Explore the most popular birding trails in Watchung Reservation with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A little muddy but still enjoyable. Lots of families out enjoying themselves.

Very easy trail. A little muddy on the north side but easily negotiable. Took an infant in a backpack and had no trouble. Easy to extend trail distance depending how you feel. Limited parking but spaces turn over

Sign was bit confusing but overall had good time..!

Since the storm there are a number of trees down, some of which make this trail more difficult. If you are looking for an easy walk, this might not be it, but it is a pleasant path with a great view if you are willing to put in the effort.

8 months ago

I’ve been here a lot. I use to fish the area of watching and plainfield this was my go to place for pickerole and crappie

10 months ago

First part is unnecessary all you pass is a giant white thing with graffiti. Too many roads along this trail. It’s also neither a challenging hike nor a well maintained trail for running or elderly folks.

Very nice trail. A bit tricky at one point on the trail as you come from west to east. No markings at intersection of Historic Trail (pink) and Cataract Road. Wound up finding our way on white trail, which hooked back up to Historic Trail by the lake. Overall great experience, though.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Very disappointed. The purple trail paralleled route 78 which was very loud. Terribly loud. There were even sections that were along a road. It's too bad as everything else was lovely. A lot of wildlife, a deep ravine, beautiful tree and the historic readings were very interesting. No way that this is moderate. It was very easy.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Excellent trails! Love that gives you many different choices to make your walking long or short. I only gave it 4 stars because there should be more signs on where you are and how to get to different "Parking" points. We used goggle to be able to get back to our car ...

great hike, lovely nature

Monday, September 11, 2017

Last minute decision to hike here on my day off and I was not disappointed at all! A challenging 6 mile hike that has lots of different terrain and elevation change! 10/10

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Did it again. Hiking shoes and long pants recommended.

Friday, September 08, 2017

The trail was difficult to find at the start, but we made our own route following other paths to get to the purple trail. Once you're on it, the Watchung Historic Trail is clearly marked with purple blazes. It does get muddy and very narrow/steep at certain parts, but it was honestly one of my favorite hikes.

trail running
Thursday, September 07, 2017

The white trail will take you through the woods.

The pink trail will take you around lake surprise. The lake is muddy but very beautiful to look at with little sitting spots all along the trail.

There were many wildflowers along both paths.

I saw a stag on the whole trail.

I saw turtles and chipmunks on the pink trail and a cool spider web.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fun easy trail with a view of the lake. It's a muddy lake but still beautiful.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Trails were poorly marked and confusing. Not an ideal place to hike if it recently rained (somewhat muddy, although I've experienced worse). Didn't care for the close proximity of the brush to the trail - we were constantly batting away random vines and had to watch our step. The open fields around the forest were pleasant and I enjoyed the visitor's center. Other than that, it wasn't so great. I won't be returning any time soon.

The lake itself isn't particularly pretty. Water is brown. Not much wildlife around -- as far as we could see. The trail isn't very well marked either. Having said that, it was a nice enough afternoon walk in the woods.

I've been hiking this trail ever since I was about seven years old. Pretty simple hike and always enjoyable with a scenic view of Lake Surprise! Would definitely recommend!

Monday, July 03, 2017

I was completely immersed in nature on this trail. The constant noises from chipmunks or squirrels scattering about, woodpeckers working and birds chirping left nothing to the imagination. There were numerous junctions that had me wondering how much deeper would the experience get if I wandered off of the purple trail.

The trees broke up the direct sunlight and that was good considering it was close to 90 degrees.

AllTrails on my iPhone helped me along this trail and it reduced worry of getting lost. Trails are marked well but it did take sometime to find the trail entrance from the parking lot.

Wear some good shoes because some parts were pretty rocky!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great hike for anyone. Trails are nicely marked.

An easy trail around a lake with little elevation change. It gets longer than 2 miles if you follow the pink (red?) trail as it will lead you up away from the lake. We got a bit lost

Peaceful trail around a lake, with plenty of branching trails to wander through the hills. The lake and woods need a good clean-up effort, but it's an enjoyable experience nonetheless.

Awesome trail. It was my first time.. started at 10 am and finished around 2:30pm. Totally doable for a first timer.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Maybe we shouldn't have hiked it when it was raining, but a majority of the Purple Trail was underwater. Not like a little creek, but a flowing river lined on either side with thorn bushes. We were soaked to the bone and freezing and again that might've been our own fault for picking the wrong day to hike it, but the trail maintenance was just not there.

nice walk through the woods , cool view

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Saturday, February 18, 2017

My local go-to trail. Lots of people and dogs on weekends. Can be very muddy in warm winters and spring.


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