Cycling Across The Centuries:
Experiencing Union County History by Bike
Looking for a way to cycle through history? There are more than 30 historic sites across Union County and cycling may be one of the most enjoyable ways to visit them. We’ve put together four 17 – 33 mile circuit routes in various parts of the county, along with a fairly challenging “Hannah On Wheels Ghost Ride” a 40-mile route that circumnavigates the County.
Because many area roads are so heavily trafficked, early Sunday morning rides may prove to be the most enjoyable.
- The Ridge: Touring the Watchungs 7.8 miles
- From Revolution to the Cemeteries 23.3 miles
- Patriots, Planners & Pioneers 16.8 miles
- Fields of Old Elizabethtown 33.6 miles
- Hannah On Wheels: The Ghost Ride Across Four Centuries 41.2 miles
While cycling is a great family activity, these routes would be challenging for younger children. Always remember to follow the rules of the road and wear clothing that alerts motorists to your presence.
Enjoy! The routes are below:
The Ridge: Touring the Watchungs (17.8 miles)
Sites Along This Route Include: Deserted Village, Cataract Hollow Road, Berkeley Heights; Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Ave., Summit; Twin Maples, 214 Springfield Ave, Summit; Reeves-Reed Arboretum, 165 Hobart Ave, Hobart Ave., Summit; Carter House, 90 Butler Pkwy, Summit; Salt Box Museum, 1350 Springfield Ave, New Providence; Littell-Lord Farmhouse, 31 Horseshoe Rd., Berkeley Heights
To reach this route via NJ Transit: Take the Morristown line to Summit, 40 Union Place; or the Peapack-Gladstone line to Berkeley Heights Station, Sherman & Plainfield Aves; or, New Providence Station , 803 Old Springfield Ave.
From Revolution to the Cemeteries (23.3 miles)
Sites Along This Route Include: First Presbyterian Church & Snyder Academy, 42 S. Broad St., Elizabeth; Boxwood Hall, 1073 E. Jersey St., Elizabeth; Liberty Hall, 1003 Morris Ave., Union; Evergreen Cemetery, 1137 N. Broad St., Hillside; Woodruff House Eaton Store Museum, 111 Conant St., Hillside; Caldwell Parsonage, 909 Caldwell Ave, Union; Cannon Ball House, 126 Morris Ave, Springfield; Crane-Phillips House, 124 North Union Ave., Cranford; Abraham Clark Memorial House, 101 9th Ave., Roselle
To reach this route via NJ Transit: Take the Northeast Corridor or NJ Coast lines to the Elizabeth or North Elizabeth stations or the Raritan Valley Line to the Union or Cranford stations
Patriots, Planners & Pioneers (16.8 miles)
Sites Along This Route Include: Crane-Phillips House, 124 North Union Ave., Cranford; Abraham Clark Memorial House, 101 9th Ave., Roselle; Roselle Park Museum, 9 West Grant Ave., Roselle Park; Oswald J. Nitschke House, 49 South 21st St., Kenilworth; Hetfield House, Constitution Plaza, Mountainside; Miller-Cory House Museum, 614 Mountain Ave, Westfield; Reeve House, 314 Mountain Ave., Westfield.
To reach this route via NJ Transit: Take the Raritan Valley Line to either the Westfield, Cranford or Roselle Park stations.
Fields of Old Elizabethtown (33.6 miles)
Sites Along This Route Include: The Historic Fanwood Train Station, North Ave, Fanwood; Friends Meeting House, 225 Watchung Ave., Plainfield; Drake House Museum, 602 W. Front St., Plainfield; Frazee House, 1451 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains; Battle of the Short Hills Battleground, Ash Brook Reservation, 1776 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains; Dr. William Robinson Plantation, 593 Madison Hill Rd., Clark; Merchants & Drovers Tavern, 1632 St. Georges Ave., Rahway; Reeve House, 314 Mountain Ave, Westfield; Miller-Cory House, 614 Mountain Ave., Westfield
To reach this route via NJ Transit: Take the Raritan Valley Line to either the Fanwood, Westfield, or Plainfield stations or the Northeast Corridor Line to the Rahway Station.
Hannah On Wheels: The Ghost Ride Across Four Centuries (41.2 miles)
Advisory: Because this route is a 40+mile loop around Union County, there is no limit to the number of places to start/finish. One option to consider is beginning and ending at the Deserted Village in the Watchung Reservation, where there is ample parking. It’s also a great location for a picnic after your ride. Due to the traffic volume on many roads, early Sunday mornings work best, with the recommendation that cyclists ride in a clockwise direction, heading through Union and Elizabeth first to get some of the busiest roads out of the way at the beginning.
Sites Along This Route Include: The Deserted Village, Carter House, Summit: Caldwell Parsonage, Union; Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside; Union County Courthouse, Elizabeth; Merchants & Drovers Tavern (Cemetery), Rahway; Hazelwood Cemetery, Rahway; Battle of the Short Hills, Ashbrook Reservation, Scotch Plains; Drake House Museum, Plainfield
To reach this route via NJ Transit: Take either the Raritan Valley, Northeast Corridor, NJ Coast or Morristown lines, which all have stops on this route. If driving to this area for the ride, there is ample parking at the Deserted Village in Berkeley Heights to start and end the ride.