NOTE: As of December 2013, a trail bridge is out between Rose Lane and Union Avenue, but there is a bypass along Jersey Avenue. Additionally, a section of trail from Popamora Point to the Atlantic Highlands Marina has been reopened after storm damage, but the trail is primitive in this section and there may be icy, wet, or muddy conditions. Please also watch for construction vehicles as adjacent neighbors have been granted permission to use them on the trail to repair their storm-damaged property. Visit the Monmouth County Park System website for updates on the repair work.
The 22-mile trail traverses a relatively flat grade, traveling through a varied urban and natural environment. The tree-lined trail passes among wetlands, streams and fields and is divided into two sections: the northern and southern sections. The two sections are not yet linked but you can follow an on-road route to connect.
Northern Section: This 12-mile section travels east to west, from the Aberdeen-Keyport border to the Middletown-Atlantic Highlands border. It roughly parallels Route 36 (to the north). Plans are underway to develop an on-street bicycle route that connects Popamora Point to the Highlands Bridge at Sandy Hook. The section from Earle Pier east to Popamora Point is also known locally as the Bayshore Trail but is now part of the Henry Hudson Trail system. It's about 2 miles (of the total 12) and only part is paved; the rest is quarry dust.
Southern Section: This section, referred to locally as the Monmouth Heritage Trail, runs approximately 5 miles from Freehold to Marlboro (at Stevenson Road near Big Brook Park) then picks up again at Station Road, about 1 mile north. From Station Road the trail continues another 5 miles (appx.) to Aberdeen at Church Street. This final section will eventually be linked to the northern portion of trail. As of now, an on-street bicycle route connects Church Street to the Matawan Train Station. The section between Texas Road (in Matawan) and Greenwood Road (in Marlboro) has been temporarily closed while the county undertakes an environmental clean-up. The section is expected to open again in April 2011.
The trail is open from dawn to dusk. Dog must be on a leash. There is one restroom in Atlantic Highlands at the Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center on Route 36, open every day from 8 a.m. to 1/2-hour before dusk. There are no other restooms or water fountains on the trail itself.
Northern Section: Parking is available in five areas. 1) Aberdeen/Keyport, intersection of Gerard Avenue/Clark Street-Lloyd Road/Broadway; 2) Union Beach, Wilson Ave.-Morningside Ave.; 3) North Middleton, McMahon Park on Atlantic Avenue; 4) Atlantic Highlands at the Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center, 945 Route 36, Leonardo (300 feet west of Avenue D); 5) Highlands, at Popamora Point, Shore Drive.
Southern Section: Parking is available in three areas. 1) Aberdeen/Keyport, intersection of Gerard Avenue/Clark Street-Lloyd Road/Broadway; 2) Matawan, Broad Street-Church Street; 3) Freehold, Dutch Lane Road. Another parking area will be added in Big Brook Park.
For more specific directions to each parking area, view a local county map of the trail at http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?Id=2525.