Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail
Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail
|Location||Trail Link Map|
S. Lingle Ave
|Difficulty||Easy, smooth, ADA accessible|
|Hours||Dawn to dusk, year-around|
|Amenities||Benches, gazebos, picnic tables, playground|
The Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail is a 13 mile recreational trail that extends through the Hershey community in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The asphalt trail is named after Jonathan Eshenour, a young and vibrant member of the community who died in a bicycle accident in 1997. Walkers, runners, hikers, bikers, and skaters can enjoy the smooth trail throughout the entire year. The trail conveniently travels near the Derry Township's parks, which provides many more activities such as sports, fishing, picnicking and much more.
The Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail is named in memory of Jonathan Eshenour, a member of the Derry Township community who died after a biking accident in 1997. Jonathan is remembered as a young and vibrant member of his community.
Trail’s history and evolution
The Jonathan Eshenour Memorial trail was constructed after the death of Jonathan Eshenour which occurred in 1997. The trail could not have been constructed without the funding and land contributions from the Federal Highway Administration, Jonathan Eshenour Foundation, Milton Hershey School Trust, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey Brethren in Christ Church, and individual contributors. The trail has the potential to expand west linking with the Capital Area Greenbelt; and to the east potentially linking with the Horse Shoe Trail and Lebanon Valley Rail Trail. The trail could also potentially expand north to Hershey-park and the Appalachian Trail. If these connections do evolve the Jonathan Eshenour Memorial trail could vastly expand and combine multiple trails while linking their surrounding communities.
Design and Construction
The entire trail’s walking-biking path is paved offering a smooth surface for people to enjoy. The trail stretches for 13 miles through rural and commercial areas. The trail's design links it with other landmarks in the Derry township such as the Bullfrog Valley Park, Shank Park and the Hershey Medical Center. The trail is wheel-chair accessible and the paved surface has very minimal grades.
Throughout the 13 mile trail, there are numerous amenities including benches, gazebos, tables, gardens, stations with plastic bags to pick up dog droppings, and historical signs. Community members that live along the trail also have designed gardens in their yards to add to the beauty of the landscape.
The Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail is owned and maintained by the Township of Derry. Many individuals and organizations have been instrumental towards the success of the trail, particularly the Jonathan Eshenour Foundation. In addition, the trail is supported by Federal Highway Administration, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Land / Easement Contributors, Milton Hershey School Trust, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Moyer, David and Carolyn Ake, William and Connie Hess, and The Hershey Brethren in Christ Church.
The Jonathan Eshenour Foundation raises some of its funds through the Hike It Bike It For Jon Event, which is held each Spring on the trail. These funds go towards the expansion of the trail system.