HIGHLANDS – The 1.25-mile trail section between the Atlantic Highlands Marina and the Highlands border at Popamora Point is expected to reopen by mid-November.
“The county park system along with the borough’s of Atlantic Highlands and Highlands are determined to get this section of the Henry Hudson Trail totally cleaned-up and reopened,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Park System. “The short term goal is to get the trail open and usable.”
The section of the Henry Hudson Trail was severely damaged during Super Storm Sandy when the storm surge destroyed the trail’s boardwalks, bridges and trail surface. Park staff had removed about 50 percent of the debris before the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determined that portions of the work were not in accordance with the original trail permit.
Debris removal and safety concerns must be addressed before the park system can remove the barriers so people can once again use the trail.
When the last section of the Henry Hudson Trail reopens, the trail surface will be natural and in a primitive condition. That means that the trail surface will be uneven and users will encounter wet and muddy areas when using the trail.
Monmouth County Park System and DEP officials met on Monday, Oct. 7, at Popomora Point to resolve some of the issues and develop a plan for the trail. The Park System’s long-term plan is to have a trail that will protect critical natural resources and sustain considerably less damage from storms like Irene and Sandy.
Occupying the railroad bed of the former Central Railroad of New Jersey, the multipurpose rail-trail is used by pedestrians, joggers, bikers, fishermen and other recreational users. The trail is adjacent to Sandy Hook Bay and considered one of the most scenic portions of the entire Henry Hudson Trail.
The Henry Hudson Trail runs through the marshy regions of the Bayshore (Highlands to Aberdeen) to the woods and fields of Marlboro and Freehold. It was selected to be part of the National Rails-to-Trails Network.
For additional information about this or other trails in the Monmouth County Park System, visit the park system’s website at www.monmouthcountyparks.com.