Other than the closure, a great trail! Did not turn my music on. For the most part the trail surface is smooth and easy to ride with our hybrid bikes. Heading in a southeasterly direction from the Columbia Trail, this trail proceeds to the historic structures of the TISCO Complex and then onto a 100 year old truss bridge. The three towns along the trail are pretty evenly spread out giving you plenty of options for start points as well as places to take a coffee or lunch break. 609 203-7976. I have ridden this trail many times at all times of year and have always enjoyed this absolutely lovely trail. Keep your eyes open as you will see so many awesome wonders on this trail! Pochuck Crossing (Boardwalk & Bridge) Vernon Valley, NJ. 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. Very nice smooth ride. I rode the trail today 10-26 , it was my first time and it won't be my last!!! Also, there were a couple of spots just north of Schooleys Mtn Rd behind a steel yard where there was some recent rain damage. I did the Stamforb to Bloomville section, an out-and-back of about 25 miles. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. On the return trip we rode the down to the fishermans road along the river. 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! I believe this Columbia trail is in or above them.You have farms ,fields ,rivers,horse ,cows and even a vintage car junk yard.Somebody has placed over 30 small houses ,nomes ,smurfs and numerous birdhouses along the trail to keep your interest. You can go around it to the road or carry your bike and walk carefully across it. The additional 2 miles beyond Long Valley (mentioned in the website as being expected) have definitely been added. Wide trail, friendly people and beautiful environment! Trail is paved. (across the street a few hundred feet along the trail NE.) 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. It was threatening rain and I barely made it before it came a downpour. My Raleigh flatbar hybrid was more than adequate to negotiate this path. Take a ride and check it out! Either way, yesterday (Sunday) it was a gorgeous day and my wife and I hopped on our bikes and hit the trail. A few miles into the trail you will see another trail on your right called ""Gillette Trail"" named after a recent Morris County Parks Commissioner. The trail is very easy to follow and you will definitely have company while on it. Highly recommend this trail for walking, biking or horse back riding. Now, to the Pixies and Fairies. Follow that to the lot and you'll see a map of the area. Camping or cooking is not allowed along the trail and there are no restroom facilities along the trail. The trail stayed dry even a day after a heavy rain. Found a cool country sandwich place in Califon up the cross road. In about a mile or so (sorry, I didn't mark exact mileage), on your left will be a parking lot for Solitude Museum House by Lake Solitude with a short, level walk and safe access to the spillway (dam or waterfall). The treil follows Route 23 and the Scoharie Creek, which is too rocky and low for scads of tubes or rafts, so there is virtually no tourist traffic on the water. I can't wait to go back! Califon is a nice, small town. The parks department keeps it in excellent condition and the views are breath taking. 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. It makes for a much easier ride coming back. I just did the section starting at the eastern terminus near Flanders and ending at the Morris/Hunterdon border parking lot. There are also a number of places to eat in High Bridge on Main Street, walking distance from the parking lot and at other areas close by. Warning: there's no convenient places to grab water or snacks along the way, so make sure to bring them along. All the downed trees have been removed from the trail, the deepest 'potholes' have been filled with stone or dirt. The trail was in really good shape, especially considering the hurricane, tropical storm, and several days of rain that have hit this trail recently. It's also tricky finding your way back to the trail when it appears to end in Long Valley. 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. 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. I recommend doing the entire trail however you can because there isn't one part of it you would want to miss. Really nice long path, most of it is close to a river. Hoping the winter might pack down the loose surface so we can enjoy the Hunderton Cty. The path is easy to walk in decent shoes, mostly gravel, some dirt areas. I did this trail 10/16/12 and had a great ride on a great trail on a great fall day. Gotta see it. )Different scenery, woods and farms and rivers(no gorge) . 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, though not noted on the Trail Link map, we found Job Johnnys at the SW end in the municipal park in High Bridge and near the Schooley's Mtn Rd parking. A beautiful view for the entire way with 95% of the ride in the shade. It was a pleasant ride for a hot day. There were a number of people going up half way and returning. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. 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. First: the trail surface is very rough. The trail is mainly compact gravel and should be OK for just about all type bikes tires. The trail surface is relatively flat and consists mostly of fine crushed stone. There are multiple places to pick up the Columbia Trail (High Bridge, Califon, Long Valley, Flanders) but this post is for biking or running from Califon to High Bridge and back. 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. A local scout leader informed me that they were unable to plant new bulbs this past year because the donor did not supply any. (They can usually be counted on for a meal if i stop by late in the day) I find the trail beautiful in all seasons, and the HighBridge end ( i start at the Train Station Museum in Califon)is enjoyable for 'touring the town', and seeing if i can actually make it 'back up' some of the steep streets. It's worth pointing out that the trail is roughly 75% shaded even at mid-day. No bathrooms, but there is a restaurant towards the end (Long Valley Pub & Brewery) which has gotten decent reviews that could be a possible destination. We have indoor service (with limited capacity) and outdoor tables in front of the brewery. It is quite apparent that the public agrees: On any given weekend this fall the parking lot was packed, during the week there are quite a few using the trail also. Especially don't miss Rambo's Country Store a true period piece (circa 1940) with its wooden plank floor and antique cash register. Your donation will help us to continue connecting more people to trails around the country. Upcoming Events. It is very scenic and there are many photo ops. The Pa. tandem team, combined age of 131 years, recommends this trail. There is good parking at the High Bridge Municipal Parking Lot at the southern end of trail. Highly recommended. If it is not Sunday do Rambo's it's a slice of Americana you will love, it's easy to find when you hit the front of the fire house turn left it's just ahead on your right, it is closed on Sundays so if you need to refuel go a bit further and over the bridge on the left is the Califon General Store. The quiet, scenic trail runs for 7 miles in Hunterdon County, starting in High Bridge and continues through Washington Township into Morris County for a total of 16.2 miles. More about the Pixies and Fairies later. I hurt my back 2 years ago and haven't been able to bike for long periods but once I have my surgery you better believe I will be out there next spring! The Delaware and Raritan Canal. Foliage along the Columbia Trail in High Bridge, NJ. The detour near the Toll Brothers construction site is now open. About 4 miles from the trail head in High Bridge you come to the charming town of Califon. In some spots, the trail parallels an existing neighborhood road and the joggers use this.This part of the course leads you out onto a main road with a beautiful view of mountains in the background and a tree farm/nursery of many hundreds of acres. One bridge was totally covered. This was the best one. When: Monday, November 2, 2020, 10:00 AM until 3:30 PM. Then entire trail is pretty much flat and easy. The calm before the storm. There where two high lights for me the old stone RR Station at Califon and Georges Bridge over Lockwood Gorge. Guided Trail Walk in Celebration of the Trail’s 20th Anniversary May 2, 2015. It had good food and nice atmosphere. I use this trail three or four times a week for cycling and running. Today, 8/10/14, I just walked to the mile marker which is 7 miles in from Bartley road, the start of the trail. Have we ever has a flat? The trail passes many rivers and small lakes to fish. If you wanted to be picked up at the end, there are several roads which go through the area that should make it easy for someone to follow you. It was 42 right before the gorge and the rest were in the last 5 miles, mostly hikers and families biking.I rate it a 10, despite lack of one sign. I continue to enjoy it thru all the seasons. The trail needs signs showing where it continues as each segment ends especially about 6-miles down the line. It made for an unpleasant experience in places, dodging many plops along the way. The park Commission met with Toll Brothers, DEP officials and Township of Washington reps. ~ 30 miles round trip. Unfortunately, in the northern half, trail repair seems to be done by throwing gravel out rather than rebuilding the crushed stone surface and there are patches that are rough, albeit still rideable. Did not need to. Take time to stop and take a closer look at them. Well maintained trail that was once a rail bed. I plan to do my marathon training on this trail this summer. There is an additional parking lot where the trail crosses 513 close to the Hunterdon County line. You can access the gorge from two different points, either by driving down Raritan River Rd. We had a quiet and peaceful walk along the trail, but were slightly disappointed by its lack of colorful scenery. GPS Coordinates: 40.669518, -74.896418 Public transportation: Weekday commuter service on the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line to High Bridge. We are not sure of the timetable but we think it will be accomplished very quickly. This trail is without a doubt a must ride for any rail-to-trailer. There's a mini bridge right after it.This part of the trail is quiet, nothing but the river and wetlands following you and wildlife, such as dogs, cats, squirrels, the occasional turkey vulture and sheep and horse in the farmlands.Then you'll come across a car junkyard and a nice bridge to rest on. We drive about a half hour to access this trail. The northern end of the trail is now at Bartley Road. Directions on the website are easy-to-follow and parking convenient. Not overly crowded and the large width of the trail helped make passing easy. I missed the go around by a small auto junk yard where the grass was really soggy and muddy. Busy on weekends but nice to see people out loving the trail. The end isn't Schooley's Mtn Road, it is Bartley road right where Flanders/Chester sort of connect. Its an awsome view all the way to High Bridge. I didn't want to leave! 97 West Main Street Signs were placed there and I will go out today to make sure they are still up and if not I will replace them. It is great to walk even in the snow. Overall, I like the ease of this trail. This trail has been adopted by The High Bridge Environmental Commission and The High Bridge Elementary School Environmental Club. Become a member and wear your FREE T-Shirt with pride. I think the best thing about this trail is its length. This path is right next to the river. With a length approaching 7.5 miles many features and encounters can be had along the trail. There isn't a lot of parking here but there are several other lots not far from the start. You'll know you reached this spot when you see an abandoned beige stone structure. Also remember road bike tires won't hold up on a gravel path. Also, about 1/4 mile south of the trailhead there is a fishing access parking lot, though not easily spotted. If you're into fishing, bring along a rod; you'll be glad you did. I find this trail a friendly and calm trail. As of 8/22/17 there is a trail closure approximately 3 miles north of High Bridge. My wife and I rode the Trail today on our Trek tandem . Go 4 miles, and turn right onto Bartley Flanders Road. If you don't count damaged surface for ~ 1 mile long by horses - everything else is just perfect. share. Add to another list. Second takeaway is that the trail has so much droppings of animal feces that it reeks throughout the entire ride! This is a great warm up for both the new Flow Trails as well as the Nassau Trail system. Would like to go back & start in other direction. This little bit of heaven on earth is a can't miss for anyone that rides. I just want to thank Columbia Gas for letting this trail happen. It was a very hot day, high 90 degrees, but it didn't feel too awful because there is so much tree shade cover. PS If while you are in Califon and you make it down to Rt. I suggest starting from the southern trail head if you plan to ride a full circuit. Beautiful horses. I was able to do a 9 mile run midafternoon at 84° temperature very comfortably. 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. There are just a few open views where farms are visible and most of the views are of the river with occasional access points. Very nice, we went off the trail to see the "waterfall". By the way, there is a restaurant on High Bridge's main street serving good lunch. Parking lots were jammed too—fortunately we parked down in high bridge and walked up via Columbia Trail. What a shame this trail isn't being used. What makes this particular trail perfect for recumbents of any kind with off road tires let alone my fat trike is that is is more or less dead flat. Well worth a ride here, especially if you're looking for an intermediate to easy path.". 0.12 Cross Taylor Street. 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. 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. I won't be back until I know that horses are no longer allowed on this trail. The ride went through a gorge, a tumbling stream below, farmland, and small villages. 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. Of course, you can always just go for part of the trail. In the end, our trip odometer read 19.5 miles, travelling between 5-10 mph along the route. If you are going east to west, take a left on Schooleys Mountain Rd., then a right on West Mill Rd. The entire trail is pretty straightforward; there are a few intersections where you have to look out for cars, but they aren't numerous. I would definitely recommend it and plan to ride it again. I hope the county/state makes an effort to preserve the adjacent woods and farmland so that future generations can continue to enjoy the rural heritage that accompanies this trail. 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. Too bad there was only a port-a-potty at the High Bridge parking area and not the other lot. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Even though most of it is shady, we like going there on a day that is on the cooler side because it is a trip to the end and back. with very limited parking and no comfort facilities. from the trail's southern terminus. It's a very great trail. Where: High Bridge, New Jersey Columbia Rail Trail Trailhead Parking Lot. The Columbia Trail has the distinction of being named for a natural gas pipeline that runs beneath it for 15 miles in rural northern New Jersey. There is a safer route by bicycle that avoids uphills and gives you a ride at river level through beautiful Ken Lockwood Gorge. The steep slopes and boulders create a whitewater paradise for kayakers. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time via the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Circa Restaurant, a block down from the trail head, was holding a free music festival called Mayfest with a great band. No incline, no gear shifts, no fun. Beautiful trail - this is a wonderful resource easily accessible from most of urban NJ. Parking is available at the TISCO Complex, Solitude House Museum and Springside Farm. comment | share: Type your message and click Add Comment : It is best to login or register first but you may post as a guest. It is very well maintained and easy to follow. You will probably encounter horses so remember to give them right of way. We went in August and I can imagine that the ride would also be nice in the fall with clearer views of the canal. 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). Trail is paved to here, and beyond is crushed stone. The last reviewer talks about sport bikes, city bikes, rough tires, animal droppings and brown water! The directions from the RTC website are spot-on. There are a number of benches along the entire trail to stop and rest. I parked at the old Bloomville station, and was the only car in the lot on a Sunday afternoon, which I found immediately appealing. Amply parking in Califon, Long Valley and High Bridge. 0.05 Cross Mill Street. Park at the Commons in High Bridge and head towards Califon. It is a scenic trail that parallels the river with picturesque bridges and convenient benches. Most of the surface is crushed stone. It's very unstable and there's a gate stopping you. On the Saturday before labor day 2020 it was swamped with people mid-day—many large groups spread out across the path not wearing masks. And I have been on trails all over New Jersey. I used a GPS watch, so this figure is accurate. Not a single car passed us - and about 2 miles of the road is currently closed to traffic. I have not donated to Rails to Trails at this time, but after this experience, I most certainly will. Great family past time or with freinds. Is this correct, and if so, how far do the markers extend? Now that I am older, my wife and I decided to take a ride and re-discover this hidden gem. Columbia Trail Flanders-High Bridge NJ C ride led by Glen Barnes. We encountered a couple of very short stretches where the trail was soft and at the very upper end was a little very rough gravel that made going tough, but most of them could be skirted on the edge. Cute towns along the way, friendly people and great riding surface. 14.85 Cross driveway to parking area. Look a little deeper into the woods for Hermit and Wood Thrushes, Veery, Ovenbird and Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos and Pileated Woodpecker. Follow the fence until it ends and then take a right back on the trail. There are a number of relatively small parking areas along the route so all the traffic isn't concebtrated in one area. However, due to the excessive deployment of fine gravel along some sections of the Morris County trail segment, and some rather rocky conditions just north of High Bridge, I would recommend that you not attempt to travel this trail on a road bike.I traveled from north to south and then returned to my starting point. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media) Use a trail bike. 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. The trail is generally in great condition: all the washouts from last year were repaired well. The trail goes through scenic Ken Lockwood Gorge and along the Raritan River, running through woods, behind houses, and through some small towns along the way.. For Columbia Trail resources/maps, see our Columbia Trail overview page. I'm disappointed that the western part of the trail is still closed since I think it's the best part of the trail. You will not be alone on the trail but it isn't over crowded either. To reach the west, or High Bridge, end of the trail from I-78, take the exit for State Route 31 North. Then comes a long bridge with a fence on the top that curves inward and this is the Ken Lockwood Gorge. Although the greenery is lush and foresty you can still get glimpses of people's properties along the route. You will notice a very slight incline at this first leg of the journey (which becomes a very welcomed subtle downhill ride on your return). You need GPS to find the parking lot. I take my phone out and my cycling app says 15 miles!! This really was only noticeable for a few hundred yards near a couple horse stables. 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. road now for several more very nice miles. If you're going to bike the whole thing, my recommendation would be to start in High Bridge and go north, as it felt like the entire trail is almost entirely (albeit slightly) uphill going northward, and there is a lot more parking on the High Bridge end too, as there's a decent sized free municipal lot just across East Main St from the trail head. The trail is always in perfect condition, this sunday october 9 i will be hiking it to the Oktoberfest at Circa restaurant in High Bridge.Great stop after a fun hike or bike. Add one. Most of them are very artfully decorated. 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. Talk about views stop on that trestle and enjoy the scene it is one of the most beautiful the state of New Jersey has to offer! You won't be sorry. Fred", " This trail is a continuation into Hunterdon County of Morris County's ever-present Patriots Path. A popular ride takes the rider from High Bridge, through Califon, and into Long Valley. The trail is well kept and actually on this trip they were putting down some hard pack in a couple of low areas. The towns along the route are quiet, forgotten farming hamlets of a couple dozen houses....a real step back in time. Then the trail eventually turns to pavement and you know it's about to be over. from central NJ.] 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. Help defend and expand trails nationwide. The shop is on the right. The sign only states Authorizes Vehicles Only. You'll go under a bridge and it will end just up ahead. Parking can be found both on the street and in the municipal lot across from the entrance to the Columbia Trail. You can get a .pdf version of a map that shows the details at http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/application3/pdf/ColumbiaTrail.pdf. Horse droppings were present but a non_issue. Many places to park and hike in either direction as well as trailhead parking. High Bridge is a borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States.As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 3,648, reflecting a decline of 128 (-3.4%) from the 3,776 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 110 (-2.8%) from the 3,886 counted in the 1990 Census. Went to another park a few times but it was to short a trail .I thought 15 miles was nice, round trip 30. If you are inexperienced in going long distances, the difficulty here might not suit you. The trailheads for the Columbia Trail are at Commons Park in High Bridge and Bartley Road in Morris County. The trail condition was very good with just a few rough patches. There is no parking at junctions of trail with area roads. The trail is good for all skill levels but is and offers a number of activity options. I also like the Sussex branch trail however it is interrupted by rt. Summer foliage on the Columbia Trail in High Bridge, NJ. Thanks to all of the Rails to Trails members also as the Park Commission used a Grant from Rails to Trails to help fund it. It is a steep, risky scramble on foot through a fragile woods area down to the Lake Solitude spillway. My wife, a beginner mountain biker, was apprehensive at first but quickly became adjusted to the changing trail environment. Route Directions (north to south) 0.0 0.0 At the intersection of the Columbia Trail and Main Street, head west toward … It was well worth the 45 min ride from house. Beautiful scenic views. Part of the trail goes through some people's backyard, and Mill Pond Park is less obvious as to where you should be headed (just keep going straight!). Cartography and trail data by D&R Greenway Land Trust 9/24/13. Check or FAQs for more common login questions. Love your Earth! There is about 50 feet of dirt trail that is not completed, but it goes through all the way. ", "The trail section from High Bridge to the Morris County border has been graded and re-surfaced. "This was our first trail experience, and it was a blast. Several bridge crossings, some big some small, added great vantage points to the trail as well. Some farmhouses along the way which I envied. This ride will take you through woodland, a very well preserved railroad depot, some beautiful farmland and some really picturesque river landscapes. 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). Make a left onto Cokesbury and then a right to continue on (Raritan) River Road. The fourteen mile round trip took me 4.5 hours. 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. We rode this trail this weekend.Great trail for all ages. I decided to ride this trail today because reviews on this site suggested nice scenery. There was actually a charity ride happening but yet the trail wasn't crowded. For you really good riders the trail will continue into Flanders and at some point, don't ask me where but I do believe it links to the Patriot Trail. There is a slight incline in this direction. The trail is mostly crushed limestone and ballast. Rode this trail from Long Valley to High Bridge & back on 05/16/10. The trail is almost entirely level, no climbs or even hints of climbs. Lots to see on this trail: wildlife (squirrels, rabbits, muskrat, ground hog, deer ); rural areas with old barns, cows, and fields; a nursery; wildflowers; trees changing color; water running along either side of the trail; canopy of trees over the trail in several places. Mostly dirt with some cinder base. 17 Years ago I moved to Hunterdon County because of this trail. Down below are joggers and fishers who use the trail below that follows the river. Parking for 5-10 cars is available at the easternmost end of the Columbia Trail in Hunterdon County.