On Monday January 2, 2023 a half-dozen GrNY riders headed to Gladstone, NJ for a New Year’s Eve (observed) gravel ride. It was an unseasonably warm January day. The weather forecasters predicted that the foggy morning would be followed by sunshine, though the sun never quite materialized during our ride. Still, we appreciated the relative warmth for this time of year!
Our group travelled at a sociable pace (with occasional harder efforts on the hills) for our approximately 54 mile ride with ~4500 ft of climbing. Everyone was in good spirits and happy to be outside after a busy, and cold, holiday season. Overall, this was a fun and relaxed ride over quiet dirt roads, past farm fields, forests, and some beautiful locations, including Teetertown Ravine and the Lockewood Gorge. The gray, cloudy light in the photos doesn’t do these locations justice.
In terms of logistics, car drivers started in the picturesque Natirar Park, while train riders hopped off at Far Hills Station, just 2 miles away.
ROUTE LINK: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36696613
OUR ACTUAL RIDE: https://www.strava.com/activities/8327653872
– Watch out for the crazy sharp *hairpin turn* on a steep downhill before the 26 mile mark! Take it slow! I added some custom cues to the route in Ride with GPS.
– The Lockewood Gorge part of the ride is beautiful, but… some sections are more hike-a-bike than rideable in recent times. Those sections are short.
– This route skips around the Columbia Trail multi-use path and uses scenic rural roads instead. The trail is often muddy in the winter and for a few days after rainfall. The dirt roads in the region fare much better after rain. The trail also gets pretty busy on nicer days, with kids, dog walkers, and even groups of horseback riders.