At a recent meeting of Monmouth County Park trail enthusiasts, Park Manager Ken Thoman showed slides of the damage Sandy wrought on the popular Henry Hudson Trail Oct. 29 and lamented, "What are we going to do?"
The breathtakingly scenic route, alongside the sailboat-studded Sandy Hook Bay, is lost. This almost-secret oasis between the Atlantic Highlands Marina and the Highlands border at Popamora Point, established in 2009, where strolling couples, joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and deep thinkers could escape from suburbia, will remain closed indefinitely due to storm damage.
Lovely wooden bridges that took nature lovers through the trees and along the shoreline have been violently smashed. Trails are in littered with fallen trees and mudslides. The broad, level walking paths have been washed out.
"Our dear, dear Henry Hudson Trail. One very popular trail," said Thoman, at the well-attended Monmouth County’s Greentable event on Jan. 24 at Thompson Park.
Many have been asking the parks manager when it will be fixed, he said.
Recently, some out-of-state national trail organizations reached out to the Monmouth County Parks system to ask how they can help restore this special trail. A strategic plan will be developed, and the Parks System will gratefully accept help from trained volunteers to clear the way again, said Thoman.
"It is going to be extremely challenging, though," he said.