LOCATION: 4265 Atlantic Avenue Wall Township, NJ 07727 Park: 732-938-2371 LENGTH: 20 miles of trails TYPE: Loops and Point to Point RANKING: Easy ACCESS: Varies to time of year USAGE: Moderate and heavy on weekends FEES: Parking fee on weekends and holidays MAPS: At Visitor Center SURFACE: Compact soil with tree roots FEATURES: Village, train and Manasquan River COMMENTS: Great family park and lots of history PET FRIENDLY: Yes
Allaire State Park is best known for its historic 19th-century iron making town, Allaire Village and its antique steam train on the Pine Creek Railroad. The Allaire Village is the restored Howell Iron Works Company. This industrial community flourished in the first half of the 19th century. The community included a sawmill, a forge and in the 1810s, the Monmouth Furnace. James P. Allaire purchased the 5,000 acre property in 1822 and turned it into a major enterprise renaming it the Howell Works. At one time Howell Works employed over 400 people.
Arthur Brisbane, noted Hearst newspaper editor bought the Allaire property in 1901 and his wish was “…be used as a Historical Center and Forest Park Reservation, to be known as the Allaire State Park….” In 1940 his wife, Phoebe, donated the property to the state of New Jersey for that purpose.
We were here in July 2015 and enjoyed walking around the village and imagining life in the 19th century. There are four primary multi-use trails throughout the park and the South Side trails are accessible near Hospital Road. Camping is also available with 45 tent and trailer sites. The Manasquan River flows through the park and boat rental is available.
There are three easy hiking-only trails that begin from the Nature Center. We walked the 1 mile loop Nature Trail. The Green Trail is a 2.5 mile loop trail that begins at the village. There are more challenging multi-use trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians that start at a parking area on Hospital Road.
DIRECTIONS: From exit 98 off the Garden State Parkway or exit 31B off I-195.