Capital to the Coast Trail bike ride without the kids – Allaire Sate Park, NJ
I decided to check out section of the Capital to the Coast Trail without the kids. The weather these past few days were right for outdoors activities in Central New Jersey, especially for riding a bike.
I wanted to ride my bike along the beach. During the beach season, bike riding is only allowed on the boardwalk for a couple of hours early in the morning. You can always ride on the road along the boardwalks but the experience is not the same and it’s riskier with all the crowds and cars when beach season is in full swing.
Instead of driving to the beach, I decided to ride my bike to the beach on a section of the Capital to the Coast Trail.
The trail is a 55-mile multi-use trail network that is designed to connect the Delaware River in Trenton to the east with the beach town of Manasquan on the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The initial section called the Edgar Felix Bikeway, established in 1971, was dedicated on June 16, 2006. The entire trail is expected to be completed in the summer of 2010.
The section of the Capital to the Coast Trail I was on is about 7 mile stretch starting from the main parking lot within Allaire State Park and ending at the beach in the Town of Manasquan. The original Edgar Felix Bikeway runs from the parking lot to the Wall Municipal Complex in the Town of Manasquan, but the Capital to the Coast Trail breaks off in town and goes to the beach.
The multi-use route follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way that is now paved over with asphalt. The road surface is generally smooth and is suitable for mountain bikes, road bike and all other types of bicycles. The route skirts a golf course, playgrounds, and open fields, through woods, over and under highways. There are about three or four highway crossings.
The trail also runs right behind residents backyards in most places. For the most part, the trail was not crowded when I was on it (Friday late morning), but I can imagine it getting crowded with walkers, strollers, kids on tricycles, runners and bikers on weekends and in the summer. There are a few access points and parking areas along the route.
The scenery along the way is nothing special. If you plan on riding with young kids, plan on stops at Allenwood General Store or the Diary Queen in the Town of Manasquan. The last mile and a half or so to the beach is on roads. If you plan to take your kids along, and they have never ridden in traffic, make sure you teach them some rules of the broad to keep them safe.
Check out the fine map of the Capital to the Coast Trail:
Map of Route within Allaire State Park
Map of Route from Edge of Allaire State Park to Route 34 Overpass
Map of Route from Route 18 Path Connection to Town of Manasquan Trailhead
Map of Entire Capital to the Coast Trail Route
Map of Route from Town of Manasquan Trailhead to Beach
Directions to Allaire State Park:
Allaire State Park can be reached from exit 98 off the Garden State Parkway or exit 31B off Interstate 195.
Official Site of Allaire State Park, Historic Allaire Village, Pine Creek Railroad