Friday, February 18, 2011

Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown, NJ

ABOUT THE PARK:  Hartshorne Woods Park - Monmouth County Parks

Buttermilk Valley Entrance:  GPS Coordinates 40.401525, -74.012600

View Larger Map

TRAIL MAP:  Hartshorne Woods Park Trail Map and Brochure

3 miles - Buttermilk Valley section
6 miles - Buttermilk Valley and Monmouth Hills sections
9 miles - Buttermilk Valley, Monmouth Hills and Rocky Point sections

The trails are not blazed but most of the intersections are marked with posts.  Just off the parking lot is a kiosk which was stocked with maps when I was there and a water fountain for both humans and canines.
The green Candlestick Trail starts in this immediate area.  To pick up the blue Laurel Ridge Trail, head towards the porta potty on the right to find the Laurel Ridge Trail just to the left of the porta potty.
Laurel Ridge Trail
The view from the side trail off of the blue square Laurel Ridge trail has limited views in the winter, most likely no view in the summer:
Views are somewhat better at the Rocky Point Trail viewing area:

Black Fish Cove Pier
Black Fish Cove

[  0.00]  Take the blue square Laurel Ridge Trail to the left of the porta potty
[  0.70]  Keep left at the fork where right goes to ranger's residences
[  1.00]  Turn right on green overlook trail
[  1.15]  Overlook with limited view; follow around and loop back to intersection
[  1.30]  Right on blue square to continue on Laurel Ridge Trail
[  2.30]  Right on black diamond Grand Tour Trail
              *** keep left to continue on Laurel Ridge Trail for 3 mile hike ***
[  2.75]  Keep left on black diamond trail; woods road to maintenance area goes right
[  3.20]  At T-intersection turn right staying on black diamond Grand Tour Trail
[  3.50]  Turn left where sign indicates right turn to Hartshorne Road (not on map)
[  3.75]  Turn right at unmarked intersection where black Grand Tour continues to the left
              *** turn left to continue on Grand Tour Trail for approx 6 mile hike ***
[  4.00]  Cross straight over paved trail to black diamond Rocky Point Trail (Command Loop to right on paved trail)
[  4.25]  Cross paved trail to continue on black diamond Rocky Point Trail (Bunker Loop to right on paved trail)
[  4.75]  Turn right and go beyond wooden barrier for side trail to view; return to Rocky Point Trail
[  4.90]  Continue right on Rocky Point Trail
[  5.45]  Cross bridge, turn right on paved trail towards restroom; follow around to steps on right down to Black Fish Cove; leave Black Fish Cove uphill on paved trail to right of steps; turn right to continue on Rocky Point Trail just after fork in paved trail (unmarked)
[  6.00]  Turn right on paved trail to view; backtrack
[  6.15]  Continue to the right on black diamond Rocky Point Trail (unmarked but opposite marker on left)
[  6.75]  Cross over bridge
[  6.95]  Right on paved road and proceed between pillars with sign for authorized vehicles only; green water tank on right (parking lot on left); straight when paved Bunker Loop goes left
[  7.05]  Right on blue square Cuesta Ridge Trail
[  7.25]  Keep straight on Cuesta Ridge Trail where umarked trail goes left
[  8.00]  Turn right on black diamond Grand Tour Trail at intersection with log bench on left; keep left at split with water tower straight ahead (not on map)
[  8.05]  Cross straight over gravel road (not on map)
[  8.15]  Keep left at fork (not on map) then cross gravel road (not on map)
[  8.50]  Turn right on Laurel Ridge (woods road) where sign says Laurel Ridge straight ahead (right will be the other direction of Laurel Ridge but no sign stating that just arrow to parking)
[  9.00]  Arrive back at parking lot


  1. Thanks so much for this great summary. I live in Monmouth County and enjoy hiking in the parks. Since I have no techie tools that would tell me the distance, and since my older park map had inaccurate distances marked, I've wondered about my hikes. Now I know! And your descriptions were spot on...I've gotten lost in that park on many occasions after having been fooled into thinking a mountain bike 'trail' was really the one I wanted. Great day today to do my 9 miles!

    1. Thanks! No high techie tools here either, just a pedometer but a pretty reliable and fairly accurate one.