Moving to North NJ, Looking for Suggestions on Where

Hey All,

I kind of thread-jacked the Watchung posting, so starting my own thread for suggestions. I'm moving from Ossining to North/Central Jersey and looking for good places to buy a house. I work from home (and travel) and my wife works in Mid-Town Manhattan. Ideally, I would like to be as close as possible to trails and she wants her commute to be 45 minutes or less via public trans. I ride almost every day when the weather is not, so proximity is critical, as I dont want to be driving 45 minutes every afternoon in rush hour to ride.

Also looking for group rides. I lived in Philly for 5 years and had a pretty solid crew down there. Looking for the same thing. Chill riders who dont mind partying a little post-ride!
I should say, that we have been looking at Metuchen recently. I see its about 20 minutes from Chimney Rock and 6 Mile. That should keep things interesting as both are polar opposite trail types.
Hartshorne and Allaire aren't far either. I'm my moving my crew to back Woodbridge at the end of May and those 4 spots will be my main trails again. All 4 very different


Well-Known Member
for your wife's commute, the Raritan Valley line does not go into NYC, you have to change in Newark. From my end in High-Bridge, that makes it a solid 1.5 hours to MSG.


Well-Known Member
I should say, that we have been looking at Metuchen recently. I see its about 20 minutes from Chimney Rock and 6 Mile. That should keep things interesting as both are polar opposite trail types.
What time of day do you usually ride? I work in Metro Park (right next to Metuchen) and I live close to Chimney Rock. In the late afternoon it's 25 mins to CR on a good day (if 287 is cooperating). In the morning it's going to be a bit worse, as 287 North is getting pretty backed up in the Metuchen area by the time I'm passing by (~7am). I'm not sure what the ride to 6 mile would be, but 20 minutes might be a streatch. Again you'd be at the mercy of traffic, this time on Route 1. Also, if you road ride the choices are shit in this area.

If your wife is open to taking the bus, the Watchung & Scotch Plains area might be worth another look. CR is an easy ride down 22, but again depending on time of day it can be a 25 minute ride as 22 is no fun. As for NYC, the 114x and 117 buses run down Route 22 and drop you at the Port Authority bus terminal. I don't think the ride time is that far off from what your wife is looking for. The 117 runs all the way to Somerville, but the ride obviously gets longer the further out you go.


JORBA: Sourlands
My wife and I had similar criteria and we landed in Madison last year. Gotta find the midtown-direct train lines and investigate towns along those lines. (Sorry, don't know them all off the top of my head) We're on the Morristown/Dover line which is direct and takes 50-60 min to get to NYPenn from Madison so you'd wanna be east of us on this line. Trails close-by we have Lewis Morris, Chimney Rock and if we ever get into Watchung. Then it's easy to hop on I-287 north to get to the best trails in way north NJ.


aka Fidodie
Staff member
45 minute commute to NYPenn ? just the train segment?

the raritan valley line requires a transfer at newark penn during rush hour - depending where you are going,
a transfer to the PATH might work - but you said midtown, which is anything south of columbus circle to NYP (and could be down to Chelsea)

summit and its connected lines are direct through broad street
ne Corridor trains are direct through newark
coast line trains are direct through newark

And the answer is....
I don't think there is one -
summit is 51 minutes into NYP - and you'd need to drive to ride the bike
westfield about the same
metropark is about the same (unless you get the amtrak $$$)


Well-Known Member
@gmb3 has a good point. We also lived in Springfield (east of Madison) for a time which has access to a direct train or the 114 bus. This is in between Watching and South Mountain (neither of which are legal at the moment) but great trails like Mahlon Dickerson and Allamuchy are about 45 minutes away.


Master of the Metaphor
Welcome :)

As far as commuting goes, despite the proximity to NYC, @45 min daily commute to midtown is just not realistic. This is the most densely populated of all the states. There are days things just fly... others take 2,3,4 times as long. I truly hope you guys find the compromise you're looking for... but make no mistake about it, someone's gonna loose out on this one. Fingers crossed.



not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
we live in morristown and i really like it here. we lucked out getting the space we did for the price we did because mo-town can be pricey. but there's a lot of rides in and around the area. we live closer to the 287 entrance so it's great for @Santapez with his commute to work... and i have a 6 minute walk to the train station. BUT it's an hour direct to hoboken (i think it's like 1 hr 15 to NYC)... so that's my price. nicer area but longer commute.


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move to Middletown NJ- she can ride the ferry(35 min commute from port)

as fas as riding-- Hartshorne, tatum, allaire, six mile and chimney rock are all under an hour away.


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And the answer is....
I don't think there is one -
Hoboken! or Jersey City. Easily under 45 minutes to midtown and close to Newark for your travel but no access to trails whatsoever. It's a trade off that you unfortunately have to make living in metro NYC.

Anything west of the Hackensack river is a guaranteed over an hour commute to NYC. The only outliers may be Rutherford or Lyndhurst but they have train transfers.


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Team MTBNJ Halter's
There are 30ish minute trains from South Orange to Penn Station. Live someplace within walking distance of the train station, and you should be able to ride your bike to South Mountain.