Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail


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The Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail is owned and maintained by the Township of Derry and was named in memory of Jonathan Eshenour, a young and vibrant member of the community who was fatally injured in a biking accident. The 13-mile trail travels through a majority of the township and provides access to parks, neighborhoods, and commercial establishments. The trail presents an array of quality recreational opportunities. It's a wonderful avenue to exercise, experience nature, and enjoy friends and family. The trail travels conveniently near the township's parks, providing additional activities such as sports, fishing, picnicking, and much more. It is hoped that the trail will provide safe natural recreational activities for families to enjoy for generations. Many individuals and organizations have been instrumental in the success of this trail system. Without their contributions and efforts this project would not have been possible. A special thanks is given to Randy, Cheryl, Nathan and Matt Eshenour and the countless volunteers who have committed their hearts, minds and souls to this effort.

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Stellar multi-use trail  
By jmcginnis11 on Sep 05, 2011 trail review rating icon - 4 stars

Named for a local resident who was fatally injured in a cycling accident, the Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail is a great example of how a multi-use trail with myriad amenities can tie communities together. Technically a network of trails, the greenway begins just south of Hummelstown near Indian Echo Caverns, then meanders east through farmland to Bullfrog Valley Park. Here, one branch runs south, through lush woodlands, following a long-abandoned railroad grade to the larger Shank Park and the community of Waltonville. The main trail, meanwhile, turns northeast, following Bullfrog Valley Road to Route 322. The whirring of med-evac choppers landing and taking off at the nearby Penn State Hershey Medical Center is a common sound on this portion of the trail. As the trail parallels Route 322 for the next mile, the semi-rural nature of the first few miles gives way to commercial development to the north and the sprawling Penn State Hershey Medical Center to the south. The trail dips south on the east side of the hospital campus, then zigzaggs through a local development on signed streets. From here, another branch heads further south, paralleling Route 743, while the main trail turns back north, crossing Route 322 into downtown Hershey, then heads east, ending in Palmdale near the eastern boundary of Derry Township. In addition to providing a paved surface with minimal grades, the trail also features numerous amenities, including benches, gazebos, small gardens, stations with plastic baggies for dog owners and signs interpreting natural and historical features. Adjacent homeowners often add to this beauty by planting small flower gardens and trees and placing landscaping features along the trail. Chemical toilets are located at several trailheads, flush toilets are available in Shank Park and vending machines are located in Bullfrog Valley Park. In addition to connecting much of Derry Township, the creative routing of the Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail is also a great example of how multi-use greenways can be constructed in areas where clearly defined corridors (abandoned or lightly used rail lines, utility corridors, banks of waterways, et. al.) are in short supply. In this context, it could potentially provide a model for closing many of the numerous trail gaps around the state, as well as for future greenway projects in the Harrisburg metropolitan area, which has few obvious corridors suitable for trail development. Hopefully, extensions can one day be built west to the Capital Area Greenbelt, east to the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail and Horseshoe Trail and north to Hersheypark, and potentially to the Appalachian Trail.  

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Trail Counter - Total Trail Count: 650 * Total Mileage: 12,000
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