While I had no special destination in mind, it’s amazing what you discover when you’re just taking your time.
A gorgeous day — temps eventually topped 70, and it’s only the beginning of April! — called out for a bike ride. And while I had no special destination in mind, it’s amazing what you discover when you’re just taking your time.
The D&R Canal towpath was a mess after the one-two punch from Henri and Ida in late August and early September of 2021. Eight months later, it was time to check out how much repair work had been done and how rideable the route is.
The D&R Canal towpath was a mess after the one-two punch from Henri and Ida in late August and early September of 2021. Eight months later, it was time to check out how much repair work had been done and how rideable the route is. So we hopped New Jersey Transit to New Brunswick to find out.
First, the rolling hills of upper Bucks County mean the scenery is gorgeous, even if my iPhone photography skills can’t do them justice. The roads through the woods, with a stony creek alongside. And then the old stone homes.
But getting out of the river valley to the top of those hills? That’s another matter. Hard work! Or perhaps that’s the danger of just taking a random ride off Ride With GPS and there is an easier (and less trafficked) climb than Upper York Road? What should we have done instead?
We tested two options to get to Grounds for Sculpture using the D&R Canal towpath. One is much better.
I’ve thought about biking to Grounds for Sculpture, a sculpture garden in Hamilton, N.J. started by Seward Johnson, a J&J heir and sculptor. But I didn’t like the routes Google Maps suggested, and then there is the industrial area around it…
But COVID has had me thinking about things to do locally. Then I heard there are now bike lanes on that industrial road, so it was time to check it out. Yes, that little bit of paint has made it seem much more comfortable — one lane in each direction instead of two and a clear place for trucks to park.
We tested two options, both using the D&R Canal towpath for a good part of it. There was one clear winner.
We discover how to reach the section of the D&R Canal south of Trenton (and the Delaware River Heritage Trail) and debate which side of the Delaware River is the nicer bike ride to Philadelphia.
Biking to Philadelphia on the New Jersey side has long intrigued me, especially after having ridden to Philly on the Pennsylvania side. So when a group a sister has started riding with announced a ride from Trenton to Camden and then over the Ben Franklin Bridge to Philadelphia, I was all in (well, at least to Camden.)
We met the other nine riders at the Trenton train station. Right then was a big question mark for me: how to get to the section of the D&R Canal that goes to Bordentown? Google Maps sends you through South Trenton; the Delaware River Heritage Trail just leaves it out. The route isn’t signposted, and we’d heard that you have to find the slip road of NJ 29, a high-speed road.
A gorgeous day, and a trail has reopened. What more could we want?
The D&R Canal towpath has reopened — yay! And it’s finally sunny and warm! Time for a longish but easy bike ride.
So on Saturday we headed to the blue water tower along the Delaware River in Morrisville, Pa., the same place we met friends last year for a “weird beer” ride to Neshaminy Creek. Only this time we were headed north, chatting with a friend as we went (with social distance, of course) along the Delaware & Lehigh Trail.
Our first stop: this odd historical marker at the edge of Morrisville. It’s taller than me and commemorates the nearby spot where William Penn bought the first section of Pennsylvania.
The latest search for weird beer took us to one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the U.S.
Two beers were in contention for the weirdest beer at Flounder Brewing, a fast-growing nanobrewery in Hillsborough, NJ. There was the “off-menu” pumpkin spice latte ale, with a milk chocolate cream to confound the flavor profile even more, as well as a beer called the “Pitmaster” described as an “amber ale brewed with smoked malts and maple syrup.”
Being a non-coffee drinker, the choice was easy: the Pitmaster. Just three bucks for 7 ounces.
The smokiness hit me first, as if I had barbecue in my mouth. That faded as I sipped more, putting the maple syrup more forward, horrifying my beer aficianado friends. I’d rather have the smokiness. (Actually, I’d rather have some real BBQ, but this bikes and BBQ ride isn’t for a few more weeks.)
A camping option smackdab between New York City and Philadelphia.
There are plenty of places to stay along the East Coast Greenway — unless you want to camp. That’s one of the challenges of a route that goes through densely populated urban areas as it connects some of America’s largest cities.
So add this camping option to the list — and in New Jersey no less, the most densely populated state. Mercer County, smackdab between New York City and Philadelphia, has just opened 10 camping spots in one of its biggest parks. Cost is $20 per night for no more than seven nights.
The spots are at the East entrance of Mercer County Park — so about 7 miles from the D&R Canal/East Coast Greenway and Washington Road for southbound riders, and 5 miles from the D&R Canal/East Coast Greenway and Bakers Basin Road for northbound riders.
We checked out the campsites on Sunday, one day before the reservations system went live. (And you must reserve in advance.) They look great! Of course, everything was still spanking new, but still… Thumbs up!