Bicycle Trail Parks in New Jersey

Bicycle Trail Parks in New Jersey
New Jersey may never compete with Colorado, Utah or other great mountain bike states, but if you know where to look, there are several state, county and local parks that offer fun, challenging trails. Some even provide great views. Here's a short list of parks that offer mountain biking from the north to the south.

Ringwood State Park

Located in northern New Jersey, straddling Passaic and Bergen counties, Ringwood State Park offers just over 4,000 acres of park land. The state park allows mountain biking and offers a 7.5-mile loop in the Shepherd Lake section. The park also has a variety of multiuse trails. Be aware that 90 percent of the park is open to hunting during hunting season. In addition to mountain biking, the park offers a variety of other activities including boating, fishing and swimming. Attractions like Ringwood Manor and the State Botanical Garden are additional reasons to visit. Located off exit 57 of Interstate 287, the park is easy to travel to from points south.

Ringwood State Park
1304 Sloatsburg Rd.
Ringwood, NJ 07456-1799
(973) 962-7031

Washington Valley Park

Once a loose series of trails frequented primarily by locals, the 715-acre Washington Valley Park in Bridgewater, New Jersey offers some of central Jersey's best mountain biking with plenty of fast, winding singletrack. The area also offers some of New Jersey's more technical riding. Often referred to as Chimney Rock, the local trail network spreads across several patches of woods and can be accessed from a number of different parking areas including Newmans Lane and Millers Lane. The latter offers quick access to a scenic overlook where visitors can bird watch and enjoy the scenery. The park is located near a variety of major highways including U.S. 22, I-287 and I-78.

Somerset County Park Commission
355 Milltown Road
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 231-0802

Hartshorne Woods Park

Located near the Jersey Shore, the 787-acre Hartshorne Woods Park provides access to one of the highest points on the Atlantic coast. The Monmouth County park also serves some of the best mountain biking in the state with excellent singletrack and long, fast descents. The park is a great place for new mountain bikers or groups of different abilities, because the trail system is divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced routes much like a ski resort. In addition to off-road trails, there are also paved trails. New Jersey may not have a reputation for scenery, but Hartshorne does; the park provides access to stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and New York City in the distance. For those looking for additional rides, the nearby Huber Woods Park also offers mountain biking trails.

Hartshorne Woods Park
1402 Portland Road
Highlands, NJ 07732
(Rocky Point Entrance)
(732) 872-0336

Other Options

The aforementioned parks offer some of the best mountain biking in New Jersey, but there are plenty of other options as well. In the north, state parks like High Point and Wawayanda offer mountain biking. Other central New Jersey options include Lewis Morris County Park, Sourland Mountain Preserve and Round Valley Recreation Area. In the south, mountain bikers can enjoy access at Allaire State Park and Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. Always check with individual parks as to what trails allow biking and the policies affecting bikes.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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