long Valley extended its walking path for residents of all ages in late September.
Tucked at the intersection of Route 24 (Schooley’s Mountain Road) and Springtown Road, Rock Spring Park is about .05 square miles and home to events such as “Movies in the Park” nights, recreational sports, playing children, and walking people of all ages.
Michelle Lis, a resident of the area for nearly two decades, said she started pursuing the walking path with her friend Kerri Mudryk Gaskill almost three years ago.
“I have lived here for 18 years and I raised my kids playing at Rock Spring Park and thought it was a great place for people to walk,” said Lis. “Moms with their kids, senior citizens, anyone…”
Rock Spring Park is packed with amenities. In addition to the walking path, the park features four all-purpose fields, three softball fields, one Babe Ruth field, three tennis courts, two basketball courts, a concession stand, a pavilion, playground, senior center, and a library.
Lis and Gaskill were able to get a grant for the path from the Morris County Trails Commission, so they did not have to fundraise for it.
“We went to the recreation committee, then the town, then we needed funding and we were able to get connected with the Trails Committee,” said Lis. “They liked the idea and submitted it as a project for the Morris County Trails Commission to fund.”
The new path connects to the existing path at Rock Spring Park, which is mapped out at wtmorris.org. The extension is less than a mile long, maintained by the town, and currently open to people; though the park does not allow dogs.
“The trail was worked on over maybe a three-day period and was then opened,” said Lis.
The park will continue to extend the trail in a second phase, though it is currently unclear when the second phase will roll out. The plan is to connect the trail to Schooley’s Mountain Park, which is significantly larger (about 1.25 square miles) and little more than 1,000 feet away from Rock Spring Park, on the other side of Camp Washington Road. There will be a cut-through to this extension by the basketball courts.
“I am thrilled that we were able to make this happen as I love our town and the closeness of its residents,” said Lis, “and this is another place for people to meet and be active and enjoy all that we have.”
By: Megan McGaha