Biking is an aerobic exercise that while great for cardiovascular fitness is also easier on the joints than running. It builds muscle throughout your body that helps balance, walking, standing and climbing stairs. Biking also increases bone density and increases endurance to give you more energy throughout the day.
What is less known and appreciated are the mental benefits. Biking intensifies the production of proteins that promote new brain cell formation and increased neuron production. It also drives the release of neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers that enable your brain cells to communicate with each other. These result in an improved memory, enhanced concentration and greater creativity. In addition, like any aerobic exercise, biking helps to reduce stress and improve sleep.
That said, perhaps the best reason to bike is that it’s fun. Biking is a great way to spend time outdoors, explore nature and visit interesting places all while spending time with your friends and family.
So, did you really forget to ride? We didn’t think so.
Grab your helmet and explore one of the many scenic bike paths in Northern New Jersey…
Boulevard Trolley Line Path (Morris County – 2.1 miles) This kids friendly asphalt/concrete path follows the route of a former trolley line that was controlled by the Morris County Traction Company, which was established in July of 1904.
Patriots’ Path (Morris County – 35 miles) Although long for kids, this path for sure can be divided into several days. The mostly asphalt /crushed stone path is also great for hiking. It includes a recreational facility and historical sites including the Ford Mansion and Pocahontas Lake.
The West Essex Trail (Essex County – 2.84 miles) This paved path is perfect for kids. The trail is the former railway of the Caldwell branch on the old Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. The path crosses over the Peckham River thrugh a 20 foot trestle passing an abandoned psychiatric hospital which was featured on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Advenstures.
Great Swamp Ride (Morris County – 18 & 24 mile) This mostly paved ride consists of two loops for all skill levels passing through and around the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Along the way you can stop at the Village of New Vernon, Morris County Outdoor Education Center, Great Swamp Natural Wildlife Refuge and/or the Wildlife Observation Center.
Liberty State Park (Essex County – 10 miles) A flat paved path perfect for views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
Loantaka Brook Reservation (Morris County – 5 miles) A flat scenic kid friendly trail where you will pass by a duck pond and a playground.
Hilltop Reservation (Essex County – 8 miles) For those mountain bikers who are looking for a thrill ride, the Hilltop trail is a great local option. A single track trail with ramps for fun uphill and downhill zig zags. For those seeking more adventure, your day can be combined with Walky World, West Essex Trail, Gregory’s Pond, Mills Reservation and Eagle Rock Reservation.