A trailhead at Woodbridge Avenue
Here’s a diamond in the ruff of a rail trail right smack in the middle of a very commercial and industrial area. I remember seeing it in the TrailLink app (click the icon in the 1st sidebar to download) and thinking that it can’t be the nicest place to ride. I thought this might be the case since I know the area well…especially Woodbridge. As a kid my Mom used to drive us to the Woodbridge Mall—when it first opened in 1972, by the way…I was 12—and it was industrial back then.
But I was wrong!…
This former Lehigh Valley Railroad segment has its own beautifully secluded corridor dug down into the landscape. It has the all look and feel of a peaceful urban park that offers a cool, shaded, reasonably quiet respite where you’re removed from all the noise. I first rode it last summer (2020) looking for a new trail to ride so I decided to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely wooded it is, especially at the Metuchen end.
Photo gallery from the Greenway
A long tree-lined and canopied corridor descends from Greenway Park at Middlesex Avenue and New Durham Road in Metuchen into a cool underworld of highway and other (active) railroad overpasses. It’s a smooth paved trail lined on both sides by modest apartment complexes, neighborhoods and historic factory buildings. There are several entry points from the communities on to the trail and they are very nicely appointed. There’s typically a good amount of trail traffic given its location in a high density area but it doesn’t normally detract from the experience. You may want to avoid after work hours, though…it gets pretty crowded at that time.
The Middlesex Greenway is a shining example of my favorite aspect of rail trails—they follow their own private right of way through the landscape. There’s no dangerous vehicle traffic or traffic lights (you do have to stop at some crossings) and they travel “as the crow flies,” the shortest route between destinations. As such they’re great for alternative transportation. You can bike from one town to another without using the roads, a big plus where safety is concerned.
As I like to say, it’s the wave of the future.
So, take a ride on the Middlesex Greenway…they really did this trail right in its planning and execution, and there’s even a concrete and steel bridge over Route 1; so you get a good continuous ride affording about a 6-mile round trip.