Hike along the Shark River and over boardwalks in this Monmouth County park.
4.2 miles. Trail surface is mostly easy, a mix of root-filled-dirt and sandy trails. Minor hills.
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.
- Shorter: for 2.9 miles, use this route but skip the Pine Hills loop section
- Even shorter: Bridge Loop: .4 mile, Cedar Loop: 1.2 miles, Hidden Creek: 2 miles
- Longer: an out-and-back on Shark River Run is 4.8. There doesn’t appear to be a good way to link that with the other trails.
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. Don’t travel really far for this park but if you are within a half hour or so, give it a whirl.
Map: Were in the trail kiosk or print ahead from park site.
Note: Monmouth County trails are blazed by difficulty with shapes and colors with signposts mostly only at intersections. This can make navigation a tad tricky.
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 12.301 W74 05.707
Restrooms: In the building next to the parking lot.
Overview: Cedar Loop – River’s Edge – Hidden Creek – Pine Hills – Cedar Loop
From the parking lot, walk out the driveway and cross Schoolhouse Rd to the trail sign. Enter the woods and turn LEFT.
Keep on the trail that parallels the road until you pick up River’s Edge trail. Follow that along the Shark River.
River’s Edge trail gets close to a parking lot and building and then turns to the RIGHT, curving back around.
Turn LEFT onto Hidden Creek. Follow that as it skirts the edge of a field.
At the junction with Pine Hills, turn LEFT, following Pine Hills as it loops around and comes back to this point.
Take Cedar Loop back to the trailhead. [or take Hidden Creek back]