Jesse Fried • Aug 07, 2017
Route 36 travels in a semicircle through NJ's Raritan bayshore and right along the Atlantic coast. It covers some of the most interesting territory in Central Jersey, passing the Atlantic Highlands, the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers, the beach at Sea Bright and Long Branch, before dipping inland again.
Its bridge across the Shrewsbury River, which connects the NJ mainland at Highlands with Sandy Hook's barrier beach penninsula, features a 360 degree view whose scope, beauty and variety places it on the level of the most sublime earthly sights. To the south: the coast stretches to the horizon in a slight arc. A thin line of breaking waves and sand separates the open water from the shore towns on the coastal plain. To the west: a short distance of churning water, then the steep wooded slopes of the Atlantic Highlands in the immediate foreground, with a placid bay opening up next to them. To the north: all of New York city rising above 20 placid miles of Raritan Bay: the Verrazano Bridge, the sprawling harbor, the overwhelmingly mighty skyline, the beaches and neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, the terminal moraine of Long Island visible as a low ridge, the high hills on Staten Island looming off to the side. To the east: the elemental emptiness of the ocean.