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Level: Intermediate
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +559/ -491 ft
Total: 34 riders

Mountain Biking Mills Reservation Trails

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#63 of 112 mountain bike trails in New Jersey
#5,123 in the world

The Reservation is located on the First Watchung Mountain where the parkland has been preserved in its natural state, including deciduous woodland and wetlands. Aside from blazed trails and wood roads crisscrossing around and through it, the only developments are a small parking area, an old any-air gun platform on one of the lookouts, on a cliff, and some dilapidated stone and concrete gates at the edges of the park on some of the old roads.

The three Watchung mountain ranges were formed when molten lava extruded out of the earth's surface and cooled rapidly. The outcrop at Quarry Point provides not only a scenic lookout of the surrounding area, including the NYC skyline, but also an opportunity to examine the basaltic lava.

Trails Overview:
The park has a network of loop trails totaling six miles. The seven individual blazed trails range from 0.1-mile up to 1.5 miles. A 1.5-mile segment of the 34-mile Lenape Trail (yellow blaze) passes through. A synopsis of each blazed trail and very helpful (if sketchy and informal) map can be seen by heading into park from any of it's woods roads entrances. The map shows numerous trailheads located at the Normal Avenue parking lot on the northern end of the park. It can accommodate about 20 cars.

There is some fairly technical single track along more moderate single track and gravel fire roads. The park has some elevation change but nothing particularly steep or sustained. The trails leading north east from the cliff lookout in the south of the park are comprised almost exclusively solid "trap rock" and makes for some very fun riding.

Other Points of Note:
These trails are often used my locals for dog walking but most of the dogs are off leash hear; also there are lots of local kids smoking weed here but everyone at the park seems friendly.

First added by 2jka on Aug 26, 2016. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Route 3 Valley Road exit head south on Valley Road for 1.0 mile and turn right onto Normal Avenue. Cross the railroad tracks, continue uphill for another 0.3 mile, and turn left into the parking area for Mills Reservation at the top of the hill, just past the intersection with Granite Drive.
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Mills Reservation Trails Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

couturenico (on Apr 8, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Leaf-covered (on Feb 15, 2020)
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Rider questions

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  • Jeffrey Velez

    This is a great trail, is really enjoy it. It has some great drops and rockie's hill which make it great.

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  • Igor Grapp

    I think this is banned - https://www.google.com/amp/s/articles.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2017/07/at_essex_reserve_where_cyclist_died_just_what_are.amp

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  • 2jka

    here is a trail map
    http://www.nynjtc.org/files/Mills Reservation Walking Trails.pdf

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  • 2jka

    A fun little park with a fair amount of rocks and roots. A real local hotspot. Pretty well darn well maintained but with lots of log crossings. South-eastern section is nothing but "trap rocks" and very technical to climb. But fun to descend. Add in a gravel road or two and you've got yourself a fun spot to session.

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