It’s obvious that once I talk about something on the air or write about it, I can no longer call it a secret. I’ve actually mentioned this on the air before, but sort of in passing, almost praying that no one would notice.

But recently I was given the history about my little private beach and I think it’s something that needs to be shared.

Conners Beach is the little strip of sand that you see along the bay when you arrive (or leave) on the Sea Streak Ferry in Highlands.

Anytime I’ve ever come home from Manhattan on the ferry, I landed at this beach and wondered why it looked so idyllic. Well, it turns out I’m not the only one who discovered it. In fact, the place they call Conners used to be a beach club back in the '50s.

Conners Cedar Grove Hotel was something that dreams were made of. Like a fantasy destination in an old Elvis Presley movie, people met and romanced there, fell in love under the stars and dipped their toes into the calm warm waters of the bay. There was a snack bar and a pool and a legendary hotel dining room where you could order lobsters and cocktails.

There were bungalows along the beach, which have been replaced by apartments and condos and that beautiful piece of land along the Shrewsbury River was sold to Sea Streak.

The road that runs along the old Conners land is now Shore Drive but used to be railroad tracks that brought people from North Jersey and New York to this stunning little piece of beach.

What’s so special about this beach is that it sits along a strip of bay instead of ocean, so the waves lap gently on the shore as if you’re on some deserted Caribbean island.

Running along this pretty little strip of paradise is a gorgeous trail that is part of the Henry Hudson Trail, a paved, 10-foot wide, 24-mile long trail that is a former railroad right-of-way. Some parts have views of surrounding wetlands, streams and fields.

Beginning at Conners, the trail continues along Sandy Hook Bay to Popamora Point on the Atlantic Highlands/Highlands border. Spend the day on this beach and end it with this hike. It’s a little bit of heaven in New Jersey. But shhh. Don’t tell. Let’s keep it to ourselves.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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