The Barnegat Branch Trail project, when complete, will have the ability to carry bicyclists and pedestrians safely along the 15.6-mile Central Jersey Railroad Right-of-Way. Successful completion of the project will enable the Barnegat Branch Trail to join the other 43 existing and proposed rail-trail projects across New Jersey.
There are six phases of the project. Completed phases are as follows: Phase 1 stretches from Bay Avenue in Barnegat north to Country Lane in Waretown. Phase 2 connected Country Lane to Route 532 in Waretown (2.7 miles) in 2007. Phase 3 started at Cedar Creek at the railroad trestle and moved north through Bayville to Eastern Boulevard. Phase 4 connects Route 532 in Waretown to the border of Lacey Township.
This trail will provide the public with an environmentally friendly north-south non-motorized alternative transportation route traversing through the 5 municipalities of Barnegat, Ocean, Lacey, Berkeley, Beachwood, and So. Toms River. While initially the route will primarily serve recreational users, the trail use can accommodate a broader range of functional, non-recreational trips, providing some permanent relief to traffic congestion on Route 9.
For more information about the progress of the trail, visit the Ocean County Planning Department site. The downloadable file about the project includes the planning objectives, the Barnegat Branch Railroad history, a photographic & informational tour of the trail’s corridor, the trail’s benefits, and management & security factors relavent to the trail.