Bike-N-Hike Fort Lee, Leonia Flat Rock Nature Center

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Monday, July 28, 2014
A short combination bike ride and hike in Bergen County, New Jersey through parts of Fort Lee and Leonia with a scenic hike through Flat Rock Brook Nature Center and back to Fort Lee.

Activity:Cycling, Hiking
Cycling Distance:6.6 Miles
Hiking Distance:Varies but at least about 1 mile
Duration:1 Hour

A pleasant ride and hike if you have limited time or are a new cyclist looking for a somewhat challenging but short trip. Passes through some nice areas of Fort Lee and Leonia with some challenging hills. Easy hike through Flat Rock Brook Nature Center with views of a pond and brook. Most roads don't have a lot of traffic except for Main St and Grand Avenue but there is room for cyclists on Main and Grand Avenue has a sufficient shoulder to ride on.

Starting Point: Fort Lee Municipal Parking Oaktree Mall Shopping Center

If you live in the area you can start wherever you are. If you're driving to Fort Lee you can park in the municipal parking lot that takes up most of the block between Lemoine Ave, Bruce Reynolds Blvd, Main St and Center Ave. Accessible from all 4 of those streets it's the parking lot behind the Plaza Diner. Chose it as a starting point because of ample parking and access to various shops and restaurants where you can pick up snacks, water or grab a bite.

Fort Lee To Flat Rock Brook Through Leonia

Distance:5.0 Miles
Duration:36 minutes
Total Ascent:285 feet
Total Descent:351 feet

Exit the parking lot heading south towards main St.

Turn Right On Main St When you get to Main Street turn right.

0.9mi Turn Left On Paulin Blvd.  It's the 3rd left after you pass under the Rt 1 overpass not counting the onramp which is the first left after the overpass. Be careful. It's a steep hill and a sharp left turn. Almost looks like a private driveway.

1.2mi Turn Right On Park Ave.

1.3mi Turn Left On Glenwood Ave.

1.6mi Turn Right on E Oakdene Ave.

1.8mi Turn Right on Broad Ave. I try and cross over to the other side of the road before the turn if there isn't any traffic on Broad.

2.2mi Turn Left on Christie St Pay attention to traffic when making the left if your on the right side of Broad.

2.5mi Continue Right onto Station Parkway 

2.8mi Turn Right On Fort Lee Rd.

2.9mi Turn Left On Grand Ave. There's a small shoulder on Grand but be careful of some weeds and debris that may creep over onto the road.

4.2mi Turn Right on Van Nostrand Ave. Continue on Van Nostrand for about 0.8 miles into the park. Most of Van Nostrand is a fairly steep uphill ride until you reach the parking lot of Flat Rock Brook Nature Center.

Flat Rock Brook Hike

Once you get to the parking lot in Flat Rock Brook Nature Center stop and admire the pond and take a second to let your heart rate recover if you'd like. You just spent about a mile going up hill!

There's no bike riding around on the trails so you need to get off and walk your bike through the park. A pair of Sunlite Bicycle Folding Pedals are nice to have to prevent hanging your ankle and calve against your pedals while you're walking.

I'll leave it up to you to explore as much or as little of the park as you want. There are some nice views and in the spring there are a number of gardens in bloom. A number of picnic areas are available to sit down, take a break and have a snack. The trails are fairly well marked with colored trail markers on trees. Here's a trail map.

However you make your way through the park you want to finish up on the blue trail. There's a small chain link gate that exits the park at the intersection of Summit and Van Nostrand. This is on the other side of the park that you entered from. Here's the trail map superimposed over the road map to give you an idea. Note the trail map is not exactly to scale.

A nice rout is to start on the white trail, left on the red trail and loop around to the blue trail where you'll eventually exit the park.

Summit Ave Back To Fort Lee

Distance:1.6 Miles
Duration:10 minutes
Total Ascent:49 feet
Total Descent:95 feet

The ride back is a lot easier and shorter.After you exit the trail through the gate you''ll be at the intersection of Summit St and Van Nordstrum.

Turn Right on Summit and continue for 0.2 miles.

0.2mi Turn Left on Mercer Ave and continue for about 285 ft.

0.25mi Turn Right on Rossett St

0.45mi Turn Left on Myrtle Ave.

0.55mi Turn Right On Linwood Ave. After you cross 9w/Fletcher Ave (wide 4 lane divided road) keep to the right to stay on Linwood but don't turn right onto Fletcher. At this point Lindwood is a 1 way street and you can ride on the left to make it easier to make the next left.

1.25mi Turn Left on Bridge Plaza S/Bruce Reynolds Blvd

1.35mi Turn Right into Fort Lee Municipal Parking Lot

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