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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.
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