Mountain Bike Magazine Somerville, NJ: Washington Valley Park 

Ride along a wetland-lined gorge, forested hills and a still reservoir on this 7-mile loop in Washington Valley Park.

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Author: Kenzie
Date: 1 Jul 2009 5:05:35 PM
Source: AllSport GPS on my Sprint phone
Activity: Mountain Biking
State: New Jersey (NJ)
Distance: 7.12 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1774 ft
Total Loss: 1773 ft
Net Change: 1 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
USGS Topo Map: Bound Brook
Tags: Martinsville, New Jersey, Princeton
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

This 7-mile figure-eight starts with an exploration of Washington Valley Park's west side. From the parking lot on Chimney Rock Road, climb up a rocky spur trail and access the Orange Perimeter Trail. The route cuts through hilltop forests before dipping down along wetlands and waterfront. 

Cross over to the opposite side of the creek, merging onto the Yellow Perimeter Trail. Parts of the shoreline path are nearly unrideable unless you are an expert. After the eroded, rooty section passes, the trail levels out along a hard-packed surface. Views of the water make the entire trip worthwhile.

From here, the route gradually climbs to another hilltop woodland. It heads west toward a quiet, remote section of the forest. Make sure to double-check for yellow markers because this area has many unmarked spurs that can get riders lost easily. 

After the route loops back through the woods, retrace the way to the Orange Perimeter Trail and continue back to Chimney Rock Road.

For a cool-down, cross the road and ride along the Washington Valley Reservoir. The route takes a modest loop on the Red Perimeter and Interior Trails before coming back to the start.

-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan

From New York City:
Take the Lincoln Tunnel to I-495 West. Merge onto I-95 South. Take exit to I-78 West. At 25.1 miles, take exit 33 for County Highway 525 toward Martinsville. Turn left at Liberty Corner Road. At 2.9 miles, continue on Mount Horeb Road. Turn left at Washington Valley Road. Turn right at Chimney Rock Road. Parking lot is 0.8 miles up on the right.

Position Format: Datum:

Washington Valley Park

Distance: 7.12 mi Points: 863
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 40.589014, -74.563415
From the small, dirt parking lot on Chimney Rock Road, walk north along the road and then turn R onto next to the guardrail. This will access the orange and yellow trail networks on the park's west side. On the way back from the west side, cross the street and follow a gravel connector trail to the red trail system on the park's east side.


Location: 40.589859, -74.562996
Bear R @ Y-junction.


Location: 40.587879, -74.560540
Bear R @ Y-junction. This is the first sign of markers; continue, following the orange squares.


Location: 40.586116, -74.559415
Bear R @ Y-junction with unmarked trail to left. The Orange Trail heads downhill over loose rocks in a tight tree-lined corridor.


Location: 40.585088, -74.559278
Continue L passing an unmarked spur trail to the right.


Location: 40.585133, -74.558773
Bear L @ Y-junction. The marker is cut to look like an arrow pointing the way. This is the first place you can hear running water.


Location: 40.586237, -74.557911
Park the bike and walk down toward the water for views of Buttermilk Falls. When finished, retrace steps back here and continue along the Orange Perimeter Trail.


Location: 40.589997, -74.555904
Bear R @ Y-junction.


Location: 40.590681, -74.555732
Turn R along Gilbride Road. Be on the lookout for the Yellow Perimeter Trail, which will be the second singletrack to the right.


Location: 40.590458, -74.554966
Pass a parking lot on the north side of Gilbride Road.


Location: 40.590118, -74.554749
Bear R onto rocky singletrack, merging onto the Yellow Perimeter Trail.


Location: 40.589399, -74.554925
Go R @ Y-junction following the Yellow Trail Perimeter counter-clockwise.


Location: 40.585802, -74.556782
Turn L @ T-junction continuing uphill.


Location: 40.583596, -74.555628
Continue right @ Y-junction with the Yellow Trail Interior. It is marked by yellow circles. Follow the squares.


Location: 40.582328, -74.556114
Reach a lookout. Unfortunately, there is only a quarry across the street. Continue up the paved section of the pathway.


Location: 40.582755, -74.553466
Pass another parking lot.


Location: 40.582809, -74.552697
Turn L off road and onto Yellow Trail Interior. Follow the yellow circles onto a singletrack.


Location: 40.587284, -74.553614
Go R @ four-way, rejoining the Perimeter Trail.


Location: 40.582415, -74.548465
Cross fire road.


Location: 40.582156, -74.548424
Cross over Miller Lane and re-access the Perimeter Trail on the other side. This is the quietest, most remote section of the west side.


Location: 40.581591, -74.546340
Bear R @ the Y-junction with an unmarked trail going off to the left.


Location: 40.581036, -74.545953
Bear L @ Y-junction with the unmarked trail to the right.


Location: 40.580776, -74.544897
Bear R @ Y-junction with unmarked spur trail to the left.


Location: 40.580752, -74.547469
Go L @ T-junction.


Location: 40.581817, -74.549976
Go straight @ four-way.


Location: 40.582451, -74.552555
Turn R at the road and then bear L, retracing the way back to the Orange Perimeter Trail.


Location: 40.589975, -74.555915
Bear R @ Y-junction with Orange Perimeter Trail.


Location: 40.588413, -74.557793
Bear R @ Y-junction with an unmarked trail going off to the left. Continue back to the trailhead, and then cross the road for an additional loop along the reservoir.


Location: 40.590992, -74.566029
Go R through the opening in the fence. Follow the shoreline trail.


Location: 40.592570, -74.566036
Go R staying near the water. The Red Trail Perimeter is to the left.


Location: 40.592741, -74.566095
Bear L @ Y-junction, following the red squares of the Red Perimeter Trail.


Location: 40.593084, -74.566820
Stay R @ Y-junction with Interior Trail. Walk toward the water and explore the shoreline. Then, retrace steps back to this junction and continue L.


Location: 40.591584, -74.567908
Go R @ T-junction.


Location: 40.591480, -74.567076
Merge onto the Red Perimeter Trail and follow it back to the shoreline path. Then retrace steps back to the parking lot on Chimney Rock Road.

Buttermilk Falls

Location: 40.585753, -74.557262
© MacKenzie Ryan


Location: 40.586777, -74.556600
© MacKenzie Ryan

The dam

Location: 40.585842, -74.557313
© MacKenzie Ryan

Orange Perimeter Trail

Location: 40.590179, -74.555905
© MacKenzie Ryan

Along the reservoir

Location: 40.587382, -74.555535
© MacKenzie Ryan

More wetlands across the water

Location: 40.587289, -74.555723
© MacKenzie Ryan

Spruce stand

Location: 40.581312, -74.546166
© MacKenzie Ryan

Trailside flowers

Location: 40.591611, -74.565258
© MacKenzie Ryan


Location: 40.593383, -74.567084
© MacKenzie Ryan

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