The Lawrence Hopewell Trail’s sixth annual “Full Moon Ride” next week takes on new meaning for bicyclists and other participants, because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon.
The annual Full Moon Ride, which is the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corp.’s signature fund-raising event, is set for Sept. 14 at Mercer Meadows Park, which spans Lawrence and Hopewell townships.
The rain date is Sept. 21.
The event, which is co-sponsored by the Mercer County Park Commission, runs from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. in the park’s pavilion area. The entrance is off Federal City Road, between Blackwell and Old Mill roads in Hopewell Township. Car-pooling is encouraged.
The nonprofit Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corp., which maintains the 22-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that links Lawrence and Hopewell townships, raises money to offset the maintenance costs through the Full Moon Ride event.
The fee for bicyclists is $20. There is no fee for individuals who want to attend the event and who do not want to ride a bicycle, although a small donation is requested.
The Full Moon Ride is the brainchild of Jay Watson, who volunteers with the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corp.
Watson came up with the idea for the Full Moon Ride as another way to introduce people to Mercer Meadows Park. Hosting night events in the outdoors offers a different perspective to people, and taps into a segment that might not be regular visitors to the park.
Watson said he started holding meteor shower parties in Mercer Meadows Park during the annual Perseid meteor showers in August. It occurred to him that people enjoy being in the park under dark, star-lit skies – and that was the genesis of the Full Moon Ride.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this year’s Full Moon Ride on the 50-year anniversary of the moon landing,” Watson said.
“We anticipate another wonderful evening full of surprises that bring us all together in this unique space at this unique time,” he said.
It is not necessary to be a bicycle rider to take part in the Full Moon Ride. There will be plenty of activities to occupy young and old alike.
Participants – bicyclists and non-bicyclists – can bring a picnic dinner, decorate their bicycles or enjoy a campfire. Special musical guests will entertain participants at the campfire and along the bicycle ride route, which encircles Rosedale Lake.
The Full Moon Ride and its pre-ride activities are open to all ages, but bicyclists must be at least 12 years old to go on the ride. Helmets are mandatory for riders under 18 years old, but are recommended for all riders.
Online registration is possible at www.lhtrail.org thorugh 5 p.m. on the day of the ride. After 5 p.m., participants can register at the event. The 2019 Full Moon Ride T-shirt also is available for pre-purchase and for purchase at the event.
Bicycle sharing is available through Zagster, which has a rack at Mercer Meadows Park.