HENRY HUDSON TRAIL:
FREEHOLD-HIGHLANDS, NEW JERSEY
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 19, 2019
Length: Henry Hudson Trail; 24 miles.
Henry Hudson Trail North section; 12.5 miles
Henry Hudson Trail South section; 12.4 miles (including a 1.6 mile on-road gap)
Difficulty: Easy. Flat mostly paved rail trail. Bayshore Trail section mostly stone-dust.
Directions: See website for other parking lots.
To Start from Popamora Point parking lot (Highlands); From Route 36 in Highlands turn east on Linden Ave. At the intersection turn left on Waterwitch Ave, then left on Shore Dr. Shore Dr will lead you into Popamora Point.
From the marshy regions of the Bayshore (Highlands to Aberdeen) to the woods and fields of Marlboro and Freehold, the Henry Hudson Trail offers a wonderfully changing landscape as it traverses the County. The Bayshore Trail is part of the Henry Hudson Trail. The trail is named for Henry Hudson, who explored the harbor at Atlantic Highlands and the Raritan Bayshore coastline in the early 1600s. The Marlboro Township section of the rail line began in the 1860s as the Monmouth County Agricultural RR. The original 9-mile "Atlantic" section is built on the former right-of-way of the Freehold & Atlantic Highlands RR, which was later absorbed by the Central Railroad of New Jersey. Currently the trail has a gap (the Garden State Parkway) between the North and South sections. For more information visit; HENRY HUDSON TRAIL and BAYSHORE TRAIL .
Starting from Popamora Point parking lot (Highlands); Restroom, water fountain and beach. This section follows the Bayshore Trail (part of the Henry Hudson Trail North section) alongside Sandy Hook Bay. It starts out paved but quickly turns to stone-dust. Open views of the Bay. Cross the first of several cement boardwalks at 1 mile. To your right is the Atlantic Highland Marina. Trail then becomes paved as you come to the Atlantic Highland Harbor where the trail turns inland at 1.5 miles. Travel around the boat yard to the Harbor Park parking lot at 1.8 miles. Playground and pavilion. Cross 1st Ave followed by Hennessey Blvd where the trail turns left alongside the road. Come to Center Ave after 2.1 miles. I haven't checked out this next section.
Note; A gap exists requiring an on-road (residential) detour. Head right along Center St (brown signs along route), then turn left on Ave D and you'll return to the paved trail on your right at 2.8 miles.
Continue west along a shaded corridor that parallels Route 36. Multiple road crossings. After 4.7 miles the trail pulls away from Route 36. The trail now follows a residential corridor with multiple road crossings. Cross a marsh and bridge over Compton Creek at 5.5 miles and another marsh and bridge over Pews Creek at 6.5 miles. Cross Church St and Creek Rd at 7.9 miles. I've checked out this next section. This next section is more scenic and I refer to it as the "Bridges" section. Cross a bridge over Waackaack Creek and travel through a marsh. After a couple more road crossings another marsh and bridge over Thornes Creek. Then on your left pass by Natco Lake, cross Rose Lane and cross another marsh with two bridges over East Creek as you follow Jersey Ave. Cross Union Ave at 9.5 miles, parking lot on your left, then another marsh and bridge over Flat Creek. Cross Spruce St to the Jersey Ave parking lot at 9.9 miles. Map Board. I haven't checked out this next section. Your next marsh and bridge over Chingarora Creek at 10.8 miles. Cross Route 516 at 11.3 miles and an old RR bridge over Route 35 at 12.1 miles followed by a causeway across Lappatatong Creek. Finally you cross over Broadway to Oakshades Park parking lot in Keyport after 12.5 miles. Map Board. This is the current end of the Henry Hudson Trail North section.
Note; The old RR bridge still exists across the Garden State Parkway but leads to an active RR Line. Not sure what the future plans are for completing this gap. I haven't checked out the Henry Hudson Trail South section yet. It continues south from Stillwell & Bank Streets in Matawan 4.9 miles to Wyncrest Rd in Marlboro Township. A 1.6 mile gap currently exists to the next section in Big Brook Park where the trail continues south another 5.9 miles to E Main St in Freehold.
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