This article was originally written by Stacey Feintuch. It has since been updated by an additional contributor.
There are only so many times you can ride your bike around the neighborhood without itching for some new scenery. Luckily, New Jersey boasts tons of bike-riding trails that are perfect for the whole family. So grab the bikes, load up the car and head to these picturesque cycling paths throughout the state. This mix of trails is great for cyclists of all ages.
Cooper River Park
Location: North Park Drive, Pennsauken
Details: Cooper River Park spans nearly 350 acres, running through Pennsauken, Cherry Hill, Collingswood and Haddon Township. It features two bike-riding paths—one 3.8 miles and one 1.35 miles, so you can choose the length best suited to your family. If you take an early morning ride, you might see birds, butterflies, dragonflies, bullfrogs and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
Why I like it: There’s plenty to do once you’re done with your bike ride. Rent a paddle boat or kayak and head out on the Cooper River, or grab a bite to eat the newly-opened LaScala Birra restaurant.
More info: www.camdencounty.com or call 856-216-2117
Location: 1112 Dukes Parkway West, Hillsborough
Details: Located on 2,740 acres, Duke Farms is one of the largest privately-owned parcels of undeveloped land in the state. The beautiful natural setting offers paved and gravel roads for scenic biking. Don’t have your own bike? Duke Farms runs a Bikeshare program, where you can borrow adult bikes.
Why I like it: Feel good by supporting local farmers when you stop at Duke Farms’ seasonal market to pick up Jersey’s freshest fruits and veggies.
More info: www.dukefarms.org or call 908-722-3700 ext. 2
Location: Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen
Details: A picturesque 3.5-mile trail winds through Metuchen, Edison and Woodbridge, and is situated on a historic portion of the Lehigh Valley rail corridor. The greenway is 10-feet wide and paved, making it suitable for family bike riding, as well as walking or jogging.
Why I like it: Download the Middlesex Greenway app onto your mobile device to get maps, alerts and weather updates for your bike ride.
More info: www.co.middlesex.nj.us or call 732-745-3900
Location: 270 Mendham Road, Morristown
Details: Patriot’s Path features 55 miles of main trails and 35 miles of spur trails on 291.9 acres. The main part of the path extends from East Hanover and connects the Lenape Trail in Essex County to Allamuchy Mountain State Park in Sussex County, intersecting with the Columbia Trail in Washington Township. Besides biking, you can horseback ride, jog, hike or walk your dog along the path. The path’s surface varies depending on where you are, ranging from crushed stone and gravel to earth and rock.
Why I like it: You can hit up one of the many points of interest along the trail, such as the Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center or The Ford Mansion.
More info: www.morrisparks.net or call 973-326-7600
Paulinskill Valley Trail
Location: Kittatinny Valley State Park, Goodale Road, Newton
Details: This trail’s wide, firm cinder base (it was once a railroad) makes it suitable for biking, as well as hiking or horseback riding. Pass through rural landscapes, forest, wetlands and small towns or travel across six bridges for scenic river views. Check out over 100 species of birds that have been identified in and along the trail’s corridor. If you want to go hard core, tackle the rugged mountain bike-riding trails that are maintained by volunteers.
Why I like it: There is a trail for all levels of bikers at Kittatinny Valley State Park, whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider.
More info: www.state.nj.us or call 973-786-6445
Pine Barrens River Ramble
Location: 31 Batsto Road, Hammonton
Details: Hop on a bike to experience the mystery, history and beauty of the 1.1 million acres of the Pinelands National Reserve. The Pine Barrens River Ramble is a 42.6 mile-loop with no hills, passing through pine and oak forests, blueberry fields, cranberry bogs, streams and three major rivers. Stop into historic Batsto Village, a restored 19th century community featuring a gristmill, sawmill, post office and general store.
Why I like it: Extend your bike ride by taking a 10-mile detour to Chatsworth. You can grab lunch and a snow cone at Hot Diggidy Dog.
More info: www.state.nj.us or call 609-894-7300
Saddle River County Park
Location: Dunkerhook Road, Paramus
Details: Saddle River County Park is a 577-acre linear park that has a bicycle-pedestrian path. The path, which is about 6 miles long, meanders through various Bergen County towns like Glen Rock, Fair Lawn, Paramus, Rochelle Park, Ridgewood and Saddle Brook. You’ll find ponds, shaded picnic areas, playgrounds for the kids and other activities.
Why I like it: Not many bike paths let you make a pit stop at a scenic waterfall, but this one does! The waterfall in Dunkerhook Park is perfect for taking a rest or taking a picture.
More info: www.co.bergen.nj.us or call 201-336-6000
West Essex Trail
Location: 201 Fairview Avenue, Verona
Details: The trail, which runs between the Essex-Passaic county line in Little Falls and Arnold Way in Verona, follows about 3 miles of the former rail bed of the Caldwell Branch on the old Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. Cross a trestle over the Peckman River as you ride your way along the path. The trail is located in an urban area but you’ll feel like you’ve escaped the congestion as you pass through areas of woodland.
Why I like it: Completing this route will feel like an accomplishment to new bike riders, since it’s a short trail with a low level of difficulty.
More info: www.essexcountyparks.org or call 973-268-3500
Wildwoods Bike Path
Location: Throughout the entire island, The Wildwoods
Details: An ideal time to go for a bike ride is during a vacation. This scenic route, which runs the length of the island, begins at Rambler Road in Wildwood Crest. Head north onto the Wildwoods Boardwalk at Cresse Avenue, then follow the Boardwalk to a connecting ramp in North Wildwood. Continue on a path parallel to the beach along JFK Blvd. You can also travel in the dedicated bikes-only lane for part of the ride.
Why I like it: Get up early to enjoy the path without all the congestion of midday and evening. Bicycles are only allowed on the Boardwalk from 5:00 am to 11:00 am on weekdays and 5:00 am to 10:30 am on weekends.
More info: www.wildwoodsnj.com or call 609-729-9000
- Hero (Top) Feature Image: © ARochau/Adobe Stock
- Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
- Camden County / Website
- Duke Farms / Website
- Edison Greenways Group / Website
- Morris County Park Commission / Website
- New Jersey Skylands / Website
- Pinelands Preservation Alliance / Website
- Bergen County New Jersey / Website
- Essex County Parks Department / Website
- Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority / Website