If you are looking to get away for a ride that is rural and beautiful, yet isn’t super far from the NYC or Philadelphia metro areas, you can’t beat the Union Transportation Trail, or UTT for short. This is a 9-mile long rail trail that can easily be combined with quiet back roads to make a nice loop. In fact, we prominently feature this trail on our Tour des Vins de New Jersey.
The UTT trail is a gravel/stonedust surface and is generally flat for its entire length. While it is ideal for hybrid bikes and mountain bikes, some road bikers may find the surface to be too loose to ride comfortably. But this trail is best enjoyed at a relaxed pace since there are so many scenic vistas to enjoy.
The UTT trail generally travels across Upper Freehold Township, located in the western panhandle of Monmouth County. It’s not really practical to take public transit here, although you could potentially ride to this trail from either the Trenton or Hamilton NJ Transit rail stations if you like riding longer distances. The trail is currently being extended further south into the New Egypt hamlet of Plumsted Township, which will take trail users directly to the shops and services located there. So once this extension is developed, it will be a nice 20 mile ride if you park at the north end of the trail at Herbert Road and ride the 10 miles to New Egypt, take a break and ride back. If you want to ride a longer distance, you can’t go wrong with signing up for the Tour des Vins de New Jersey which is a 35-mile ride which also explores the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area as well as two wineries. We have been partnering with Cream Ridge Winery for many years on our rides, and they are only a short distance off of the trail.
When you are on the trail, there really aren’t any services or restrooms, except near the south end in new Egypt, so plan accordingly. Also, on hot summer days, be aware that you are very exposed on this trail because you are going through a lot of flat farming areas. So sunscreen and plenty of water are a must for summer rides! Also keep in mind that horses also use this trail, so you will encounter piles of horse manure as you ride. If you are riding and you see someone on a horse, please stop and let the horse pass!
Check out the official webpage for the trail here.