Watchung Reservation

Map of Watchung Reservation
Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, NJ 07092
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Watchung Reservation offers 13 miles of hiking along the valley and ridge of the lower Watchung Mountains and is located in Union County near the town of Mountainside and is easily accessible from RT 78 or RT 22.

Those out for a leisurely afternoon will find the trails along Lake Surprise and the Blue Brook to be calming and scenic. The historic abandoned village of Feltville is also a nice walk, particularly in the fall. If you want to get a few more miles in, explore deeper into the western park of the park for hiking over the basalt ridge line and through forests and pine groves. A look at a map is essential for exploring the park as there are a good number of parking areas and the trails—particularly near the nature trails and Trailside Nature Center—can loop back and overlap often.

Trailside Nature & Science Center

The staff at the Trailside Nature & Science Center manage the visitors center, interpretive nature trails, and events in the park.

Hike Descriptions

Trail Map available (pdf) for download from the Union County Parks web site.

Purchase Photographs

Photos of this park taken by Chris Casciano. Photographs from parks and trails around New Jersey can be purchased at New Jersey Landscape Photography by Chris Casciano. Buy a print to support this site and take home a memory of the trails.

  • Watchung Signs
  • the fall foliage shot
  • Pine Grove Trail
  • Green Trail
  • Autumn on Lake Surprise
  • wild west[field]

Map & Location

View directions via the Trailside site or click on the map below for a link to Google Maps. or click on the map below for a link to Google Maps.

Map of Watchung Reservation

Guide Books Featuring This Park

  • New Jersey (Best Hikes With Children)
  • New Jersey Off the Beaten Path
  • 50 Hikes in New Jersey: Walks, Hikes, and Backpacking Trips from the Kittatinnies to Cape May
  • AMC's Best Day Hikes Near New York City: Four-season Guide to 50 of the Best Trails in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey
  • Best Hikes With Dogs New Jersey
  • Hiking New Jersey: A Guide to 50 of the Garden State's Greatest Hiking Adventures
  • 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City: Including northern New Jersey, southwestern Connecticut, and western Long Island

3 Responses to Watchung Reservation

  1. Isaiah says:

    My friends and I are looking for camping grounds around our area. Our we allowed to camp here like i the western part or is it not allowed?

  2. Kathy says:

    Hi, would any of the trails be accessible by public transportation from NYC?

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