Jersey Jaunts - Biking in (and around) New Jersey

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Sandy Hook multi-use trail

Distance: Approximately 6 miles (one-way)
Topology: Graded flat - Coastal dunes
 Surface: paved


The 6 mile multi-use trail in Sandy Hook provides another traffic-free option for riders seeking a short to medium length ride. The trail runs the length of the public portion of Sandy Hook, from the entrance booths to Fort Handcock (the northern tip of the peninsula is closed to the public as it is a Coast Guard base). Other than the most southern section the trail meanders through wooded and somewhat shaded terrain, passing the decaying remnants of the past military defense use of this area. Once reaching Fort Handcock there are many short interconnecting streets that you can explore amongst the semi deserted buildings. On weekends the lighthouse is sometimes open to visitors, as are a few of the fort's buildings. It is also possible to see some of the old gun batteries along the beach if you ride along Atlantic Drive, this ~2 mile road route provides an alternate return path to the multi-use trail, as well as providing access to some of the developed beach sections (i.e. concession) on the hook. In summer mornings there is little traffic heading south on Atlantic Drive since most people are heading north towards the beach parking lots.

For those of you who have heard that there is a nude beach on Sandy Hook... It is Gunnison Beach where the naked people roam, however the waterfront (and clothing challenged) are far from the paved surfaces that you and your bicycle crave. So unless you think you are up to biking through a few thousand feet of deep beach sand you'll never come close.

Between Memorial & Labor day there is a charge to enter Sandy Hook, I don't know if this applies to every car entering, or just those who wish to use the beach.

Since 12 miles is a little short for us to ride we started at the Long Branch-Monmouth Beach boarder, parking at the Monmouth County Park System's Skate park. As it turns out the day we made this trek there was a charity ride, Timmy's Tour de Shore, that was running south from the hook to Seven Presidents park in Long Branch. We found ourselves intermixed in the long string of returning riders back to the hook.

For those who dare to tackle the treacherous entrance ramp that connects route 36 with Sandy Hook, it is possible to add two extra miles (one-way) of traffic-free riding along the Sea Bright seawall and through a few interconnected parking lots before you enter the Sea Bright business district.