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BARNEGAT BRANCH TRAIL
I’m never sure if I’m a Realtor first and a Triathlete second - or if it’s the other way around. I know when I’m out with clients, I look for, and point out, good places to bike, run, and swim. I also know when I am out exercising, I am always looking at houses and potential opportunities for my clients. I guess that’s why I’m branded the “Running Realtor” because the two are symbiotic to me. I can’t do one without the other.
Recently, I discovered the Barnegat Branch Trail which is an excellent resource for athletes, historians, and nature lovers alike. It’s a 15.6 mile stretch on the abandoned rail corridor that extends from Barnegat to Toms River and is built on the former Barnegat Branch Division rail bed of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The origins extend back to the mid 1800’s.
Rail Trestle Bridge on Barnegat Branch Trail
The earliest rail line in the area was established in 1866 with the formation of the Toms River Railroad with a stop at the Ocean County seat of Toms River, NJ. Six years later, the line was extended to Waretown and renamed the Toms River and Waretown Railroad. In 1881, the Central Railroad of New Jersey purchased the line, and in 1893, the branch was extended to Barnegat and managed by the Toms River and Barnegat Railroad. The line flourished with development of coastal communities.
After World War II, steel became available again, and returning soldiers, having experienced the open roads of Europe flocked to the post war suburbs in their new cars. It marked the end for local travel by rail. Passenger service on the Toms River and Barnegat Railroad terminated in the mid-1950’s, and only freight service continued until the late 1970’s. Conrail bought the assets of the Central New Jersey Railroad and abandoned the line in 1981. In 2003, Ocean County acquired the Barnegat Branch right of way and commenced a project to convert “rails to trails.” In 2007, the first phase of Barnegat Branch Trail project opened.
Barnegat Branch Trail Sign
The trail is marked with signs denoting local areas of historical significance ranging from glassworks, to water towers, and railroad turnarounds. So come on out and enjoy the trail, and if you see someone jogging or biking with a Van Dyk Real Estate t-shirt or hoodie, it’s probably me.
From your “Running Realtor,” Andrew Gonzales…..
As a lifelong resident of Ocean County, New Jersey, Andrew Gonzales brings exceptional insight into local market trends, and full knowledge of ordinances, insurance requirements, and FEMA standards. A....
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