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Columbia Trail, High Bridge

4.9
#2 of 20 in Trails in New Jersey
Must see · Hiking Trail · Nature / Park
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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
67 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Columbia Trail spans 16.5 miles through sections of Morris County, Washington County, and Hunterdon County. We accessed the Columbia Trail in the little historic town of Long Valley. Parking for... 
    Columbia Trail spans 16.5 miles through sections of Morris County, Washington County, and Hunterdon County. We accessed the Columbia Trail in the little historic town of Long Valley. Parking for...  more »
  • I did an 8 mile out and back walk and it was scenic and peaceful. Heard a couple of roosters crowing and seemed like I was in another place.....like Pennsylvania. Definitely a different place than... 
    I did an 8 mile out and back walk and it was scenic and peaceful. Heard a couple of roosters crowing and seemed like I was in another place.....like Pennsylvania. Definitely a different place than...  more »

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