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The Henry Hudson Trail in New Jersey © Robert Gmelin
The Henry Hudson Trail , which Robert Gmelin uses to reach the New Jersey shore.



Tell Us ...

Tell us about your favorite rail-trails for enjoying fall foliage. Do you sneak up to New England to pedal through hillsides and canopies afire with the season's change? Or maybe your neighborhood trail rivals the best colors of any region? Wherever you recommend soaking up autumn's flair, share your stories with Karl at karl@railstotrails.org.

With all e-mails and photos, please include where you currently live as well as any caption info. All photos submitted to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy may be used in any and all organizational materials.

Going Somewhere?

In September, we asked you to tell us about a favorite destination you use a rail-trail to reach. Rather than highlight a particular park or an exceptionally scenic stretch, these responses shared a common thread of practicality—dodging traffic on the way to the beach, running an errand or simply getting around town. So read on to see how these rail-trail users have paired enjoyment and efficiency on their local trails, and made the destination as valuable as the trip itself.

 
Robert Gmelin — Sandy Hook, N.J.
Take the Henry Hudson Trail in Monmouth County, N.J., 10 miles or so from Aberdeen to Atlantic Highlands, then go a few blocks to the just-completed Bayshore extension, which takes you to Highlands. Cross the old bridge, which is under construction, and get on the trail through Sandy Hook National Park. That will lead you all the way to Fort Hancock and local beaches. You avoid all the delays of driving and save the $10 entry fee for cars during the summer.

Julie Holden — Geneva, Ill. 
My favorite reason to use the Great Western Trail and Illinois Prairie Path in Chicagoland is to drop off and pick up my motorcycle 20 miles away. I take my bicycle to the repair shop in my car and then return home. Then I ride my motorcycle to the shop to leave for service, riding my bicycle home. The shop is in Villa Park, about a half-mile from the Great Western Trail. So about 90 percent of my trip home is on packed gravel and some blacktop, and a few roads to link the two paths conveniently for me.

It's easy to forget I'm commuting through the busy Chicago suburbs as I enjoy the natural surroundings. When it's time to pick up my motorcycle, I drive my car to the shop, ride the motorcycle home, and then ride my bicycle back to pick up my car. Friends keep offering to drive me and "save" me the ride
they just don't get it!

Ann Reed— Minneapolis, Minn.
My favorite rail-trail is the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis. I hop on my bike near the Mississippi River in the Longfellow neighborhood, and then I ride with other bike commuters all the way to Uptown Minneapolis, six miles away. The Greenway connects up with other trails that can take you almost anywhere, or at least it seems like that!

 

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