Yesterday was the PERFECT biking-weather day for me and my boys. Here are some tips on a special bike trail.

First, the boys got the bikes out of the shed, oiled up the chains and filled the tires, and got the bike rack and the bikes onto the back of my vehicle.

I packed water bottles, money, a light jacket, and sunglasses into my backpack.

We have found that the best way to do the bike path, if you can manage, is on a weekday late morning/early afternoon so that you are not constantly dodging walkers, those pushing strollers, toddlers on plastic things with wheels, and dog-walkers.

We parked in the lot across from the start of the Edgar Felix Bike Path in Manasquan (behind The Lift gym, and across from the Dairy Queen).

We rode to what we consider our halfway point and favorite place to stop and hang -- the Allenwood General Store. Love, love, love the atmosphere and hometown friendliness of that place...and the boys love the burgers, fries AND bacon, lol!!! (BTW they now have a little ice cream shop/Acai bowl shop called Jef-Freeze in the back room...yummy!)

After lunch we rode the rest of the bike path to Allaire State Park. As you get closer to the park, the path becomes so gorgeous -- fields, ponds, the path starts curving through the woods, and then a veil of Evergreens welcome you into the park. We always ride all the way down into the park to the train depot. (On the weekends in spring and summer you can usually grab a cold drink or snack from the food truck they have out.)

(photo by liz jeressi)
(photo by liz jeressi)
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And it is quite fun, also, to get to ride bikes over the Parkway north and south lanes on this trail! That's a rush for little kids. (They now have the sides of the bike bridges fenced properly so that there is no chance of trouble.)

Note...if you are starting from Manasquan, the first part of the trail will bring you past a playground, tennis courts, and basketball courts in case you are with younger kids who want to stop and play -- BUT there is VERY LITTLE to NO shade on a summer day...so bring the sunscreen if you are waiting 'til summer to do this trail. And bug spray for the early morning/evening.

You will also need plenty of water, because if the Allenwood General Store is closed (they are only for breakfast and lunch.. til 4 pm weekdays but only til 3 pm on Sundays) and if the food truck isn't open at Allaire, then you will be lucky if you can find a working vending machine...your only other option is at the beginning of the trail in Manasquan with the Dairy Queen.

PS...if you are stopping at the Allenwood General Store for a drink, snack, or meal, they have an ultra clean bathroom, too. No porta-potties along the path. Allaire has restrooms, too, but I don't know if they are open year-round.

And if you do the whole trail and back, it's 11 miles round-trip : )