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.

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.

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
3 months ago

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

Great in the fall.

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
6 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.

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
7 months ago

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.

trail running
9 months ago

You can always see building around you.

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.

11 months ago

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.

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.

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.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

From High Bridge you can take the high road, the rail trail, go towards Califon and return through Lockwood Gorge along the town and the river. Two different experiences on the same ride.

trail running
Saturday, September 03, 2016

Easy, well groomed trail that runs from Verona to Cedar Grove. Plenty of parking on the street near the trail ahead or 0.1 mile away at Verona High. Trail is mostly packed gravel with a few sections of wash out where you need to pay a little more attention to footing. Great for running - might be a little boring for mountain bikers.

mountain biking
Friday, July 29, 2016

perfect trail for walking, running, biking. nice shade. nice little run

Monday, July 25, 2016

Walked a couple miles out and back from High Bridge. Looks like a great, flat trail for mountain biking and it was a nice stroll for us. There were plenty of hikers and bikers even though it was pretty hot. As such, if you're looking for quiet and solitude, this might not be the ideal venue. But if you want an easy flat trail with a decent amount of shade, it works.

trail running
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Excellent trail for a fast run. Level, packed crushed gravel. Little foot traffic compared to other parks so no distractions. Great in the winter! Not a lot of shade in the summer though.

mountain biking
Monday, July 18, 2016

nice ride. stopped at bex in califon, good eats, a little pricey.

mountain biking
Monday, June 27, 2016

This trail is just amazing, my favorite place to ride so far. The main trail is fairly long, flat and hard packed dirt with a couple of small gravel and loose rocky areas. I'm going to be honest, it's pretty boaring. It gets really interesting when you get off the main trail, there is a lot of nice tight and single track type trails with hard turns and natural obstacles. There is a pretty cool waterfall fairly close to the beginning where a lot of people jump off the 20 foot or so cliffs, very refreshing after a nice ride. Unfortunately all the ramps, burms and wooden obstacles you see in some of the pics are gone but it's still a great place to ride and has something for everyone if you look for it.

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