Watchung Reservation History Trail is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mountainside, New Jersey that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.8 miles
442 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

nature trips

trail running






wild flowers




washed out

10 hours ago

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)

5 months ago

Super muddy

6 months ago

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

11 months ago

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Monday, November 07, 2016


Monday, October 17, 2016

Moderate in length, easy in elevation change.

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

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.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

I actually made this trail myself as part of my Eagle Scout Project. It's a 6 mile loop trail starting at Trailside and takes you through the reservation. I made it to balance out the existing trails in the reservation and it's pretty easy. It has a couple slope spots along the trail but for the most part it isn't too bad, definitely family oriented. Enjoy!

28 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

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