Pequest Wildlife Management Area Trail

New Jersey

Pequest Wildlife Management Area Trail Facts

States: New Jersey
Counties: Warren
Length: 4.2 miles
Trail end points: Intersection of US 46 and NJ 31, Buttzville, NJ and Pequest Road, Townsbury, NJ
Trail surfaces: Ballast, Cinder, Dirt, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016576
Trail activites: Fishing, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Pequest Wildlife Management Area Trail Description

This trail is much better suited to walking than to biking. It provides excellent access to the Pequest River which is stocked with trout. Not all of the bridges across the river have been decked and consist only of the original railroad ties. At the eastern end of the trail in Buttzville at the intersection of US Route 46 and NJ Route 31 is an interesting configuration of two abandoned railroad bridges one passing over the other. Accessing the old rail bed at this location requires a hike down a steep embankment from the parking area. The trail parallels US Route 46 Between NJ Route 31 and Pequest Furnace Road, two rail lines ran parallel to each other, one low along the banks of the Pequest River and the other further up the hillside. Just before Pequest Furnace Road the upper line turned off to the south. A portion of this line is now the Oxford Bikeway. There are remnants of several old abutments on the west side of Pequest Furnace Road. The bridge crossing the Pequest River at this location is decked. There is a large parking area on the east side of Pequest Furnace Road. A diversion along the trail is the State of New Jersey's Pequest Trout Hatchery where there are exhibits and a network of hiking trails. Parking is available at this location as well. The eastern end of the trail is at Pequest Road in Townsbury.

Parking and Trail Access

From Interstate 80, take Exit 19, New Jersey Rout 517. Proceed south towards Hackettstown. In Hackettstown turn right onto US Route 46. In Buttzville at the intersection of Route 31 there is a dirt parking area on the right. A path leads down to the rail bed. Better parking and trail access is available further east on US 46 at Pequest Furnace Road or the Pequest Trout hatchery.

Pequest Wildlife Management Area Trail Reviews

"It's been almost three years since my last trip to the Pequest WMA trail. Its former state was the reason for the lapse. The trail is now a trail! It has been completely cleared of all vegetation, ties and rails. It is now an excellent trail with two shortcomings, mostly for bikers and horseback riders.

A considerable portion of the ROW consists of moderately large gravel, which is not the greatest surface for walking, but not that bad. It would be a different story for bikers. At least 50% of the trail is of better consistency, and in many areas, ""wheel tracks"" have moved the gravel aside.

There are 3 steel bridges over the Pequest River, which are suitable for walking, but not for bikes and impossible for horses. There is no decking on the bridges, just open ties in varying states of decay, with clear views of the rushing water below.

The area is very attractive, and if the bridges were upgraded and the trail surface made more user friendly, this would rank with the best trails. It is completely level and has only two rural road crossings and one private crossing. There are many views of the river and it passes under the old DL&W main line. Parking is available at the north end, at the Hatchery access road and at Pequest Furnace Rd.

This trail has undergone an amazing transformation. Let's hope it can make the next step to a great trail!

Now rates a 6 out of 10!"

" The only parking area for this trail is just off Rte 46 at the entrance to the Pequest Hatchery, just before crossing the Pequest River. The trail goes north of here for just over 1 mile, but is mostly overgrown. The section immediately south is densely overgrown at first, but becomes more passable after a short distance. Brush and saplings sprout generously along the rest of the ROW. Ties are in place, though quite rotted, along most of the trail. Biking is impossible except for masochists! Walking can be difficult, and the easiest use of the trail is feeding the bugs - your blood! The area is very attractive, but the trail needs a lot of work.

Rates a 2 out of 10!


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