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Explore the best rated trails in South Orange, NJ. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Timp-Torne Trail and Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. With more than 102 trails covering 820 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
This is my favorite of the New Jersey trails I've been on. Starting out from the High Bridge end, the first few miles are on a slight upward climb that you barely notice, but you're glad to have on the return trip. The scenery is nicely varied ...every section has its own personality and there are many photo ops along the way. The trail is well maintained and away from traffic noises.
The trail is a bit more rugged and not as well maintained as the other NJ trails, though a hybrid bike will do the job. West of Blairstown Airport there are a few short sections where you have to get off the bike and deal with steep embankments. There are also a few weird places that seem like dead ends...you come to a road crossing and need to follow it a bit before the trail resumes on the other side. They could use a little signage in these areas...having Google Maps on my phone came in handy on a few occasions.
A good starting point for the Western section is the park at 5 Foot Bridge Lane in Blairstown, and for the Eastern area there's a small lot at 106 County Rd 519 in Newton.
Don't even think of going if it's been raining in the last few days. The last time I went there I parked at the Foot Bridge Lane lot in Blairstown and headed East...I slogged through and around mud flats for a few miles before I came to an impassable one and had to turn around. You also learn pretty quickly to be on the lookout for horse calling cards.
Other than these drawbacks it can be a nice ride...people you meet are friendly and for the most part you're away from traffic noises and off the beaten path.
The trail was originally a tow path...in its early days mules would walk along it towing barges through the canal, usually carrying coal from Pennsylvania to the New York area. The canal is seventy-five feet wide and eight feet deep. It was dug in the 1830s by hand - mostly by laborers brought in from Ireland. They worked under brutal conditions from sunup til sundown; some of them had stonemason skills and their cobblestone spillways still survive.
So how long did it take 3,000 Irish laborers to dig the canal? Only three freaking years! Next time you ride this trail, mentally drink a toast of fine Irish whiskey to the good folks who labored so we can ride!
I mountain biked this short but beautiful trail before the 2012 Sandy washout. I took it from Ogdensburg to Beaver Lake Road (walk the tracks the last 300 feet) and then headed down RT 23 and left on 517 to Ogdensburg for a easy loop ride. I hiked the trail 1/13/2023 and I am happy to say that the collapsed section now has a narrow berm on the south side that can be biked (technical) or just walked. There are some trees down along the trail (hop some and carry over some) and some muddy areas by the rock cuts and some passable streams, but the views are worth a try. If you scramble up the rock mound you have great views of Ogdensburg and Sparta, and when you travel under the power lines you have a great view of RT 23 and Franklin. I think the rock cuts are deeper than the ones on the Paullinskill Trail and the elevated rail bed section are amazing. If you want to continue further into the Hamburg Mountain Wildlife Area, you can hop off this trail when it gets close to RT 23, and you will be across the street from their parking area. There is a also great little convenience store at the start of the trail in Ogdensburg as well a a new local bar across the street.
I just discovered the trail and rode it for a few miles earlier today, starting in Bristol. I thought the trail would have gone right next to the Delaware River (like the Schuylkill River Trail), but the path is a bit inland from the river. The path is small gravel. It’s not the most scenic path, but it’s in decent shape. I’ll probably only ride it again if I have the time to make it up to. We Hope.
Have enjoyed this trail for several years. Recently purchased an eBike and have emailed the recreation department in a couple of the towns that that the trail goes thru to get a clarification as to whether eBikes are permitted with no response. Not sure what town maintains or manages the trail. According to posted NJ legislation eBike are permissible on any trails that allow pedal bikes. Does anyone know where an official response can be obtained.
To add to the previous review, on 11/3 the trail was completely flooded at Jefferson Lake, just north of the Waterloo Road parking area.
Trail is great. Took my road bike w/700x25c tires on the well laid out path. Gravel is hard packed up to the 4 mile marker. Mile 4 thru 6 was loose gravel but manageable. It was a nice ride.
Beautiful bike trail to enjoy the fall colors. Love it so much. Highly recommend.
This trail is well marked and is a great combination of climbing steep rocky sections and walking flat sections with decent views. For someone out of shape, this hike is a great workout with plenty of resting spots.
This trail is great despite the middle aged men speeding past you at 90 mph on their LeMonds. I’m not sure if they are bike messengers or just “has beens” trying to live out their dreams of being in the Tour De France, but their speed and shrill shouts of “Left, Left, Left!” piercing the crisp fall air can really ruin what is otherwise a beautiful and relaxing family outing.
The perfect place to stroll and enjoy fall colors.
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