Bike rides are a fun way to enjoy the weather and the company of others in our beautiful home state so head to one of these beautiful locations for a fantastic spring adventure.
Allamuchy Mountain State Park
Length: Over 20.0 mi.
There are a few different trails bikers can choose from, all have scenic views of mountains.
Barnegat Branch Trail
Length: 11.7 mi
Trail surfaces range from asphalt to dirt and are great for all skill levels of biking. Even better? There’s even a picture-perfect view of the lake surrounded by trails.
Bedminster Hike and Bikeway
Length: 2.6 mi
This paved bike path is home to more than 40 different species of plants and trees, which are marked so you and the kids can keep track of the plants you spot.
Boulevard Trolley Line Path
Length: 2.1 miles
This is a perfect ride for history lovers and train enthusiasts alike. It follows the route of an old trolley line that was controlled by the Morris County Traction Company, which began its service in July, 1904. This path is made of asphalt and concrete, and is free of cars and traffic, which makes it perfect for teaching beginners. Keep the trolley line path in mind on the sunnier days, since the big trees and mountain laurel keep the path extra shady for your riding comfort.
Length: 1.0 mi
This low traffic trail is perfect for the kids to sharpen their bike riding skills.
Cape May Shoreline Ride
Cape May County
Length: Up to you!
We’re definitely not suggesting taking the whole family on the entire 46.4-mile long loop, but consider tackling part of it if you’re visiting NJ’s southern-most point. The ride starts at the Cape May Lighthouse and passes some of the area’s most iconic and breathtaking Victorian homes. See a map of the route at state.nj.us.
Length: 1.4 mi
The path is a smooth, paved area that makes is easy for your fledgling riders to get the hang of bike riding.
Length: 15.0 mi
There are a few different routes with a multitude of challenge levels, so make sure you check to see which path is good for you and the kids.
Cooper River Park
Length: 5.15 miles
This path covers both the north and south shores of Cooper River Lake, and is nestled in the 346-acre Cooper River Park. There are two different paved loops: one 3.8 miles long, and another 1.8 miles long, so you can pick which distance is better for your group. The park also has areas to picnic along the trail, so bring some food and snacks for a break from riding.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
Length: 6.33 miles
This great bike path has a 6 mile route, but the full D&R Canal Path can take you over a whopping 70 miles. When you choose to stick around the park, you can go fishing, boating, canoeing ($13/person), or kayaking ($10/person) in the canal. The historic towpath runs along the main canal from Bakers Basin Road (Trenton) to New Brunswick, and has a natural dirt and grass surface. It was built in 1830 and was used as a way for barges to haul coal from the mining areas of Pennsylvania to New York City. The path is also free of traffic.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Length: 40 miles
With 70,000 acres and a beach on the Delaware river as your view on this 40 mile path, you will certainly want plenty of time to explore and bike the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The park winds through the Appalachian mountains, and includes waterfalls and plenty of outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking, camping, swimming, and biking. And if 40 miles isn’t enough, there are over 100 miles of other trails to entertain the family as well. Got little kids? Pick a small section to explore each visit and make it an ongoing exploration.
Dickerson Mine Preserve
Length: 12.0 mi
There are 12 miles of marked and unmarked trails used for biking and hiking, each with a different level of difficulty. Be sure to download the Trailfolks app before you go to stay up to date on trail conditions.
Length: 18 miles
Duke Farms offers 18 miles of different surface bike trails through their natural preserves. There are also so many fun activities to do, like educational programs in which your family can learn about orchids, bird watching and even a sweet little café to hit up if you plan to spend the day and don’t want to pack a picnic. Don’t own your own bike? Bikeshare Services at Duke Farms has got you covered. For $5, you can rent a bike and helmet for two hours. They have bikes for adults, and kids as young as 3! You will also need photo I.D., and a credit card to rent.
Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway
Length: 3.4 mi
This coastal town’s trail is ideal for sunny mornings with on-street routes and paved trails.
Elephant Swamp Trail
Length: 5 mi
Legend has it this trail got its name when a circus elephant wandered over the swamp, and they say if you listen closely you can hear the wandering elephant still today.
Freedom Trail Bikeway
Length: 2.6 mi
This route has picturesque views of the lake and is ashplant, which makes for an easy ride for new bikers.
Gateway National Recreation Area
Length: 5 miles
Sandy Hook has always been a popular beach spot, and even now it attracts over 2 million visitors each year. The Multi-Use Pathway (which is paved and away from motor vehicles), which starts at the park entrance and ends in Fort Hancock, (A National Historic Landmark) is a great way to view its famous beaches. After the ride, you can also cool off by going for a boat ride, or hike to the top of the lighthouse for even more spectacular views.
Henry Hudson Trail
Length: 22.5 mi
This long trail passes through wetlands, streams and fields.
Hudson River Waterfront Walkway
Length: 1.5 mi
This walkway, which also allows for bikes and runners, offers gorgeous views of Manhattan.
Kittatinny Valley State Park
Length: 8.0 mi
If you’re an experienced mountain biker, this is the trail for you. The terrain varies, so it’s challenging for new and experienced bikers.
Lewis Morris County Park
Length: 12.0 mi
This park is one of the biggest in the county and offers picnic areas, camping grounds, dog parks and even a lake for swimming.
Loantaka Brook Reservation
Length: 8.0 mi
Bike your way around this nature path that’s sure to deliver views of wildflowers and unique birds.
Length: 3.5 miles
Only officially opened in September 2012, this trail is relatively new. It is paved and follows the former Lehigh Valley Railroad freight line. It is peaceful amidst the traffic outside of it, and is also part of the East Coast Greenway, a developing trail system that will eventually connect over 2,900 miles from Maine to Florida.
Monroe Township Bike Path
Length: 6.3 miThe path is a peaceful trail that connects southern NJ suburban towns, and is a great opportunity to get your lil’ explorers in the great outdoors.
Ocean City Boardwalk
Cape May County
Length: 7.0 mi
Ocean City offers a family-friendly north-south bike route that’s both leisurely and safe.
Length: 35 miles
Looking for an exciting trip? Patriots’ Path has hiking, equestrian, and biking trails. The path connects a web of parks, recreational facilities, and historic sights such as The Ford Mansion and Pocahontas Lake. While biking the entire trail might be a bit too much for your younger ones, doing small runs at a time makes for a perfect outing. Make sure to take time for a picnic, geocaching, or a visit to the recreation center. The surface varies between asphalt, ballast, crushed stone, dirt, grass, and gravel, so riding is suitable for all levels.
Paulinskill Valley Trail
Length: 27.1 mi
If your family’s up for a long ride, then Sussex’s County’s rural landscape views and narrow paths are for you.
Pine Barren River Ramble
Length: 42.6 mi
Forty two miles might seem intimidating, but the trail is easy for old and new riders. There are also stunning views, so before you know it you’ll be back to where you started.
Saddle River County Park Bike Path
Length: 7.6 miles
Stretching from the Wild Duck Pond Area in Ridgewood to Railroad Ave. in Rochelle Park, this path is perfect for biking, walking, running and inline skating. Following the Saddle River you might catch a gander of a gaggle of geese, a raft of ducks, a scurry of squirrels, or a herd of deer, as you weave through wooded but residential and commercial areas. You’ll never have to cross traffic, and you’ll pass a dam, the historical Easton Tower, ball fields, ponds and more. There’s also plenty of restrooms, fountains, playgrounds, a water park and picnic spaces along the way.
Sandy Hook Multi-Use Pathways
Length: 8.7 mi
Who wouldn’t love to bike by the beach on a warm, sunny day? Catch a glimpse of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, too.
Sussex Branch Trail
Length: 9.0 mi
This multi-purpose trail is marked so you always know how far you are no matter how far you travel into Mother Nature.
Tourne County Park
Length: 7.7 mi
On any summer day, you’ll find people jogging, biking, walking their dogs or taking a morning stroll. One of the park’s highlights is its huge variety of wildflowers and 250 native species of plants.
Trolley Line Trail
Length: 2.5 miles
The Trolley Line Trail is a great path for kids who love adventure. While it is on the shorter side, this paved trail used to be the right of way for the Former Fast Line electric trolley. It is safe and out of traffic, and has a ton of scenic views that are great for photo ops. Some of these include the bridge over the Big Bear Brook, and wetlands lining the side of the path. Kids can also find markers every half-mile to keep track of how far they’ve gone. The trail also passes through West Windsor Park, which includes tennis courts, a baseball field, swimming pools, and a skatepark.
The Union Transportation Trail
Length: 9.3 mi
Don’t forget sunscreen or a hat if you come to this trail, because the trees are trimmed back, making it great for natural light (but not much shade).
Washington Crossing State Park
Length: 15 miles
This road is packed with history. This is the spot where George Washington and his troops crossed the river in the dead of night on Christmas Day in 1756. They landed at Johnson’s Ferry, what is now known as Washington Crossing State Park. This site is now home to a bunch of wildlife and wildflowers, and is perfect for biking, hiking and camping. Be sure to also check out the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre which, during May through April, will have live theater performances for both adults and children to enjoy.
West Essex Trail
Length: 2.84 miles
If you and your own are the type of family that enjoy all things strange, haunted and macabre, this is the trail for you! Paved and safely tucked away from traffic, this trail is the former rail bed of the Caldwell Branch on the old Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. It crosses over the Peckham River through a 20-foot trestle, and finally passes an abandoned, shuttered, psychiatric hospital. Essex County Hospital housed patients in the late 19th to early 20th century. It was featured on the hit television series Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, and is widely talked about through the region. This is a perfect ride to start off an early “spooky season”.
Wildwood Crest Bike Path
Cape May County
Length: 1 mile
Enjoy a short mile long ride by the dunes with the kids while you are on vacation this summer. This path is one mile long, winds along the beach, then connects to Wildwood boardwalk, for an additional two miles. If you keep following the path, you’ll end up at 2nd Street, you can opt to add another mile to your ride if your family is still up for it. After the original first mile though, you can only ride on the boardwalk before 11 am, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your ride. The path is also a little bit bumpy, as it’s not always paved asphalt.
Bike Safety Tips
- Always wear a helmet when you ride. Make certain it meets Snell, ANSI, or AST standards and that it fits snugly. Riders age 17 and under must wear a helmet in NJ.
- Wear bright, light-colored clothing or a safety vest so you are visible.
- Always ride single file with at least three bicycle lengths between you and the cyclist in front.
- Use a clip or rubber band to keep long pants from getting tangled in the bike chain.
- Carry your bicycle across railroad tracks.
- Use lights and reflectors when riding at night.
- Test brakes before a descent.
- Always ride with traffic and obey signals. Keep your eyes on the road and have fun!