Thursday, July 19, 2007

Weekend Escape 3 - Monmouth Heritage Trail and Sandy Hook

Sun, Sand, Hills, Water and Suburbs. Who can ask for anything more. This mostly off road trek takes you through Monmouth County, NJ with views of Raritan Bay, the Highlands (nearly 300 feet about the sea) and the windswept beaches of Sandy Hook with it's views of New York City.

The trail is incomplete with 3 on road sections. The last section between Atlantic Highlands and Sandy Hook has some steep hills and traffic is busy at peak times on Summer weekends. Be extra cautious when exiting the park. See this website for advice on visiting Sandy Hook by bicycle.

The Raritan Bay Shoreline from Atlantic Highlands

Lodging (not reviewed)

Holly Hill Motel - West Keansburg
Seascape Manor Bed and Breakfast - Highlands
Sandy Hook Cottage Bed and Breakfast - Highlands

Bike Shop - The Bicycle Hub - Wickatunk

Public Transportation - Nothing direct, but service is reliable and the ferry to or from NY is an adventure.

From the Greyhound Bus Terminal - NJ TRANSIT Route 317 to the Lakewood Terminal then buy a ticket to Freehold and take either Route 139 and 67 to the Freehold Center Bus Terminal. Trail is one mile northeast on Route 537. Bikes are stored in the luggage bay.

From Market East Station - Take the SEPTA R7 to Trenton, buy a ticket to Aberdeen-Matawan Station board the Northeast Corridor Train to Rahway, transfer to a southbound North Jersey Coast Line Train (Long Branch Local) and get off at Aberdeen-Matawan Station.

Via the Seastreak Ferry - Take the R7+NJ TRANSIT or the P2P circulator to Penn Station. The Ferry departs from two terminals on the East River. 34th St and Pier 11. For a leisurely ride to the ferry head west on 33rd to the end and then turn left on the Hudson River Greenway. (allow at least 30-45 minutes)