Author Topic: Cape May, NJ Ferry  (Read 1910 times)

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Offline KneeDrachen

Cape May, NJ Ferry
« on: May 10, 2013, 12:50:45 pm »
Good Afternoon All!

So I'm a roadie turned wanna-be tourist.  Small stroke post TBI and now have epilepsy have precluded me from road tripping with a car.  I'm a year-round commuter and have moved to Maryland for work.  I'm looking for my first longish distance ride to come from my new home area (Bel Air, MD) to head up to Monmouth County, NJ (where I used to live). 

I started looking at some routed (East Coast Greenway, ACA, etc) and it looks like the most direct route would be to ride through Delware and take the Cape May Ferry across to NJ.  From there, there are several options to head north to the Asbury Park/Long Branch area.

Does anyone have any experience with the ferry or any other alternatives?

FWIW, the 16 lb carbon fiber racer has been relegated to the back and my daily driver is a 2013 Raleigh Sojourn.

Thanks in advance!

Offline JayH

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 06:57:31 pm »
I've taken the ferry before, it's nice, it was like $6 when I took it around 5ish years ago. Not sure what it is now. check the schedule though as they have different schedules during the offseason so not sure what kind of schedule they are on now...     On nice days, you can see dolphins and stuff.. 

Jay

Offline KneeDrachen

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 08:09:49 am »
Jay-

Thanks for your reply.  Did you end up travelling north along the coastline via 1/9/parallel routes?

Offline indyfabz

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 01:49:21 pm »
Did you end up travelling north along the coastline via 1/9/parallel routes?

There is a gap in U.S. 9 that cannot be ridden. There is an old causeway and drawbridge that carried U.S. 9 across the Great Egg Inlet. The brdge was closed to all traffic several years ago due to structural problems. The state eventually bought it and was going to rehab it. Then it found out that the bridge needs a lot more work than first believed. Last I heard, the plan was to demolish most of it and maybe leave a bit on both sides for fishing. It's fenced off and the draw is in the open position. U.S. 9 now combines with the Garden State Parkway to get across the inlet. Even if it's legal to ride that section of the GSP, you don't want to.

Your two choices are to go way inland to May's Landing to get across the Greast Egg River or ride through Sea Isle City and Stathmere and cross Corson's Inlet into Ocean City, where you can take 34th Street west out of Ocean City to get back to U.S. 9. Personally, I would ride through the coastal towns all the way through Ocean City, taking in some of the boardwalks if timing allows. The Wildwood boardwalk is interesting if you have never seen it. At the north end of Ocean City is a bridge that will take you to SR 152. Following that west until it ends at the traffic light in Somers Point. Make a roght onto Bay Ave., bend left onto E. Ocean, right onto Buffalo and left at the T onto Ocean Heights. That will take you to U.S. 9. The newly rebuilt 9th St. causeway (SR 52) out of Ocean City does have bike facilities, but it drops you off in a busier section of Somers Point.

Note that U.S. 9 in that part of the world can be very busy. Also, the road leading to the bridge between Avalon and Sea Isle City was damaged by Sandy. My GF's parents live right near it. It's supposed to re-open temporarily at least (it may already have) but there may be some necessary closures for final repairs this summer. I will try to get more info.

Offline KneeDrachen

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 02:23:48 pm »
Awesome, thanks for the info!  I know a lot of southern Monmouth County has Ocean Ave closed along the beach towns from Sandy; a lot of boardwalk repair/replacement is under way.  I had wanted to go through the shore towns, even as far north as Bayville before peeling north/northwest into the Colts Neck area before venturing east again, most likely along 537.

I wanted to avoid 35 at all costs beginning (at least) in Manasquan/Wall Twp.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 03:24:33 pm »
I think I just saw on the news the other day that planned repairs to 35 have been put on hold--sort of. They are going to work on drainage before actually working on the road itself.

This was the original plan:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/02/christie_route_35_repairs_to_s.html

Like I said, I think some of the work is being put off for a while.

Offline JayH

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 07:32:06 pm »
I only used the ferry to visit my father's house in Lewes, He lived like 6 miles from the ferry terminal so I would park in Cape May and just bike to his house...  A lot cheaper than taking your car... 

A lot of monmouth county is pretty tough on bikes, especially a lot of sections of Rt 35...  two lane roads with little or no shoulder...

Jay

Offline indyfabz

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 01:19:55 pm »
You might try getting in touch with the Princeton Freewheelers club. Some members might have routing ideas. I am pretty ignorant when it comes to central NJ unless it's west central/north NJ (Hunterdon, Warren and some of Sussex Counties).

http://princetonfreewheelers.com/

Here is a lresource for regional NJ clubs:

http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/bikeclubs.shtm

Offline KneeDrachen

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 08:08:03 am »
Jay-
Yes, Momouth County is pretty tough for cycling with the way the roadways are oriented as well as the traffic volume.  I am actually suprised how bike friendly Maryland is: wide shoulders, a lot of "share the road" and "bike route" signage as well as the 3 foot law (SB51).

I do miss riding along the beach from Spring Lake up to Sandy Hook though....

Indy-

Thanks for the leads, I'll try them!

Offline litespeed

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 09:17:02 pm »
I have ridden the Lewes-Cape May ferry and gone up US9 a number of times in the past 10 years. Originally I just went right up 9 and rode the Garden State Parkway shoulder for the 2 1/2 miles over the Mullica River near New Gretna. Then they did a multi-year rebuild of that bridge. I then detoured, taking 50, 563 and 542 through Mays Landing and Egg Harbor City. This is a peculiarly lonely stretch of road with very, very little traffic. Also poorly signed.

This detour also avoids the truncated US9 near Ocean City.

The ferry is flat huge (but very comfortable) for such a short run.

There used to be a ferry from South Amboy to Manhattan but that ceased. I now get off 9 at Toms River and go to Long Branch for the train (bikes allowed non- rush hour) or Atlantic Highlands for the ferry.

Offline KneeDrachen

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2013, 01:27:27 pm »
Litespped, thanks!

The New Gretna, bridge, this is the one with all kinds of rises and dips in it as you cross, correct?  Were you ever given a hard time with having a bicycle on the GSP?

Offline litespeed

Re: Cape May, NJ Ferry
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2013, 08:14:41 pm »
Not at all. Once a local cop passed me and another time a trooper went by me. Neither gave me a second glance. But once they started building the new bridge there was no shoulder so I had to detour. Been going through Egg Harbor City and Mays Landing ever since.