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Prepare to be whisked into the past when you take the Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway. The paved trail follows a short-line railroad corridor from the coastal city of Manasquan to a village at Allaire State Park that features living-history exhibits, a museum, and rides on the vintage Pine Creek Railroad.
The trail gets its name from Manasquan cyclist Edgar Felix, who lobbied the town to convert to trail a section of the former Freehold and Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad, originally created as the Farmingdale and Squan Village Railroad in 1867. The first 2 miles of bikeway opened in 1971 and later became the first completed segment of the future 55-mile Capital to the Coast Trail, which will span the state from Trenton to Manasquan.
The rail-trail starts at North Main Street in Manasquan and follows the old railroad corridor northwest 3.4 miles to the Allaire State Park boundary on Hospital Road. Here, a spur of the Capital to the Coast Trail continues through the park 1.9 miles along the railroad right-of-way to a historical village and tourist railroad site.
Starting at the trailhead in Manasquan, you can take an on-street bike route through the town for 2 miles to the beach. Traveling in the other direction, the trail passes residential neighborhoods and a recreational complex on the way out of town. At 1.2 miles, you come to the Wall Township Bike Path, which heads north 1.7 miles to a government complex.
As you proceed along the trail, the surroundings become more rural with woods mixed with fields. You’ll reach Allenwood about 2.7 miles from the start, where you’ll find a general store with refreshments and trailside tables. Returning to rural countryside, you’ll cross two pedestrian bridges that leapfrog trail users over the eight-lane Garden State Parkway.
Crossing Hospital Road, the trail continues as a spur route of the future Capital to the Coast Trail into Allaire State Park. (A left turn onto another trail adjacent to Hospital Road heads south 0.4 mile to a parking lot and fishing on the Manasquan River.) You’ll pass old farm fields, forests, and ponds with waterfowl as you learn about the area from interpretive signs.
At the trail terminus in the state park, you can tour historical Allaire Village to experience a 19th-century iron-making community, or hop a ride on the vintage cars of the steam-powered Pine Creek Railroad. You’ll also find hiking and mountain biking trails in the park, including a short dirt path along the old railroad corridor that dead-ends at I-195.
To reach the eastern trailhead in Manasquan from I-195, take Exit 35A onto NJ 34 S. Head south 2.3 miles on NJ 34, and exit onto County Road 524 Spur E/Atlantic Ave. toward Manasquan. Turn right, go 1.5 miles, and take the second exit off the traffic circle to stay on Atlantic Ave. Go 0.9 mile, and turn right onto Main St. Then go about 200 feet, and look for parking on the left.
To reach the western trailhead at Allaire State Park from I-195, take Exit 31B onto Lakewood Farmingdale Road. Head north 0.5 mile, and turn right onto CR 524; then go 1.2 miles, and turn right into Allaire State Park (entry fee charged Memorial Day–Labor Day). Follow the entrance road 0.3 mile to the parking lot, park, and then retrace your way to the entrance to find the trail on the right.
Started the trail near Hospital Road with every intention of walking the entire thing, however, the town is doing construction at Route 34 and the trail is closed. I really liked the part the I was able to walk, I just wish that I could've walked the entire trail.
Nice easy bike ride, road was paved leads to the town, very enjoyable
Contrary to the description, this trail is not good for skating. The surface is rough and uneven, you are likely to take a nasty spill. Otherwise, it’s good for walking, biking, or running. There’s a playground, tennis courts, and basketball courts. There’s a home with multiple bird feeders which enhances an already good bird-watching trail.
Perfect for riding with those who like it flat, paved and most of all easy.
We parked at Allaire village but if they are charging to get into the park then
there is a free lot near the main entrance. The paved section from Allaire to the Allenwood store is smoother and in better shape overall. When you get to the end in Manasquan there are plenty of places to take a break and get refreshed. Also a bike store on main street. ( I needed an adjustment to my bike, so glad it was open)
Been riding this trail for years, a fun ride. Not well maintained at all, particularly as you go further east toward Allaire. The tree branches hang very low and never trimmed back, and the overgrowth of sticker bushes on the bridge by the golf course force you to walk your bike or risk getting cut up. Best in Spring and Summer because the leaves are not blown off in the fall. It's a shame because this could and should be a best in class trail.
We did this trail from Manasquan to Allaire State Park and back. It was a cloudy day which was good as most of the trail is not shaded. A sunny summer day would make it a very different ride. A very slight upgrade early on but it's essentially a flat trail. Some of the paved trail has a dirt path running alongside. Plenty of benches along the way for rest stops. The double bridge over the Garden State Parkway is fun! Lots to do at Allaire State Park, including a train ride. Manasquan is also a great little town to explore with varied stores, a bike shop and many places for coffee and/or ice cream.
Very simple and straightforward. Just a cruising path.
Its not paved well
Ran from the golf course and all throughout the park. Lotta trails and paths through the woods. Great time.
Great for trail beginners! This trail is a nice ride from Allaire Park to Manasquan. The original section of the trail is a lower quality asphalt -- the stuff they made cheap roads out of in the 70s down in Ocean County. But, hey, it's still paved.
I love this bike path, I usually ride alone, a single woman, and never feel un-safe. There are a few inclines, but not huge long hills, there are only a few places where you have to cross a road and the scenery is beautiful, a 10 in my book
I hadn't ridden in a while, and this was the ideal trail to start on. We started in Allaire State Park. The asphalt surface made the ride a lot smoother. There are plenty of benches along the way to take a little break, which was very welcome for my first ride. The only downside is having to be careful crossing highways. There is one in particular where there is a bend in the road, and traffic can come upon you quite fast. I really appreciated other bikers who would announce their intentions of passing on the left. I would highly recommend this trail to a beginner or a seasoned rider because it is such an enjoyable ride.
We generally start in Allaire State Park, but during the summer will park in one of the many lots along Rt. 524 (to avoid the park fee). You can still ride into the park. As you head south, you can take the Wall Twp. bike path, which ends at the Wall Twp soccer fields, for an extra 4 mi loop. At the south end of the trail, if you'd like to add a few miles, continue down to the Manasquan beach or head across the Hwy 35 bridge into Point Pleasant.
Note that as of Jan 2014, the footpaths across the Parkway is closed, requiring a short detour.
The highlight of this trail is the overpass situated just near the middle. Nothing too fancy. Overall a nice place to ride on a clear day.
Great ride. I recommend starting at Allaire state park. It is very scenic and peaceful. Great for beginners, kids and families. U should pack a lunch as there are nice picnic areas at the park.
I've enjoyed the experience of biking on this trail because of the change in scenery and even though certain sections are bumpy, the overall charisma of the natural surroundings overlap the busy sections you reach once you're closer to the shore. I highly recommend this as a family-friendly biking trip because there are plenty of parking lots and the ride is perfect for bikers of all ages
I rode this trail today and I am happy to report that trees and other debris that blocked the path in the area between the Golf Course and Allaire State park have all been cleared. This trail is becoming my favorite among those I visited in New Jersey.
On prior occasions I parked in Manasquan on the municipal parking lot, but this time I decided to try to park in Allaire State Park and ride toward Manasquan. The section of the trail starting from Allaire State Park has far nicer scenery and the pavement is in much better condition. There is lots of greenery and blooming flowers, open fields and shady areas all make very lovely scenery.
The section of the trail that starts at Manasquan and runs until Allenwood goes through mostly residential area. The pavement gets rough and there are quite a few potholes and bumps. One positive is that there aren't many road or highway crossings and none of those are especially busy.
I thought that Edgar Felix Bikeway offers a very enjoyable leisurely ride and I would highly recommend giving it a try. I am uploading pictures to show the scenery.
As of 1/27/2013 most of the Sandy Superstorm downed trees have been cleared. However there is one spot between Hospital Rd. and the golf course that is blocked by numerous trees and will require you to portage your bike over and around this spot. Biking with a group will be helpful but a single rider could do this with some effort.
Otherwise this is a little gem any time of year. To add a couple of miles, if you start at Allaire and end in Manasquan, make a right at the trail head, follow this thru Manasquan, plenty of places to snack, and go to the T intersection. Then make a right and follow to Manasquan inlet for some refreshing shore breezes.
I rode this with my husband and 6-1/2-year-old twins. We started in Allaire State Park and rode all the way to Manasquan--there is a Dairy Queen just around the corner from this end of the trail, by the way, a nice place to stop for a breather--and back. There are a couple of long but very gentle grades, which made it a very good trail for my kids and this out-of-shape novice rider. The whole trail is very nice, the Allaire end is really beautiful, winding through woods and meadows, with frequent benches for resting and admiring the scenery.
I started in Allaire State Park and went about 3.75 miles before turning around, so I didn't see the last mile and a half of the trail ending in Manasquan. The portion of the trail I was on was 100% paved, but there are sections where you can go off-road and run/walk on a dirt path that is parallel to the paved trail. The trail appears very well maintained. Distance marker usually appear every quarter or half mile, but for some reason I didn't see any past mile 4 approaching Allaire State Park; either they are missing or I simply didn't see any. I recommend this trail.
Most folks don't realize that the Freehold and Jamesberg Railroad Trail is a separate trail because it extends the Edgar Felix bikeway seamlessly into Alliare state park, this paved section runs from Hostpital road into the main park entrance on Atlantic ave. The unimproved section of the F&J trail runs from the main park entrance on Atlantic ave to some point outside of Farmingdale. We rode the unapproved section last fall to check it out, while it starts are double track the trail runs less than a mile before it is abruptly cut off by I-195 with no obvious detour around the interstate.
"I had the opportunity to visit this trail, and it was a great biking experience. Most of the trail is paved, and you can cover a lot of ground. My round trip started in Altaire State Park and went to the end."
I've got a web page dedicated to the Edgar Felix trail if you'd like to list it. http://www.geocities.com/womgene/E_Felix/EdgarFelix.htm
"Wall Twp., with a $1M grant from the State of N.J. has now completed a 2 mile +/- asphalt bike path spur running from the town recreational complex south to the Edgar Felix Trail, about 1.2 miles from the eastern terminus of the EFT in Manasquan or 4 miles from the western terminus in Allaire St. Pk., so that the entire trail system now forms an off-centered upside down T (looking at a map with north on top). Especially noteworthy is a short but steep descent going north from the EFT after about a mile on the spur. At the end of the descent is a 400 ft. low level bridge with non-wood boardwalk type flooring. The bridge traverses Hannabrand Brook.
All in all, a 14.5 mile ride if all the T is done completely once. Add the additional mile to the beach and ocean on side streets in Manasquan and a pleasant day can be had at the Jersey Shore, 16.5-17 mile bike ride included, and no parking hassles.
"This trail is not completely paved. From Hospital road to Alliare state park has been paved. I think most folks think of the newly paved section to be part of the Edgar Felix bikeway that starts in Manasquan. It is the same rail bed after. I wonder who decided to name this section the Freehold Jamesberg trail, and the other the Edgar Felix trail? Adding confusion to the mix (a good mix that is!) is that the Route 18 trail through Wall township (starts at Municipal complex) now ties directly into the Edgar Felix"
"The recent extention to Allaire State park AND the new Wall Township Rt 18 greenway spur makes this a entirely new trail!
The route 18 greenway ""exit"", allows you to add a 4 mile (2 miles up and back) side ride to the main Edgar Felix trail. The Rt 18 greenway snakes through the grown-up right-of-way of the abandoned southern section of Rt 18 and takes you to the Wall Township municipal complex and soccer fields.
The recent extention of the main Edgar Felix trail takes you into Alliare state park, where you can ride the steam train on weekends, and tour the deserted bog iron village."
I ride this trail everyday at lunch. It is now paved from Hospital Road to Allaire State Park. It takes me 30 minutes to ride from the Allenwood Post Office to Allaire State Park and back. I am uncertain of the mileage. I will forward updated pictures in the near future.
"You can now travel from the North Main Street trail head in Manasquan all the way to the main parking lot inside Allaire State Park.
Because most odometers are based upon circumference, which can be effected by such things as tire pressure and how much you had for breakfast, your milage may be slightly different than mine. I constantly clock 5.25 turning to 5.26 shortly after entering the parking lot at the state park.
Speaking of milage, the first few markers heading west from Manasquan were not even consistant with each other when I last checked them in September. As you head further west,(from say the 2 mile marker) they seem to all be right on the money. "
"As the previous comment says, this is a ""Great Trail."" Further expansion is in the works. But the ""Trail Description"" needs some clarification. If one is going west over the Garden State Parkway to the new section across Hospital Road, the trail reaches the (Spring Meadow) Golf Course, BUT DOES NOT end there, but continues (albeit for a short distance) on a hard asphalt surface where it presently ends in a large gravel/dirt public parking area on Rt. 524. This serves as the trailhead for the western end. Leaving the parking area to head east over the bicycle bridges reaches the eastern trailhead in Manasqian after about 5 miles. After about another mile on side streets, the northern end of the pedestrian promenade on the beach/ocean in Manasquan is reached where several bikcycle racks and public restrooms can be found. Beaches are public, but for a fee except free in the off season."
"This is just a choppy, bumpy paved pathway/walkway or whatever u want to call it. I guess it's OK for walking.
Where this ""trail"" shines for us cyclists is it's a great 4 mile ""cut through"" from Allenwood to Manasquan or vice versa. Bypassing all that typical busy shore roads.
Allenwood is more or less the gateway for some country roads for us cyclists in that area.
From Allenwood to Manasquan, it drops you about a mile or two from the beach. You can go in to Sea Girt and Spring Lake and from there ride up the strip right along the ocean through Belmar, etc. All the way up into Asbury Park. It's a great ride.
The Allenwood side has a quaint country store which it seems all the cyclists, joggers and walkers kinda congregate for drinks and snacks and then end of thier chosen activity."
"The trail now starts at the parking lot just east of Allaire State Park, just before the spring meadow golf course. The trail now has mile markers, which start at 4.25 miles.
This a a GREAT trail for an afternoon ride to the beach, which is approximately 11-12 miles round-trip anytime of the year."
It has now been black topped all the way to a parking lot just east of Allaire State park. It is now approximately 4.3 miles of hard pavement from Manasquan to the end.
The Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway has just been resurfaced between the Allenwood General Store and Hospital Road. In-line skaters will be thrilled with the smooth surface.
"I skated this trail for the first time over the weekend. It's a great location, I just wish it was a little smoother. Also, when I got to Allenwood it wasn't clear where the trail continued from there. I didn't want to walk on the gravel and the road was under construction. A new coat of blacktop would do wonders!"
" This trail is actually a continuation of the Freehold and Jamesburg Trail (same ROW), but what a difference! The trail is black-topped for it's complete length, bridges the Garden State Parkway, and has distance markers along the route. It is popular with bikers, joggers, and in-line skaters. It passes through small villages, and past beautiful homes, and parks and recreation areas. Some sections are unshaded and can be hot in sthe summer.
This trail is worth a visit.
Rates a 7 out of 10!
"This trail has major breaks at a golf course and an Interstate highway requiring long detours on an unmarked trail. The western end becomes more overgrown and the last 1/4 mile is virtually impassable. Improvements could be made along this trail, but obviously the golf course and I-195 are not going anywhere!
Rates a 3 out of 10!
"I've been skating this trail for a number of years, and the surface is getting a little rough with age. It is a decent skate trail that has a steady climb from Howell toward Wall Township, then level from there to Manasquan. In Allenhurst, the trail is too rough for a short piece, but then clears up just past the Allenhurst General Store.
The General Store is the only service spot and they are skate/bike friendly. Good food as well on their grill!"
Off-road bikes needed for this trail.
Quick connection to trails in Alaire State Park and the Felix Bikeway.
Plenty of parking nearby.
Be mindful of ticks.
"A nice trail, paved from start to finish although a somewhat rough surface.
Quick connection to Alaire State Park Trails. Plenty of parking at either terminus as well."
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