Happy Summer Trails: The Best Places to Hike and Bike Around Ocean City


OCEAN CITY, NJ — The trail beckons when hikers, bikers, and walkers in the Ocean City area are ready to lift the boardwalk and find a new outdoor experience.

Here are some of the best places to check out if you’re adventurous and looking for biking or hiking trails not far from Ocean City or the area.

Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway is in South Jersey, an east-west path between Allaire State Park and Manasquan. If you’re on a good bike ride through the South Jersey countryside, this 8km one-way cycle route is well worth the trip.

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Batona Trail is where long hikers will find over 80 miles of trails through the pines of southern New Jersey in the Pinelands Nature Preserve. Plan a shorter hike if you wish, starting at one of the trail’s many entry points. The trail crosses highways and winds through small Jersey towns.

Monmouth County Parks offers a network of trails for walking, hiking and biking, many of which are also open to horseback riding. The links below for each trail provide more information. New Jersey State Parks are non-smoking.

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Henry Hudson Trail is 24 miles from the old railroad, paved for biking, walking, or rollerblading. There is a northern extension accessible at 945 State Highway 36 and one to the south.

Hartshorne Woods Park has over 14 miles of trails with entrances to Highlands and Locust. Overlook the Navesink River by cycling or on foot. The park offers picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, and other recreation.

Thompson Park in Lincroft is home to 13 miles of trails on old farm roads and an old horse exercise track. There is also access to Lake Marlu for fishing.

Holmdel Park has 9 miles of trails and offers fishing, bookable picnic areas and tennis courts. Enter the trail at Longstreet Road in Holmdel and enjoy the surrounding nature. The trail has a few hills.

Elsewhere in New Jersey

Lawrence Hopewell Trail is a 22-mile series of trails that serve local communities in Hopewell and Lawerence townships across the Delaware River. The series of trails was planned to connect places and keep people healthy. Not only are the trail segments intended for recreation, but they have also been planned for commuters! Begin your hike at 197 Blackwell Road in Pennington, New Jersey.

The Watershed Institute does more than work to protect water. It conserves and restores habitats and provides recreation on its trails that traverse wetlands and grasslands, over streams to Wargo Pond. Part of its trails connect to the Lawrence Hopewell Trail. Watershed Institute trails begin at 31 Titus Mill Road in Pennington, New Jersey. You can bring a picnic and a pet on a leash, but you must take your trash with you.

The Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park is for people on foot as well as kayaking and canoeing! The D&R Canal Park near Princeton has a network of self-guided trails for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding. The park’s web page offers two local shops where you can rent a bike. The D&R Canal Park trails are extensive, so check out the maps here and plan your day.

The Lenape Trail offers 36 miles of trails that pass through 19 parks in Essex County, New Jersey. Some sections of the trail are paved, others are unpaved and ready for hikers who want a bigger challenge. Volunteers from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference help maintain the trail with help from Partners for Health Foundation in Essex County. The trail is named after the indigenous Lenape tribes who lived in the land that is now known as the Mid-Atlantic region.

Sourland Mountain Preserve has a short trail and a longer trail with some rocky areas and some rock climbing. The trails cross the forest with gentle slopes. Take the 5.7 mile trail or a shorter loop through the reserve. There are 4,000 acres here to enjoy, in Somerset County, New Jersey. Mountain bikes are permitted at the reserve, as are horses.

Nearby in Pennsylvania

Peace Valley Park is nearby for biking, hiking, boating and fishing. It is part of the Bucks County Park System. Enter Creek Road in New Britain Township and enjoy the outdoors.

Newtown Rail Trail and Pennypack Trail were run in two phases, as part of the Bucks County Trail Program. The Township of Upper Southhampton announced the opening of the Newtown/Pennypack Trail in April. The project has been in the works for a long time and it is ready to be enjoyed. Learn more here and take advantage of this nearby leisure option.

Tyler State Park in Newtown is a local treasure, with all kinds of outdoor recreation, including 25 miles of hiking trails. The Tyler Park trail is unpaved and biking is only allowed in certain areas, so plan before you go. There is a challenging one-mile hiking trail that crosses Porter Run Creek.

If you head west through Bucks County, you can access the Schuylkill River Greenways, a trail system between Philadelphia and Reading in Berks County. You will never tire of the discoveries that these trails await you.

Perkiomen Trail connects to the Schuylkill River trail system, with its 20 miles on the former Perkiomen section of the Reading Railroad line in neighboring Montgomery County. The trail welcomes horses, walkers, hikers and cyclists, and you can bring your dog on a leash. Remember to clean up!

Core Creek Park in Langhorne, Pennsylvania is part of the Bucks County Park System and offers hiking and biking trails as well as kayaking and canoeing on Lake Luxembourg. You can also rent pedal boats and rowboats in the park, with discounts for seniors. There is also a dog park and picnic areas.

High Rocks State Park offers great hiking and rock climbing in Tinicum Township, part of 45 acres of Ralph Stover State Park. There is a 4.5 mile trail loop with great views and challenging terrain. The High Rocks cliffs are owned by the State of Pennsylvania and Bucks County and offer opportunities for true outdoor rock climbing.

This article shows one of the great views along the Edgar Felix Bike Trail between Manasquan and Allaire State Park, an 8 mile one-way hike among New Jersey’s many miles of hiking and biking trails.

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