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Jersey Jaunts - Biking in (and around) New Jersey
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Washington DC
(including Ocean Avenue bike lanes & various municipal boardwalks)
Monmouth County, NJ

Up to 17 1/2 miles of hard surface traffic free riding possible
Distance: Approximately 9 miles (one-way)
Topology: Flat
 Surface: Wooden Boardwalk, pavers, asphalt, sidewalk

Monmouth County's beach front towns provide an unique off road riding experience for early risers who don't mind a slightly bumpy ride. A 13 mile round trip ride is possible by riding the linked boardwalks of Spring Lake, Belmar, Avon, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove, and Asbury Park. An extended route is possible by adding the boardwalk of Allenhurst, along with the Ocean Avenue bike lanes through Deal for a 17 1/2 mile round-trip trek.

If the boardwalk surface isn't your thing (or riding after 9AM) you can ride inland a block or two (Asbury has bike lanes on Grand Avenue), most towns have one-way roads that run parallel to the ocean; after the beach crowd has settled in for the day there is very little traffic on these residential streets lined with the beach goers cars.

Besides the beach front businesses along the boardwalks you can usually travel about 1/2 mile inland to find the Main Streets of the various towns (route 71) where you can find most anything including stations on NJTransit's north Jersey coast trains. It is possible to make a bike-train loop along the shore from Spring Lake to Asbury Park if you are so inclined.

Segments (south to north)

The boardwalk runs parallel with the inland Main Streets (about 1/2 mile) of the various towns along the shore. Important: Most boardwalks allow bicycles before 10 AM only, follow posted rules! Remember to yield to pedestrians.
  • Spring Lake (~ 3miles) Boardwalk begins at the border with Sea Girt, at Brown Avenue. Compared to Belmar Spring Lake's boardwalk is no frills; sand, boards, ocean, and not much else, you do get a good view of the huge homes along Ocean Avenue, it's quite and they like to keep it that way.
  • Belmar (~ 1.5 miles) Belmar is a busy beach and boardwalk with many retail establishments, and lots of places to eat along the way. Belmar does NOT allow bikes after 9AM. The boardwalk connects to Spring Lake via Ocean Avenue for a few hundred feet; beware of vehicular traffic.
  • Avon (~ .5 miles) Bikes are NOT allowed on boardwalk at any time, use paved sidewalk parallel to boardwalk. The Avon Pavilion offers sit down dining on the boardwalk. The Avon boardwalk connects with Belmar via the Ocean Avenue bridge, sidewalks are available to avoid the bridge roadway.
  • Bradley Beach (~ 1 miles) Bradley replaced the boards with pavers a few years ago, enjoy the smooth ride. Bradley offers 2 or 3 places to eat on the boardwalk, as well as mini golf. Bradley Beach connects to Avon via a sidewalk.
  • Ocean Grove (~ .5 miles) Ocean Grove's boardwalk hosts Sunday morning church services at the pavilion in front of the Great Auditorium; if you've never seen the auditorium or the camp meeting tents that surround it, then the short 1/4 mile diversion from the boards is worth the effort. Besides the tents, the "Grove" has many Victorian style homes lining the narrow streets of this tiny ocean front community reminiscent of the homes and cottages of Cape May. Ocean Grove boardwalk directly connects to Bradley Beach's boardwalk.
  • Asbury Park (~ 1 miles) The famous Asbury Park boardwalk is coming back to life, you can once again travel through the old Casino building from Ocean Grove to Asbury (you should walk your bike, but no one does even though signs say to walk). Major development is occurring on Ocean Avenue that should change the boardwalk in a positive way. There are now some places to eat, and a bicycle shop has opened right on the boardwalk. The Convention Hall is also open to allow passage to the north Asbury boardwalk (again you should walk your bike). Asbury Park's boardwalk connects directly to Ocean Grove's boardwalk via the Casino building.
  • Lock Arbor (~ .15 miles) Lock Arbor has no boardwalk, but there are some side streets that allow you to link to Allenhurst. Asbury Park's boardwalk ends at the boarder with Lock Arbor where you can duck into the side streets on Lock Arbor (via Ocean Ave.) to connect to Allenhurst. Here is a Map of the connection
  • Allenhurst (~ .25 miles) Allenhurst's boardwalk is short with no amenities, it's just as easy to ride along the roadway adjacent to the boards for this short distance. Allenhurst's boardwalk ends 1 block east of the Ocean Avenue bike lanes through Deal.
  • Deal Bike Lanes (~ 2 miles) Usually when I think bike lanes I think city streets, and traffic, but the Ocean Avenue bike lanes through Deal are really a giant shoulder (almost a full car lane wide) that have been designated as bike lanes with the appropriate markings. Most of Deal is private beach with no view of the ocean so the bike lanes are really the best way to ride, while there is no ocean view the mansions along the way provide an interesting change of scenery. The lanes end as you enter Long Branch where the shoulder narrows, and the traffic gets closer. Many experienced road cyclists ride north along this route to Sandy Hook, so it is feasible if you're comfortable with traffic on the open road, if you'd like to venture further north on these open roads check out Bob Lucky's Sandy Hook to Long Branch Web page
  • Unlinked boardwalks

    To the north
    Allenhurst's boardwalk is not linked directly to Asbury Park's boardwalk, however a couple very short low traffic road connections (1/4 mile) allow you to "connect the dots" between the boards.

    Long Branch's boardwalk is made of paving stones and is off limits to bicycles at all times, however there is an adjacent asphalt trail/roadway for cycling, some sections are closed to traffic and some aren't. Connecting to Long Branch boardwalk from Deal requires a small section of on street riding through traffic with no shoulder.

    Sea Bright's boardwalk is a sidewalk along the sea wall, it sports a lovely view of the sea wall, but does provide an alternate path the narrow shoulder on Ocean Avenue. Connecting to Sea Bright from Deal requires traversing Monmouth Beach, which for the most part has reasonable sized shoulders, until you get into town where you must mingle with traffic and parked cars along the retail district. At the north end of Sea Bright you can connect to Sandy Hook, and it's 6 mile paved trail.

    To the south
    Manasquan's boardwalk is a paved walkway that does not connect to any adjacent boardwalks as it is bounded by the Manasquan River Inlet to the south, and the Army National Guard training center in Sea Girt to the north. Connecting from Spring Lake to Manasquan requires some on street riding on busy route 71.

    Point Pleasant boardwalk (which is in Ocean County) does not allow bicycles at anytime.

    Additional Links

  • Bob Lucky's Long Branch to Spring Lake Web page. Bob's page has lots of photo's of the route, It's somewhat of a spoiler if you like to explore on your own.
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