Six Mile Run is a hidden natural gem offering trails for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. While this 3,000 acre site provides an oasis of wetlands, forest, fields and farmland in central New Jersey, it also has a rich cultural heritage. 18th century farmhouses, granaries and barns remind us of the Dutch farmers who settled here during the 1700s.
The different habitats (open field, hardwood forest and floodplain) are home to a variety of plants and wildlife. Songbirds live at the edge of forest and field. Great horned owls and hawks hunt the open fields. The wetlands are home to ducks, great blue heron and kingfishers. Other wildlife includes woodchucks, turkey vultures, red fox and deer.
Combine this ride with the nearby Delaware & Raritan Canal towpath for a full day of riding. Turn right at the entrance, take the first left onto Blackwell Mills Causeway and the towpath trail will be on the left.
Unlike the nearby D&R Canal towpath (flat rail trail), the trails at Six Mile Run are rolling singletrack and doubletrack. The terrain is grass and dirt with some exposed rocks and roots. There may be a couple of seasonal shallow water crossings. Water levels will obviously be higher after periods of rain. The skill level is easy to intermediate, with just enough obstacles and hills to make it challenging for the novice rider. The easy technical sections make this a good place to learn and practice. JORBA, the Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association helps to plan, build and maintain trails at Six Mile Run.
The blue blazed trail follows along the edge of the forest, sometimes traveling through the woods. Several stream crossings may be necessary, depending on seasonal rains. You can connect with the red trail, near Middlebrush Road, and the white trail to make loop rides. The loop will require riding on paved Jacques Lane and Canal Road to return to the main parking area on Canal Road. A loop using the Blue and Red Trails is about 5.3 miles.
White Trail: 1.3 miles
This singletrack trail offers an alternative to the Red Trail. It runs between the Red Trail and Jacques Lane parking area. The northern section travels through forest, along Middlebrush Brook. The southern half travels through open meadows and scrub brush.
Red Trail: 3.9 miles
The red blazed trail has recently undergone some transformation. The section that ran through the forest between Canal Road and South Middlebrush Road has been “scrubbed”. The new trailhead is located at the parking area on Jacques Lane. The ride has some steep slopes and requires several stream crossings, including Six Mile Run (no bridge) if you are connecting to the Blue Trail. Use caution during periods of high water. A loop using the Red and Blue Trails is about 5.3 miles. The trail now continues across Middlebrush Road, extending all the way to Rt. 27. For a fun detour, take the Orange Trail (not shown on map).
Orange Trail: 1.7 miles
The orange blazed trail intersects the Red Trail, near the Rt. 27 parking area. For a fun and challenging spur trail of twists, turns and berms take this singletrack for about 1.7 miles before reconnecting with the Red Trail. Several unmarked cutoffs are available to shorten the loops if you get dizzy!
Yellow Trail: .9 miles
The yellow blazed trail runs along the north bank of Six Mile Run between the Blue Trail and Canal Road parking area. It is on a lowland floodplain that is wet and muddy most of the time. It is no longer being maintained and has been removed from park maps and ours. Avoid it!
Note: Where is the Six Mile Run Reservoir? The New Jersey DEP acquired the land in 1970 for future use as a reservoir and recreational area. In 1993 an alternative water supply was found and the property was transferred to the NJ Division of Parks & Forestry and now The Six Mile Run Reservoir Site is part of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park.
From North : Take Rt. 206 to Rt. 514 East (Amwell Road). Turn right onto Route 533 south (Millstone River Road). Continue 2.1 miles and turn left across bridge onto Blackwells Mills Road. Cross the Canal Bridge and turn right onto Canal Road. The park office and parking will be on the left.
From South :Take Rt. 206 north to Rt. 518. Turn right onto Rt. 518 East, through Rocky Hill. Cross over the Millstone River and D&R Canal and turn left at traffic light onto Canal Road. Follow Canal Road to the end. Turn left onto Suydam Road. Suydam Road will curve to the right and become Canal Road again. Watch for D&R Canal State Park signs on your right. Office and parking area are on the right before Blackwells Mills Road.
Other smaller parking areas can be found on Jacques Lane or on Route 27.
For more information:
Six Mile Run Reservoir
Phone: (732) 873-3050