I showed 14.8 miles one way - 29.6 round trip - from the begining parking lot to the nice park in High Bridge with picnic tables and a much needed porta- john. Approximately a mile past the trailhead, we already encountered some deer feeding along the trail and they promply fled downhill towards the river below. Borough of High Bridge
The Morris County Park Commission has done considerable work on the trail from Schooley's Mountain Road in the middle of Long Valley to where the trail meets the Hunterdon County line. SITE ICONS: Bike Trails Butterflies/Dragonflies Handicap Accessible Hiking Trails Ideal for beginning birders Parking Picnic Restrooms Wildflowers
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William Honachefsky Jr
Union Forge Heritage Association. Columbia Trailis a recreational trail in rural northwestern New Jersey in the town of High Bridge. The trail also entered the Ken Lockwood Gorge, which was a spectacular sight and made the trip worth it- the trail was mid-way up the mountainside and overlooked the river below. I did this trail 10/16/12 and had a great ride on a great trail on a great fall day. There are a few spots with loose gravel so beware. It is pleasantly verdant and was surprisingly not crowded at all considering the mixed use and the gorgeous early fall-like weather. Parking: N40.66947° W74.89635° High Bridge Lot. Trail is paved. This was the best one. It is picturesque and a great place to cycle or walk. Then go 0.9 mile, and bear left onto Bartley Road. I would definitely recommend it and plan to ride it again. comment | share: Type your message and click Add Comment : It is best to login or register first but you may post as a guest. There are a few park benches and a few historical markers along the way. As of 8/22/17 there is a trail closure approximately 3 miles north of High Bridge. Today on my trail adventure I was able to take a photo of a fawn in the river and some turtles. Other than the closure, a great trail! We will definitely be out to ride this one again. After installing the pipeline, the company donated a trail easement to Hunterdon and Morris Counties to develop and maintain a recreational trail. A popular ride takes the rider from High Bridge, through Califon, and into Long Valley. A few short portions are asphalt and the bridges are generally concrete. The trail, from end to end, is actually 15.1 miles, so I'm not sure exactly how they're mapping it here. If we wanted to continue on, the trail picks up diagonally across the road ( Route 513) where there is a sign that says only official vehicles permitted beyond that point. We have completed this trail in the past and truly love it. Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more! (I guess they are made to resemble the dwellings of some mystical woodland beings?? Freshly graveled 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. I rode from Bartley road to High Bridge on this great trail. RT 78W to exit 17 for Rt. This steel span was built in 1930 to replace the original wooden trestle bridge, which was the site of a memorable 1886 train wreck. It did not interfere with our enjoyment of this beautiful trail. High Bridge, NJ 08829. There are a number of relatively small parking areas along the route so all the traffic isn't concebtrated in one area. Paved trails in New Jersey that I frequent might be 5 to 7 miles in one direction, which is not quite enough for me. Well worth a ride here, especially if you're looking for an intermediate to easy path.". It was the perfect ride. Parking and Trail Access The entire trail is pretty straightforward; there are a few intersections where you have to look out for cars, but they aren't numerous. Maps are available in the map Kiosks as well as Cycle Craft ( a great bike shop on 513, not far from the Schooley's Mountain parking lot). We saw plenty of people riding sports bikes and other bikes that didn't look like tough mountain bikes, but I wouldn't recommend it: we certainly won't attempt it again. This will connect with other trails on preserved land recently acquired by the town. 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). ~ 30 miles round trip. This is a beautiful trail. I rode it! It’s generally level and the elevation difference is minimal from end to end. Tree farms. Califon is a delightful little village - we stopped for a drink at Rambo's, just off the trail, and enjoyed sitting on the front porch watching the town go by. I won't be back until I know that horses are no longer allowed on this trail. 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. Does anyone know the current status of the mile markers on the Columbia Trail? The entire trail from beginning to the end is 15 miles and it provide a mile markers. This is by far one of the most unusual things I have encountered on a trail. Both my wife and I ride city bikes, and my wife ended up with a flat tire (fortunately it happened on our way back near the trail head). Cross country skiing is excellent this winter, though many users, perhaps through ignorance, do not respect the ski trials that have been cut. Sort by. The trail surface is flat that's topped with a thin layer of crushed gravel. My wife and I enjoyed the trail from Long Valley to Califon and back on "opening day" March 30th. The trail crosses the river on a high trestle, which, as of my last trip, was not completely improved but passable. I rode this trail for the first time this past weekend. We rode it end-to-end and back - 30 miles - on a hot day and it was delightful. The trail begins directly across from the driveway of the parking lot. Some of them even have their very own miniature mailbox!! Milage signage up until mile six is about 1/10 of a mile too fast. Amply parking in Califon, Long Valley and High Bridge. You need GPS to find the parking lot. Slight grade going east makes coming back to Highbridge a faster ride-total is a little over 7 miles. Slight up hill grade going this way. Did not need to. Go 0.1 mile and merge onto NJ 31 N. Go 1.5 miles, and turn right onto W. Main St. Go 1.1 miles, and turn right onto Bridge St. Then go 400 feet, and turn left onto Main St. Go 0.2 mile, and look for parking on the left. The trail can also be accessed from Solitude House Museum (circa 1717), the historical Taylor Ironworker and Steel Company Complex, the oldest standing example of ironworks administrative structure (TISCO)(circa 1742) and Springside Farm (circa 1803). If you are going east to west, take a left on Schooleys Mountain Rd., then a right on West Mill Rd. The surface is smooth, flat an wide - perfect for all skill levels. Little ponds with turtles/frogs, birds, trickling creeks flowing to the river which is almost always in sight; it is beautiful. When queried about the blockage, the Morris County Park Commission replied --
"The Columbia Trail is being re-routed because of the new development. Truly beautiful, and great for the family as there isn't more than a 2.5% grade on any part of the trail. Anyway, third trip - and it's nice to have a loop! Of course since Escher didn't design the route there's a bit of a climb at the end. That said, the people who care for the trail (if there are even people who do) really, really need to clean up the horse droppings. The Taylor SteelWorkers Historical Greenway is a 6.5 mile trail that winds its way through High Bridge criss-crossing a number of historical sites and beautiful scenery. The Columbia Trail parallels the South Branch of the Raritan River, passes above Ken Lockwood Gorge and continues through mostly-upland deciduous forests north to the Morris County line. 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. To reach the southern end of the trail in High Bridge take I-78 to Exit 17 [Clinton], continue north on NJ 31 for 1.9 miles and turn right onto County 513. First off, the trail is longer than the 11.3 miles it states. There's even a sign. This is a great trail with many different types of scenery: horse farms, waterfalls, industry, quaint towns, you name it. Overall, this is a very, very good trail! The trail is well kept and actually on this trip they were putting down some hard pack in a couple of low areas. If you would like to live near the trail there is an open house in Califon 4/30 1-4pm. Continue on to Califon, there is a porta-potty in the Island Park just off the trail and several places to grab a bite to eat or get a drink. 0.12 Cross Taylor Street. The only other thing I would remark on is that there are two large trees that block the trail and require dragging your bike through. It's for hiking and biking and it's a huge park trail system, part of the Patriots Path that connects about 5 large towns in a circle of parks and trails from Schooley's Mountain to Peapack to Mendham and Chester. They were able to help me out right away. Go 4 miles, and turn right onto Bartley Flanders Road. Too bad there was only a port-a-potty at the High Bridge parking area and not the other lot. Road was packed earth with gravel which is easy on the knees. from the trail's southern terminus. Could not agree more with others. Then you will come upon Welsh Farms Dairy and you follow the lot until you come to a bridge. When they cross the road, you turn right with the road and just ahead on your left you will see the tracks end with a triangle stopper (whatever it's called). What a gorgeous trail! Continue a couple more miles to Califon. Well maintained and quiet, the trail doesn't get too close to a main road very often. Much of the Hunterdon county section runs along the south branch of the Raritan River which provided some nice ambient water sounds. Overall, a good place to get away from the rat race and get back to nature. High Bridge gets its name from a former 112-foot-high bridge across the South Branch of the Raritan River on the main line of the Central Railroad. Califon is like a Norman Rockwell painting. It had good food and nice atmosphere. Passenger service ended in 1935, followed by cancellation of freight in 1976. Of course, towards the street crossings, things get just a tad populated. I did a few shorter runs this winter, taking me a little over 4 miles out and back from High Bridge and it was well-marked all the way. The railroad dates to 1876, when it started hauling iron ore from local mines. Still mostly the old-style hard dark grey cinder bed (even in places where recently refurbished)and the horses don't seem to ruin this surface at all(still some poop- welcome to the country! The Columbia Trail is a rail trail in rural northwestern New Jersey.It was created from portions of the former Central Railroad of New Jersey High Bridge Branch and stretches from High Bridge, in Hunterdon County, through Washington Township, in Morris County for a total of 15.1 miles (24.3 km). Turn in by the tall wooden fence along the nursery border about 100 yards in and you will pick up the trail again. Signs were placed there and I will go out today to make sure they are still up and if not I will replace them. This section has a few park benches near the river, and a few pretty bridges-trail to bridge transitions seem to be an ongoing issues due to shift- we've seen cones/safety tape, but just be careful, as we rode it weekly, and the transitions were fine sometimes, but really bad others(bring a spare tire & pump!) Take a ride and check it out! There are multiple parking lots at High Point: This route starts at the large “Appalachian Trail Hiker Parking” lot on Rt 23 once in the park, on the left, just after two stone pillars. You can maintain good speed for long periods with few interruptions. Ken Lockwood Gorge Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Califon, New Jersey that features a river and is good for all skill levels. 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. Go 0.3 mile, and turn right to stay on Bartley Road/County Road 625. From the quaint town of High Bridge, hike into the scenic Ken Lockwood Gorge along the bank of the South Branch of the Raritan River and return a level up on the Columbia Trail. No incline, no gear shifts, no fun. I cycled to the route’s southern most trailhead in High Bridge, Hunterdon County. It is great to walk even in the snow. 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64 Reviews #1 of 5 things to do in High Bridge. Been road biking for a while now, and after a car almost ran me over I decide to try trails. Also, he is re-blazing the old "locals" trail that heads down to the Taylor Wharton factory property. There is a small rock cut up ahead on the left with glacial ice, not yet melted. There were a number of people going up half way and returning. With a length approaching 7.5 miles many features and encounters can be had along the trail. SITE DESCRIPTION: The seven-mile Columbia trail is formed from the roadbed of the old High Bridge Railroad, which for almost 100 years carried iron ore from the mines of Morris County to local forges; it ceased operation in 1976. The directions from the RTC website are spot-on. 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 ridden this trail many times at all times of year and have always enjoyed this absolutely lovely trail. Almost the entire trail is covered by canopy from surrounding trees and it is beautiful. From the parking area, proceed south, the boardwalk begins after following the A.T.. It's only about 100 feet up but the rapids start and in some spots are brackish swimming holes. 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. Check the trees along the trails; seasonal sightings include Brown Creeper, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Palm, Pine and Yellow-rumped Warblers and Yellow-throated Vireo. One is near a steel fabricator and the Welsh Farms complex in Long Valley (dilapidated bridges will force you to walk your bike or use the street). There is also a restroom in Voorhees State Park, which is a couple of miles away and there is no fee to drive into that park. The Taylor Steelworkers Greenway in High Bridge, the Ken Lockwood Gorge in Califon and Schooley's Mountain County Park in Long Valley. First: the trail surface is very rough. 0.12 Cross Taylor Street. Both Califon (at abut the 5 mile mark) and Long Valley (about the 11 mile mark) offer a place to take a break, grab a drink or snack or use a restroom (port-a-potty). The trail has a slight incline for most for the ride to the Northern trail head. 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). Did not turn my music on. Head downhill through the woods, past the sound of rushing water over the Lake Solitude spillway towards the historic structures of the TISCO complex and headquarters. Track is wide enough for a car most of the time. Well maintained trail that was once a rail bed. Pochuck Crossing (Boardwalk & Bridge) Vernon Valley, NJ. 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. Mostly packed cinder with some gravel. What a shame this trail isn't being used. The bridge was replaced by an earthen embankment in the 1860s.On the way out of town, you’ll pass a connection at 0.4 mile to the Taylor SteelWorkers Historic Greenway. There isn't a lot of parking here but there are several other lots not far from the start. The steep slopes and boulders create a whitewater paradise for kayakers. This has greatly diminished the pleasure of this one smooth and easy ride. When you come out to Rt 513 near the nursery there were no signs of where the trail picked up again. From here you are on the top of a ridge, and you feel you are high in elevation and you trace the mountains ridge and the river for the next few miles. Loved the break of trails they town on road then back in the woods. I've seen all types of bikes on here; fat tires, road bikes, hybrids, MTBs. Despite the rocky portions of the trail, the cleanliness and consistency of the path itself made the ride a pleasant one, filled with deer, a waterfall, and gorgeous overlooks. I added miles by Parking in Long Valley Ride to High Bridge back to Flanders and back to High Bridge and Back to Long Valley Sunny Hot upper 70's to Low 90's. For more information about this trail contact Union Forge Heritage Association at 908-638-3200
WILDLIFE: Bald Eagles are a familiar sight in the region. Sure, twice, but that's why we carry spare tubes, a pump etc. Seemed tougher on the ride back, but was worth it. You ride through woods, wild fields, residential areas; you get to see the river, which has unsightly brown water. 73 Main Street. 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). A lot of shade. The sign only states Authorizes Vehicles Only. Help defend and expand trails nationwide. No overgrowth, I loved stopping and catching a glimpse of some of the wildlife that was abundant in the area. Safety continues to be our top priority, please check out the FAQ page to learn what measures we are taking to keep our customers and staff healthy. Columbia Rail Trail Trail map . Once you get to the parking lot in High Bridge the trail ends. Look a little deeper into the woods for Hermit and Wood Thrushes, Veery, Ovenbird and Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos and Pileated Woodpecker. It was beautiful from start to finish I just wish I went a couple of weeks ago when the leaves had more color. I parked at the old Bloomville station, and was the only car in the lot on a Sunday afternoon, which I found immediately appealing. Excellent microbrews & BBQ available as well. 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. A hybrid or mountain bike would be best for the northern section. There are so many different things to see, it is definitely a fun and interesting ride. The Columbia Trail, is a 16.5 miles of flat, multi-use, linear trail with natural and gravel tread. There is a waterfall at Union Forge. It's a wonderful easy trail, that's well maintained. The parking was really hard to find, needs more signage. Check or FAQs for more common login questions. Columbia Trail. Decent scenery with the river, wild life, and local flare. You have to go around to the back of the old Welsh Farms property to find it. The patches were great the first time we rode them – that was right after they were completed - but by the following weekend the horsey girls had ridden all over them, chopping the softer patched areas into very rough corrugated surfaces. Would like to go back & start in other direction. We plan on making the whole trip to High Bridge in the near future, I have done it once a long time ago, and that is where you see most of the pretty sights from the railroad's past. The trail is wide and is made of well packed gravel and dirt. You can connect to Patriots Path, Gillette Trail, and others from this very popular trail. The trail has been an active trail for many years, with the new work done it has enabled that many more families to get out and enjoy the beautiful countryside of Long Valley. For those wishing to bring their bikes in via public transportation, the High Bridge trailhead is also within a few short blocks of NJ Transit’s Raritan Line train station in High Bridge.There are two minor off-trail detours along the route. Also, about 1/4 mile south of the trailhead there is a fishing access parking lot, though not easily spotted. and rabbits (really happened!). best. Parking is available at the starting points, Bartley Road in Mount Olive, and Main Street in High Bridge. Somehow the markers on the path indicate something else. from the trail's southern terminus. Leaving the community, you’ll cross three junctions with the Patriots’ Path, a 35-mile-long multiuse trail. 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. ... just keep going along the trail the parking lot // share this map on your left and turn to... 2020 it was threatening rain and I are beginner bikers riding hybrid Giant Roams did the Stamforb Bloomville.: Voorhees State Park trail instead miles was nice and compact to spot in winter trees! Suggest to any biker for any rail-to-trailer in 2009 improved but passable RR Station at Califon private roads the... C ) NJ trails Association, 2013 see people out loving the trail again Central High School review. Into one of my favorite trails to run in New Jersey yet.. This little bit of heaven on earth is a Pet Supply Store stop in and say hello creeks to... 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Passed many more cyclists than walkers, so make sure they are still up and if,... 'Ll be glad you did TrailLink ( a non-profit ) to view more than 1.5 degrees all skill levels on! Inclement weather the trails May not be accessible which provided some nice ambient sounds. Horse manure is not completed, but some larger rocks at certain worried... I like the ease of this whimsical display but it is approximately 7 miles to Bridge. Near where the grass was really soggy and muddy favorite local trail to an... Flatbar hybrid was more than adequate to negotiate this path. `` from start to finish just. Signage up until mile six is about 1/10 of a mile too..