Sandy Hook Hiking Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Highlands, NJ that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 117, and continue on NJ 36 East for 13.5 miles, following signs to the Gateway National Recreation Area.
HOLY TICKS. My dogs got over 30 TICKS within an hour and I'm not joking. Too risky. Won't do again.
The trail is paved multipurpose (pedestrian and bicycle) route from near Parking lot D to North Beach. For the most part it runs along the main road. There is a also another hiking trail running east along the beach but that trail is hard to follow. Nice easy pedestrian/bike trail. If you are waking, keep a eye out for bicyclists.
Great trail, very flat and easy to navigate. Good beach access at any point in the trail. Great way to see Sandy Hook through a new perspective.
Easy flat trail. Well marked. We went early and had a great day! I had no idea Fort Hancock was there so we took our time exploring. Beautiful scenery, ocean views, I think this will become our favorite "go to" trail!
Beautiful but not a mountain bike trail. Just an easy flat trail.
Perfect trail and had so much fun. We biked the full length of the trail and felt great. The trail is paved which is awesome and the scenery is gorgeous. The trail is parallel to the ocean at most times so you constantly have a water view. Sandy Hook is a narrow island like which really help ensure that you have constant water views. Also the old military base and fort Hancock were great to visit and taking pictures. Definitely recommended.
We biked the full length of the trail from the visitors' center to North Beach, through Fort Hancock. There's one main trail running up the peninsula, with additional branches on the northern side. Lots of beautiful scenery, sand, beaches, bay views, ocean views toward NY harbor, some forested areas. As expected on a beach trail it's very flat, just a few slight rises as it passes over some dunes. Very easy biking on any type of bike. A few of the brach trails dead end at roads which you need to share with cars to reconnect with the trail, but on our weekend ride in September, these roads were not very trafficked. This is a mixed use trail and is very popular with walkers, joggers and bicyclists. So in season it may be a bit congested. After we rode the full length of the trail and most (if not all of the branches) and got back to the visitors center (about 12 miles) we continued a few miles south into Sea Bright. Here the trail goes past a high stone jetty, blocking the sea view. There was also a lot of loose sand on parts. Overall we had a great day. Recommended for any level bicyclist (or walker) who wants an easy, flat route with great beach scenery. Except for the few forested areas, you'll be in direct sun, so don't forget the sunblock. Off season especially, the shore will be a bit cooler and windier, so bring a long sleeve shirt.
Got there early 8am and finished by 11am and we stopped frequently to take pictures. Beautiful old military structures and houses that I didn't know existed. Paved and well marked path for bikes, you can't possible get lost.
I've walked the trails, fished the beaches, surfed/swam the waters of this National Park every year.
My weirdest(?) encounter was taking a side trail off of Atlantic Drive, before Gunnison beach, and seeing all these wind breaks set up in the sand.
Curiousity got the best of me to see what was going on and as I walked towards the surf was greeted by a male nudist colony.
Needless to say I avoid that trail.
Been here numerous times over the decades. There are dune trails, abandoned military structures, and there is a long paved pathway for runners, rollerbladers, and bicycling. Plenty of beach to walk, ocean and bay side. There's a lookout 'tower' near the tip, but even if you just sit on the beach you can watch boats of all sizes as they come up the chanel into the bay or into NY harbor. Unfortunately the tides always leave a lot of debris at the tip though. But it's still worth a visit if you're already hiking/biking on the hook anyway.
I CAME HERE SEVERAL TIMES AS I JUST MOVED FROM THE SHORE, I LOVE THE HIDDEN UNDER GROUND TUNNELS, FUN AND SCARY.
Stepping off the multipurpose trail and exploring the nooks and crannies of Sandy Hook in any season you can find a surprising range of hidden places to see http://photoweblab.zenfolio.com/sandyhookseasons
8/23/10 You have a little of everything. The hot sandy beach, the shade of the the evergreens.
Went back today with my daughter Sam and SIL Roger had a good hike on mostly beach we did start on the trail through the thickets, stayed off the dunes there was birds nesting along a long part of the beach, went doen to the north beach and then back. Spent about 2 1/2 hours hiking. Slight burn with the fog.The heat kikked up on the beach and we cooled as we exited the beach and went back into the thickets. Lots of horse shoe crabs up on the beach, stripers were being caught by the fishermen. They had a great catch.