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Bridge, Trail Connects Huber Woods to Hartshorne Woods Park in Middletown

The bridge, located on the Claypit Creek Run, allows a traveler to walk, bike or ride horseback on trails all the way from Locust to Highlands.

A new trail with a wooden bridge and boardwalk has been installed in Claypit Creek section of Hartshorne Park in Middletown, which means a person can now travel all the way from Huber Woods Park in Locust to Rocky Point in Highlands along nature trails. 

The long-planned link by the Monmouth County Park System eliminates the need for hikers, horseback riders and cyclists to travel a distance along Hartshorne Road when traveling between Huber and Hartshorne. 

"You can go from one side, Huber, and walk all day through Hartshorne," said Parks Planning Manager Ken Thoman. "This has been in anticipation -- since forever." 

The Claypit Creek was acquired in 2005, and the connection was initiated in 2009. It was accomplished with a NJ Recreational Trails Grant of $25,000 to offset the construction costs. A parking lot was installed at Claypit Creek, near the connection, and a fiberglass bridge and boardwalk was installed. 

Outdoor enthusiasts traveling the route will experience crossing the Locust Avenue Bridge in a dedicated lane, taking in the views of the waterfront, and then following a path through the parkland to the route in the quiet woods where they will travel over a bridge and a boardwalk to the road crossing. (Improvements to soggier portions of the trail, as well as a crosswalk, are in the works.) 

Across Hartshorne Road are 14 miles of extensive and challenging series of trails with names like Buttermilk Valley, Monmouth Hills and Rocky Point totalling nearly 800 acres. 

Huber Woods was purchased in 1974. The connecting parcel in Locust was purchased 1977, and it has grown with subsequent acquisitions and donations to 375 acres.

NJarhead February 26, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Sounds cool. I've never hiked Huber Woods, but it looks like the mutt and I can log some serious miles there. Though there doesn't seem to be a trail map: http://co.monmouth.nj.us/documents/130/huber_woods_oct_2012.pdf
Eric Boyd February 26, 2013 at 04:22 PM
http://co.monmouth.nj.us/documents/130/claypit_construction_sep_2012.pdf
NJarhead February 26, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Jackpot! Thank you Eric!
Dave February 26, 2013 at 09:24 PM
My last comment was taken down, but here goes again: This seems like Middletown/Huber/Hartshorne's version of the "Bridge To Nowhere". It seems like a gross waste of money by the Monmouth County Park System when so many more productive things can be done. How about some more programs for kids? More activities? Adding productively to existing parks that with upgrades that will get used by more people? Seems like its a huge expense for something that only a small amount of people will use.
NJarhead February 27, 2013 at 01:04 PM
There's no limit to how many people can use this. As someone said in another post concerning this article: The parks system is one of the great reasons to live in Monmouth County. I guess it's true that you can't make everybody happy.
Susan S February 27, 2013 at 07:06 PM
I would rather have safe, beautiful, open, interesting space for my child to wander in than yet another $7 craft class through the parks system. I'm glad to have those options as well but this is something for everyone and I think it's wonderful.

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