From the parking area, cross the road, turn left, and head west along the grassy shoulder. You'll pass a private residence (#4210), with a split-rail fence and a row of evergreens. In about 750 feet, just beyond the end of the evergreens, you'll see a wooden gate with a State Park Service sign "No Parking." Go through the opening to the right of the gate and continue along an overgrown lane,...
From the parking area, cross the road, turn left, and head west along the grassy shoulder. You'll pass a private residence (#4210), with a split-rail fence and a row of evergreens. In about 750 feet, just beyond the end of the evergreens, you'll see a wooden gate with a State Park Service sign "No Parking." Go through the opening to the right of the gate and continue along an overgrown lane, with old metal fences on either side.
After about 10 minutes, the lane widens into a sand-and-gravel road and you’ll notice some orange blazes, indicating that you are following the Orange Trail. Lowbush blueberry and mountain laurel form the ground cover, and oak, sassafras and holly are the dominant trees.
Soon, the trail bears left and begins a short, gradual ascent, now paralleling I-195. At the top of the climb, you'll pass through an abandoned gravel quarry, with a blue water tower on the left. Here, the oak/sassafras forest is temporarily replaced by a stand of pitch pines.
The trail now begins to descend, with I-195 visible through the trees on the right. Soon, the road curves left, away from the highway, and begins to parallel the right-of-way of the abandoned Freehold and Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad (visible below on the right). Continue along the sand-and-gravel road until you reach Atlantic Avenue. Bear slightly left, cross the road at the crosswalk, and turn right onto a wide paved path with purple blazes. Follow the paved path as it curves left, away from the highway, and enters the woods, paralleling the park entrance road on the right.
After passing a small toll booth, you'll see a sign on the right for "Nature Center Parking." Turn right, leaving the paved path, cross the park entrance road, and continue through the parking lot. At the end of the parking lot, bear right and follow a concrete path that crosses a wooden footbridge over a stream and continues through the woods to the Nature Center. If the center is open, you'll want to stop and visit the exhibits. Continue past the Nature Center, following an unmarked path that leads to another footbridge over a stream. Cross the bridge and immediately turn left onto a gravel road, the route of the Green Trail.
Follow the road past an attractive pond on the right, and continue along the route of a former canal. Soon, you'll pass a picnic area on the right and a parking lot on the left and enter the historic Allaire Village. A long brick building on your left, built in 1820, is the visitor center, which features interesting historical exhibits. A map and guide to the village can be obtained here. After viewing the exhibits, continue ahead to the end of the brick building, turn right, and follow the main road as it heads downhill, bears left to cross a stream, and proceeds through the Historic Village at Allaire. The historic brick buildings you’ll pass include a foreman’s cottage, blacksmith shop, bakery, general store and carpenter shop – all built in the village’s heyday, between 1827 and 1836. Many of the buildings are open during summer months from Wednesday to Sunday and feature historical demonstrations.
After taking in the sights of the village, continue along the road as it heads north, leaving the village area. A short distance beyond, you’ll come to a locked gate. Here, you should turn right onto a paved path (marked with orange and purple blazes) which follows the right-of-way of the abandoned Freehold and Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad. Continue along the paved path as it bears left, leaving the railbed, and soon reaches the parking area where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 07/04/2013
This hike loops through an interesting forest on a sand road and passes the historic Allaire Village.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.