Monmouth County has many bicycle trails with varied terrains for every level of bicyclist, from novice to expert, with a variety of views – woodlands, wetlands and water.
There are dozens of options, including some that run through several towns. The list below features a few of the most popular. To get detailed information about all county bicycle trails, visit MonmouthCountyParks.com, click on the Facilities tab and search for Trails. A mobile app features interactive trails and elevations.
Another good website for bicyclists is komoot.com, a route planning and navigation map. Click on Route Planner and enter details such as the type of bicycle, terrain preference and skill level.
Ocean Views and Sea Breezes
It’s fun to ride a bicycle on a boardwalk. The surface is flat and a bit bumpy because of the wood boards. But there’s a catch: Bicycle riding must take place before pedestrian traffic picks up, typically before 10 am in Belmark, Ocean Grove, Asbury Park and Neptune.
Sandy Hook is part of the U.S. National Park Service and has a multi-use paved trail that attracts all skill levels. The views along the peninsula are amazing, and the trails connect with the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and historic Fort Hancock. Viewing points along the trail include a bird observatory and a wildlife observation deck, and the best place to relax after a bike ride is on Sandy Hook’s beach.
Bicyclists who are physically fit with strong riding skills can try the challenging Hartshorne Road loop from Atlantic Highlands. The wooded, hilly trail overlooks the Navesink River and is one of the highest elevations on the Atlantic Coast, once used by the military to protect the eastern seaboard. The trail connects with Battery Lewis and the Navesink Military Reservation, now a historic site that is open to the public Thursday to Sunday through October.
Touring the County
The Henry Hudson Trail was created from several former train lines. It is now paved, well-maintained and nationally recognized. The trail covers a variety of landscapes and is divided into two trail sections (with an eventual goal to connect the parts). The northern section runs near marshland from Keyport to Atlantic Highlands. The southern section passes through woods and fields from Matawan to Marlboro, and Marlboro to Freehold. A gap in Marlboro is a busy road not recommended for bicyclists.
The Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway is a paved trail that follows a former railroad corridor from Manasquan, winding through forests and neighborhoods and ending at the Historic Village at Allaire, a 19th century living-history park that has a museum and offers rides on the vintage Pine Creek Railroad.
The Union Transportation “rail-trail” is a multi-use path created from a former railroad, with a gravel pathway that passes fields, forests and rural scenery. Bicycles must share the path with walkers, runners and even riders on horseback.
Looking for Wildlife
The Manasquan Reservoir Perimeter Trail in Howell Township is a gravel/dirt trail for mountain bikes that is mostly flat. It’s also a multi-use trail, so bicyclists must watch for pedestrians, and certain areas are protected wildlife habitats.