6 Best Trails in Howell NJ: Where to Walk, Jog & Hike Near Your Howell Neighborhood

Best Walking and Jogging Trails in Howell

Howell Township's best trails comprise beautiful country lanes, wooded areas, and hobby farms that practically invite residents to take a walk or jog. Many Monmouth County residents work in New York City but live in the lovely Howell Township because it provides so much outdoor space. Bodies of water, wetlands, wooded areas, and state parks await the adventurous jogger or biker who wants to explore. 

Manasquan Reservoir Loop

The Land O' Pines neighborhood and the Fort Plains area border the Manasquan Reservoir along its western banks, with the West Farms neighborhood to the north. The reservoir has 1,208 acres of surface area and is often dotted with electric-motor fishing boats (no gas motors allowed).

There is a five-mile, multi-use trail around the reservoir that joggers, walkers, and cyclists take advantage of. Horses are also permitted on the trail. Runners can stop to catch their breath at the reservoir's Visitor Center; the views from the second-level deck across the reservoir are magnificent.

Bear Swamp Natural Area Trails

Where to Find the Best Trails in Howell, NJ

I-195 borders the Bear Swamp Natural Area to the north, and the neighborhoods around Oak Glen Road and Lakewood Farmingdale Road border the area south. The parking lot off Maxim Road has space for cars and vehicles pulling horse trailers. Vehicles with horse trailers shouldn't come into the parking lot near the gate because it will be challenging to turn around.

Although Bear Swamp is a small park, it has three marked trails. The trails are flat, easy, and dirt-covered, and joggers, hikers, and equestrian riders are welcome. Several forms of wildlife can be viewed in Bear Swamp—primarily geese and eastern box turtles in the pond in the middle of the park. There are no public restrooms at the Bear Swamp Natural Area, so plan accordingly before arriving here.

Echo Lake Park Trail

Echo Lake Park is located in southern Howell near the border with Ocean County. It's also referred to as the Alfred C. Sauer Park at Echo Lake, named after a World War II veteran whose conservation efforts helped to preserve and restore the park. Two parking lots (north and south) are located along Maxim Southard Road. The north parking lot is where residents can bring kayaks or car-top fishing boats to the lake and use the public boat launch. Note that no motorized boats are allowed on the lake.

There is a nature trail at the park where people can go for a jog or a quiet walk. The trail goes around the lake through wooded areas and provides opportunities to watch turtles sunning themselves near the shore. Public restrooms, picnic tables, a playground, and a gazebo can all be found in Echo Lake Park.

Allaire State Park Trails

Where are the Best Hiking Trails in Howell, NJ?

Allaire State Park is located just east of the reservoir and the Bear Swamp Natural Area. It's a large park with dozens of campsites that can be reserved, so multiple parking lots are situated around the area. Two of the most convenient ones are the bike path parking lot, located along Atlantic Avenue to the north, and the gravel parking lot on Hospital Road, right at the Allaire State Park Trailhead.

The southern side of the park has multiple trails and hiking paths winding through it. Some are rated moderate due to elevation changes, but most are in the easy rating. Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding are all allowed in Allaire State Park.

The Manasquan River flows through the park and is especially beautiful in the springtime when hundreds of types of wildflowers start to bloom. The park is also on a migratory bird flight path, so plenty of birdwatchers come out with their binoculars to look around.

Jakes Branch County Park Trails

Jakes Branch County Park is located just a short drive south of Howell along Highway 9. The park is in Oceantown, near the Jersey Shore, and has several great hiking trails. Guests are encouraged to stop in at the Visitor's Center to pick up a trail map before setting out on a run or hike. Owners are welcome to bring their dogs to Jakes Branch County Park, but they must always remain on a leash.

The park has two main trails, and both are rated easy. The Interpretive Trail is 1.2 miles in length and takes about 25 minutes to walk. The longer main trail is the Tindey Trail Loop. It's nearly four miles in length and takes about an hour and 15 minutes to hike. The trails are mainly dirt, with some short boardwalk areas to cross some patches that can get muddy.

Shark River Park Trails

Where to Hike in Howell, NJ

Shark River Park is located on the east side of the Jersey Turnpike in Wall Township, which borders Howell to the east. It's a beautiful park that the Shark River borders on its north side, and it has a nice wooded trail on a dirt path.

Visitors can hike from the trailhead to where the path splits and back, which is about 2.1 miles. If they take either branch of the trail, it loops back to that same spot and turns it into a 4.1-mile hike that takes over an hour to complete. The park is primarily undeveloped, but public restrooms are available at the parking lot entrance. 

Fresh Air and Beautiful Hikes in Howell

One of the biggest appeals of living in Howell—and perhaps one of the reasons why so many people are moving to Monmouth County—is that there are so many natural, wooded areas to get out for a hike or run. The town is truly a haven for people who work in the nearby larger cities because they can come home to a quiet, laid-back community with a rural feel.

Ready to call Howell home? Contact The Dekanski Home Selling Team of RE/MAX 1st Advantage with New Jersey Real Estate Network at (800) 691-0485 to get in touch with experienced real estate agents and find your ideal Howell home today.

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