Route: Columbia Trail (NJ)

Location
New Jersey, US
Distance
24.3 km
Vertical Gain
100 m
Description

(Condensed from Wikipedia)
The Columbia Trail runs (about 15 miles) from High Bridge in Hunterdon County northeast to Washington Township in Morris County. The route is scenic, as the meandering South Branch of the Raritan River parallels the trail along most of its route across two counties. The trail passes through Califon in Hunterdon County and Long Valley in Morris County.

A notable portion of the Columbia Trail is the Ken Lockwood Gorge, between Califon and High Bridge (2½ miles north of High Bridge). The South Branch of the Raritan River parallels the trail through the gorge, and is a scenic fast-flowing small river with recreational activities, especially fly fishing. A 60-foot (18 m) trestle carries the trail over the river in the gorge.

There are few remnants of the former rail line along the trail, except for the occasional rotting railroad cross ties along the trail. There is a small section of track preserved in Califon and a small and rarely open museum dedicated to the rail line history is located in the preserved train station in the town center.

Comment by Michael Postaski:  The trail is relatively flat, although the .gpx track shows a slight overall incline heading northbound. I'm not sure if this makes any difference. It seems like the logical route direction would start in High Bridge since there is a parking lot there and a well-defined trailhead. The northern trailhead on Bartley Road is rather nondescript with just a few parking spaces.

GPS Track

Comments

Was going to set a standard for this trail one way, I would like to start in the opposite direction the website recommends. Not sure if that matters. Sunday morning I will give it a go supported with my friend Brandon riding next to me with my aid!

I’m giving the out and back unsupported a shot today just because no one has done it. Could be my only shot at a FKT in NJ since it hasn’t been done. I’m an older hobby jogger that likes running long ;) Will be fun to track other folks attempt it in the future.