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Edgar Felix Bikeway

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Edgar Felix Bikeway

Edgar Felix Bikeway
Length 5.4 mi (8.7 km)
Location Monmouth County, New Jersey
Trailheads Manasquan
Allaire State Park
Capital to Coast Trail
Use Hiking, Cycling
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Easy
Season Year round
Sights Allaire
Pine Creek Railroad
Allenwood General Store
Atlantic Ocean
Surface Asphalt
Right of way Farmingdale & Squan Village Railroad
Freehold & Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad

The Edgar Felix Bikeway is a 5.4 miles (8.7 km) rail trail in New Jersey between Manasquan and Allaire State Park. The trail was constructed on a former roadbed of the Farmingdale & Squan Village and Freehold & Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad railroads.

The original trail opened in 1971, and has been expanded several times. The Edgar Felix was the first cycling trail created in the state of New Jersey.[1]

Trail heads

  • Allaire State Park - western trail head, contains the restored Allaire bog iron village and the Pine Creek Railroad. The Allaire mountain biking trails are not located here; the mountain biking trails can be accessed from the Edgar Felix Bikeway where it crosses Hospital Road a mile from the park.[1]
Crossing lights along Route 18 spur
  • Route 18 Bikeway Spur - northern trail head, completed in 2005, extending 1.75 miles (2.82 km) to the Wall Township municipal recreational complex along the abandoned Route 18 right-of-way.[2] Unlike the original section, the Route 18 spur was not built on a former rail bed but rather an undeveloped limited access highway right-of-way; as result, the trail is subject to rapid changes in its grade and pathway. The Route 18 spur has electronic crosswalk warning signals at most road crossings; these crossing lights augment the standard Zebra crossing and signage found on typical trail crossings. Unlike a HAWK beacon, these lights are only amber caution flashers that do not require a motorist to stop.
  • Manasquan (North Main Street) - eastern trail head

History

Freehold & Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad operated under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). PRR abandoned the Manasquan-Farmingdale segment in 1966. Cycling enthusiast and retired radio researcher Edgar Felix lobbied the town of Manasquan to obtain the abandoned roadbed[3] that same year. The following year the path was extended through the Allenwood section of Wall Township, terminating at Hospital Road in Wall Township.[1] In 2005, the trail was extended west from Hospital Road across state park land to the public access area of Allaire State Park and north along the abandoned Route 18 right-of-way to the Wall Township Municipal Complex.

Trail crossing Atlantic Avenue

As of September 2011, Wall Township was seeking a $180,000 matching grant from Monmouth County to add a spur trail that would extend the Edgar Felix trail 8/10ths of a mile along Hospital road to meet with the Allaire mountain biking trails. This new spur would begin where the current trail crosses Hospital road on its way to the main entrance of Allaire State Park. There is also a proposal to continue this new spur to the Howell Township border at a future date.[4]

The unimproved right-of-way for the Freehold & Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad continues west through Allaire State Park until it is severed by interstate 195.

References

  1. ^ a b Manasquan-Wall Section of 'Cycle Path Completed, Asbury Park Press, January 3, 1971 
  2. ^ Bike Path Extension, Wall Township, Winter 2006 
  3. ^ Manasquan town ordinance No. 786
  4. ^ Keith Brown (September 15, 2011), Town Looking to Extend Bike Path, Wall Patch, retrieved Nov 22, 2011 

External links

  • Web page dedicated to the Edgar Felix Trail - includes many maps, and directions to parking, trail heads, etc.
  • BobLucky page - lots of trail photos
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