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The Union Transportation Trail runs nearly 7 miles between Millstream Road and Herbert Road; it's Monmouth County's second rail-trail, accommodating equestrians, hikers, walkers, joggers and cyclists. When complete, the trail will cover 8.6 miles between Millstream Road near New Egypt north beyond New Canton Way near Allentown.
The trail crosses a refurbished wooden trestle over Lahaway Creek, one of the few physical remnants of the old railroad, and via an earthen berm, crosses Miry Run Creek.
Passing through a rural landscape, the Union Transportation Trail occupies the former right-of-way for the Pemberton & Hightstown Railroad, a short line established in 1864 to transport dairy and produce to larger railroads at junctions in Pemberton (Burlington County) and Hightstown (Mercer County). The railroad began operating in 1868, traveling through Hornerstown, Cream Ridge, Davis, Imlaystown and Sharon in Upper Freehold Township. Passenger service ceased in 1931 but freight service continued on sections of the line until 1977.
Jersey Central Power & Light acquired the right-of-way, and in 1998 the local parks department obtained a permanent easement for the trail.
Two parking lots and access points are available at Millstream Road (8 Millstream Road) near County 537 and at 114 Jonathan Holmes Road, about the midway point; both in Upper Freehold.
Directions to Millstream Road: From Freehold on I-195, take Exit 16 and head west on Rt. 537, cross Rt. 539 and continue about 1 mile to Millstream Road. Turn right; parking is on the left. From Ocean County head east on Rt. 537 and cross Rt. 68. Continue about 6 miles to Millstream Road. Turn left; parking is on the left.
Directions to Jonathan Holmes Road: From Freehold on I-195 take Exit 16 and head west on Rt. 537. Turn right onto Emley's Hill Road then bear left onto Jonathan Holmes Road. Parking is on the right. From Ocean County head east on Rt. 537. Turn left onto Rt 539 (Forked River Road) then right onto Jonathan Homes Road. Parking is on the left.
I ride this from the parking lot on Herbert Road down to the southern end and back several times a week. The trail is in excellent condition and a real pleasure to ride. Hikers, walkers, and bikes share the fine gravel route. It features wooden bridges over the plentiful streams, including an impressive restored tressle near the southern end. Lots of birds and wildlife because the trail passes through woods and fields. Early morning riders can sneak for coffee through Hornerstown to the Dunkin Donuts on 537 and there is a great ice cream store on Rt 539 there as well.
We rode the entire 9-mile trail and back from Millstream Road parking lot to just beyond Herbert Road parking lot. The trail was in great condition, very well marked, and entirely off the road except for the few road crossings we had to do. Not many people using the trail considering it was a beautiful summer Sunday.
Just finished 17.8 miles on this trail. Started at the Millstone Rd parking lot, rode just past the 8.5 mile marker and turned back around. Rode the trail with my husband and 2 children (12,9) who both did a fantastic job. Will being going again. This time might park closer to the Sharon Station lot to take advantage and see where the trail goes as it enters into the Assunpink Wildlife Area.
Only slight inclines nothing difficult. Crushed stone the entire path. Great scenery and the wonderful aroma of honeysuckle the entire ride.
okay - here's the latest & greatest on the recently completed UTT Trail. We parked at the Herbert Road parking lot (which is the northernmost parking lot). We went south on the trail (go right) and rode traffic free for about 8.25 miles one way (16.5 round trip). All crushed gravel, all off road, all through farmland or woods. A few road crossings, only one we got off the tandem for. Port-a-johns at all the parking areas. One picnic table at the next to last parking area when heading south. A few of the crossings had the "push a button, slow down traffic, warning signals for the cars" - only used it for the busy 539 crossing. We saw one snake, some sheep and goats and a wandering little puppy. Saw other walkers and riders. This is a great antidote for people who believe NJ is only smokestacks and junkyards. We did not head north which supposedly goes another mile or so, but that section has been done for a few years, so I am presuming it too is traffic free.
I just completed the ride from the northern section, Herbert Rd to Route 524 (this is where this section ends). The next section is still under construction, and will connect to Davis Station Road, where you can ride all the way to the southernmost part at Millstream Rd. Can't wait for the entire trail to be completed. One of the best trails in NJ.
Work is underway to extend the trail from its current end at Herbertsville Road to Route 539. This section will go through the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area.
This trail was well maintained and had gentile hill. It was great for an evening ride. Loved riding behind the farms. I can't wait for them to extend it. We rode the length and back.
As of the middle of Feb. 2015 the newest section of the UTT between Herbert Road/Sharon Station Road and 526 is now open. Work is underway to extend the trail north to 539 and south to the remainder of the trail at Davis Station Road. New parking space is available at the Herbert Road/Sharon Station Road trailhead.
Nice, wide trail, not too crowded. We've done it twice and I'm sure we'll go back.
Did this trail on mountain bike in March 2013, it has some ascent/descent in a couple areas. Parked at 114 Jonathan Holmes Road, and started out north first. In the afternoon there, I was the only biker and encountered a handful of people jogging or walking dogs. It was a pleasant ride to the current terminus at Davis Station Road (crossing at Burlington Path is very quiet), but the wind must have been at my back coming north because it was a challenge coming back towards the parking, which I continued past, crossing Jonathan Holmes Road, rounding a bend, crossing Forked Road and Hornerstown Road before ending at Millstream. The crushed stone surface is great and even. I'm glad to have finally gotten to this trail; I had been following its progress once I heard of the plans. Passing mcmansion after mcmansion though gets old but is interspersed with farms, got to see sheep and horses along the way. Forked River Road crossing I can imagine being a hazard, there should be more than just warning lights there.
This trail in particular had a good solid gravel foundation and it passes through several horse farms and even a sheep farm. There is a long and easily passible bridge connecting the trail along with several safe and passable walkways.
TIPS: Be extra careful when you cross Forked River Rd. because the flashing light beacon's lights are not working when you press the button to cross.
I hiked the portion of the trail from CR 27 to CR 539 back in Sep. '10 before the trail officially opened with my father. I found the pavement to be quite smooth, even though it is mainly crushed gravel. The best part was the newly-restored bridge over Lahaway Creek--what a nice treat! Hope to re-hike it in the near future. 4/5
Parking lot at 8 Millstream Road, Upper Freehold easy to locate on GPS, nice trail surface(fine crushed stone), Nice scenic quiet area. Did not expect much of the trail as the description on the traillink only had it as a 2 mile trail, but was pleasantly suprised as trail continued far north of the other parking area at 114 Jonathan Holmes Road, Upper Freehold. Checked the mommouth county website & it states : Miles 3 & 4 of of this trail (from Jonathon Holmes Road to Davis Station Road) opened in 2011. Website also states: When completed, the trail will measure 8.6 miles in length.
County website for trail is http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?ID=3777
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