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One Tank Trips: The Columbia Trail In High Bridge, N.J.

Columbia Trail in High Bridge, N.J. (credit: Wayne Cabot / WCBS 880)

Columbia Trail in High Bridge, N.J. (credit: Wayne Cabot / WCBS 880)

HIGH BRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - If you’re looking for great natural scenery, small town charm, and a maybe a bit of exercise, our latest One Tank Trips installment is for you.

Our Wayne Cabot took a drive out I-78, ten minutes west of 287, up Route 31 north to High Bridge.

The High Bridge burned a long time ago and is now a man-made mountain for NJ TRANSIT. So, you can take the train to High Bridge, too.

Either way, bring a bike, because what might be New Jersey’s most scenic rail trail – the Columbia Trail – starts there.

LINK: Columbia Trail (Hunterdon County Parks)

Because it’s an old rail bed, it gently climbs the Kent Lockwood Gorge, where fly fishing is king and where the old Central Railroad of New Jersey used to carry Morris County ore to the oldest iron factory in the U.S. – the  Taylor-Wharton Iron & Steel Company, which was so old, they made cannonballs for the Civil War and Washington’s army.

On a trestle over the Raritan River on the way to Califon, you’ve got to check out Rambos. It’s a 19th Century general store that really feels like the 19th Century.

Donald Freibergs swept the floors back when he was kid. Now he owns the place.

It has creaky wood floors and great sandwiches.

Back on the trail, keep an eye out for nome homes.

Then, back in High Bridge, there’s great Mexican food at Casa Maya and great food and drinks at Circa, including the Califon Kentucky for Bourbon fans.

You can top it off with ice cream, at Gronsky’s on West Main Street, which Cabot said is the the best soft serve around.

A trip to the Columbia Trail in High Bridge, a place that still has no traffic lights, is a trip back to the Jersey that our grandparents saw.

You can follow Wayne Cabot on Twitter @WayneCabot.

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