Explore the most popular rails trails 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.

nice and easy trail. accompanied by the soothing sounds of the river. very level and good for all activities

great trail for walking or biking.

road biking
1 month ago

The whole path is paved and perfect for road biking. There are off-road paths off the trail that are fun for mountain bikes too.

trail running
3 months ago

This is a daily out-and-back run. The Wisteria is out today making the trip all the nicer.

I've done this a couple of times. It is really more of a walk than a hike in my opinion. Also, it is not as secluded as I would prefer.

fishing
6 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

Excellent trail that runs through remnants of rural NJ. 167ft. elevation gain stated above is questionable (basically a flat trail.) If you are visiting the area, Walford gristmill (nearby and operational on weekends) is worth a visit and The Moth coffeehouse (former gristmill in Allentown, NJ) is a nice stop for an after walk snack. There have been possible plans stated that would extend the trail to the Working Dog Winery in Hightstown.

Nice trail for biking or walking.

mountain biking
8 months ago

Great local trail! Should be resurfaced for running (rocky).

hiking
9 months ago

This is more of a walk then a hike. Very well groomed path. Very active on weekends. A pleasure to experience.

Great in the fall.

walking
10 months ago

Exactly as described--out and back--not much to see but sometimes I don't want to have to look at a map or wonder where I am...this trail serves that purpose. I did have a hard time finding the trail head. The directions point you to the tennis court parking lot but the trail start is on Fairview Avenue. I used 199 Fairview Avenue, Verona, NJ for my GPS.

Great bike or hike with a rail trail grade for beginners or those who want to do the complete 30 mile round trip. If you want to take a break take the road and stop at Melick’s Orchard for Peaches, Apples, or farm stand cider.

Perfect for the family. Well maintained and some beautiful farms. All cinder/gravel. Easy for bikes.

This is very well-maintained trail that is great for all sorts of activities. There's no incline and not much wildlife, so it's not much of a hike if that's what you're looking for, but it's stroller accessible and dog friendly. There's not much tree coverage, so you will be exposed to the sun quite a bit.

trail running
11 months ago

Good 10K run out-and-back on a decent, but not great trail. It's not maintained very well, but it's fine for a run, walk or easy mountain bike ride. Not great for serious hiking as West Essex is essentially a suburban wooded Path. You're not likely to encounter any wildlife that you wouldn't find in your own backyard. The nicest spot on the trail is where the trail (former trestle) crosses the Peckman River.

Plenty of easy parking on Fairview Ave. No portable toilets. Seemingly quite safe due to proximity to houses. Two other trails intersect the West Essex rail trail.

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

Pretty hike! Loads of trees and shade, so it's great for a super sunny day for those of you'll who don't like the sun very much

mountain biking
Friday, August 04, 2017

great place

Great even walking surface. Hot spots in some areas with minimal plant life, so best to hit the trail early if you are taking your furry four legged friends with you.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

trail running
Sunday, June 11, 2017

You can always see building around you.

walking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nice walk on an old railroad bed. Flat and pretty level. Little gnome structures along the trail to check out , keep your eyes open some are hidden.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

We started at mile marker 0 and walked to around 2. We didn't see any of the foot bridges we saw online and def not the castle we saw on Bring Fido... to be fair it is a 6.6 mile trail, but it would be great to know where the "sites" are. People were friendly. Not empty, but not high traffic and some turn offs. More of a walk than a hike for sure. No climbing, but its jersey shore so to be expected.

hiking
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Me and my two boys went this past Sunday,I love this place haven"t hiked the whole trail yet but am planning to do so.I do want to bike it I'm just waiting for my boys to get bikes don't want to ride alone much more exciting to share your adventure with others.

hiking
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.

I think it's the best trail in nj.

mountain biking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Solid place to go mtb especially if you have kids just learning. Nothing too technical just nice riding and mild grades. Pretty pedal through the gorge, great for hiking and fly fishing too. Gives you the feeling you are more secluded than you really are.

mountain biking
Thursday, February 23, 2017

George P. Beautiful trail. Beautiful day. I've mountain biked this trail end to end several times. Today, February 22, 2017 was a magnificent day with 70 degree temps. I love this trail because it is relatively flat with some bumps. Today I only was able to ride from Kenlockood Gorge to Califon and back because I'm recovering from injuries but the gorge is as close to Montana as we get here in NJ. Watched a fly fisherman bring in a trout on a nymph. Life doesn't get any better than this unless I was reeling that fish in myself.

backpacking
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Excellent good for walking, running, and biking. seemed nice and shady. good to avoid the hot sun. http://www.packersmoversthanecity.in

mountain biking
Saturday, October 01, 2016

Love this trail. It has awesome technical climbs and dry river crossing , however found out by other hikers bikes are not permitted in Watchung, very big shame given the diversity and plenty of options for multi-use activity, maybe that will change one day. Some spots are very rocky. Be careful on rainy days.

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