Entering the main entrance will require a parking fee for historic Allaire Village. The multi-use trails for mountain biking south of the Manasquan River can be accessed from Hospital Rd. Take exit 31B off I-195 to CR 524 east. Continue past the main entrance for about 1.5 miles. Take the first right past the golf course onto Hospital Rd. Go 1.2 miles. There are two parking lots on the right. Use the 2nd larger lot past the Manasquan River.
If coming from the Garden State Parkway, take exit 98 to County Rd. 524. Turn left onto Hospital Rd. and follow the above directions.
Allaire State Park is located within the northern fringes of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. It is best known for the historic 19th century iron making town, Allaire Village and the antique steam trains on the Pine Creek Railroad (see Historical Note below).
About 17 miles of Allaire State Park's 25 mile trail system are designated as multi-use trails and provide lots of recreational opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross country skiing.
The Manasquan River and accompanying flood plain, winds through the park and provides freshwater wetland habitat for a variety of plants and wildlife, especially birds. There are over 200 species of wildflowers, trees and plants, many of which are not typical of the Jersey Shore region. Located along the Atlantic flyway, the park also provides the perfect resting and feeding place for migrating birds.
The multi-use trails located to the north of the Manasquan River encompass part of the abandoned railbed of the Penn Central Railroad, the Freehold and Jamesburg Line. The trails in this area are wide and bordered by open meadows and woodlands. Below the River, a network of well-maintained color-coded multi-use trails wind throughout the southern section of Allaire State Park. This area is forested with stands of pine, oak and a dense understory of mountain laurel, rhododendron and blueberry bushes.
The park's campground features a playground, snack bar, hot showers, and flush toilets. There are open and covered picnic facilities with grills. The nature center has exhibits on local wildlife and geology, as well as hands-on activities for children.
Allaire State Park Trails
Mountain biking at Allaire State Park is pure fun, once you forget about trying not to get lost. We had mapped out our mountain bike route within the 800 acre southern area of the park (south of the Manasquan River) in advance the night before. However, in less than five minutes from the Hospital Road parking lot trailhead, we had to stop three times to figure out which fork to take. Arriving at the conclusion that the maze of trails at Allaire State Park defied our planned ride, we put the map away.
There are four main color coded mountain bike trails at Allaire State Park. These are maintained by the Allaire Trail Users Group (ATUG), an Alliance of trail users. We found the trails a mix of easy and challenging, fast and fun. Beginners will love this place. You can design your own mountain bike ride, making it as easy or as challenging as you want. It depends on which route you take. The terrain will vary from flat, wide hard-packed fire roads to tight, twisty singletrack. There is nothing too technical. A few logs across the trail, sandy spots (more hard-packed during the winter months), a few drops, switchbacks, undulating stretches, some steep climbs and descents, moss-lined bob sled runs and banked turns all add to the fun. Allaire State Park quickly became one of our favorite places to ride.
You really can't get lost. You are riding in a triangle shaped area sandwiched between Squankum Road, Hospital Road, The Golf Course and the Manasquan River. Stick to the marked trails, they all loop. They intersect eachother and at times travel in tandem. If you're the adventurous type, a maze of unmarked trails criss crosses the entire color coded trail system creating an infinite variety of ride options.
Once you hit the Gravel Pit (fun), you know you are close to the Hospital Road parking area.
White Trail: 2 miles : Beginner
Blue Trail: 2.8 miles : Beginner/Intermediate
Orange Trail: 4.2 miles
Tiger Woods Trail : You won't find this on any official park map but it is being maintained by the Allaire Trail Users Group. This is one of the more popular and most challenging trails in Allaire. It twists and turns as it winds along the Manasquan River ridge below the Golf Course (therefore the name). The Tiger Woods Trail intersects with the Orange/White trail at both it's western and eastern terminus, making for an interesting intermediate level loop ride.
Pink Trail: 1 mile
Note: The yellow (0.5 miles), red (1.5 miles) and green trails (4.5 miles) are easy hiking trails. No bikes.
For additional miles of exploration by bicycle, The trailheads for a paved multi-use bikeway and the abandoned railbed of the Penn Central Railroad, the Freehold and Jamesburg Line, can be accessed from within the park.
Access: North Main Street, Manasquan; Allaire State Park; Allaire Village Visitors Center, Municipal Complex; Wall Township.
The 5.3 mile, family-friendly, multi-use Edgar Felix Memorial Bikeway, while not an official park trail, now begins at the main parking area at the historic Allaire Village Visitor's Center within Allaire State Park and continues to the Atlantic Coastal beach town of Manasquan, New Jersey.
The pleasant paved bike path or rail trail as some call it, travels through quiet residential neighborhoods, open meadows and woodlands and skirts along the edge of the Spring Meadow Golf Course. Two wooden bike / pedestrian bridges as well as route underpasses take you over and under the major roadways leaving a few lightly travelled, minor road crossings you will need to navigate across. At the Manasquan end of your bike ride you can cycle another mile or two on a fairly safe Main Street to a beautiful oceanfront public beach where bicycle racks and public restrooms are available. There are other possible route options via the side streets leading to Stockton Lake Blvd which travels along the lake to Ocean Avenue which, as it's name suggests, leads to the beach.
A side spur, the recently completed 1.9 mile, paved "Route 18 Greenway" can be accessed from the Edgar Felix Bike Path approximately 1.2 miles from the Manasquan trailhead. It ends at the Municipal Complex in Wall, NJ.
For Edgar Felix Bike Trail Maps visit http://www.wallrec.com/bicycling.htm but do come back.
Combine an action packed day of mountain biking on Allaire State Park's multi-use trails or family oriented bike ride on the Edgar Felix bike path with a little history. After your ride take a ride on the Pine Creek Railroad or visit historic Allaire Village.
Established in 1953, the Pine Creek Railroad is an example of rail travel at the height of the steam era in the United States. It is one of the oldest all-volunteer continuously operating steam preservation railroad exhibits in the country. The live-steam and diesel, narrow-gauge trains take passengers on a ten-minute circuit through the Park. Children under 3 ride free. Call 732-938-5524.
The village developed around a furnace and forge that utilized two natural resources of the pine barrens: oak and pine wood for charcoal, and bog iron deposits along the drainage of the Manasquan River.
If you like beautiful 19th century architecture in a picture postcard setting, make the time to explore the beautifully restored Allaire Village after your bike ride. Located 1 1/2 miles from the campground, Allaire Village re-creates life in a 19th-century iron-making town. Costumed interpreters in the homes and shops of the historic village offer visitors demonstrations of crafts and aspects of 19th Century domestic life. The children of the village play popular games of the time and demonstrate the chores that prepared them for later life.
The Historic Village also hosts Holiday Candlelight Tours, Haunted Hayrides, and a 19th century All Hallows Eve celebration.
For More Information:
Allaire State Park:
Phone: (732) 938-2371