Explore the most popular forest 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Did it again. Hiking shoes and long pants recommended.

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.

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.

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

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!

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!

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.

nice walk through the woods , cool view

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

excellent

hiking
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.

Great

walking
Monday, November 07, 2016

Beautiful and easy.

hiking
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This is a really nice area for a hike. Lake Surprise is at the bottom of a little valley so the hike around it is fairly flat. We added a little detour in the middle. The path can be narrow at times and you will want either a map or an app to navigate. But it is worth a visit.

Moderate in length, easy in elevation change.

hiking
Sunday, September 04, 2016

Did the pink trail; markings were hard to find; got lost for 30 minutes and had to backtrack. Rocky, climbed over fallen trees, some of the trail had lots of water flowing right on path. There is a rope midway through to help get you from the bottom to climb up to the next ledge ... But I'd do it again! Was a blast! 6 miles according to the trail map

hiking
Monday, August 08, 2016

This is a pretty good trail but the Easy designation might not be accurate for the whole hike. There are a couple spots where the trail is washed away, one of which requires a short, steep climb. It is roughly halfway around the circuit. There is a ladder and rope available to help. But not every hiker would be able to manage that portion of the trail. Overall the trail is reasonably well marked and there weren't a lot of people even on a Sunday afternoon. But there is also a portion that is within earshot of I-78. So it's not perfectly quiet either.

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