Did you know that Central New Jersey offers some of the most fabulous bicycling opportunities in the United States, just an hour from New York City and Philadelphia?
Discover the Garden State’s “other shore,” along the Delaware River, or explore the 70-mile D&R Canal State Park towpath, or peddle along our quiet county roads and byways that will connect you to farms, wineries, breweries, and lovely historic sites.
It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced rider or a beginner. There’s something here for everyone—you can even find an local, personal guide to lead your family or tour group through some of our favorite places. The folks at NJ BIKE TOURS offer a wide variety of carefully curated tours, such as the Farm to Table Tour, the Paths and Pastries Tour, the Beaches & Cream Tour, and a Vineyards Tour.
The guides at NJ bike tours take all the hassle out of your experience, ensuring you see, taste, and experience the very best of Central Jersey without having to worry about a thing. Of course, if you’re happy to plan your own trip some of our favorite places include:
The D&R Canal State Park is a one of our best-kept secrets. It offers a mostly level, 6-foot-wide hard gravel towpath for 70 miles that helps to define the Central Jersey region. Check out our interactive map to see all the quaint villages and handsome towns it passes through, including Frenchtown, Stockton, Lambertville, Princeton, Kingston, Griggstown, and East Millstone. The D&R Canal towpath is also connected to the Greater Philadelphia area through the Circuit Trails, one of the largest trail systems in the nation.
The Six Mile Run Trails are popular with mountain bikers and connects to the D&R Canal State Park in Franklin Township, not far from New Brunswick. The park’s 3,000 acres were set aside for a reservoir that was never built. Bicyclists can explore many miles of trails through historic farmlands and stream corridors.
The Sourland Mountain Area offers great scenic roadways through farm fields and forests, especially attractive if you are a hill climber, birdwatcher, or naturalist. The area is said to be New Jersey’s third largest forest, a vital stopover for migrating birds. It even has a major bicycling event, the Sourland Spectacular, organized by the Sourland Conservancy and scheduled for September 11-19, 2021. In the quaint village of Hopewell, you can buy and talk bikes at Sourland Cycles, lunch at Brick Farm Market, and whet your whistle at Sourland Spirits.
Mercer Meadows and the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail (LHT) are popular for local cyclists, but hardly known outside the immediate region. They are well suited to families seeking to avoid automobile roads while getting exercise and connecting with nature. They offer bicycle rentals, too. After your ride, visit Terhune Orchards or Cherry Grove Farm for some local Jersey goodness to bring home.
Duke Farms in Hillsborough offers gorgeous bicycling pathways through a grand old estate that has been converted into a sustainable farm and nature preserve. You can bring your own bike or rent one on site.
Hunterdon County’s 579 Trail is a pretty county road that passes through some of nicest farmland, vineyards, and historic villages you’ll find anywhere. Some of our favorite spots on or near the trail are Unionville Vineyards and Old York Cellars, Lone Eagle Brewing, Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse, Gorgeous Goat Creamery, Ironbound Farm & Cidery, and the Red Barn Milk Company.
Central Jersey is also the home to the oldest bicycle race in North America, the TOUR OF SOMERVILLE, held on Labor Day Weekend.
If you’re coming from New York City, North Jersey, or Philadelphia, you can easily make Central Jersey a daytrip, but why not spend the weekend? You can find wonderful bike-friendly places to stay, such as the 100-room Chauncey Hotel near Princeton that is right on the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail. If you like something quaint, the gorgeous Glencairn Inn in Lawrence will get you close to numerous trails, including the LHT and the D&R Canal State Park.
To visit without a car, New Jersey Transit and SEPTA offer bike-friendly rail service to hubs such as New Brunswick, Princeton, Trenton, Bridgewater, and Somerville. From those locations you are almost always close to the D&R Canal State Park’s towpath, which traverses the entire region.
Interest in bicycling has exploded during the global pandemic. It’s a great summer and fall to join in the fun with a Central Jersey bicycle excursion.