Henry Hudson Trail


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Park Overview:

The sun sets over water along the Atlantic Path segment of this trail.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking, Bridle path
Trail Miles:22 miles
Park Acreage:100 acres
Park Description:

The paved ten foot wide Henry Hudson Trail follows the right-of-way of an abandoned railroad line.  In several disconnected segments it runs westward from Atlantic Highlands and then bows southward to Freehold while pierced by the Garden State Parkway near its mid-point as if an arrow were passing through.  A ten-mile segment - the Atlantic Path -- on the former Highlands Branch of the Central Railroad of New Jersey is situated north of the Garden State Parkway.  Plans are to extend the trail another 12 miles south of the Garden State Parkway to Freehold Borough.  Currently two segments - the Matawan/Marlboro Path and the Marlboro/Freehold Path -- are completed totaling nearly ten miles.  In addition the Bayshore Trail, which opened in 2009 as a Borough of Atlantic Highlands trail, will be transferred to the Monmouth County Park System and become part of Henry Hudson Trail network.  

The Henry Hudson Trail honors the man who explored the harbor at Atlantic Highlands and its coastline in the early 1600s, but the trail has only a tenuous connection to the Hudson River which ends as it flows into Upper New York Bay several miles away. To plan a hike along the Hudson River in New Jersey a prime location is The Palisades.

Share your favorite hike(s) with Trail Conference web site visitors. We are especially interested in hikes from The Jersey Shore Region where this park is located. Click for further information and a submission form.


Trails Overview:

Several paths or segments make up the Henry Hudson Trail network, and getting from one to another can be challenging.  Hikers may be less affected than bikers.   

The eastern section of the Atlantic Path [10 miles] originates at Avenue "D" in Atlantic Highlands and closely parallels NJ 36; an activity center is located along the way at 945 State Highway 36 in Leonardo. The western section near the Aberdeen/Keyport boundary features an elevated railbed and bridge crossings that provide views of stream corridors, tidal wetlands, and the Raritan Bay.  This popular segment is the original Henry Hudson trail; numerous road crossings are encountered.

The Matawan/Marlboro Path [4.6 miles] extends from Matawan at Church Street south to Marlboro at Station Road.  As the path heads south the surroundings become less commercial and more wooded.

The Marlboro/Freehold Path [5.25 miles] extends from Steventon Drive in Marlboro south to Route 537 in Freehold.   Along this less-used segment are woods, open fields and housing developments.   

The comparatively short Bayshore Trail [2 miles] is scenic and beautiful.   The trail covers the distance from the marina in Atlantic Highlands east through a narrow passage between Sandy Hook Bay and a steep forested hillside to Shore Drive in Highlands.  The trail is paved only for part of the distance and the rest is covered with quarry dust [to meet environmental regulation] and can be muddy at times

  • To reach the Bayshore Trail from the eastern terminus of the Atlantic Path, proceed north on Avenue "D," a residential street, towards Sandy Hook Bay, turn east [right] on Bay Avenue and continue to the marina with a large parking lot on 1st Avenue [0.7 mile].        

Two trail maps are available on the trail's official web site [Contact Information] for the older path segments north and south of the Garden State Parkway.  For a Bayshore Trail map see Bob Lucky's web site below [Directions].


Driving: Directions to various paths and parking locations are described on the park's web page [Contact Information].  Also, click on the Location Tab at the top of this web page for trailhead locations.  Bob Lucky's "Henry Hudson Trail and Bike Path" provides helpful trail, direction and parking information.

Public transportation: NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line to the Matawan-Aberdeen station is about one mile from the western end of the Atlantic Path.  NJ Transit bus #834, which connects Red Bank railroad station with Highlands, stops at the intersection of NJ 36 and Leonard Avenue in Leonardo, 0.5 mile west of the Atlantic Path's eastern terminus.  The Academy Line provides bus service to Atlantic Highlands from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.

Contact Information:Monmouth County Park System
7324207000 x4312
Region:Jersey Shore