Sunday, March 13, 2011

Watchung Reservation, NJ - Sierra Trail

ABOUT THE PARK:  Watchung Reservation - Wikipedia

GPS Coordinates 40.682817, -74.372920

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Watchung Reservation Trail Map - County of Union, NJ

10 miles

The entire hike follows the white-blazed Sierra Trail.  The trail appears to have been recently reblazed as it was very well blazed and easy to follow.  Due to I-78 which runs through the northern edge of the park, there is constant traffic noise throughout the entire hike.

From the Trailside Nature and Science Center parking lot, face the way you drove in and you should see blazes which indicate following the road to the right.
A very short distance along that road, the trails begin on the left side:
The first part of the hike goes through pleasant ravines and gorges.
After about 2 miles the trail goes through a pine forest:
The trail will follow to the right of Green Brook but expect traffic noise from heavily traveled New Providence Road just on the other side of Green Brook.
Escarpment to the right of the trail along Green Brook:
Around 5 miles, a stretch of boardwalk:
At the end of the boardwalk, turn right on the pink-blazed trail briefly to the site of historic Drake Farm then backtrack and continue on the white-blazed trail.  The pink trail, which I believe is the Watchung Reservation History Trail, is a new trail which is not on the map.  It sometimes runs concurrently with the white-blazed Sierra trail. 
Arrive at the historic Deserted Village of Feltville around 5.8 miles.
Continue along the white-blazed trail which brings you behind the historic buildings to an old cemetery with tombstones dating back to 1776:
In about 1/2 mile the trail will run along Lake Surprise:
The trail then passes by Watchung Stables:
After following briefly along the perimeter of the traffic circle, the trail goes back into the woods along a ridge and loops around a water tower:
At the end of the hike, the trail passes Trailside Nature and Science Center and brings you back to the parking lot.

1 comment:

  1. Great site! I was out at Watchung yesterday, and printed a "recent map" (Oct. 2010) from the web and wound up taking a rather unexpected route thru the park, because of all of the new blazings. Great dog too!