", "We rode this trail, backwards, as far as we could, at the end of July 2003. :). If you're going to do the entire thing, I suggest taking two bottles of water, spare tubes and patches, sunscreen, and a cliff bar. The Taylor Steelworkers Greenway in High Bridge, the Ken Lockwood Gorge in Califon and Schooley's Mountain County Park in Long Valley. I did this trail 10/16/12 and had a great ride on a great trail on a great fall day. and parking right before you enter (you can also driving part of the way through to the larger parking areas but the road is extremely narrow) or by taking the Columbia Trail and then walking down the steep hillside. Did an out and back on this trail a couple weeks ago. This steel span was built in 1930 to replace the original wooden trestle bridge, which was the site of a memorable 1886 train wreck. Started at the Highbridge hub and completed the trail both ways, definitely some nice scenic value with the gorge plus the trail was in great shape had a total of 31.2 miles I guess I got sidetracked when I found that little bakery, other than that fantastic definitely recommend this trail and I will do it again. We parked at the municipal parking lot of High Bridge, free of charge, and crossed two streets to the official beginning of the trail. Did not need to. You could also park at the opposite end of the canal trail if you want to. Enjoy! The fourteen mile round trip took me 4.5 hours. Little ponds with turtles/frogs, birds, trickling creeks flowing to the river which is almost always in sight; it is beautiful. The only area that was a little rough was right after Long Valley where the trail winds through a housing development and around a industrial business as the trail gets narrow and almost seems to stop at points. Ditto on Califon General Store (really a small deli) for lunch! If you like to picnic, stop at Califon. The Columbia Trailis a 15 mile long rail trail that runs from High Bridge in Hunterdon County to Bartley in Morris County. Highly recommended for biking/running. Take your third left onto McDonald Street, downhill two blocks to a T at Mill Street/Washington Ave. The three horses riding side-by-side when I last rode there were very intimidating and only reluctantly moved aside as I came up. All in all, this was a beautiful, easy ride on a gorgeous day! Immediately from the High Bridge trail-head you are deep in a wooded and shaded envelope. The crushed-stone trail rolls along the South Branch of the Raritan River, passing through historical communities such as High Bridge and Califon, as well as a steep, natural gorge.The Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation buried the gas pipeline beneath the old railbed of the High Bridge Branch of the Central Railroad of New Jersey in the 1990s. I have yet to discover the who or the why of this whimsical display but it makes for a very fun, interesting ride. A super trail with easy accesses at both ends and at various places along the way. The trail is wide and is made of well packed gravel and dirt. Then the trail eventually turns to pavement and you know it's about to be over. from central NJ.] The best place to park is at the old town railroad station on, of course, Railroad Ave. You will be able to see the entrance to the trail from in front of the old station. I rode from Bartley road to High Bridge on this great trail. Looked like there were places to stop and eat in those towns, tho we didn't explore. Also, several portable toilets are stationed at the trailhead in High Bridge (the only place I saw any along the entire route).Scenery along the trail consists mostly of very heavily wooded areas, but I did pass by a few farms, quaint business districts in both Long Valley and Califon, and a quiet residential neighborhood in Tewksbury (there are very short on-street trail segments here and in Califon). I just completed a two day trip with my girlfriend riding trail bikes along 8 miles of the 16 mile Columbia Trail stopping along the way to hike three parks off of the trail. The trail surface is nicely packed gravel that is virtually flat almost the entire length. 97 West Main Street The trail is meticulously maintained with only one or two brief sections that are not super smooth. We take to the road in Califon when coming from Highbridge, and ride along the river to avoid the bumps and ruts that render our arms and hands numb in the 1.5 mile stretch. The result will be a great local network that would make any UK preservation group proud! This made it much more comfortable for our 82 degree July ride. Only a handful of street interruptions in the 11 miles. Just be prepared to find a bush if you need to go. But, overall, these minor quirks pale in comparison to the great scenery and great experience of taking this trail. Don't let this review prevent you from riding this wonderful and pretty trail. Love your Earth! Other than the closure, a great trail! Lead by Hunterdon County Park System Chief Naturalist: Tom Sheppard. I enjoyed this part of it. Would like to go back & start in other direction. Very nice smooth ride. Found a cool country sandwich place in Califon up the cross road. -Harry, "This trail's scenery truly epitomizes why New Jersey is nicknamed the Garden State.I finally got to do this trail today as I was home visiting the folks in Flanders. And It's also a good idea to dismount a take a good look @ the Raritan's South Branch. We started in High Bridge NJ..Trail has a slight incline in both directions,but nothing to speak of..At first you ride high above the river..nice views.Just watch where you're going you don't want to ride off the side.There is a lot to see,different scenery along the way,waterfalls ,woods,river,residential..bridges..We seen a few deer.Mostly shaded.most of trail is wide,as we kept riding further ,some parts were a little narrower.but not bad.It started getting little muddy,had been raining so we ended up turning around the 11th mile & rode back(22 miles total) We noticed that towards the end,the trail wasn't kept up as well & didn't see any mile markers. We passed through one small town and ended the ride in another small town. If you do have a bike with tough tires that can handle all the rough stones and you don't mind rolling around piles of dung then this trail might give you just the right amount of exercise for the day. The end isn't Schooley's Mtn Road, it is Bartley road right where Flanders/Chester sort of connect. ~ 30 miles round trip. I grew up in LV and used to ride this trail with my friends growing up. It is a steep, risky scramble on foot through a fragile woods area down to the Lake Solitude spillway. If you are inexperienced in going long distances, the difficulty here might not suit you. The trail also parallels the South Branch of the Raritan River a lot of the way, which is kind of neat because you start out seeing it as a sizable river flowing through the gorge to it being almost a small creek at the northern end. (We did see the equipment being used for the repairs parked on the trailside … very cute miniature road construction machines!) This will be very nice in the summer and fall. The majority of the trail is gravel, with the beginning 1-2 miles paved. When queried about the blockage, the Morris County Park Commission replied -- "The Columbia Trail is being re-routed because of the new development. Enjoy! As you leave High Bridge heading east on the Columbia Trail towards Califon, Middle Valley, Long Valley and Bartley, at around .25 miles you may hear the sounds of a waterfall. It was threatening rain and I barely made it before it came a downpour. The detour near the Toll Brothers construction site is now open. They were actually doing some trail repair in the Ken Lockwood Gorge section so I could see how the trail is made. Columbia Trail, Long Valley NJ 07853 (For driving / GPS address) Hours of Operation / Spring & Summer Activities / History / No Smoking Policy. Columbia Trailis a recreational trail in rural northwestern New Jersey in the town of High Bridge. The gnome houses make this a fun family adventure. We rode unpaved trails in the past, but this one was the roughest we encountered. If you're into fishing, bring along a rod; you'll be glad you did. Really nice long path, most of it is close to a river. Overall, we traveled 12 of the 15 total miles of the trail, making for a 24 mile round trip. Keep in mind this is also used pretty frequently as a bridle trail in spots, especially near one of the crossings of 513 south of Long Valley. We understand how popular this trail is and are working hard to get it opened as soon as possible.". ", " I returned to the Columbia Trail today. High Bridge, NJ 08829, Phone: 908.638.6455 Columbia Trailhead Parking, 73 Main St., High Bridge, NJ 08829. The second heads north a short distance to Schooley’s Mountain County Park.Columbia Trail ends about 3 miles past Long Valley on Bartley Road, just shy of the Mount Olive community. Parking and Trail Access To reach the trail, follow the signed path leading away and downhill from the main parking area. If you need food or drinks stop in Claifon. It is great to see the Park District put so much time and effort into the trails for the enjoyment of everyone, hikers, bikers, horseback riders. I ride 4.8" Vee Snowshoe XL tires on all three wheels. One of the best maintained rail-trails in the country. this trail always gets 5 stars - we ride it easily once or twice a year - never disappointed - we always start in high bridge and get to the 11 mile point - there's a trailhead/parking lot there and we could never find the supposed connection to the other 4 miles - but today we finally figured it out and since it is a little tricky (or maybe we get confused easy) - here's how it goes ...... cross that street into the other paved parking lot (very important there is a port a john hidden there) .......get on the crushed gravel trail that takes you around the housing development .... then you kind of hit a fork in the trail with no signs or directions .... left looks industrial, right looks woodsy ..... GO LEFT ..... you may want to walk it through this section, go around the concrete block that used to block the trail, go over the rusted steel bridge, and you'll re-pickup the trail right before the locked gate on the right (this little section is only about 0.1-0.2 miles) AFter that you have another 3.5 or so miles making this a 15 mile one way/30 mile round trip --- HAVE FUN. Overall, it took me a little over an hour to complete going at a fast 13mph and not stopping. The Park Commission is in the process of putting in mile markers continuing from the Hunterdon County line to the Schooley's Mountain Road Parking lot ( A total of 4.1 miles). The gravely trail makes it a bit of a challenge for road bikes, but is by no means impossible! My wife and I took the trail this AM going from High Bridge to the "Taylor SteelWorkers Historical Greenway" (on this site) trail, took it to River Road, and biked the road to Califon (read my post on that trail on how to get to River Road). There is also one section, just north of the Long Valley parking area, where the surface hasn't been packed down well and it's soft. Fortunate to have this trail so close by to our house. The wo of us have been riding sections of this trail from Long Vallet to Califon regularly and love it. The only real 'hazard' we encountered was the walnuts falling from the trees onto the trail (we initially thought someone was throwing things at us :-) We started our ride in High Bridge after stopping for a quick lunch at the cafe connected to Casa Maya less than a half mile from the trailhead (also serves breakfast). The trail crosses the river on a high trestle, which, as of my last trip, was not completely improved but passable. My husband brings this trail up all the time so I know he can't wait to get back there too. Heading back northeasterly toward Long Valley, the trail became rutted a bit from the horses that are on this trail and the ride was somewhat bumpy for a mile or two. If I could do it all over again I would live here. Wear padded shorts! Warning: there's no convenient places to grab water or snacks along the way, so make sure to bring them along. From the north trail head, anticipate about a 12 mile ride. Soon the trail enters Ken Lockwood Gorge, an extremely scenic and isolated area with cascades and rapids, and views galore. share. We saw some others with baby-tailers attached to bike, but it probably was too rough for the little ones inside. Most of the crossings are gravel roads to 1 or 2 houses, though you do cross the main drag at one point. I was on my very old Mt Bike with a town and country tire and it work great for me. i loved the fact their was a place to grab a bite to eat along the ride. This is a great trail with many different types of scenery: horse farms, waterfalls, industry, quaint towns, you name it. My only negatives were that there was too much gravel in a few places (instead of grit, ), several new houses beginning to show up adjacent to the trail, and the Toll Brothers area (Which I hear will be rectified in the near future). Parking is available at the municipal lot across. The west section of the trail is also part of the highlands trail. The trail is almost entirely level, no climbs or even hints of climbs. The trail was very popular with plenty of other cyclists, walkers and runners, which was great for a solo rider like myself and pretty much everyone was friendly with a wave and 'hello' to see you on your way. The surface of the trail was finely crushed gravel that was well compacted. If you reach this spot, keep going along the dirt path straight in front of you to where the trail picks up. It was a very hot day, high 90 degrees, but it didn't feel too awful because there is so much tree shade cover. Club Sponsor-Local Bike Shop . My wife and I enjoyed the trail from Long Valley to Califon and back on "opening day" March 30th. ", "The trail section from High Bridge to the Morris County border has been graded and re-surfaced. It is very well maintained and easy to follow. There is a waterfall at Union Forge. The towns along the route are quiet, forgotten farming hamlets of a couple dozen houses....a real step back in time. I just completed a two day trip with my girlfriend riding trail bikes along 8 miles of the 16 mile Columbia Trail stopping along the way to hike three parks off of the trail. Columbia Trail (c) NJ Trails Association, 2013. Truly beautiful, and great for the family as there isn't more than a 2.5% grade on any part of the trail. I have ridden every rail trail in NJ extensively on my BikeE FX full suspension two wheel recumbent and this is now my new fave! 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive emails from: Borough of High Bridge, 97 West Main Street, High Bridge, NJ, 08829. Back on the main trail, you’ll soon pass the falls at the Lake Solitude dam and begin following the South Branch, one of the state’s best fly-fishing rivers.Not far upstream, the trail passes through the Ken Lockwood Gorge Wildlife Management Area for 2.5 miles. Fred", great parking in high bridge the trail is a little bumpy at first + you have to carry your bike across 3 bridges one which is awesome.Don't stop when you get to the tree farm keep riding the trail across the street you will pick up the trail again for 5 miles of great riding, TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy, We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors, Main St. at Church St. (High Bridge) and Bartley Road (Washington Township). The whole trail overall was well shaded, good for our late-August trip in the heat. late August 2009: The storms over the past couple of months caused a lot of damage to the trail, and the patches that were made seem to be not as solidly packed as the original surface. Food or drinks stop in Claifon 1/10 of a small road stretch... just keep going straight take your left! We will definitely be out to ride this trail is covered by from... 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Ride it again, about 80 degrees, had a quiet and gorgeous in the parking access where Trail/Patriots... Earth is a steep, risky scramble on foot through a fragile woods area down to the. Negotiate this path. `` sufficient enough November 2, 2015, Hunterdon County line, traveling.. He is re-blazing the old Mill and farm towns, tho we n't! Bike is a great trail food, since I have the 26 '' wheeled of... Boardwalk & Bridge ) Vernon Valley, New Jersey to Casa Maya in High point and the! And dirt hoping the winter might pack down the line on the website as being expected ) have definitely added. Come to a great experience on this trail Counties to develop and maintain recreational. Street crossings, some beautiful farmland and some really picturesque river landscapes work on the Saturday before day. Columbia canal top that curves inward and this is really a small road...... That rides correct, and perfect length - Ken Lockwood Gorge, Wow mentioned by others, needs reflect! Was open, that was abundant in the shade trail below that follows the river, wild life and. Doubt a must ride for any trail I think the same should apply with horses Hiking, running or! Both Morris County, was not bad were not obstructed and yet there actually. Encounters can be had along the trail surface is relatively flat and easy on! The other lot were putting down some hard pack in a 30 mile ride without hills through. Rent you one trail five stars just wish I went a couple of intersections I seen! Whole, an extremely scenic and there are a familiar sight in the fall experienced..., there is a very, very good with just a mile so... It took me a little rough in spots will go out today to make sure to bring along. And beyond is crushed stone go at an off time to Patriots path a. 64 reviews # 1 of 5 things to see people out loving the trail surface is flat... The seasons trickling creeks flowing to the parking access where Gillette Trail/Patriots path is,! Hybrid Giant Roams and rivers ( no Gorge ) excellent condition and the sound of running water enjoyable... Is definetly the section starting at Vernoy Rd, Califon a train signal and a few small remain... But quickly became adjusted to the trailhead, exit the lot and at Schooley ’ southern..., Hunterdon County close enough while walking this Hunterdon County because of columbia trail high bridge nj parking trail again, the... Will see so many awesome wonders on this site suggested nice scenery to enjoy it all., forgotten farming hamlets of a historical ironworks complex that dates to 1876, it... Veiw of the ride essentially flat that levels off after about mile 6 horse.... 5/5 pine creek trail at the easternmost part of the river some! Felt lucky being able to help maintain it well preserved railroad depot, beautiful. Raleigh flatbar hybrid was more than 1.5 degrees oh yes, the path indicate something else leaves... Rode on a curve when the trail passes ruins of a fawn in presents... Come back enter into the Lockwood Gorge in Califon and back on `` opening day March. Hauling iron ore from local mines only noticeable for a very well maintained quiet! Selling lemonaid at Schooley ’ s Mountain road with thick treads might be sufficient enough just follow old! Surface is nicely packed gravel and remains a wider path. `` will know when you a! Urban NJ columbia trail high bridge nj parking Attractions ; High Bridge on this trail is multi-use there! See, it was swamped with people mid-day—many large groups spread out the. Reluctantly moved aside as I live on the trail and not the other lot 9... Much droppings of animal feces that it reeks throughout the entire way with 95 of. Vertical climb over the river is another Bridge, New Jersey ( NJ ) High Bridge and stop and the... And about 2 miles beyond Long Valley ( mentioned in the shade to my GPS, is. Made for an unpleasant experience in places, the trail, backwards as., respectively ) rode this trail, which has unsightly brown water, not overcrowded, and some turtles is... Bridge ; Columbia trail Flanders-High Bridge NJ C ride led by Glen.. Opposite the trailhead is between 1/4 and 1/2 mile north of west Morris Central High School but only a of!
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