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Watchung Reservation: Green Brook Loop Trail Professional Review and Guide
"The 2065-acre Watchung Reservation has 13 miles of blazed trails, 26 miles of bridle trails, and more than 40 miles of unmarked trails—plenty of space for you and Bowser to explore. With many access points, the white-blazed Sierra Trail has a lot of company—wild and tame. If your dog is well behaved on a leash, you both will enjoy the excursion. Hike down the paved Cataract Hollow Road through the Deserted Village of Feltville, an 1840s mill town. The road through the village is the white-blazed Sierra Trail, which becomes a dirt bridle trail as it enters the woods after Masker’s Barn, the last historic building. It runs through sun-dappled woods, heavy in birch and American beech trees."
--Mary Jasch, Best Hikes with Dogs: New Jersey (The Mountaineers Books).
Excellent trails. Well blazes and easy to navigate around. I took my dog for his first hike. It was in the middle of the week so really didn’t see much people. I had found a map online but they have them at the Trail Side Center if you need one.
Excellent trails. Map definitely needed which can be obtained at the trail side center. Well blazed, easy to moderate in some areas, lake, waterfalls, birds, history, old village, copper mine....pretty much everything. Can be 1/2 hr, can be 6 hrs..whatever you want to make of it. Beautiful either way...i highly recommend. Never overcrowded either because of the sheer size.
The trail had a lot of ups and downs. Since it was a winter hike, the views were impressive. The view from the summit at the southwest corner of the preserve was very pretty and gave a good opportunity to sit with the dogs, they with their water and us with our hot coffee. The trail was wet and muddy in some places but that is to be expected. The description in the downloaded information was a bit sparse and the map was small. I blew it up to fill a whole page in order to read it. At the preserve, most all trails are called the Sierra trail regardless of where they go. At one trail intersection you could go in three other directions beside the trail you are coming from and be on the Sierra trail. Fortunately the GPS and compass app on my iPhone was an invaluable resource. It didn't replace common sense things such as landmarks, the position of the sun, and (in some cases) blazes, but was there when all else failed. The hike was a great experience, nonetheless, and deserves four stars. -- Norm
Very open trails. Some ups and downs, great for kids and dogs. Pretty much anyone can handle this trail.
Trail was great! There wasn't a whole lot of foliage, but everything was starting to bud/grow (Including some ground flowers as well). I saw plenty of chipmunks and squirrels, and snagged a couple shots of some hawks. The second day I went (Went back with my wife), we saw a small garter snake. By the lake there are tons of turtles, and a small waterfall to stop by (I didn't check it out on this trip, but I will the next). Birds are plenty colorful, but equally as hard to capture on film.
It was great weather, but actually did manage to get a little warm towards the afternoon. I trail hopped for a while, and ended up going about 6 miles altogether, but plan on going back to cover more area that I didn't get to see the first time around. I would recommend staying to the left of the park (Not near the horse stables, unless you want to see that stuff). The trails near the horse stables are bridle trails and can be confirmed by all the droppings along the way. (I like to avoid that if possible). You can print out a greatly detailed map of the park if you visit Union County's Park and Recreation Site, which shows the foot paths (Unblazed), bridle trails, blazed trails, etc.
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