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View Poll Results: Where should I tour next weekend?
Valley Forge to Monmouth Junction 3 27.27%
Atlantic City to Monmouth Junction 4 36.36%
Bay Head to Monmouth Junction 3 27.27%
Highland PArk to Round Valley to Monmouth Junction 1 9.09%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-06-09, 09:25 AM   #1
neilfein
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Help decide where neilfein's next weekend tour

I have an unexpected weekend to myself. Martha (Mrs. neilfein) is working next weekend - the weekend of the digital transition - and I'm on my own. I've done many of the obvious tours in NJ. Requirements:
  • I need to be able to get to the starting point by train, or start from home (Highland Park/ New Brunswick)
  • The route should end up in Monmouth Junction on Sunday (where Martha works)
  • There should be a campsite in the middle
  • In the ballpark of 35-45 miles a day

Thats' about it. Here are a few possible routes:
  1. [STRIKE]Valley Forge Norristown to Monmouth Junction, by way of Trenton[/STRIKE]
    Edit: if I do this one, it'll be Philadelphia to Washington Crossing, then on to Monmouth Junction.
  2. Atlantic City to Monmouth Junction, through the Pine Barrens
    Updated to include bike-friendly streets
  3. Bay Head to Monmouth Junction, by way of Red Bank
  4. Highland Park (home) - Round Valley State Park - loop
Of course, I'd love to hear other ideas. Please vote and give me feedback!
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Last edited by neilfein; 06-08-09 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Route #1 updated
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Old 06-06-09, 11:27 AM   #2
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Valley Forge seems interesting. Not sure how you feel about riding through Philly...
#4 seems most "practical", though I'm not familiar with the terrain (hills & such).
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Old 06-06-09, 01:15 PM   #3
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I selected Atlantic City... the ride through the Pine Barrens sounds like fun. The Bay Head trip looks interesting too. Valley Forge is nice, but urban the whole way it seems. I'd reserve the out and back from home as something to do when you just can't get away by any other means.

Have fun!!
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Old 06-06-09, 01:26 PM   #4
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I have an unexpected weekend to myself. Martha (Mrs. neilfein) is working next weekend - the weekend of the digital transition - and I'm on my own. I've done many of the obvious tours in NJ. Requirements:
  • I need to be able to get to the starting point by train, or start from home (Highland Park/ New Brunswick)
  • The route should end up in Monmouth Junction on Sunday (where Martha works)
  • There should be a campsite in the middle
  • In the ballpark of 35-45 miles a day

Thats' about it. Here are a few possible routes:
  1. Valley Forge to Monmouth Junction, by way of Trenton
  2. Atlantic City to Monmouth Junction, through the Pine Barrens
  3. Bay Head to Monmouth Junction, by way of Red Bank
  4. Highland Park (home) - Round Valley State Park - Monmouth Junction
Of course, I'd love to hear other ideas. Please vote and give me feedback!
Valley Forge is not accessible by train. You can either take a SEPTA bus (125, I think) to near the Park, or get off the SEPTA R6 train and ride up the trail five miles. But then you are turning back around and riding back down.

The VFNHP is separate from the Schuykill River Trail. There's a wooden pedestrian bridge 100 feet over the Schuylkill River. It's safe but it scares some folks. The Park itself is a lot of fun, but very hilly - there's a reason Washington chose to encamp there. There is a bike path, and a lot of bikeable roads.

Starting from Norristown, you could ride the SRT to Philadelphia, and perhaps spend the night at the Hostel in Fairmount Park. It's secluded, bike-friendly, and very nice (it's a former mansion.) The roads are pretty bikeable, as you may recall from previous visits. Staying at the hostel would allow you to leave the tent and sleeping gear at home. You could even ride the tour on the folder.
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Old 06-06-09, 02:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
Valley Forge is not accessible by train.
Thanks; I fixed it in the OP. That's where we started when we rode to Cherry Hill in 2007. (Could a mod please change the first poll option to match?) I greatly enjoyed the Schuylkill Trail, which is one reason I put this option on the short list.

Roger, I don't have a problem riding in cities - I've ridden in Philly before, and I've toured through Newark, Paterson, and New York - including the Bronx.

Judy, I'm leaning towards the AC option because I've never ridden through the Pine Barrens. The train trip to AC is a pain, though - in involves transfers in both Trenton, and Philly.
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Old 06-06-09, 04:20 PM   #6
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Thanks; I fixed it in the OP. That's where we started when we rode to Cherry Hill in 2007. (Could a mod please change the first poll option to match?) I greatly enjoyed the Schuylkill Trail, which is one reason I put this option on the short list.
Yes, we began at Betzwood, which is part of the VFNHP, but opposite all the historic sights - Washington's army was on the other side of the river. If you could get a lift to Oaks or Mont Clare, the five additional miles up the trail are very pretty riding. Oaks is serviced by a SEPTA bus with a bike rack. We passed through Oaks on the way to Green Lane park in April 2008.
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Old 06-06-09, 07:55 PM   #7
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- there's a reason Washington chose to encamp there. There is a bike path, and a lot of bikeable roads.
Well there ya have it, if Washington did this on a bike I would too! hehe
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Old 06-06-09, 09:08 PM   #8
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I'm going to be different and say Bay Head to the Junction. I did the reverse trip last weekend from Long Branch to Bay Head and you have to see the changes going on at Asbury Park. They are really putting a LOT of money into that area and it 10 years, you'll see a completely different town.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:28 AM   #9
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Getting to Norristown involves getting up insanely early - I change trains twice. I'm thinking about riding from Philly along the riverm heading north around Croydon, then crossing the Delaware at Washington Crossing and camping for the night.

http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&lat=40....0NJ%2C%2008852

I can take the Greenway on-road route from Philly to Croydon, then head north. Has anyone done this leg of the greenway?
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Old 06-08-09, 11:19 AM   #10
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...perhaps a route like this: http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...ngton-Crossing

Anyone here ride these roads? It's the East coast Greenway route up through mile 20, after that it's my own based on educated guesses. I'd appreciate any heads-up on potentially nasty areas.

Thanks, everyone! I haven't decided, but I'm leaning towards a Philadelphia starting point.
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Old 06-08-09, 12:06 PM   #11
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I voted Atlantic City for the pine barrens, which I haven't ridden through. Bay Head would have been a close second choice; I rode through Sea Girt and west from there several weeks ago, and it was all very nice.

That said, I think I'd want more info on the specific campsites before making the call.
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Old 06-08-09, 12:33 PM   #12
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That said, I think I'd want more info on the specific campsites before making the call.
  • Philadelphia to Monmouth Junction - I'd camp in Washington Crossing. They only have group campsites, though - a minimum of 7 people. There's also a hostel in Newtown, PA that could work.
    (I zapped Norristown from this route. It'd take three trains for me to get there, and this was the final nail in the coffin of my starting in Norristown.)
  • Atlantic City to the Pine Barrens to Monmouth Junction - I'm leaning away taking the AC/ Pine Barrens route - it's another three train destination.
  • Bay Head to Monmouth Junction - Turkey Swamp State Park is in just about the right location.
  • Highland Park - Round Valley Loop - I'd camp in Round Valley (or Spruce Run if the sites are packed).
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Last edited by neilfein; 06-09-09 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Added hostel in Newtown
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Old 06-10-09, 10:49 AM   #13
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Thanks for the feedback, everybody!

I'm going to ride from Philadelphia to Monmouth Junction, staying overnight at a hostel in Tyler State Park. I'll cross into NJ on the Washington Crossing bridge, getting to the Junction via Princeton.

[STRIKE]Has anyone ridden along the river north of Philly? I'm not all that confident in this route, even though the first 10 miles or so are on the East Coast Greenway on-road route.[/STRIKE] I've updated the routes - I've incorporated the Pennypack Trail, and the on-road portions now follow the recommended roads in the Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Map as well as using the East Coast Greenway route.
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Last edited by neilfein; 06-12-09 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Updated day 2 link
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Old 06-15-09, 10:49 AM   #14
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I had a great time! More pics and [strike]a journal to come soon[/strike] here's the journal. There was a lot of rain on Saturday.


The Pennypack Trailhead in Holmesburg, PA, a neighborhood in Philadelphia. I think this short section used to be paved, but is in disrepair.


The Bensalem Avenue Bridge, on the Pennypack Trail. I took shelter here from the rain for a few minutes.


Rain in the parking lot of a Food Basics near Bryn Athyn.


Tyler Hostel, Tyler State Park, Newtown, PA


Michael riding through the Schoefield Ford Covered Bridge


Me crossing into New Jersey on the Washington Crossing bridge over the Delaware River
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Last edited by neilfein; 06-25-09 at 01:16 PM.
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