New Hope to Trenton?
On Sunday, July 4th weekend, I'm planning to ride from Philadelphia to the Trenton Transit Center via New Hope. This is the New Hope leg I've mapped out:
New Hope to Trenton - A bike ride in New Hope, PA
Does this look reasonable? None of the crossings into Trenton look very pretty, but it looks like you can take a walkway on the Lincoln Highway bridge, which leads to a sidewalk, which takes you to the first left on William Trent, and on into the city. Is this a good way to go? How is riding in Trenton? Hopefully there won't be much traffic for the holiday weekend.
Many thanks for any tips.
If the choice is between 32 on the PA side or 29 on the NJ side, 32 is the way to go. If you are willing to ride a MUP, then you could cross over to NJ at New Hope and ride the Delaware and Raritan Feeder Canal tow path into Trenton. (Turn on Bike Pathsin ridewithgps.) The surface is fine gravel and is ridable with 28 mm tires. There is a slight detour in Lambertville, but that's not really a problem.
I rode from Philly to New Hope last week: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/14484
If you want to ride trails instead of roads, you can take the Delaware and Lehigh trail from New Hope to Trenton; it runs parallel to 32. Be aware that sections of the D&L north of New Hope were closed for repairs when I rode it last week; so it may be true between New Hope and Trenton as well. The trail terrain seems to vary a lot.
Thanks for the input. I think I'd rather ride on paved roads, unless there's a reason not to take River Road on the PA side.
Since no one has told me I'm crazy, I'll go ahead and try the route.
Have fun and be safe. I would be curious to read a ride report, and hear what River Road is like on that stretch.
There are reasons. Some of it is hilly and windy (e.g., around Bowman's Tower), there is no shoulder and people drive like a-holes despite PA's 4' law. The D&R Feeder Canal Path on the NJ side easily doable even on 23c tires. Starting very early may help, but I have even been buzzed needlessly early in the morning above New Hope.
Originally Posted by wilfried
I can't report on River Road, because I ended up taking the path on the NJ side. As it worked out, it seemed like the path of least resistance. It was fine, though I still don't really like dirt. It was also pretty crowded until I got a fair way from New Hope. New Hope was a mob, and a traffic jam, and I had to walk across the bridge as the walkway was packed, and there's a big sign saying "No bicycling." I got yelled at for trying to ride on the road. Trenton, by contrast, was utterly desolate. I didn't see a single business open, and only a scattering of people wandering the streets. Everything on the main drag was shuttered up tight as a drum. I don't think I could have found a slice if pizza if I wanted one. Biking was easy, as there were hardly any cars. I wonder what River Road looked like today. Given the looks of New Hope, it might have been crowded with holiday traffic.
I have crossed that bridge a lot of times. When Bull's Island had a campground I used to take long weekend rides up there a least once a year, and every year our club does a ride from New Hope to Brooklyn. 1 mile down Rte. 179 and we are walking across the bridge. You are lucky the bridge trolls didn't give you a ticket.
Originally Posted by wilfried
You should have seen the walkway before it was expanded. It was maybe half as wide. Back in '99, while riding home from a x-country and more trip, I crossed the river on s similar bridge leading to Belvedere, NJ before it too was widened. I had a full set of panniers, which made walking such a wide ride difficult, so I decided to "skateboard" the bike. The bridge troll came out of his hut and made me walk the final yards.
River Rd. used to be o.k. until the early 90s or so. In fact, the Philly Bike Club century used to start in NE Philly and take Taylorsville Rd. and then River Rd. all the way to Uhlerstown, cross into NJ at Frenchtown and take NJ 29 all the way back down to Washington's Crossing and then get on Taylorsville Rd. again. You would be taking your life into your own hands if you were to try that on a busy Sunday afternoon these days. A few years ago a cyclist was killed on River Rd. above New Hope. Hit and run.
Yeah, New Hope seemed like a supremely uptight sort of place. I was just passing through, and stopped for an (overpriced) lunch; the whole tourist mob scene didn't appeal.
I actually found Trenton more interesting, not that I would want to hang out there. I now wish I had taken a few minutes to do a loop around, and maybe have a look at the NJ State House. I now kinda wish I had taken a few minutes to do a loop little loop around the downtown, and maybe taken a look at the State House. That sort of desolation oddly fascinates me, the more so with the state capital in the middle of it.
I'm glad I made the right choice. You weren't so emphatic about "taking your life in your own hands" when recommending against River Road above. Not knowing the area, I kinda pictured country road rather than major tourist thoroughfare.
You would be taking your life into your own hands if you were to try that on a busy Sunday afternoon these days.
Last edited by wilfried; 07-07-14 at 02:04 PM.
The area was once a big artist "refuge." In fact, there is an entire "New Hope school" of painting. It's now a tourist destination, but I don't know if I would call it uptight. It's very gay-friendly. And I guess you didn't notice the adult stores selling lingere and sex-related products. There is one right at the intersection of PA 32 and PA 179. A lot of Sundays the town sees its share of "midlife crisis bikers." Professional riding Harleys who want to look like tough bikers.
Originally Posted by wilfried
Across the river in L'Ville is Rago auction house. If you have watched enough "Antique's Road Show" you have surely seen people from that business. Not on PA 32 is Carversville. One of the big toy appraisers who appears on the show works at a business there.
The nicer riding in that area in on the NJ side. If you want flat, the D&R Feeder Canal path north of L'Ville is nicer than the trail on the PA side. The towns of Stockton and Frenchtown have bennefitted greatly from the development of the trail. There is a cafge/bakery right next to the trail in Frenchtown that does a phenominal business from trail traffic. Bull's Island Recreation Area, between Stockton and Frenchtown, is a nice place. You can even take a dip in the river using its boat launch, and there is a pedestrain bridge to the PA side of the river, where there is a general store and a hotel/restaurant. I really miss the campground there. We used to ride up, camp for a couple of days and at night walk over to the Black Bass Hotel for drinks. The trail continues on for a few miles north of Frenchtown but then abruptly ends in the middle of nowhere because there is an environmental clean up site between the current end of the trail and the town of Milford. Until that area is remediated, the trail won't go any farther north.
And if you like hills, all you have to do is ride away from the river. Hunterdon County is a terrific place to ride. Lots of pretty, low-traffic roads. A little known fact about Hunterdon County is that it's one of the wealthiest counties in the entire country as measured my household income. A few years ago it was No 4 two years running. Lots of NY/North Jersey money has moved there over the years thanks to I-78. The influx has changed the landscape some, but the riding is still excellent. It's also where Jack "Liver Eatin'" Johnson was born. He was the real life person upon whom the film "Jeremiah Johnson," starring Robert Redford, is based. His house was on CR 579 just above CR 614 near Pattenburg.