New Jersey Mountain Bike Trails
Even though New Jersey is one of the nation's most densely populated states, it has nearly 300,000 acres of state parks and forests.
The rugged hills of the northern highlands, dwarf forests of the pine barrens, 127 miles of Atlantic coastline and canal towpaths steeped in history provide a wealth of off-road mountain biking adventures in NJ.
Because of its strategic location, New Jersey was an important trade corridor
during the 1800's. Railroads and canals criss-crossed the state. Today,
an extensive system of historical rehabilitated railbeds and canal towpaths
such as the Delaware & Raritan
Canal State Park Trail, Sussex
Branch Rail Trail and the Columbia
Rail Trail offer easy, scenic trail riding
with a glimpse into a bygone era.
The Skylands Region, New Jersey's Great Northwest, encompasses
60,0000 acres of State Parkland and Wildlife Management Areas. This mountainous
region is characterized by rugged hills, forests and lush valleys. It contains
the state's largest black bear population. The Stokes
State Forest, Wawayanda
State Park and
High Point State Park offer some of the best mountain biking trails
in the state.
Branch Rail Trail, winds for 21 miles through forests, small towns
and farms. It connects with the Allamuchy
State Park Trails and
State Parks Trails and meets up with the 26 mile Paulinskill
Valley Rail Trail at Warbase junction, providing miles of easy,
scenic mountain biking in this rugged region.
As the "Gateway to Freedom", this region is known as the home of Liberty State Park and Ellis Island. It includes most of the state's big cities and industry. Surprisingly, some of the best places to ride are located in the Gateway Region.
A legacy from the early days of industry and transportation, the 70 mile Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park begins here and cuts across the center of the state to the Delaware River. This old canal towpath trail is a popular recreational and wildlife corridor. 19th-century bridges, bridge tender houses, past and present locks, cobblestone spillways and hand-built stone-arched culverts make riding along the canal a must for history lovers of all ages.
The extreme northwest of the Gateway region is ideal mountain bike terrain. It is an area of rugged hills, ancient remnants of mountains worn down over a period of 2 million years. Located here is Ringwood State Park, a mountain bike mecca with a system of trails ranging from rough woodland single-track trails to gravel-surfaced roads.
Lewis Morris County Park and Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, both part of the extensive Morris County Park System, can be classified as "Urban Legends". Both offer miles of multi-use trails.
The Delaware River region has been called the "Crossroads of the American Revolution". Evidence of colonial times can be found in historic towns and sites throughout the area.
The Delaware & Raritan Feeder Canal is an arm of the 70 mile Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park corridor. It runs along the Delawa re River and joins the main channel 22 miles south at Trenton, 14 feet closer to sea level.
To the east, towards the Atlantic coast, the landscape consists of pine forests
and salt marshes, shallow lagoons and meadows. The legendary New Jersey
Pine Barrens is the largest tract of open space on the Mid-Atlantic Coast
and home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals. Dwarfed forests,
cranberry bogs, carnivorous plants and slow moving, tea colored streams
define the landscape. Riding through the maze of flat sand roads that honeycomb
the Brendan Byrne State Forest and Wharton
State Forest, is an other-worldly experience.
Beautiful sandy beaches, amusement piers and boardwalks can be found along the coast of the Shore region. Every few miles there is a picturesque village and accompanying beach. Wildlife refuges, state parks, historic sites and nature trails abound. The northern end of the region, (The Highlands) is characterized by flat-topped ridges of rock that rise abruptly 1,000 feet from the landscape.
Whether you are interested in an historical, wildlife, romantic or scenic mountain biking experience - Allaire State Park, Manasquan
Reservoir, Hartshorne Woods and Huber Woods Parks offer something for everyone.
The Victorian era comes to life in the Southern Shore Region. Visitors can travel back in time and walk the gas-lit streets of Cape May, a National Historic Landmark city. The fishing port of Cape May/Wildwood is one of the largest on the East Coast and home port to some of the largest fishing vessels. Beaches, boardwalks, lighthouses and seafaring museums add to the charm. Browse the many craft and country shops in historic Cold Spring Village.
Parvin State Park, situated on the edge of the Pine Barrens is a small, serene park that is often overlooked. It is perfect for family day trips, beginners and for those who just want to ride and enjoy the scenery and wildlife.