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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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
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TripAdvisor
  • A convert rails to trail pathway offering a walk through history accompanyed by many wonders of our natural world. Whether summer, fall, winter or spring, many easily strolled miles can be enjoyed sha...  more »
  • Amply parking in Califon, Long Valley and High Bridge. Great family past time or with freinds. Well maintained trail that was once a rail bed. Walk from Califon to High Bridge or Schooley's Mountain t...  more »
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