Watchung Reservation Loop
ElevationAscent: 305' 93 m
Descent: -313' -95 m
High: 419' 128 m
Low: 250' 76 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (1°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)
Popular hikes nearby
Pyramid Mountain-Kakeout Reservoir Loop
10.5 mi 16.9 km • Loop • 1,025 ft Ascent 312.39 m Ascent
Prospect Park Trail Loop
4.8 mi 7.8 km • Loop • 181 ft Ascent 55.08 m Ascent
Split Rock Loop
11.0 mi 17.7 km • Loop • 1,491 ft Ascent 454.5 m Ascent
Hawks Watch via Wildcat Ridge Trail
6.6 mi 10.6 km • Loop • 570 ft Ascent 173.65 m Ascent
2.0 mi 3.3 km • Loop • 141 ft Ascent 42.84 m Ascent
Rockleigh Woods/Lamont Reserve
2.0 mi 3.3 km • Loop • 416 ft Ascent 126.88 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“Beautiful views of the inner portion of Watchung Reservation on this loop of Surprise Lake to Blue Brook to Gorge Loop.”— Christine Taylor
After a bit, the trail veers uphill, but there's an unmarked path that continues to the right along the bank of Lake Surprise--follow this trail. Pass the dam, and at the fork, turn left. Meet the start of the Blue Trail and turn right to head over the boardwalk that crosses Blue Brook. Continue on the Blue Trail which follows Blue Brook until the Blue Trail makes a sharp left turn up a steep--yet brief!--climb. This area begins the trek around the gorge.
Continue on the Blue/White trail, and follow the White Trail to the right once they split, keeping the gorge to your right. At the junction, turn right to follow the Yellow Trail. After another small section of boardwalk, look out for the pink trail and turn right to get on the Pink Trail to follow the gorge again. Pass the heart of the gorge and the copper mine ruins.
After following a run-off into Blue Brook, take the wide boardwalk over the brook and turn right to follow an unmarked trail keeping Blue Brook immediately to your right. Soon, the brook will make a hard turn right, so veer left up a short hill and check out the history-marker about Feltville. Turn right and cross the tributary to the brook. Ahead you'll see the "Stairway to Heaven"--follow the steep steps uphill, which end at the Wilcock family cemetery. Keeping the cemetery to your left, follow the white trail markers back to the paved road. Turn right to get back to the parking lot.
Hiked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: County of Union, New Jersey