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The Landsdown Trail runs 1.8 miles between Lower Landsdown Road and W. Main in Clinton. The trail passes among open fields, woodlands and wetlands and provides access to the South Branch of the Raritan River for those wishing to drop a line (state license required). The trail runs through part of the South Branch Reservation, 1,000+ acres of wildlife habitat and recreation.
The trail follows part of an old rail corridor once used as a spur for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, which was built in 1881. The line was mainly for passenger rail but goods such as graphite and milled grains were also transported through here. The old trail station at the northern end of the trail was converted into a lumber store.
If you're up for a longer hike or ride, from the southern end of the trail, it's just a short distance to another rail-trail which runs nearly 4 miles through the Capoolong Creek Wildlife Management Area.
There is no official trail parking in Clinton; use public parking. The trailhead is next to the lumber company. At the south end, park on Lower Landsdown Road. The park area is open from sunrise to sunset; no restroom facilities.
Crushed rock - peaceful trail through woods and cornfields. Adjacent to Raritan River.
Wife and I took this trail on July 6th, then connected to Capoolong (take a google map printout blown up at the junction to be sure you can find it - Capoolong is not well marked at this trailhead.)
The trail passes pretty terrain, and is well maintained. When you combine it with the Capoolong trail, it makes for a nice half day trip!
"I visited this trail following several days of steady rain in the area and was pleasantly surprised to find it completely dry. Many unpaved rail trails in Northern NJ get quite muddy at times; this one is a rare exception.
A designated trail users’ parking area may now be found in Clinton; on a side street just east of the Cyrus Fox Lumber Yard’s main building. Signs are posted indicating no parking after sunset. There are one or two road shoulder parking spots at the Franklin Township trailhead.
There is one grade level street crossing along the route, but fortunately it is a limited use service road. All trail bridges have been reconstructed and include safety railings and sturdy concrete reinforced decks.
This is a nice trail, albeit too short to make it worthy of a long distance drive to visit."
"This trail was just opened in the last month. It is just under two miles long, and the surface is excellent for walking or bike riding. The surface is level hard-pack with some fine gravel on the surface. Areas through cuts have been trenched on both sides to keep the trail dry! There are 1/4 mile posts along the trail that make handy camera stands! There are also fine views of the Raritan River and all the bridges have concrete decks. Parking at Landsdown Road is very limited. In Clinton, at the north end, one would have to find legal in-town parking.
An added feature is the presence of the Capoolong WMA Trail just across the active Lehigh Valley Line at the southern end of the trail.
I rate this a 7 out of 10!
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