Union Transportation Trail – Upper Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ
Distance – 9 miles total one way (we did 2 miles one way)
Type – Out-and-back
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Good for equestrians, hikers, walkers, joggers and bicyclists.
Website – https://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?ID=3777
Open – Park opens at 7 a.m. daily, year round. Closing time is 6 p.m. through February 11; 6:30 p.m. February 12-March 7; and 8 p.m. March 8-April 15.
Terrain – Woods, farms, and swamps
Surface – Crushed gravel
Sharon Station Road parking lot (intersects with Herbert Road) – 40°12’21.73″N, 74°32’11.76″W
Upper Freehold Municipal Building parking lot – 40° 7’22.93″N, 74°31’15.72″W
Jonathan Holmes Road – 40° 7’17.87″N, 74°31’1.65″W
Millstream Road – 40° 5’43.75″N, 74°31’17.80″W
70 Herbert Road Upper Freehold, NJ 08514 – Sharon Station Road parking lot (intersects with Herbert Road)
314 Route 539 Upper Freehold, NJ 08514 – Upper Freehold Municipal Building parking lot
114 Jonathan Holmes Road, NJ Upper Freehold 08514
8 Millstream Road Upper Freehold, NJ 08514
Dog friendly? Yes
Stroller friendly? Yes
Facilities?: Listed as being at the trailheads, but there wasn’t one there when we were there. Maybe only in warmer weather?
It was mid-January. My wife and the baby went to a Catholic retreat. What does Daddy do with a day?
Hiking! So The Pres, Tree Rider, and Kite Flyer headed up to Monmouth County’s Union Transportation Trail (another one of those hikes that been on the to-do list for YEARS). We braved temperatures in the low 20s and forecasts of snowpocolyse (okay, forecasts of like 1 inch… which even that didn’t happen) to see what Monmouth County had to offer.
We set off from the Millstream Road trailhead, which is located on the Monmouth County/Ocean County border. We would be heading roughly north for as long as we could make it (turns out that was about a mile and a half) before turning around and coming back to the car. Away we go!
We crossed the road and headed down the trail. Like most rails-to-trails, this one is flat and mostly straight, so it made for easy, easy walking. The trail started past some patches of woods and maybe marshes before transitioning into backyards and pastures.
The kids (especially Kite Flyer) got super excited when we passed a farm with some horses grazing in the pasture.
We then passed a big chunk of bamboo and, just like that, we’re 1/2 mile into our hike.
From here, we pushed on until we crossed Hornerstown – Arneytown Road. Along the way we spotted a pile of old railroad ties and a spot to grab some eggs.
From here, we passed an old barn/garage and crossed a creek on a pretty sweet bridge before reaching the Mile 1 Marker.
Our next road crossing wasn’t far from here – Forked River Road.
The trail does a little jog here. We went to about the 1.5 mile mark before turning around.
We finished up with 3.2 miles on our mile counter. As we reached the parking lot, the snow kicked in. It was pretty great (especially as, almost a month later, it looks like it was the most snow we are going to get this winter). We started our looping ride toward home.
Easy hiking, a sweet bridge, and a bit of variety in the views. We'll be back to check out the other 7.5 miles of this trail, they should be good!
My only wish is that the parking lots were spread out a little better.