CR 527 is a north/south route in the northern half of New Jersey. At almost 85 miles, it is one of the longest county routes in the state. It begins in Toms River, where Water Street changes designation from CR 549 south to CR 527 north at its intersection with Main Street (NJ 166). After one block, Water Street becomes Lakehurst Road. It runs west for about a mile and a half to NJ 37, where it curves to the north and becomes Oak Ridge Parkway. After a couple of miles, Oak Ridge Parkway ends at Whitesville Road (CR 571). CR 527 and CR 571 are multiplexed for about half a mile, and then the two routes split. Whitesville Road continues north for about seven miles and then ends at East Veterans Highway (CR 528). CR 527 and CR 528 are multiplexed along East Veterans Highway for a few miles to the northwest, and then CR 527 splits off to the north as Cedar Swamp Road.
Cedar Swamp Road runs north into Monmouth County, crossing and having an interchange with the Central Jersey Expressway (I-195). At the county line, it changes names to become Siloam Road. A couple of miles to the north, it crosses Monmouth Road (CR 537) and changes names to become Smithburg Road. After another mile, CR 527 turns to the northeast onto Sweetmans Lane. At NJ 33, Sweetmans Lane becomes Millhurst Road, which runs north to Englishtown, where it becomes Conover Street. After one block, Conover Street ends and CR 527 turns onto Main Street. Heading out of Englishtown, Main Street become Wilson Avenue and then Old Bridge-Englishtown Road. As its name suggests, Old Bridge-Englishtown Road runs north to Old Bridge, where it crosses NJ 18. At the interchange CR 527 curves to the east and then loops back around to the west on Old Matawan Road, which curves to the northwest and becomes Old Bridge Turnpike. Old Bridge Turnpike runs parallel to NJ 18 and eventually merges into it.
CR 527 is multiplexed with NJ 18 along the Monmouth Freeway across the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) and the Raritan River to New Brunswick. There, it splits off and follows NJ 172 for its entire length along George Street through the campus of Rutgers University. At the end of NJ 172, CR 527 continues along George Street to Albany Street (NJ 27). It is multiplexed with NJ 27 for two blocks and then splits off onto Easton Avenue, which follows the Raritan River northwest to South Bound Brook. There, it changes names to become Main Street and crosses the river to Bound Brook. On the other side of the river, Main Street turns to the west at a traffic circle. After a few blocks, CR 527 turns off to the north onto Mountain Avenue. CR 527 follows Mountain Avenue, Morning Glory Road, Washington Valley Road, and Mountain Boulevard to Watchung, where there is another traffic circle. It emerges from the circle as Valley Road, which runs to the east, parallel to and just south of the Phillipsburg-Newark Expressway (I-78). At the entrance to the Watchung Reservation, it turns onto Glenside Avenue, which runs right next to I-78 and eventually crosses it. It follows Glenside Avenue, Morris Avenue, and Springfield Avenue across the Morris-Essex Turnpike Bypass (NJ 24) to Morris Turnpike (NJ 124). It is multiplexed with NJ 124 for one block and then splits off onto Millburn Avenue, which runs east for about a mile to CR 577, where it turns north onto Old Short Hills Road. It follows Old Short Hills Road, East Cedar Street, Livingston Avenue, Eagle Rock Avenue, and Roseland Avenue to Caldwell. There, Roseland Avenue ends at Bloomfield Avenue (CR 506), and CR 527 is multiplexed with CR 506 for about half a mile to the east. It then turns onto Mountain Avenue, which it follows to its northern terminus at Pompton Avenue (NJ 23) in Cedar Grove.
In Manalapan Township, CR 527 has an alternate route along Smithburg Road and Iron Ore Road.
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