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Columbia Trail, High Bridge

4.9
#3 of 24 in Trails in New Jersey
The Columbia Trail is a rail trail in rural northwestern New Jersey. It was created from portions of the former Central Railroad of New Jersey High Bridge Branch and stretches from High Bridge, in Hunterdon County, through Washington Township, in Morris County for a total of 15.1mi. The trail surface is relatively flat and consists mostly of fine crushed stone.
Lewis H Taylor, a member of the trustees of the Central Jersey Railroad, brought the railroad to High Bridge in 1876. The branch line was originally built to transport coal and iron ore from mines in Morris County for use in the Taylor Wharton Iron and Steel Company, the oldest foundry in United States History, and other foundries at High Bridge or Wharton. The High Bridge Branch was also used for passenger traffic until 1935.
In 1976, the branch was deemed redundant by its new owner, Conrail, and the rails were dismantled in 1980. In the mid-1990s, Columbia Gas Company bought the trail right-of-way and laid an underground gas pipeline under the right-of-way along the length of the trail. The trail and bridges were resurfaced in 2004. Since then, it has been a recreational trail serving the surrounding communities.
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Columbia Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
54 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Even in the 100 degree heat, it was a fantastic ride under a tree line path of crushed gravel. It’s an easy 11 mile up and back from High Bridge to Long Valley. We stopped along the river in Ken Lockw...  more »
  • I have biked the trails from Ling Valley to High Bridge and back, it's a flat and scenic enjoyable ride with small coffee shops at either end. Also walk/hike with my dog many times in different season...  more »
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