2 stars might be more accurate because of the noise of 287 and planes and helicopters, and the surrounding suburban encroachment. That said, I gave 3 stars because I did have fun on the trails. Following the blue blaze from the TH offers a good workout up the mountain. Lunch on the lookout was nice. Do pay attention to the blazes, there are several spots that were a bit dodgy. Yellow to orange to red was the most quiet part of the hike.
Nice short hike, especially if you are local (I am) Lots of cars, but only ran into one person on the trail. Warning, if you are bringing your dog, make sure that you are UTD on tick treatment. Mine was, luckily, but still hate picking off those little buggers, even when they're dead.
Took blue to white to orange, about 2.3 miles. Blue trail up to the summit is challenging. The trail is a tad overgrown in portions but not terrible, the real problem is the inadequate markers. Norvin Green State Park, for example, is unbelievably better. I found myself pausing to search for the next trail marker more than once.
There is a ton of distracting noise from 287 on one side of the park and a brand new condo park on the other side. There's also a gas line running through several of the trails and a couple of large fire roads. It's not a great trail for a nature hike, but the blue trail features a pretty nice ascent, though no scrambling unless you do a little bit of bushwhacking.
I live so closely to Mountainside Park that I'll more likely use these trails for trail running and fitness purposes than for a nature hike. Unfortunately Mountainside Park will never be the same again due to the encroachment of civilization. I have now hiked this park three times; all three times there were other cars in the lot but I never ran into anybody else on the trail.
This is a good trail if you're very local. If not, I'd recommend making the trip just up Route 23 to Norvin Green State Park instead. Lots of better trails there.
Took blue to the peak, then white to yellow and back to blue to the parking lot. There are certain spots on the trail with relatively little to see. The ambient noise from 287 was a distraction at times. The picnic/pavilion area on the blue trail was a nice feature. Great spot to relax and grab a bite. The climb to the peak on blue was a tough little stretch but the view is nice with a few benches at the top. Be mindful of the markers, I found it easy to lose the trail at certain points. Decent little trail, it's worth a try.