This is a bike tour for people who love wine and beautiful rides that go through varying landscapes. The tour starts at the ocean and takes you inland on a rail trail where the landscape changes before your eyes. Soon you’ll be in the agricultural heartland of New Jersey en route to Cream Ridge Winery where you’ll cross the “Finish Wine” and get a bottle of wine with your name on it and the number of miles you rode to get there. The owners are bicycle adventurers themselves, and so they have offered us an opportunity to camp in their vineyard after you enjoy food and wine, and whatever activities might be going on at winery that day. If you don’t want to camp, you can also choose to stay indoors at a nearby hotel (extra fee applies). The next day, do more riding! We transport all of your gear, and you can’t get lost with our excellent maps and GPS that you can access from your smartphone.
Day 1: Choice of mileage: 56, 48 or 36. Flat rail-trail, flat to rolling terrain elsewhere
This tour offers multiple starting points for varying amounts of mileage. Those looking to do a longer ride can take the 8:00 a.m. SeaStreak ferry from either East 35th Street or Pier 11 in Manhattan. This ferry offers two choices where you can begin your bike ride: Sandy Hook Beach or Highlands.
If you choose Sandy Hook beach, you basically ride 7 miles down the beach to Highlands where the other start point is. From there, everyone gets on the Henry Hudson Rail Trail and rides south to Freehold.
For those looking to ride 36 miles (or for those who need to drive to the tour) take the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line train to Aberdeen-Matawan where you can pick up the Henry Hudson Rail Trail and ride south to Freehold. This train departs from both Manhattan and Newark. Those looking to drive should park in a pay parking lot next to the Newark train station.
After arriving in Freehold, the ride turns west as we ride through the agricultural countryside of Monmouth County. We will also pass historic sites, such as Monmouth Battlefield State Park along the way. We will arrive at Cream Ridge Winery in time for a tasting and dinner.
After you do the tasting, pick your favorite wine and you will receive your own bottle with a personalized label with both your name and the number of miles you rode that day printed on it. Enjoy your wine with dinner, or save it and bring it home. Before dinner we will set up camp in the vineyard. If you want to stay in a nearby hotel (extra fee applies) we will shuttle you there after dinner in our van.
Day 2: 45 miles. Flat to rolling terrain, then flat bike path. 25 mile option also available
The second day of our tour begins with breakfast as we break down our tents. Then we are off riding through the fields and farms of western Monmouth County until we reach Princeton and the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail that runs along the Millstone River.
This trail (which is paved with stone dust, not asphalt) provides us with a beautiful ride that ends at Duke Farms, a former estate that has been transformed into a huge nature preserve with many bike paths inside. You can spend as much time as you like exploring this beautiful spot before riding the remaining two miles to Somerville, where you can take the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line back to Newark or Manhattan.
If you want a shorter ride, you can end Day 2 at Princeton Junction where you can take the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor Line back. This option would not allow you to do the Delaware and Raritan Canal Path or Duke Farms.