Shark River Park

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Trail next to the Shark River

Hike along the Shark River and over boardwalks.

4.1 or 2.6 miles. Trail surface is mostly easy, a mix of root-filled-dirt and sandy trails. Minor hills.

  • Shorter: for 2.6 miles, skip the Pine Hills loop section. Noted below.
  • Even shorter: Bridge Loop: .4 mile, Cedar Loop: 1.2 miles, Hidden Creek: 2 miles
  • Nearby: Allaire State Park; Manasquan Reservoir.

Our two cents:

No big vistas or destinations and not very remote feeling but a nice park to get an easy hike in. Good short loop options for beginners.

River’s Edge trail is rated as challenging but it just follows along the river, and there are a couple of rough-wood stairs… that’s about it. Road noise throughout the park.

Updated: 12/2020 – Re-hiked; added Interactive Map and more photos; minor description changes.


Map:

Possibly in the trail kiosk or print ahead from park site.

Note: Monmouth County trails are blazed by difficulty using shapes and colors on signposts at intersections. Easy = green circles, moderate = blue squares, challenging = black diamonds.

This can make navigation a tad tricky as there can be multiple trails marked with the same color/shape, pay attention to the name of the trail on the marker/post.

Books:

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City contains a similar hike – though in the opposite direction and the Pine Hills section is a loop now.


Parking: N40.20502° W74.09512°

1101 Schoolhouse Road, Wall, NJ 07753. Large dirt parking lot.

IMG_0672

Restrooms:

In the building next to the parking lot.

Entrance to Shark River Park

Hike Directions:

Overview: Cedar Loop – River’s Edge – Hidden Creek – Pine Hills – Cedar Hidden Creek

Note: There are a few marked and unmarked connecting trails not on the map.

0.0 – From the parking lot, walk out the driveway and cross Schoolhouse Rd to the trail sign.

Cross Schoolhouse Rd to get to the trailhead

Enter the woods and keep LEFT.

Rivers Edge and Cedar Creek trail markers on a tree

Keep on the trail that parallels the road until you pick up River’s Edge trail. Follow River’s Edge along the Shark River.

Shark River near a trail
Wooden steps on a trail

Sometimes the trail surface is super easy, or uses steps, boardwalks and bridges.

Wooden steps on a trail near a river
Wooden foot bridge

1.1 – Turn LEFT onto Hidden Creek. Cross a long metal bridge.

Long metal foot bridge

1.3 – Continue on Hidden Creek past a junction with Cedar Creek. It skirts around the edge of a field.

Skirt the edge of a field

Continue on Hidden Creek and cross a wooden bridge.

Fancy wooden bridge

2.2 – Turn LEFT to now follow Pine Hills.

Pine Hills Trail

// Shorter option, 2.6 miles – Skip the Pine Hills loop and return via Hidden Creek or Cedar Creek from this point. //

This loops around and comes back to this point.

3.7 – Back at the start of the Pine Loop, turn sharp left to take Hidden Creek to return to the trailhead.

Wooden bridge on Hidden Creek


Hiked 11/21/20.
Hiked 11/29/13.