For this ride, we’re back on NJ TRANSIT’s Atlantic City Line and heading to Long Beach Island via the LBI Ferry. The Ferry makes four round trips between Tuckerton and Beach Haven on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only between July 2nd and Labor Day. Bike space is very limited on the ferry and often sells out, so book your bike ticket in advance. Like the previous rides in this series, there is a lot to digest here so we’ll break out the details into 4 separate segments.
Egg Harbor City to Tuckerton Seaport
This 21-mile segment through the Pinelands is only for bicyclists who are comfortable riding on rural roads with narrow shoulders. On a weekend morning, traffic should be very light until you reach Route 9, which has a very wide shoulder. There are great river views and clusters of Atlantic White Cedars on your route. The alternative option is to remain on the train to Absecon and then transfer to a bus to Tuckerton Seaport.
The ride starts at Egg Harbor City Station. Head north on Cincinnati Ave then left on Duerer Rd and right on Philadelphia Rd then bear right on Lower Bank Rd. Cross over the Mullica River then turn right onto County Road 542. You’ll cross over the Wading River at mile 12 after you pass Turtle Run Campground. Keep right and continue on CR 542 Hammonton Rd. At mile 15 turn left on Route 9. Continue for 6 miles on US 9 to the Tuckerton Seaport Museum on the right.
Egg Harbor City has a classic downtown with places open for breakfast such as the Harbor Diner and Al’s Luncheonette. Near the halfway point of the ride is the Grill-Deli at Turtle Run Campground. In Tuckerton, the Union Market is on site at the Seaport. For bike repairs, Village Bicycles is located three blocks from the Seaport on S. Green St. But is only open on Saturdays from 10-2.
The LBI Ferry
Before you board the ferry you’ll need check-in at the Lighthouse at least 10 minutes before your departure. The captain will help you secure your bikes as you board. The ride includes a guided eco-tour of Tuckerton Creek, the salt marshes and Barnegat Bay. The ferry picks up speed across the bay before docking in downtown Beach Haven. The total trip time is one hour.
Beach Haven to Brant Beach
From the Boat Ramp turn left on Taylor Ave and cross Long Beach Boulevard. Turn right on the generous bike lane onto Beach Ave and follow to the end at Liberty Ave. Turn left on Long Beach Boulevard. Here it is just two lanes with a wide shoulder. Follow the Boulevard to its endpoint at the Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is closed beyond the viewing area for nesting birds. Between September and March, you can hike along the beach here. Return north on Long Beach Boulevard and follow the side streets in the cue sheet to the pavilion at Brant Beach. Don’t bother with the sand and buying beach tags, just soak in the view from one of the Adirondack chairs.
To return to the ferry head back south on Ocean Blvd and Beach Ave to Taylor Ave. Turn right on Taylor Ave to the dock in Beach Haven. Once you return to the Tuckerton Seaport bike south along Main St two blocks to the bus stop at Center St.
Transit Directions from Tuckerton Seaport
Brant Beach to the US 9 Bus Stop in Manahawkin
If you didn’t book a return ferry ride continue to follow the RidewithGPS directions to cross over to the mainland on the Rt. 72 Causeway. NJDOT wants bicyclists to ride on the shoulder of the highway, but I would recommend walking your bike on the sidewalk (you’ll see people biking slowly). At Beach Haven West turn right Bay Avenue and Hilliard Blvd then left on Beach Ave to the nicest bus stop in NJ on Route 9 South at Lake Manahawkin. Route 559 runs hourly 7 days a week between 4 AM and 10 PM with late-night service every two hours (7 zones to Absecon $4.80). Transit directions from Manahawkin.
Weekend Public Transportation Information from Philadelphia
Download the NJ TRANSIT MyTix for mobile bus and train tickets and the TransitApp for real-time location-based bus and train information.
On weekends we recommend that you take the 6:28 AM train from 30th St Station. It stops at the Lindenwold PATCO Station at 7:09 AM and arrives in Egg Harbor City at 7:40 AM and Absecon at 7:50 AM. This will allow you to get catch the 11 AM ferry at a leisurely pace, even if the train is delayed.
To transfer to the bus from the train in Absecon, bike 0.4 miles to the signed bus stop at Shore Rd and Natalie Terrace – (Map) The bus is scheduled to depart at 8:02 AM arriving at Rt. 9 and Center St at 8:45. During your downtime you can try this scenic out and back ride to the Great Bay Boulevard WMA. Just don’t miss the boat!
Last Ferry Trip Return
7:00 PM Ferry departs Beach Haven
8:00 PM Ferry Arrives at Tuckerton Seaport
2 minute bike ride to bus stop at Route 9 and Center St
8:10 PM Route 559 departs* (5 Zones $3.80)
8:48 PM Bus arrives at Shore Rd and Church St in Absecon
3 minute bike ride to Absecon Rail Station
8:59 PM AC Line to Philadelphia departs**($10.25)
*Bikes go underneath in the luggage Bay
**If you miss the train Route 554 Bus Departs from Station Ave to the Lindenwold PATCO Station 9:04 and 10:04 (11 Zones $6.55)