Every once in a while, there are tours coming through town that deal with the life of Bruce Springsteen. He is everywhere and yet nowhere. The tours generally go past his homes, E Street, passed St. Rose (his church and school), Vinyard Park, the fire station to see the Born to Run fire truck, they eat at Federici's, look for bricks on the ground that may have his name, then they disappear to Asbury Park. If you do the research, you'll find the places I mentioned (and more).
Biking in and around Monmouth
There are some bike trails in the area.
A rail trail starting off of 537, near the Shell Station - this is the southern section of the Henry Hudson rail trail; and there is a "monmouth Battlefield" ride (see below), and of course other nearby parks. If you go to the Freehold Library check out a book called 30 NJ bike rides (or something like that), it has other rides in the area.
If you stop off at the Monmouth County Tourism office at 31 East Main Street, Freehold, there is a map of Monmouth County which rates roads as being more or less biker friendly. Here are some helpful websiites:
http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/bikemaps.shtm (Monmouth Battlefield listed)
http://www.traillink.com/TL_Active_Pages/TrailSearch/default.asp (searchable database)
http://www.pedaling.com/searchRides/searchRides.asp (searchable database)
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Take a joy ride!
Only about 20-30 minutes west of Freehold lay the primarily undeveloped townships of Millstone and Upper Freehold, with Allentown acting as a "downtown" area for these townships. You can make a great afternoon by just cruising the winding, country roads in this area, which will lead you through endless farms, forests, and hills. A recommended route leaving Freehold is below:
->West Main St. southwest from downtown to Park Av.
->Right on Park Av.
->Follow Park Av. to the merge with NJ-33 highway by Matty's auto shop. Continue along NJ-33 highway for approximately 6 miles, following signs for Millstone Rd.
->Turn left on Millstone Rd.
->Follow winding, country Millstone Rd. to Monmouth County Rt. 1 (Sweetmans Lane) and turn right
->Make the first left on Agress Rd.
->At the end (Rt. 571), turn left
->Turn right at the end onto Rt. 524 (Stagecoach Rd.)
->Follow Rt. 524 West approximately 7 miles to the end, at Rt. 539, and turn left
->Follow 539 through Allentown to Rt. 526 and turn left.
->Turn right on Rt. 43 (Davis Station Rd.), and follow through the ghost town of Imlaystown, passing the Happy Apple Inn Restaurant on the left
->Follow Rt. 43 straight onto Meirs Rd., turning first left on Burlington Path Rd. (Rt. 27)
->Turn left at the end onto Red Valley Rd.
->Follow Red Valley Rd. until the end, at Red Valley, and turn left
->Continue straight past the Clarksburg General store, and eventually you will end up back at W. Main St. Turn left on W. Main (at the end) and follow about 4 miles back to Freehold.
Small town, USA!
Only about a half hour east of Freehold lies Allentown, which with a mesely population of only 1882, is the typical stereotype of "Small Town, USA". Allentown has a quiet Main St. lined with locally owned shops and restaurants. DiMattio's Italian restaurant and Black Forest are two places which always have struck me as particularly good. You can sit by the lake and just relax in this little town, where parking is always abundant and the locals are always welcoming. A trip only about 1/2 mile off Main St. will lead you into endless farms along narrow, winding roads.