Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Mostly flat easy terrain. 25% moderate as you need to watch your footing to prevent rolling an ankle. quite muddy in second half (when travelling counterclockwise)

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

Did the white trial on Saturday and there was a guy out there with a chainsaw and a loose German Shepherd . Def got nervous so we turned around and went the other way. Is that allowed out there ?

I though the trail was pretty cool but nothing really that makes it stand out. The highlight was a small walking bridge above a flowing creek. Great for some light cardio.

Very nice trail but poorly marked. We got lost in between and had to figure way out via GPS. I really wish if they could mark the trails appropriately and also have exit signs for all different parking lots.

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.

I bring my 5 year old little girl out here frequently. She is able to complete the hike without any problems.

fishing
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.

Poorly marked —I would not go if you were a female running alone

hiking
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.

hiking
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

hiking
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

hiking
Sunday, September 10, 2017

Did it again. Hiking shoes and long pants recommended.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

You definitely need gps to find your way around. Trails NOT well marked. Very pretty woods and dog friendly.

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!

hiking
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!

hiking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great hike for anyone. Trails are nicely marked.

Nice trail, the red lines don't follow trails exactly but with gps was totally able to find our way and figure out which trails to take. Definitely will use again!! Considering paid version .

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