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The tree-lined 22.5-mile Henry Hudson Trail is the definition of scenic variety. Traversing both urban and natural environments, the route passes wetlands, streams, fields, and the Garden State Parkway. Though the parkway divides the trail into northern and southern sections, an on-road route connects the two. Along this relatively flat path, users can expect to pass a backdrop varying from lush grassy meadows to utility corridors and suburban communities.
Monmouth Heritage Trail: 5.9 miles
The southernmost section, referred to locally as the Monmouth Heritage Trail, runs from Freehold up to Big Brook Park in Marlboro. Starting on East Main Street in Freehold, this portion of trail is primarily residential, transitioning between forest and suburban backyards. Approaching the end of this segment, trail users emerge into the scenic hills and meadows of Big Brook Park. Formerly farmland, this area is now maintained as part of the Monmouth County Park System. To reach the next segment of trail, exit the north side of Big Brook Park and take a left onto Newman Springs Road. In 1.5 miles, take a right to travel north alongside NJ 79. In 0.9 mile, the trail picks up at NJ 79 and Wyncrest Road.
Morganville to Matawan: 4.8 miles
The middle section of the trail from Wyncrest Road in Morganville up to Clinton Street Park in Matawan is an ideal rail-trail. Surrounding forests shield riders from the sounds of nearby NJ 79, providing a serene trail experience. This portion of trail contains several low-stress street crossings separated by long stretches of forested rail-trail. It also includes a utility corridor.
Aberdeen Township to Atlantic Highlands: 9.7 miles
The northernmost section begins south of Raritan Bay and roughly parallels NJ 36 to the north. Plans are underway to develop an on-street bicycle route that would connect Popamora Point to the Highlands–Sea Bright Bridge at Sandy Hook.
Beginning inland at Oakshades Park at Gerard Avenue and Broadway, this section connects trail users to the nearby waterfront, providing uninterrupted views of Sandy Hook Bay, bridge crossings over numerous creeks, and a route to Atlantic Highlands. The eastern endpoint of this trail segment is Avenue D and NJ 36.
Bayshore Trail: 2.1 miles
After a gap of 0.7 mile, the next segment of trail begins at Bay Avenue, just south of Earle Pier. Considered part of the Henry Hudson Trail system, the Bayshore Trail continues east to Popamora Point. This section is paved for its first 0.6 mile; after that, as the trail traces the shoreline, the surface changes to gravel and sand. This area can also be subject to flooding, so check for trail conditions after heavy rains.
The trail is open sunrise–sunset. Dogs must be on a leash. There is one restroom in Atlantic Highlands at the Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center on NJ 36. Parking is also available at the activity center. No other restrooms or water fountains exist on the trail itself.
To reach the southernmost trailhead in Freehold from I-95, take Exit 8 for NJ 133/Hightstown toward Freehold. Continue onto NJ 133, using the middle lane to stay on NJ 133. In 0.2 mile take the exit toward Hightstown/Freehold. Keep right at the fork and merge onto NJ 33 E. Go 11.1 miles, and take the exit for County Road 537 in Freehold. Turn right onto W. Main St., and go 2 miles. The trailhead will be on your left next to a gas station.
To reach the trailhead with parking near Oakshades Park, take Garden State Pkwy. to Aberdeen Township. If heading southbound, take Exit 118 toward Aberdeen, turn left onto Lloyd Road, go 0.3 mile, and turn left onto Gerard Ave. In 0.2 mile, Oakshades Park will be on your right. If heading northbound, take Exit 117 to merge onto NJ 35 S toward Hazlet/-Aberdeen. In 0.2 mile take a sharp left onto NJ 35 N, and go 0.1 mile. Use the left lane to take the Pkwy./Clark St. exit, and go 0.3 mile. Turn right onto Clark St., and go 0.4 mile. The trailhead is next to the gas station on Broadway and Clark St. across from Oakshades Park.
To reach the Bayshore Trail eastern endpoint and parking lot at Popamora Point from Garden State Pkwy., take Exit 117 toward NJ 36. Follow signs to stay on NJ 36 E/S for 11.8 miles. Take a slight right onto Serpentine Dr., followed by an immediate right onto CR 8. In 0.1 mile, continue straight onto S. Linden Ave., and go 0.3 mile. Turn left onto Waterwitch Ave., and immediately turn left onto Shore Dr. in Highlands. Parking is available at Popamora Point at the end of Shore Dr. in 0.6 mile.
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