Henry Hudson Trail and Bike Path
Freehold Segment -- Freehold to Marlboro
The Freehold Segment of the Henry Hudson Trail
The Freehold segment of the Henry Hudson trail is a dedicated bike path over an abandoned railroad track, running north-south from a residential street in Marlboro to near the center of the town of Freehold. It parallels Route 79, but traverses woods and housing developments.
The path is 5.25 miles, one way.
Surface and safety:
The surface is asphalt, about ten feet in width. Since this path was laid in 2005, it is still in excellent condition. Safety is also excellent -- the safest of the three segments of the trail. This is a path that you can bike wearing an iPod. The path also seems to be little traveled. On my most recent round trip there on a beautiful early fall day, I saw no other bikers at all.
Points of interest:
This is a serene path through woods most of the way, and there are no real points of interest. The path goes near a number of new housing developments and some expansive open fields that can be quite beautiful.
What's not to like:
The scenery, although it exhibits a quiet beauty, doesn't have much variety. Probably more important for most people, however, is the fact that of the three segments, this one is the furthest from centers of population and major highways, and thus the hardest to reach.
Parking at the south end of the path, in Freehold, is plentiful. There is a parking lot beside the Youth Detention Center on Dutch Lane Road. (There are signs to the Henry Hudson Trail on this road.) The lot is 0.6 miles north of the south end of the path. An added advantage of parking there is that your car will be convenient for the inmates in the event of a jail break. :-)
Parking lot at (nearly) the South end of the Segment
(map from Google)
Satellite/Map View of South End of Freehold Segment
The north end of this segment ends on a residential street off Route 79 in Marlboro. It is certainly legal to park in front of the houses there, but you may not feel welcome in the neighborhood.
North End of Freehold Segment in Marlboro
Photos and comments:
Near the south end of the segment
Even in early September there is hint of fall
The woods are sometimes deep and dark
A little further north the path opens up
The woods are never far away on this segment
The path goes near many new housing developments
One sad thing about this segment is seeing all the trees being laid bare for a multitude of developments littered with McMansions. I'm afraid that in ten years all the woods on this path will be gone. You can just watch them disappear.
The path crosses over a highway
Of the three segments in the trail, this one has the least frequent road crossings, and the major crossings are accomplished with bridges. An exception is the crossing of Kozloski Road near the south end of the path, where bikers must detour to a traffic light in order to cross the busy road.
Bikers cross Route 18 on their own bridge
A succession of bridges over streams
There are a few open fields to appreciate
Passing by a farm