Distance: 11.2 miles (listed distance is 10.5 miles)
Time: 4 hours 9 minutes
Elevation gain: 1,534 feet
Year to date miles: 49.9
Map: Watchung Reservation Trail Map
We were able to pick up a color map at the visitor center, which is easier to read than a black and white copy. The visitor center opens at noon.
Parking: Trailside Nature Center, New Providence Rd, Mountainside, NJ
Restrooms: at visitor center, when open
In the nature center parking lot, face the road where you entered the parking lot.
You will see the white blazes (Sierra Trail) turning right, taking you a short distance on the road.
Follow the white blazes in a clockwise loop, ending at the nature center.
We were hoping to escape NY snow, but this hike wasn't far south enough. We encountered ice, slush covered ice, ice covered slush, mud, ice covered mud, mud covered ice, slush, water, and short bits of pavement. We wore microspikes for most of this hike. We were able to bare boot it 3 times for short distances.
This hike does have a lot of car noise. It didn't really bother me, except for the portion of the hike that parallels Green Brook, where you can also see the cars. Most of the hike is wooded. There are a few street crossings and a brief road walk in an abandoned village called Feltville. I always find ghost towns fascinating.
The trail is very well marked and easy to follow. There are many side trails, some blazed, some not, but it was very easy to follow the white blazes. There were many shallow stream crossings. This hike was pretty easy (gentle hills) except for the icy terrain.
|Trail across the street and down the road a very short distance from the parking area|
|We were hoping to avoid the snow. Instead we got ice.|
|Paved portion of the hike through Feltville, mostly a ghost town.|
|Equestrian Center in the reservation|