Paths to the Sea -- Through Monmouth County to the Ocean
Pleasant suburban biking along roads with moderate traffic through the Monmouth County towns of Red Bank, Fair Haven, Rumson, and Little Silver to the ocean.
Depending on which branch you take, from 4 to 6 miles.
Surface and safety:
All four roads here (River Road, Ridge Road, Rumson Road, and Seven Bridges Road) have adequate room for bikes. Except for River Road, the bike lanes are marked. Traffic is moderate on all four roads, and can be relatively heavy on Rumson Road during the summer season.
There are two dangerous intersections -- one on the corner of Rumson and Bingham roads and the other at the intersection of Seven Bridges and Silverside Avenue. Both of these intersections have a large percent of the fast-moving traffic making turns.
On the north shore of the Navesink River there is a road, Navesink River Road, which is featured in two books on "best bike rides" in New Jersey. It is a spectacularly pretty road, high above the river with views of magnificent homes (one owned by a famous rock star) and sailboat races below. However, I have not included that road in this guide because I think it is very dangerous biking. There is no shoulder whatsoever, the road is narrow, traffic is sometimes fast, and there are hills and turns. In spite of the beauty, I can't recommend it.
Points of interest:
There are many beautiful homes and estates in the area between the two rivers. There is very little traffic on the sidestreets and the biking is quite peaceful.
What's not to like:
This isn't a "destination" trip unless you are biking to the ocean. Otherwise, you're just ambling along amongst suburbia.
Photos and comments:
Ridge Road in Rumson
Ridge Road is the middle road between the rivers, heading east towards the ocean. It is the only road that is hilly, so if you want a little exercise, take this road. The traffic is also less here than on the other roads. You can see the marked shoulder where bikes may travel safely.
On the right in this picture, behind the inverted moat, is the home of another famous rock star.
A Rumson estate
You can't quite see the magnificent home on this beautiful estate, but you get the idea. This is one of the wonderful properties between Ridge and Rumson roads.
Dangerous intersection at Rumson and Bingham Roads
This is a dangerous intersection when you're biking west, towards the camera in this picture. There is a steady stream of cars making turns here. A lot of fast-moving cars headed east are making left turns in front of you as you cross the intersection. For some reason many drivers don't seem to be aware of bikers as they look for gaps in traffic to make their turn.
View on Rumson Road
You can see the marked shoulder on Rumson Road and the pretty tree-lined street.
Another view on Rumson Road
Sidestreet parallels Rumson Road near the Shrewsbury River
There is a very pleasant road with virtually no traffic one block south of Rumson Road. Make a right turn on Osprey as you head towards the ocean to take this alternate road. Sometimes in summer traffic this is a very desirable alternative.
The Rumson Bridge leads to the ocean
View from the big bridge on Seven Bridges Road
Sometimes I count the bridges on Seven Bridges Road. I only count three. This is the view from the top of the large bridge, looking down at the Shrewsbury River. Seven Bridges Road goes past Monmouth Park, a big horse racing facility, and is another way to get to the ocean on bike-friendly roads.