Hartshorne Woods Park – Monmouth County, NJ 2/20/16
The best part about going hiking today wasn’t the experience (cause I’ve hiked this park many a time) – it was the fact that my wife was the one that initiated it. Been to this park about several thousand times, but not recently. I was skeptical about going at first, but then decided I should probably get up off my ass and do something significant with my weekend time.
We hopped in her car, she picked up her friend, and we were off. Doesn’t take too long to get there from East Brunswick if you hop on the Parkway. Made it there in about 45 minutes. It was kind of late in the day so we opted for the second parking lot which is much larger, but ALWAYS packed. I mean, people park anywhere when the spots are all taken; on grass, on trees, on people. This is kind of a risky thing to do. I’ve seen rangers ticket the hell out of cars parked in areas that aren’t legit spots. Kinda BS if you ask me. If there’s no more spots to park, what the hell are we supposed to do? (anything to make a buck I guess…capitalist fucks! gotta keep those revenues up!!) This lot can be a little tricky to find at first. Easiest way to get there is to make the last right on route 36 before the bridge (Portland Rd). Just drive straight after turning and it brings you right to the parking lot, far into the hills. There’s another parking lot, but it has an extremely limited number of spots. It’s off of Navasink Rd. from route 36. Drive down and it’s on the left side of the road – dirt parking.
If you’re a soul that doesn’t get out to do recreational activities such as hiking often, take a map. Thankfully for the internet, you can easily access any map, anytime, anywhere. Hartshorne is part of the Monmouth County Park System and you can find a pretty good map on their site along with a bunch of other useful information. My wife trusted that I’d lead the way because I’d been here so many times. Didn’t matter though, as long as you have time you can always find your way back to the lot. A map was not utilized for this hike. I just kinda walked in front and led these two beauts in whatever direction the trail went (I myself being the best beaut of them all). Took Cuesta Ridge to the Grand Tour trail, basically doing a giant loop. Wish we had more time to explore some the cooler vantage points and just sit and stare, or go down by the water.
This park not only allows hiking, but mountain biking, and horse riding. I have yet to see a horse on any trail, but think it would be pretty sweet if I did. Bring me back to colonial times. It’d be even better if the person riding the horse was a native American or a colonist carrying a musket runnin’ from redcoats….or Mel Gibson slashing through enemies with a tomahawk and dagger like in the movie The Patriot. The terrain of the trails is easy going. There are some good elevation changes which can get the blood pumpin’ which is the point of any hike in my opinion. A lot of people hike these trails, and hikers are supposed to yield to bikers, so stay alert. This park will make you want to get into mountain biking. There hasn’t been a time where I’ve hiked here and almost been mowed down in cold blooded murder by a cyclist.
If you have time, want to get some fresh air on a weekend, and enjoy the outdoors with scenic views…check this park out. You won’t be disappointed. On the other hand…if you’re a soulless fuck that enjoys the smell of your own methane filled farts then please stay as far away from this park as possible. Us people with souls don’t need you bringing your stinky fucking attitudes and smugness to this gem of a park on the NJ coast. Ya ass hats. On second thought, I hope you go to the park and come across a colonial in the form of Mel Gibson that’s anti-soulless people and he annihilates you with a tomahawk. Good luck!