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

Very clean and scenic hike! Moderate if you take the blue trail but pretty water fall!

July 16th. Trails are in poor shape. Many trees, branches and growth on or across Red, White and Blue trails. Three of us came out of woods covered with chiggers and at least 25 ticks of all sizes between the three of us. Wouldn't recommend these trails until some maintenance is performed. The vista view was enjoyable with a view of an osprey nest which contained a young bird, not yet a fledgling.

Hiking through the boulders was super fun and the stairs at the end were crucial.

This beautiful trail was a bit confusing to maneuver, but was still enjoyable. The view of Bear Swamp Lake was picturesque, and the unmarked trails were fun to navigate. We saw various kinds of wildlife as well. Bug spray is needed.

scenic driving
19 hours ago

summer bugs are horrendous. fall and winter, early spring are better for hikes. Alot of wildlife to catch a glimpse of, trail gets elevated quite often, nature center has some cool stuff. The wildlife drive is always nice, keep the windows up or else its greenhead nightmare!

Very good workout. We walked whole loop and enjoyed most of it. We were attacked by flies by Bear Swamp Lake. It was so many of them that we almost ran.

choose the yellow trail. It had both flat parts & hilly parts. overall great experience. We also saw a deer on our travels. Views in some places very nice.

Hiking up the red dot was tough but the views at the top were amazing. Also when you're about to hit the green from blue there is a spot where me and other people were jumping into a pool of water from the rocks. Its not allowed but it was very fun. Will go again.

Definitely lives up to its name as one of the most difficult hikes in NJ, especially in the summer heat. Lots of ascents with descents and the descents along with the ascents are extremely steep, so its pretty hard on the knees. My Casio watch had elevation gain at 2850ft, pretty close to alltrails 2550ft. I would recommend you do the trail clockwise, I did it counter like everyone else but then you get done with all the views in the first half with nothing to see in the second half, so if you go clockwise you'll save the great views for the second half.

Started at the Douglas trailhead lot which had a decent amount of parking. Headed up the Douglas trail which was a pretty steep climb but the trail was wide and we took it at an easy pace. Connected with the AT and followed that to an area with a very nice overlook of the valley. Continued on the AT until we got to Sunfish Pond where we scoped out a shady spot for some lunch. Found a shedded snakeskin near our lunch spot which was neat. After lunch, got back on the AT and hugged the shoreline of the pond where we saw a few salamanders and a bunch of frogs. At the far end of the pond we came to the Garvey Springs trail which headed back down the mountain. At the junction with the Rockcores trail we went right which seemed to be a less traveled trail and it definitely paid off. As we made our way down we came across a young black bear digging through a rotting tree stump. Upon noticing us, the bear calmly ambled up the mountainside and out of sight. A short distance further and we were back to the parking lot. All in all, a nice 5 mile loop for a late morning / early afternoon hike!

The giant steps were described to me as a “unique and challenging experience”...that’s about right.

Great little hike. Diverse enough to hold our interest and short enough to be done before lunch!!!

My pups 1st walk & she had a blast in the lake & river

Awesome climb. The view is worth every second of this hike. Walk back using blue trail to cool off at the bottom of the mountain. Will be going back without a doubt.

love this park

hiking
3 days ago

I started off at route 515 in Jersey. there begining is flat and easy on a boardwalk most of the way. when you cross route 94 you approach stairway to heaven. it's a steep climb mostly rocks zig zag top the top. beautiful views when you get there

Network of trails that can be combined in different ways - full map at http://www.njconservation.org/images/2014fpp_trails8x11color.jpg. Trails are decently marked but need to pay attention. Would also be good for trail running.

Network of trails, decently marked with lots of ways to combine them - full map at http://www.njconservation.org/images/2014fpp_trails8x11color.jpg. Flies are a pain in the summer but not unbearable with bug spray. Trails would also be good for trail running.

trail running
4 days ago

Great trail for a jog! Nice and level with plenty of shade. Very scenic. Lots of birds.

hiking
5 days ago

I hiked the entirety of the Grand Loop (White) starting at the New York Brigade parking area. The map says 6.5 miles for the whole loop plus .3 miles each way to/from the parking area. So should've been 7.1 miles. My phone only registered 6.2 miles, and it took me just barely under 2 hours to complete so I tend to think my phone was more accurate.

I did it clockwise. Not much to see here. Some water early on was nice. Parts had some decent inclines/declines, but the time it took me should tell you how difficult it was. Trails were well traveled and very easy to navigate. At the bottom of the loop you cross over a 2 lane 40 mph road twice. One crossing was almost blind because of curves in the road. Not ideal.

Don't know if I'd really rate it as Moderate. But I suppose it wasn't quite Easy either. Probably somewhere in between.

My friend and I decided to walk around the lake, we had the map but the trails were not clearly marked! We ended up getting lost a couple of times!

Definitely a more difficult “moderate” trail. Take your time and bring lots of water, some parts were pretty strenuous. Fantastic view made it worth the climb.

6 days ago

Great, easy hike. You can walk through wetlands woods and a sandy beach in a short time. There’s a wide variety of trees and birds. I read that there’s a lot of ticks in this area but we stayed on the main path (which is rather wide and clear) and had no ticks.

rock climbing
6 days ago

I can

Did it on a Monday with 16 year old son. Great time. Challenging but very doable. First 1 - 1.5 mile strenuous uphill. Last 1.5-2.0 miles. downhill. In and out in 3 hours. beautiful views. Other people on the trail so you feel pretty safe. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Good time.

The complete ride, hike or bike is 5.2 miles just one way. At no time did I have to ride my bike on the road. You ( CAN ) ride on the Boardwalk up until 12 noon. After that you will have to ride up or down on Ocean Ave. Being a senior, I didn't complete the 10.4 miles of a total round trip. You will get a beautiful ride if you get started during Sunrise. The entire trip is all flat. Wood on the Boardwalk and concrete paths. You only have two ramps. One on each end of the boardwalk. If you plan to checkout the fishing pier bring a bike lock. No bikes on that pier ( ONLY ).

Excellent hike! Very strenuous and at the 3/4 mark I questioned why I was still doing it hahaha, but totally worth it! The view was great and we met a lot of great people, religious hikers and through hikers. There’s a farm across the street, a small farmers market with a bathroom. Good for quick stop.

Very fun hike but it would have been impossible without GPS and the AllTrails app, because there are almost no markings on the trails. Even with GPS and the AllTrails app, finding our way was difficult at times. Sometimes we would just start walking where the trail was supposed to be and it would eventually materialize. That said, while South Mountain Reservation is often crowded, we were hiking alone, which was great, on much of this route — probably because no one else knows about or can find it. Interestingly, the trails themselves are mostly in pretty good condition, so someone is clearly handling the upkeep — just not the markings.

Our dog loved it!

Favorite spot in NJ hands down! I've hiked it about a dozen times and I'll probably go at least a dozen more. I recommend going up the red and coming down the blue. The red trail has sections that are fairly steep but there's a great view after the first major incline. Bring water and take breaks! The view at the top is amazing and there's an area with small waterfalls and a small pool where you can cool off at the bottom of the blue trail. Highly recommended!

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