Nestled between the banks of the Navesink River and the bustling streets of Middletown, New Jersey, the Hartshorne Bike Trails promise an invigorating ride packed with challenges and unmatched natural beauty.
- Distance: 10 mi
- Level: Intermediate
- Route Type: Loop
- City: Middletown
- State: New Jersey
To access these splendid trails, take the Garden State Parkway and exit at Rt. 35/36. Proceed south on Rt. 36 for approximately 10 miles, then make a right turn onto Red Bank Scenic Drive (well-signed). Within half a mile on the left, the park awaits.
Riding the Trails: What to Expect
For those seeking variety, Hartshorne delivers. With roughly 9 miles of trail to explore, there's something for everyone:
- Diverse Difficulty: The tracks vary from beginner-friendly paths to challenging singletracks. Brace for steep ascents, swift descents, and a thrilling long downhill stretch near the trailhead.
- Scenic Views: The trails run alongside the serene Navesink River, offering riders picturesque views at every turn.
- Historic Bunkers: Dive into a bit of history with remnants of military bunkers from the cold war era.
- Most riders laud the well-maintained status of the trails, with the park officials ensuring a smooth ride for visitors.
- Weekends see a surge in visitors, so parking might be a bit tricky. Be vigilant for hikers and occasional wandering pets.
- For adrenaline seekers, black diamond trails promise exhilaration. Plus, there's a jump section.
- If scouting for more relaxed tracks, the blue trails work as access routes to the more challenging black ones.
- Some key attractions are the jump skills area near the rocky point parking lot and the stellar flow on the black trails.
- Parking: Aim for non-peak hours or consider alternatives like Buttermilk's parking.
- Trail Etiquette: Stay clear of the green trails designated for hikers.
- Local Connections: LBS Pedal Power, a local biking shop, often leads beginner rides in the area. Check their website for schedules.
As with all shared trails, riders are advised to:
- Maintain a controlled speed.
- Respect other trail users, including walkers and horse riders.
- Stick to marked paths and avoid creating new off-road tracks.
Hartshorne Bike Trails are undoubtedly one of the most enticing attractions for cyclists in the Middletown region. Whether it's the lure of the challenging black diamond trails, the panoramic river views, or the dash of history, there's ample reason to return for another round. Remember to ride responsibly and enjoy the journey!