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The Monroe Township Bike Path carries visitors through the tranquil woodlands of the Glassboro Wildlife Management Area as it connects the southern New Jersey suburban towns of Glassboro and Williamstown. The pathway is part of the Circuit Trails, an expansive regional trail network across nine counties, including Gloucester County, which will eventually encompass 800 miles of trails.
The borough of Glassboro’s name reflects the glassmaking industry that thrived here throughout the 19th century. In fact, the 6.3-mile paved trail owes its existence to that boom. The route follows the former corridor of the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, which in 1933 acquired tracks originally laid by the Williamstown Railroad (later the Williamstown & Delaware River Railroad) in the 1870s and early 1880s. Originally conceived to serve the many glass and bottle makers in the area, the railroad later connected to other lines to carry tourists to the Jersey Shore destinations of Atlantic City, Ocean City, Wildwood, and Cape May.
Unlike some other eastern rail corridors that follow meandering streams, the railroad followed the shortest-distance rule that results in today’s nearly arrow-straight trail.
Beginning on the south side of Glassboro, the trail heads east through a commercial-industrial complex before entering the northern edge of a hardwood forest in the Glassboro Wildlife Management Area. The 2,300 acres are popular for squirrel, grouse, and deer hunting in season. The tree cover makes for shady trail travel in the summer.
The vegetation screen thins out a bit after 1.3 miles at Moore Avenue, then gets heavy again until the path crosses County Road 655 in another 1.3 miles. After a 0.5-mile jaunt through a neighborhood, the forest becomes dense again for nearly a mile until the outskirts of Williamstown, a one-time glass-manufacturing center in its own right. The trail passes a sprawling educational campus before passing through a leafy residential neighborhood around the old station site on Railroad Avenue.
You may see a plaque near the trailhead designating this section as the George F. McDonald Sr. Memorial Bike Path, named for the 1975–1978 mayor. A nearby convenience store is a good place to stock up on snacks before heading back to Glassboro.
To reach the trailhead in Glassboro from I-76/North-South Fwy./NJ 42, take Exit 13 onto NJ 55 S. Go 6.7 miles to Exit 53A, and merge onto County Road 553/Woodbury-Glassboro Road, which becomes N. Woodbury Road and then S. Woodbury Road. Go 2.4 miles and merge onto Delsea Dr./NJ 47. Go 1.9 miles, turn left onto Awalt Dr., and look for on-street parking. The trail is just south of Awalt Dr.
To reach parking for the eastern trailhead at Williamstown Middle School from North-South Fwy./NJ 42 S (or from the Atlantic City Expy.), keep left to get on the Atlantic City Expy. Take Exit 38, and head southwest on Williamstown Road. Go 2 miles (the road will become CR 536 Spur/Sicklerville Road and then Clayton Road). Turn right into the Williamstown Middle School parking lot. Bear right to find parking closest to the trail at the north end of the lot. Once on the trail, turn right and go 0.7 mile to find the eastern trailhead on Blue Bell Road.
This trail is great for a nice run, walk or bike ride. The people on it were very friendly. It was not too crowded. It's a pleasant ride through some woods and some more open areas. It's flat and easy.
I have been coming to this trail for about four years. I really like it for its beauty, shade, and well maintained. I usually bike 20 to 25 miles 3 times a week. I bike half of my workout in Washington Township mainly because they have some hills. I need hills in my workout because when i go over to Pennsylvania they have hills. By the time i get done with that segment i can`t wait to get to the trail. The trail rejuvenates me because the temperature is much cooler and the lush forest, especially, between Fries Mill Rd. and Delsea DR. (rte 47).
Finally, when I am all done, I have a spot I go to relax. If I am lucky I watch the skydivers jumping from the plane. This really makes my day.
Beautiful trail. Well maintained. Nice easy ride through the trees.
It's long, straight, smooth, clean, scenic...everything you'd want a bike trail to be.
If it were 100 miles long, I'd make every effort to traverse the whole thing. Six miles and some change is a good length to go to one end and back in a couple hours. Plenty of places to stop and rest, eat a snack. I also love how it starts in a little downtown area, goes through a quaint park and next to a middle school, and then into the forest. It's the best bike trail I've been on thus far.
I started using the Williamstown-Glassboro bike trail several years ago, after it was completed in its present 6.25 mile glory (perhaps a few steps more, but not sure where they got 6.36 miles). I bike it some, but mostly run it. The trail is frequented by runners, bikers, triathletes, walkers, etc., for good reason. There is plenty of tree cover which makes summer exercise easier. The Glassboro end has fewer crossings, and nothing busy for 2.75 miles (Fries Mill Road, near mile marker 3.5), but is lacking in benches and trash/recycling receptacles. The Williamstown end is the opposite, with at least two more busy crossings (Tuckahoe, near mile marker 1.5; and Clayton, near mile marker 0.5) and plenty of smaller ones, but plenty of opportunities to sit and rest or properly discard your used gels/gatorade bottles/whatever. It is not uncommon to find wildlife (deer, squirrels, snakes, etc.) At night or early morning, it can be quite dark; use proper bike lighting or a headlamp if running. Yes, I have occasionally seen hunters on the trail. I don't like it, but it isn't often I see them. There is usable parking on either end, and some choose to park at the Williamstown Middle School (you can access the trail between mile markers 0.75 and 0.5 from there). Rita's is about 0.15 miles from the Glassboro end, and the Heritage's convenience store is right there at the Williamstown end. Competitive cyclists may wish to pass on this trail on nice days during normal hours when it gets crowded with walking traffic.
Bottom line, I might spend too much time there. Highly recommended. Enjoy.
Great walk with my 4 year old mini Doberman mix breed, on a beautiful 60 degree November day. Started out by the Ritas in Glassboro and ended up slightly passed Williamstown High by the police department. All the colors of the fall gleamed through the trees on this modest 12 and a half mile hike (there and back). Mostly bikers but is good for walkers and runners alike. The pooch is all tuckered out so I guess that is her sign of approval. Get out there and check it out before winter hits!
Straight, flat, well maintained. Most of the time your in the woods with not much too see but it was beautiful with half the leaves down. You can park on Atwal Road in Glassboro and start at that end.
We road this trail today for 6 miles, great ride friendly people. We saw three deer on the side of the path, will definitely ride again.
I just rode this trail after the big storm. It is in surprisingly good shape. I did the full length and encountered only one downed tree, and it was easy to navigate around. It's at mile marker 4.5, right behind the salvage yard. Otherwise, it's really OK, some minor debris, but nothing to slow you down. Have fun.
The trail is nice and being in the woods for most of the path kept it cool. I have only 1 complaint the section between bluebell road and tuckahoe road needs to be resurfaced due to it is rough with many bumps.
Very quiet. Mostly deserted even on a beautiful Sunday morning.Nice to have an water ice shop at the 1/2 way point and easy parking and trail access if you park at the High School.Just watch out for those slithery sticks on the trail. ¿¿
Took my wife out to begin cycling and saw this trail on the site as well as reviews and this trail is all it claims to be. Wide , clean easy access and easy riding with very little inclines and makes you feel as if you were somewhere else. You forget you are close to home.
really nice trail with plenty os space and miles to enjoy.
Today was my first chance to ride on this trail. Such a pleasure. This should be a model for more trails like it in South Jersey.
This is a great trail for biking, walking or running. There are plenty of friendly people.
This is a lovely, fairly flat trail. Much of it is shaded and the surface is in good shape.
The parking is a bit confusing. The site said to go to the Williamstown Middle School, but the path from the parking to the Bike Path is just a mowed section in the tall grass.
If you park behind the Williamstown High School there is an access path to the Bike Path.
We also discovered that you are permitted to park at the Williamstown Police Station and they have a public bathroom. (YEAH)
Starting at the police station or high school and heading towards Glassboro seems to be more uphill first- which is my preference.
I did this trail and the Elephant trail on my trap over from Wilmington De. What a nice ride this was. I was on my trusted Mt Bike with a Town & Country tire. This is a family friendly trail with a few road crossings, most have signs telling you to walk your bike. This is a flat straight trail with a very good canopy. It is paved and in very good shape. There are park benches and mile markers are panted across the trail from Monroe to Glassboro. I parked at the Glassboro end and did a round trip. I would like to come back because it looks like there is some nice single track off of this trail. It was a Monday morning and there was lots of Bikers, Walkers and Runners using this trail. I would not drive a long way to do this trail but if in the area make sure you do this trail.
nice day to ride, mostly smooth blacktop surface (a few thin scattered tree roots poking through), friendly and helpful people (hi denise!) who quickly moved aside when i chimed my bike bell. not much to photograph so i didn't, but enjoyed my time there.
The Monroe trail is part of my Sunday loop from Blackwood. The path is wide enough and the shade cover path is a welcome encounter for me on hot Sunday afternoons. Throw in a refresher stop at Heritages and the Monroe trail makes for a nice addition to anyone's ride.
PS: Watch out for the black sticks. Which are actually black snakes.
Great trail! All wooded, with a nice canopy.
I'm concerned about the illegal hunters. Twice now I've come across guys with smaller rifles and dogs hunting something. There are plenty of signs informing that the adjacent properties are private and that hunting/fishing are prohibited, but you always have to get the fools that just can't abide by society's common rules. This is a trail that's populated by walkers, joggers, adult and child alike. Why have to worry about stray shots from these "big game hunters?" How about a little police enforcement???
This is a lovely trail for the first five miles, until it hits suburbia near the Williamstown end, at which point the asphalt gets choppy and there are way more street crossings. But the woods in the first five miles, the lack of people, and the beauty of this trail are well worth the effort. There is NO ONE on this trail relative to the Schuykill, Kelly Drive, other places you'd expect to see a lot of bikers. No strollers, few runners, just miles of great scenery. And you can always cut off-road and ride along the country lanes if you want to add more miles or skip the suburban bookends. There's also a convenience store at the Williamstown end where you can refuel if necessary. Love this trail.
A better choice of parking is the Williamstown Middle School. Many people (and groups) park there and set out for a ride, walk, or run. https://www.facebook.com/groups/williamstownnjsbr/
NICE, FLAT, EASY TRAIL,ONLY 2- BUSY ROAD CROSSINGS, BUT, ALL ARE WELL MARKED! GREAT TO TAKE KIDS, RICHMAN'S ICE CREAM ON WILLIAMSTOWN END AND RITA'S WATER ICE ON GLASSBORO END!
TRAIL IS FAIRLY LONG AND WOODED,IT IS SMOOTH WITH LITTLE GRADE, IT ALSO HAS BENCHES ALONG THE WAY (IF YOU NEED TO REST). PARK SAFELY ON WILLIAMSTOWN END, AT POLICE STATION/MUNICIPAL LOT.
We had a nice ride today. Many leaves on the path but what else do expect in the fall. We rode Cape Cod's trail many times in the past and this reminded us of that. It was great to ride with the family! We will definitely ride it again.
I ride an ElliptiGo (Elliptical Cycle) and am currently training for a century ride. I use this path on a regular basis for various aspects of my training rides that do not require elevation. The path has limited fluctuations in elevation, and pretty flat. The pavement is fairly good through out. there are some ruts in the asphalt in the east side of Fries Mill Rd. My only concern is that in the past 3 months I have only seen one single police officer on the trail, and that was only one time. The sections from Delsea Drive in Glassboro to Tuckahoe Road in Williamstown are very quiet, with little foot traffic to be concerned with. On the scetion of the trail that runs behind Williamstown High School, I have come across groups of teenage boys and men that sometimes force me to ride around them as they will not move off the path. I do not understand this behavior, but I have seen them access the trail from the residential area along the path. For this reason I frequently do not use the area of the path from Tuckahoe Rd to Blubell Rd.
The closed canopy is especially nice to look at. I was disappointed when I found myself at the end of the path, even though I was out of the foresty area. My first time on an actual designated bike path. I'm thinking about making regular trips up there. Some parts of the path are a little cracked and there's one spot near the school where a dirt path starts to spread over the pavement. I hit it a little too fast and started to slide. Watch out for turtles. I passed a few crossing the path.
We finally got to ride this trail in the southern part of NJ in late June while attending a function at Rowan University. We parked at the college and rode the lightly traveled streets to the trail head. At the Glassboro trail head there is a sign proclaiming this to be the Harrison Shaw Bike trail, while at the Williamstown trail head you find a large stone marker dedicating the trail as the George McDonald bike trail. Ironically we never saw a sign calling it the Monroe Bike Trail.
In any case the trail itself is paved its entire length with few road crossing. Given its rail-trail origins it is straight & flat, at least visually, with several grades that were only perceivable by a increase/decrease in speed/effort. The trail is for the most part covered with a tree canopy and there aren't a lot of highlights that differentiate it from other rail-trails. On the Williamstown end there is a convenience store and and ice cream place. The one unique sight is a tomato packing plant located on the trail near Williamstown where there are flashing warning lights to notify you of truck traffic.
I’ve logged hundreds of miles on this trail. This trail is all paved asphalt and well maintained. At 6.5 miles each way, it’s one of the longest off-road paved trails in the State, if not the longest. The trail is marked every .25 miles with a line and the distance from the beginning point in Monroe Township. If you begin the trail from Monroe Township, there is plenty of parking in the Municipal Lot. If you begin in Glassboro, you will be parking in a dirt lot. Starting from the Monroe Township side, the trail will begin directly next to the Heritage’s Dairy store. The trail is very open as you pass by the little league fields, a tomato sauce packing facility Richman’s Ice Cream and the Williamstown Middle School. At about 1.25 miles in the trail get canopied by trees protecting you from the harsh sunlight. Be prepared - you are now traveling through the swampy area and there are plenty of tiny bugs all around you, so wear sunglasses or eyewear. At about around the 5.25 mile marker you will come to a stop sign. Directly on your right will be Moore Avenue. Directly on your left is an entry point to the Glassboro Wildlife Management Area. It is nearly 3,000 acres of protected land and has dirt trails which run throughout. The dirt roads are well maintained and are safe for a Hybrid tires. Continuing on the paved trail Monroe Trail, it will end at Delsea Drive. If you look to your left there is a Rita’s Water Ice. That provides a nice break for water ice or a pretzel.
This is also an incredible ride to do at night, as this trail does not close. Provided you are wearing clear eye wear and have front and rear lights on your bike you will be fine. If not, the ride is pitch black because even the moonlight doesn’t shine through the trees. You will get to hear all of nature and see the animals very close to you. It is not uncommon to see deer crossing within feet of your bike, or just standing there watching you.
Just used this for the first time. This path is kept in great condition with markers painted for each quarter mile you go. Some attractions include Glassboro Wildlife Area, a car dump, an area for dirt biking, and a high school. I came from the Glassboro and I personally enjoyed the first half better than the second half. The first half is much more woodsy and less used. Theres one or two major roads you have to cross on the way, so be careful. Definitely will be using this convenient bike path again in the future and I will try to upload some pictures.
Running parallel to and just a half-mile south of the relentless congestion and noise of US 322, this trail is very well designed. The builders clearly spent a considerable amount of money making a seamless path across some very wet wetlands. I'm sure the right-of-way must have returned to a primordial state given how long it was abandoned. Beyond the eastern end in Williamstown, at Railroad Av. & Church St., it continues as a municipal trail for another third of a mile or so to Blue Bell Road, just behid the township building on Virginia Av.
I got 12.47miles roundtrip on my bike computer from start (at Heritages in Williamstown) to Rt 47 in Glassboro. Nice, easy ride that's relatively flat and few stops for road crossings. Good ride for a novice cyclist or to ride with the whole family.
This rail trail is now complete all the way from Glassboro (Delsea Drive) to Williamstown. It is paved asphalt for the entire stretch.
"From the Courier Post 1-26-07
The Gloucester County freeholders awarded a $788,340 contract to South State Inc. of Bridgeton to construct a multipurpose bike trail along an abandoned rail right of way in Monroe and Glassboro.
The cost is covered by a grant from the U.S. Highway Administration and New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The 2.8-mile, 10-foot-wide, asphalt-paved trail will run parallel to Route 322, extending from Fries Mill Road to Delsea Drive.
It will link with a trail in Monroe, providing a continuous path from Williamstown to Glassboro, about 7 miles long, officials said Wednesday.
The trail will connect Scotland Run Park and Glassboro State Wildlife Management Area.
Construction should be completed within three months. "
The trail extension to Glassboro is about to be put out for bid and construction should begin later this year.
The extension to Scotland Run and Glassboro has been om hold for the past two years pending approval by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
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