Updated! Transportation considerations for the 2014 TR2NB40
Revised for 2014: As in all of our FreeWalkers walking events, we try to accommodate mass transportation as much as possible. Fortunately, there is good train service between the end points and there are some other milestones along the way where you can join in or drop off. But because this is mostly a natural trail in a state park system, there is also good alternatives to parking or car pooling with others, especially if you want walk less than the full distance.
On Saturdays the #7813 5:14 a.m. NJ Transit NY train starting at Penn Station arrives at 6:44 a.m. in Trenton. It stops at many other stations, like Newark, Metropark and New Brunswick, along the way. There is also a 5:49 a.m. SEPTA light rail train from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station arriving in Trenton at 6:39 a.m. Amtrak also runs trains between the main stations of New York(Penn St.), Newark, Metropark, and sometimes New Brunswick.
The endpoint of the walk is the New Brunswick train station which is on the NJ Transit North East Corridor line. New Bruswick also has a parking facility right across from train station and has good rail service. But better yet, street parking appears to be free on the weekends with meters in effect Mon-Friday.
The Raritan Valley Line rail line of NJ Transit runs through Bound Brook which is close to our trail and about 6 miles before the finish at New Brunswick. Trains run hourly to Newark from Bound Brook.
A popular travel choice is to park in New Brunswick early and catch the #7813 train a few stops to arrive at Trenton at 6:44 a.m. That way if you finish in New Brunswick you can hop in your car and drive home rather than wait for a train.
The Great Canal Walk "Junior"
The choice of walking the 12-mile Spring Ahead Walk (Mar 23) and then starting the Great Canal Walk in Princeton is getting to be a popular choice among FreeWalkers. The two obvious benefits are that you get to start later and there's "only" 28 miles to go! To do this you exit rail at Princeton Junction stattion about 2 miles from the D&R towpath. Call Mike Kruimer of the ECGA if you want a pickup ride to the trail to get you going, he'll be shuttling people around and can get you started on the trail.
There seems to be some limited bus service but mostly serving the area from Trenton to Princeton (in particular #606 bus). Click here for a more complete listing.
There are numerous parking facilities in the D&R Canal park. We will try to post requests for carpooling so you can work out a particular strategy with others. You can view the trail and parking facilites on this map.
East Coast Greenway Support
Even though this walk is almost totally flat and on hard-pack canal trail, it's a difficult long one. Last year, Mike & Ann Krumier, of the East Coast Greenway, supported the group by providing pick-up rides to many who dropped off. We typically have several drop off and get a lift to New Brunswick or Bound Brook train station. We expect the same level of great support this year. And, as mentioned above, Mike can also pick you up from the Princeton Junction train station if you need a ride to trail.
But, we still advise you to be fully prepared for contingencies on your own. Have a back-up plan and team up with someone willing to pick you up if you run into a problem.
Take down these numbers or enter them in your cell phone to have them available:
Paul Kiczek 973-214-1811(cell)
Mike Kruimer 732-586-3981 (cell)