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Columbia Trail, High Bridge

4.9
#2 of 20 in Trails in New Jersey
Must see · Hiking Trail · Nature / Park
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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  • I just completed a two day trip with my girlfriend riding trail bikes along 8 miles of the 16 mile Columbia Trail stopping along the way to hike three parks off of the trail. The Taylor Steelworkers.....  more »
  • Wish I lived right next to this great place . Nice Long beautiful walks . Lots of nature , a few nice houses to look at  more »

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