6 Hiking & Walking Trails In & Around Manalapan: Neighborhoods Near Nature Trails
Anyone who thinks that New Jersey is fully urbanized hasn't spent enough time exploring the state. Many of the communities in Jersey, like Manalapan Township, are relatively rural and provide ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Residents and anyone moving to Manalapan Township will enjoy endless possibilities for nature hikes and exploring the local forests. Most of the trails here range from Easy to Moderate since there aren't many hills to climb. Whether you want to get some daily exercise head out for a Saturday afternoon excursion, here are some of the best neighborhood trails in Manalapan, NJ.
Manalapan Rec Center Fitness Trail
Drive along Freehold Road to find the entrance to the Rec Center. This is a large outdoor facility with more than 93 acres of space for locals to get some exercise. There are multiple soccer, football, baseball, and softball fields and outdoor courts for basketball, sand volleyball, and frisbee golf. Follow the signs to the end, past the baseball diamonds, to reach the Field E Parking Lot. That's where the Rec Center's fitness trail begins.
The trail is 2.9 miles long and follows Weamaconk Creek most of the way. Then it loops back around to the start. The trail is rated "Easy" and has a 59-foot elevation change. It can be completed in roughly 6,500 steps.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park Trails
Monmouth Battlefield State Park commemorates the site of one of the longest-lasting battles of the American Revolutionary War. This historical park is a great complement to the curriculums of Manalapan-Englishtown schools. Stop by the Visitor's Center near the park's entrance to pick up a trail map. The Visitor's Center, complete with public restrooms, is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except on Sundays during winter. Many of the trails are interconnected and range from half to three miles. In addition to trails, visitors can walk farm roads and field edges to view the historic site.
The park's trails are suitable for biking when there's no snow on the ground. Horseback riding is allowed on select trails. The trails are all relatively flat and are rated Easy with no significant elevation gains. The trails are dirt-surfaced, making them suitable for jogging. It's even nice to hike the trails here during the winter due to the sun exposure in many areas. Cross-country skiing is allowed in some areas. Remember that the open fields can get breezy, so bundle up.
Thompson Park Trails
Thompson Park is an ample 1,600-acre outdoor space located northeast of Manalapan in the area of homes for sale in Monroe. Check out the Trail Map for Thompson Park since it has several miles of interconnected trails. The conservation area has a nine-mile trail that is rated Easy-to-Moderate. These are dirt trails through heavily wooded areas. The Hoffman Station Trail is eight miles long and mostly traverses open fields. It's rated Easy.
The parking lot near the main trailhead is located along Fir Road, just off Perrineville Road. There are several farms in the area, and dogs are allowed on the Thompson Park trails so long as they are leashed.
Perrineville State Park Trails
Perrineville State Park is located in the area of Millstone, southwest of Manalapan. There are four main entrances to the park:
- 143 Baird Road
- 21 or 23 Agress Road
- 49 Witches Hollow Road
- 881 Perrineville Road
The park opens at 7:00 a.m. every day and closes at 7:00 p.m. throughout most of the year. The exception is the winter months when the park can close as early as 5:30 p.m. The Agress Road parking lot is the only entrance with public restrooms.
There are two accessible trails to hike in Perrineville. The shorter one is the Lakeside Loop, which is 1.5 miles long—the longer trail is Rocky Brook, which is a 4.8-mile round trip. Both trails are packed dirt and are rated Easy.
Lake Topanemus Park Trails
Lake Topanemus Park is in Freehold, located directly east of Manalapan. It's a 71-acre park filled with trees, wildflowers during the summer months, and some wildlife. Bird watchers love to come and hike the trails here. The lake is a lovely spot for fishing, boating, or having a picnic along the shore. Non-motorized boats such as kayaks, rowboats, and canoes are allowed on the lake. There's a playground for children near the main entrance and benches from which to take in the views.
The nature trails that lead through the park. The main trail follows the shore of the lake and is relatively short, at about 1,500 feet in length. It stretches from Pond Road near the parking lot to Robertsville Road in the east. The trail is unpaved and is rated Easy.
Manasquan River Linear Park Trail
Manasquan River Linear Park, one of the best parks in Freehold Township, is located just south of West Freehold and directly east of Manalapan. It's a 3.8-mile loop trail rated "Easy" and kid-friendly. There's no significant elevation change here. The dirt trail is excellent for hiking or jogging, and leashed dogs are welcome. Visitors are unlikely to run into very many other people here.
The hike will take visitors through Turkey Swamp, although there aren't any wild turkeys here anymore. There are, however, many plants and trees associated with the New Jersey Pine Barrens here. Pitch pine and oak trees line the trail on both sides. Bushes and shrubbery include pepper bush, blueberry, catbrier, and bracken fern. The loop trail takes about an hour and 15 minutes to complete.
Get Outdoors in Manalapan, NJ
Visitors to the area and anyone moving to Monmouth County will quickly learn that it's a quiet, reasonably rural part of Monmouth County, NJ. Many places available for hiking seem like they're in the middle of nowhere because visitors can't hear any traffic. The trails offer additional peace, quiet, and solitude in a town that's already peaceful and quiet! These are some of the best-rated neighborhood trails in the area, so everyone should get outdoors and enjoy them to the fullest.