Manasquan Reservoir County Park – Howell Township, Monmouth County, NJ
Distance – 7.5 miles of trails total
Type – Loops
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Website – Monmouth County Parks
Open – Park opens daily at 7 a.m. November 1-March 31 and 6 a.m. April 1-October 31.
Closing time is 9 p.m. through August 19; 8:30 p.m. August 20-September 3; and 8 p.m. September 4-23.
Terrain – Lakeside woods and wetlands
Surface – Crushed stone
Trailheads – 40°10’14.75″N, 74°12’18.52″W (this is the one that we used)
Directions – 311 Windeler Road, Howell 07731
Parking – At least three parking lots at various places around the reservoir.
Dog friendly? Unsure
Stroller friendly? Yes
Markings – Mile markers ever mile
Map – Trail map can be found here
The Scouts were camping out for the weekend, and had the afternoon free, so decided to head to the nearby Manasquan Reservoir to hike and “see the dead trees”. I, of course, had no objections to a little 5.1 mile hike that I’d never been on.
Perimeter Trail – 5.2 mile loop.
We parked at the main parking lot near the visitors center and headed counterclockwise on the trails. The first section was a very wide trail (almost a road) filled with walkers and bikers. Not much in the way of views, but it headed down until it crossed a bridge and turned right to head North.
Once we rounded the corner and headed North, the trail pretty quickly came out onto a dike that had some great views of the water and those dead trees that had been advertised.
The trail reentered the trees just before mile marker 1, although continued to have some great water views for a while. The trail then crossed the parking lot for the environmental center (the other 2.3 miles of trails in the park are located in this area) before ending up by the paved Georgia Tavern Road.
The trail will be between this road and the water, passing the Chestnut Point Parking Area, until the trail turns right to follow Peskin Road just at mile marker 2.
The trail turns east to follow Peskin Road just around mile marker 2. The trail still roughly follows the road, but will find patches of woods to amble through as well as it goes just over a mile to the side of the dam.
Once you round the corner…
You’ll walk behind the dam, reaching the end of the dam about the same time that you reach Mile Marker 4.
In the last mile, you’ll pass the split off trail for the Bear Swamp Connector Trail, then its down around to the parking lot and back to the car.
It was dinner time, so we didn’t have time to check out the visitors center, but that gives me an excuse to come back!
Nearby: Allaire State Park is close by.
Beautiful views of the reservoir. Lots of birds. Options to boat.
The parts of the trail by the road are right next to the road.
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