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steep hills - west

the "maximum" sequence of very steep hills in western New Jersey -- 15400 vertical feet of climbing over 122 miles distance without repeating any climbs, more than a third of the climbing in sections at steepness averaging 12% grade or more. Much on quiet roads. Includes 6 out of the 10 toughest, and 14 out of the 22 toughest climbs in New Jersey.

a "serious" sequence of very steep hills in western New Jersey -- 10650 vertical feet of climbing over 67 miles distance without repeating any climbs, more than a third of the climbing in sections at steepness averaging 12% grade or more. Much on quiet roads, and much of the links between climbs is in pretty farmland. Includes some of the most interesting steep hills in NJ: Fiddlers Elbow, Iron Bridge, Wester+Decker, Coleman Hill, Lommason Glen.

the most concentrated "dose" of very steep hills in western New Jersey -- 6475 vertical feet of climbing over 41 miles distance, more than half of the climbing in sections at steepness averaging 12% grade or more. Most on quiet roads. A wide variety of climbs, each interesting in its own way, includes Fiddlers Elbow, Wester+Decker, Coleman Hill, Lommason Glen, others.

steep hills - north

description on Bikely: 36 miles, very steep hills around Vernon NJ + Warwick NY - linking climbs while minimizing use of high-traffic rt 94, which requires a short section on dirt. More info see www.roberts-1.com/b/x/nj. 5500-6000 vertical feet of climbing, with much at steepness over 12% grade. Requires excellent downhill control + good road conditions. Last checked by us in 2010.

near: Vernon, Highland Lakes, Stockholm NJ, New Milford + Warwick, NY

includes these hills:

  1. Iron Mountain (NY)

  2. Barry Dr / Barrett Rd

  3. Lounsberry Hollow (not as steep, but interesting)

  4. Glenwood Mountain East

  5. Glenwood Mountain West

  6. Stockholm Rd / rt 517

  7. Hidden Valley (starting with Curtis Dr)

  8. Breakneck

 

hills on the Watchung ridge

Description on Bikely: Variety of curves + ups + downs + forest + houses. Some sections get significant motor traffic at busier times. Not checked by us since 2009.

near Mountainside, Westfield, Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Summit, Springfield

Description on Bikely: Three climbs close together in a pleasant neighborhood. Some rods quiet, but some get lots of traffic. Not checked by us since 2009.

near Mountainside, Westfield

The three climbs are: (1) Deer Path upper east side (includes a section with steepness 8% grade); (2) Deer Path upper west side (includes a section with steepness 9-10% grade); (3) Ackerman (including the full approach from low) - (includes sections with steepness around 11%).

Description on Bikely: Several hill climbs in a pleasant neighborhood. Some streets quieter, others can get lots of traffic. Not checked by us since 2009.

near Mountainside, Westfield, Springfield

How it's "less hard": omits Ackerman altogether; bypasses climbing the steepest part of Deer Path (and makes the higher section optional); bypasses climbing the steepest part of Old Tote Rd.

Description on Bikely: "Steep Hills around Watchung" -- five steep hills: three going uphill and two taken downhill. Only for strong expert riders who can go straight up a steep hill in full control, no zig-zags or weaving. If not sure, check them out first by driving this route with a car. Some of these roads are often quieter, but the steepest gets lots of motor traffic. Actually I do not ride these hills in this sequence, but this is the simplest way to sample them all -- then decide which ones you like and in what order. For more info see www.roberts-1.com/b/x/nj. Not checked by me since 2009.

near Dunellen, Warren / Warrenville, Watchung, North Plainfield, Berkeley Heights, Scotch Plains

northeast + near NYC

Description on Bikely: from Newark NJ into New York City by human muscle power the whole way. This route map is intended to be used together with the more detailed description at www.roberts-1.com/b/u/nj/newarkgwb/ Most longer routes across New Jersey avoid riding this stage, and instead recommend taking the train between Newark and NYC. But the traffic interaction on this route is not worse than some other roads on tours across NJ -- and some it is more interesting (and some prettier) than many other NJ touring stages. (Placement of via points was tuned a bit for GPS.) [Last I checked this route was 2008]

Description on Bikely: from New York City out to Newark NJ by human muscle power the whole way. This route map is intended to be used together with the more detailed description at www.roberts-1.com/b/u/nj/newarkgwb/ Most longer routes across New Jersey avoid riding this stage, and instead recommend taking the train between NYC and Newark. But the traffic interaction on this route is not worse than some of other roads on tours across NJ -- and some it is more interesting (and some prettier) than many other NJ touring stages. [Last I checked this route was 2008]

Union county area

 

Description on Bikely: tries to follow quieter streets (and a couple of off-street paved paths), with (mostly) smoother surface. Wanders thru various urban-surburban neighborhoods. Labels on points make a detailed cue sheet (click on Show, select Cue Sheet). Placement of via points was tweaked a bit to improve GPS navigation in the direction of the route as given -- (so might not work so well in reverse direction). Last checked by me in 2009.

Description on Bikely: tries to follow wider streets which tend not to have so many parked cars, also streets with less vehicle traffic, and usually streets with smoother surface. Wanders thru various urban/suburban neighborhoods. (Placement of via points was tuned a bit for GPS.) This route last checked by me in 2008.

central

Half of a 16-mile loop on mostly quiet roads around High Bridge + Califon in Hunterdon county - (also an 11-mile version). The other half is on the Columbia Trail (a dirt/gravel rail trail, very gentle) - (search on Bikely for [njwcolt]). Much is near the South Branch of the Raritan River, including riding thru Ken Lockwood Gorge, perhaps the prettiest river section in New Jersey. For more details see www.roberts-1.com/b/x/nj - routeID [njwcrtr]. For the Columbia Trail, search on Bikely for [njwcolt]. One hill climb at northeast end of roads, which is avoidable. Map points were not tested for GPS navigation, but they seem to basically track the points I captured on my GPS that day. Not checked by me since 2009.

see more details + cue sheet directions

rail trail that follows the south branch of the Raritan River in Hunterdon county + Morris county. Almost all dirt/gravel, mostly easily ridable on the road bike with 700x23 tires I was on that day. Two sections on active public roads, about a mile near Long Valley, and north of Califon a section of less than half a mile. Map labels have detailed notes + warnings: click on Show, then select Cue Sheet. For detailed info + connections to easy on-road routes, see www.roberts-1.com/b/v/u/09a - routeID [njwcolt]. Path shown is mostly track points from my GPS riding it one day, though some had to be edited. Not checked by me since 2009.

see lots more details

Raritan River Circle

The most interesting + pretty loop near this long I know in New Jersey on quieter roads without major hills. The main drawbacks are: lotsa turns (better with GPS), 7 miles on dirt roads (some avoidable), and not many food + drink spots along the way.

Lots of riding alongside rivers and creeks, and a couple of lakes. Farmland with open fields, some horses, some cows and other animals. Some thru quiet woods. Some pretty + interesting houses of small + larger size.

Mostly on quieter roads, but of course you can't have a 70-mile route in one of the mostly densely populated regions of North America without riding some on higher traffic roads -- and definitely without needing to riding across some higher-speed higher-traffic roads.

About 73 miles, moderately hilly (about 4000 vertical feet of climbing).

Dirt: about 7 miles on dirt-gravel roads (some easily avoidable, some not)

Roughly follows the North and South branches of the Raritan River, and cuts across the Lamington part of the N branch to get between them. Does not always follow the river as closely as possible, because sometimes there's more interesting riding away from it.

Some long gentle sections, but also some long hills.

It's more helpful to think of the North branch as the east section of the Raritan River, the South branch as the west section, and the Lamington part of the North branch as the middle section of the Raritan River.

see overview map on Google Maps | download GPX tracks

half of a 73-mile moderately hilly loop around the Raritan River, both its North + South branches -- the most interesting + pretty loop this long I know in New Jersey on quieter roads without seriously steep hills. Lots of riding alongside rivers. Farmland open fields, horses + other animals. Dirt roads, quiet woods, interesting houses. Mostly on quieter roads. For the other half of the loop, search on Bikely.com for [njwsbrr].

For more info + connections with other routes, see www.roberts-1.com/b/x/nj - routeID [njwnbrr].

This section has almost 3 miles on dirt-gravel roads, and 2200 vertical feet of climbing, including three long uphills.

For alternate roads + notes + warnings (or for detailed turn-by-turn directions) click on Show, then select Cue Sheet.

This half roughly follows the North Branch of the Raritan River, then crosses its Lamington branch toward the South branch. Starts near Somerville + Raritan, then Far Hills, Bedminster, Gladstone + Peapack, Mendham, finishing near Chester + Long Valley. This route not checked by me since 2011.

half of a 73-mile moderately hilly loop around the Raritan River, both its South + North branches -- the most interesting + pretty loop this long I know in New Jersey on quieter roads without seriously steep hills. Lots of riding alongside rivers. Farmland open fields, horses + other animals. Dirt roads, quiet woods, interesting houses. Mostly on quieter roads. For the other half of this Raritan River Circle, search on Bikely.com for [njwnbrr].

For more info + connections with other routes, see www.roberts-1.com/b/x/nj - routeID [njwsbrr].

For alternate roads + notes + warnings (or for detailed turn-by-turn directions) click on Show, then select Cue Sheet.

This section has about 4.3 miles on dirt-gravel roads, and 1800 vertical feet of climbing but almost all at steepness less than 6% grade.

This half roughly follows the South Branch of the Raritan River. Starts near Chester, then thru Califon, High Bridge, Clinton, near Flemington, Neshanic, and finishing near Branchburg + Somerville.

This route not checked by me since 2011.

west

One of the best 28 mile (or 48 mile) loops of farm + creekside riding in NJ which avoids big hills. Mostly quiet roads, one short section on dirt. For more info + variations + connections with other routes, see www.roberts-1.com/b/x/nj/#west - routeID [njwmfr].  Labels on points give cue sheet directions. This route not checked by us since 2010.

Passes near Bloomsbury, Broadway, Washington, Port Murray, Hampton, Asbury, Stewartsville, Pohatcong, Alpha, Phillipsburg, the Delaware River, Riegelsville, Warren Glen.

Delaware River south

Loop route over covered bridges in Hunterdon county, New Jersey and Bucks county, Pennsylvania -- in two sections. For the other half, search on Bikely for "Covered Bridges in Two State A - PA". We've ridden this route several times.Some dirt/gravel sections. For more info + connections to other routes, see www.roberts-1.com/b/x/nj. Labels on map points form a detailed cue sheet - (click on Show, select Cue Sheet). Map points have been tweaked (but not yet tested) for GPS navigation in the direction given. This route not checked by us since 2006.

Loop route over covered bridges in Bucks county, Pennsylvania and Hunterdon county, New Jersey -- in two sections. For the other half, search on Bikely for "Covered Bridges in Two States B - NJ". We've ridden this route several times. For more info + connections to other routes, see www.roberts-1.com/b/x/pa. Labels on map points form a detailed cue sheet - (click on Show, select Cue Sheet). Map points have been tweaked (but not yet tested) for GPS navigation in the direction given. This route not checked by us since 2006.

see also