If you’re new to mountain biking in New Jersey, you’re in for a treat. The State boasts some of the most incredible biking trails in the country. Whether you’re looking for a challenging ride or an easy trek, there’s a trail waiting for you. You can take advantage of the weather and beautiful scenery by exploring some of the best mountain biking trails that the Garden State offers.
This post will introduce you to some of the most incredible mountain biking trails in New Jersey for beginners. We’ll cover everything from location to difficulty level so that you can choose the perfect trail for your needs. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your next New Jersey Mountain biking adventure!
Why Mountain Bike in New Jersey?
Mountain biking is an excellent outdoor family activity. It’s one of the best outdoor activities if you’re seeking an intense adventure away from home. Mountain biking is also a great activity if you’re seeking a compulsive desire for excitement and the freedom to let off steam outdoors while cycling.
So, if you’re considering getting into mountain biking, we’ve got great news for you: New Jersey is a great place to ride! Plenty of trails are perfect for beginners, and you’ll find something to suit your taste no matter where you are.
Here are some great trails to check out:
1. Allaire State Park
Allaire State Park has incredible biking trails for beginners seeking to practice their cycling skills. It has beginner trails, which are less complicated than the more advanced ones and manageable for all groups of cycling learners. However, if you’re looking for an easy ride, this park is not for you!
The Allaire State Park, which comprises a network of singletrack trails, is generally considered a moderately challenging route. It has three main trails: The Red Trail, Green Trail, and Blue Trail. They all start from the center of the park and go up slightly different sides of elevation as they get further away from each other.
The red trail is the easiest overall due to fewer inclines or declines along its path. However, try the other two trails if you want a challenge. Besides mountain biking, Allaire State Park is a perfect trail for hiking and horseback riding. So, you’ll most likely encounter other adventure-seeking people while exploring.
Allaire State Park is situated west of the Manasquan River and has the historic Allaire Village— an ancient iron-making town. The park also boasts the Pine Creek Railroad train ride.
2. Ringwood State Park
If you prefer to ride on dirt and gravel, then the Waterworks Trail may be a good option. The Park offers many different trails for mountain biking for beginners seeking to have fun on moderately rough terrains. This trail starts at the visitor center and goes through an old quarry used to build some of New Jersey’s earliest roads and bridges.
You can also access this trail from Main Street or Haines Street (both located in Ringwood). If you want more variety in terms of terrain, try out the Blue Line Trail. This paved path runs along an abandoned rail line to the Farley Pond State Park (a nearby state park).
The Blue Line trail is considered as wide as a regular road bike lane but much shorter than your typical singletrack trail. This is because there are few turns and sharp inclines along its length. It’s the perfect trail if you’re looking for an easy way into mountain biking without an off-road riding experience.
3. Mercer County Park
Mercer County Park boasts singletrack trails, considered among the most incredible biking trails in New Jersey. The Park sits on 2500 acres of land and runs almost 4 square miles. Bikers can enjoy the long stretch of a 2.5 miles long divided road between the Park’s main entrances on Hughes Drive and Old Trenton Road.
However, one thing that sets Mercer County Park from other biking trails in New Jersey is its excellent features. The Park has a lake, and most other parts are lost in tree cover. It also includes fields, a tennis center, an ice-skating center, a marina, and playground areas for soccer, & baseball.
So, after biking, you can take a rest and join the others in enjoying your favorite sport. Mercer County Park also has a community college on its southern border and Mercer Oaks East Golf Course on the northern border.
4. Hartshorne Woods Park
Hartshorne Woods Park has 10 miles of a bike trail, considered among the best for mountain bikers. The Park has varying terrain, including easy and challenging levels. Novice mountain bikers can enjoy their rides on the easy terrains, while the rougher sections are reserved for more advanced mountain bikers.
Riding in the Hartshorne Woods Park trail is adventurous as you’ll enjoy ocean views, Sandy Hook, and the Navesink River. The trail is a shorter course to explore, perfectly maintained, and beginner mountain bikers rarely have any issues completing it.
The entire course works best if you have experience with jumps and descents. For instance, there are varying elevations that may suit beginner and intermediate mountain bikers. You’ll also find steep hills and high jumps to explore if you’re a more experienced mountain biker.
5. D&R Canal State Park
The Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath is an excellent 67-mile mountain biking trail from Johnson Park in Piscataway to New Hope. It’s a smooth and mostly flat riding trail consisting of crushed stone. D&R Canal towpath is accessible from multiple entrances and offers picturesque views of nature and small towns.
The path offers a grueling 134-mile round bike trip, even for experienced riders. However, beginner mountain bikers can travel in parts to enjoy an easy ride and some of the most scenic elements of the State.
These include the wooden bridges, 19th-century bridge tender houses, and roaring rapids of Scudders Falls between Ewing and Pennsylvania. You can also rent a canoe in Franklin Township or Princeton if you like hiking, biking, and paddling in one day.
6. Chimney Rock, Somerset County
The Chimney Rock, Sommerset county, is one of the best rails for fun and challenging mountain biking experience. It’s located in Washington Valley Park, New Jersey, and has a singletrack network of trails stretching for approximately 10 miles.
The trail is slightly elevated, featuring a few challenging jumps you can handle. There are five trails that you can select from, each with varying levels of difficulty. Three of these trails are not ideal if you’re a beginner because of their steepness and rocky surface.
These trails also have other obstacles, including tree roots and stream crossings. Beginner mountain bikers are only left with two trails— the White and Yellow trails, which are shorter 2-mile routes with a few obstacles.
The Chimney Rock New Jersey Mountain bike trail is also popular for hiking, strolling, and other outdoor activities all year round.
7. Six Mile Run
This is one of the most popular mountain bike trails in New Jersey. Located near the town of Franklin, the Six Mile Run trail lies on 3,000 acres of land. The trail is large enough, allowing you to ride around to explore New Jersey.
It is a double trail with varied terrain and a broad track, making it perfect for cyclists of all types and skill levels. The main trail is best suited for intermediate cyclists, but other routes are appropriate for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Jersey Off-Road Bicycle Association maintains all the trails in Six Mile Run to ensure the highest standards for cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Getting Started with Mountain Biking in NJ
So, you’re interested in getting into mountain biking in New Jersey? Awesome! Here are the crucial tips to help you enjoy your mountain biking experience.
- Look for a Biking Trail for Beginners
You’ll first need to find a mountain biking trail suitable for beginners. Simple research online will help, or you can talk to your local bike shop for recommendations.
- Learn the Route
Once you’ve found a trail, make sure you know the route before you start riding. This helps you avoid getting lost, and it’ll also keep you safe.
- Get the Right Gear
It’s always a good idea to wear the right gear before heading out for a bike ride. Make sure you wear a helmet and dress in clothes that keep you cool and protected from the sun.
- Ask for Help
And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s no shame in admitting that you’re new to mountain biking. Plenty of people out there are willing to help out.
There’s no reason to be intimidated by mountain biking. You can hit the trails with the right guide and have a great time. New Jersey is a great place to mountain bike, and plenty of trails await you. They’re well-marked, and they offer a variety of terrain to suit all levels of riders. Whether you’re new to mountain biking or an experienced rider looking for new places to explore, we hope our guide has helped you find some fantastic trails in NJ.