Looking for a new, fun way to exercise? This summer, take advantage of the beautiful New Jersey weather and scenery by exploring some of the best mountain biking trails that the Garden State has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to the sport, there’s a path that’s right for you. Here’s a list of 10 of the best mountain biking trails in New Jersey.
Six Mile Run – Somerset County, NJ
Located in Franklin Township, this trail is part of the 3,000-acre D&R Canal State Park. Six Mile Run offers scenic views of forests, streams, and old farm fields. Stretching for approximately six miles, the trail has a few climbs and the potential for great speed. It is singletrack style with an elevation gain of approximately 500 feet.
Six Mile Run is open from sunrise to sunset and receives maintenance several times per week. Locals use the trail for walking, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. If you’re lucky, you might spot songbirds, horned owls, and marsh hawks. Other wildlife that live near the trail include woodchucks, red tail hawks, turkey vultures, and red foxes.
Allaire State Park – Howell, NJ
A hidden gem in Monmouth County, Allaire State Park boasts a 30-mile network of singletrack trails. Elevation gain reaches approximately 1,632 feet with a fair amount of climbs. Allaire State Park’s trails run through forests, rivers, and roads. They are sometimes used by horseback riders and hikers, but mainly by bikers. The park is west of the Manasquan River, a popular fishing spot for visitors. It is home to over 200 species of trees, wildflowers, and other plants. Allaire State Park is also known for the historic Allaire Village, a 19th-century iron-making town, as well as the Pine Creek Railroad train ride.
Mountain Creek Bike Park – Vernon Township, NJ
Located in Sussex County, Mountain Creek Bike Park is home to over 50 custom-built trails, with levels ranging from beginner to advanced. The park offers freeride trails and race courses as well as both rocky and smooth terrain. Mountain Creek also boasts over 60 jumps and other features. Its trails are network style with an elevation gain of 730 feet and 1,040 feet of vertical slopes.
With this wide range of offerings, it should come as no surprise that Mountain Creek has been consistently named as one of the nation’s best bike parks. This New Jersey mountain biking trail is part of the Mountain Creek Resort, which offers a waterpark as well as activities such as skiing, tubing, and snowboarding.
Nassau Trails – High Bridge, NJ
This singletrack network of trails in Hunterdon County, New Jersey boasts over nine miles of terrain with an elevation of approximately 470 feet. The Nassau Trails are notorious for their winding bends. About five miles of the trails, or about half of the terrain, are relatively flat and smooth but, at times, rocky and rooty. The other three to four miles of the paths are more flowing, with relatively few obstacles. The northern end of the Nassau Trails has some logs that may challenge even the most experienced and advanced riders.
Jungle Habitat – West Milford Township, NJ
One of the most scenic areas in Passaic County, this network of singletrack trails spans approximately 10 miles at an elevation of about 345 feet. Advanced mountain bikers will appreciate the challenging terrain designed specifically for them. The relatively new trails were constructed by JORBA, or the Jersey Off Road Bicycling Association. This local mountain biking organization also takes responsibility for maintaining the site. Jungle Habitat used to be home to a wildlife amusement park of the same name owned by Warner Brothers.
Chimney Rock – Somerset County, NJ
Chimney Rock is located in Martinsville’s Washington Valley Park in Bridgewater, New Jersey. This singletrack network of trails stretches for approximately 10 miles and has an elevation of roughly 800 feet. It offers more technical, rocky areas as well as smooth and hilly terrain––even including a waterfall. Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced mountain biker, there’s a trail for you. Aside from mountain biking, this New Jersey mountain biking trail is used for hiking, walking, and other nature outings. This network of trails is open year-round and permits visitors to bring their leashed dogs with them.
Hartshorne Woods Park – Middletown, NJ
Located in Monmouth County, New Jersey, this 10-mile singletrack trail has an elevation of approximately 915 feet. The Hartshorne Woods Park paths form a loop with different sections for riders of all abilities. From wider trails designed for beginners to intense ascents and descents that will challenge even the most seasoned mountain biker, Hartshorne Woods Park has it all.
The trail also features a long, downhill slope near its trailhead. Riders will enjoy a scenic view of the Navesink River. The Park was named for an English Quaker who settled there in 1669 and boasts many fun attractions in addition to the trails. For instance, visitors can take a tour with a park historian and learn about Hartshorne Woods’ past as a military base home to Battery Lewis, the only 16-inch gun battery in the Garden State.
Eagle Rock – Essex County, New Jersey
Eagle Rock is a hidden gem located in the Montclair/West Orange area of New Jersey’s Essex County. Its network of singletrack trails span approximately 10 miles. Eagle Rock has an elevation of about 80 feet. The path can be a bit rocky with roots scattered along the path. It also features small ascents and short descents as well as a few small drops. This New Jersey mountain biking trail is located on Eagle Rock Reservation, which spans over 400 acres. In addition to its mountain biking trail, Eagle Rock Reservation has features like the Essex County 9/11 Memorial and a view of the New York City skyline.
Kittatinny Valley State Park – Andover Township, New Jersey
One of the most scenic areas of Sussex County, Andover’s Kittatinny Valley State Park is home to over 10 miles of singletrack, network-style mountain biking trails. The terrain has an elevation of about 470 feet. It is maintained by volunteers from the Bulldog Mountain Biking Team and holds mountain biking races every year. The trails have a wide range of conditions that are suitable for riders of all experience levels.
Other features of the park include lakes, limestone formations, railroads, and even a tiny airport. Kittatinny Valley State Park is a great spot for fishing, boating, and kayaking as well as hunting, hiking, birding, horseback riding, skiing, and snowshoeing. The area is also home to plenty of wildlife. Deer, wild turkey, songbirds, muskrats, squirrels, and beavers are known to inhabit the park.
Mercer County Park – Mercer County, New Jersey
Mercer County Park’s mountain biking trail spans 12 miles. A singletrack, loop-style course, it has an elevation of approximately 1,209 feet. The natural scenery includes oak, ash, and birch trees as well as wildlife such as woodchucks, rabbits, deer, and beavers. The park itself is nearly 2,500 acres or almost four square miles. In addition to its mountain biking trail, it offers fun attractions like a lake, golf course, tennis courts, ice skating rink, and boat marina.
Been to any of these mountain biking trails in New Jersey? Let us know in the comments!
Main Photo by Andhika Soreng
About the Author/s
Madison Palmieri is a rising senior at Providence College majoring in English and History with minors in Marketing and Philosophy. When she's not studying, tutoring, or writing for the school paper, she enjoys reading, walks to the beach, and spending time with friends and family.