Not everyone R&R-ing it at the beach wants to sit around all day. If you’re antsy to move—and log some serious mileage—check out these expert-approved running routes in towns up and down the Jersey Shore, courtesy of NJShoreRun.com’s Steve Antczak, Cape May runner and triathlete Michael Mader, and Good Day for a Run’s Ken Culbertson, who organizes races throughout South Jersey.
Check out the routes below, and click the links to see maps.
Distance: 7 miles
Town: Cape May
What to expect: Park at the Cape May Winery and Vineyard — they’re cool with it — then jog the half mile to the paved Cold Spring Bike Path. The flat, semi-shaded path runs past Historic Cold Spring Village, a Williamsburg-like 1800s town, and follows the old train tracks. End your run back at the winery, where you can enjoy a $6 six-wine tasting. You’ve earned it.
Distance: 4.5 miles
What to expect: The newly connected bike-path network in the Wildwoods is the perfect running spot—just get there early, because it’s also a popular one. The path starts in Wildwood Crest at Sunrise Park at Rambler Road and Ocean Avenue, then connects to Wildwood’s bustling Boardwalk. (Watch the tram car, please!) At about 3.5 miles, you’ll hit the end of the Boardwalk and connect to North Wildwood’s path through Mulberry Grove; follow it to the sea wall for beach views almost the entire way.
Distance: 9.5 miles
Town: Ocean City
What to expect: You’ll traverse waterways surrounding Ocean City on this tough 10-miler. Start at the parking lot on the Longport side of the Ocean Drive Bridge and head toward O.C., crossing town by the beach or bay — your choice — to the Ninth Street Bridge. Once across the curving Route 52 causeway, head north on Somers Point’s Bay Avenue and turn right on Route 152, which includes the Dolores G. Cooper Bridge. Make your first right on Ocean Drive to return to your start location.
Distance: 8 miles
Town: Near Brigantine
What to expect: Bird-watchers descend on the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge to catch sight of the herons, egrets and kingbirds that nest here, but runners can enjoy the nature trek, too. The eight-mile unpaved Wildlife Drive takes you through the back-bay wetlands with great views of Atlantic City and Brigantine.
Distance: 5.5 miles
What to expect: Begin on any block in Margate and run along the bike path on Atlantic Avenue towards the end of Longport. Once you get into Longport and the road begins to get narrow, you are running along the bay and have views of the inlet and the Ocean City Bridge. Shortly after, you will reach the end of Longport right where the ocean meets the bay. The waves crash up on the jetties and the views are beautiful. Turn around and head back the way you came. Depending on where you begin, the distance can vary.
This article first appeared in the August 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
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