March 1, 2019
I'll be honest with you- when we headed out to these trails at the Jersey Shore, we weren't expecting much. Sure the reviews on Singletracks were great, but the last few times we were in the Atlantic Highlands, we were racing the NJBA time trial at Sandy Hook, and it was flat, always windy as hell and sand everywhere we looked. So we figured we were just in for another Eastern New Jersey experience. If you're using 195 to reach these trails, you'll drive right past Clayton and Allaire, so once again, we expected more of the same. We were pleasantly surprised. These trails are freaking great. There are a few loops and they are pretty well marked. Stay off of the greens as they are for hikers. The blues are doubletrack and kindof just a way to get to the blacks. On the blue trail from the rocky point parking lot, there is a little jump skills area that's a good warm up before you get to the blacks. Once you get there you'll find some of the best flow in New Jersey. Extended downs and short rooty ups make for some awesome riding. The scenery is great too. The trails wind down along the Navasink River overlook. We couldn't use the drone out there on the trails, but we were able to send Dobby up to get this awesome 360 view from way above the trees. You can see the river and then Sandy Hook and the Ocean is off in the distance. Part of the history of this park was that it was a military bunker used during the cold war for missile defense. All of the technology has been removed since then though. They say these trails drain well after it rains, and there are a few sandy areas, but they were infrequent. We give this place a huge unexpected thumbs up. Literally the only complaint we had is that there are a lot of hikers and people walking their dogs out there- even on Rocky point, which is a black diamond. We didn't see any horses, but there were places where hoof prints were evident. So- if you're headed down the Jersey Shore to check out Allaire and you don't mind a little climbing for your coasters - you might want to drive 20 minutes farther and ride these trails at Hartshorne instead.