Hiking Shark River Park

Shark river park monmouth nj

Shark River Park (Neptune, NJ)

Last week I decided to stop at Shark River Park in Neptune, NJ.  Shark River Park was established in 1960 and Shark River Park opened in 1961.  It’s actually the oldest Monmouth County Park. Shark River Park is just under 1000 acres and located between Neptune and Wall.  There is plenty to do at Shark River Park including, fishing, hiking, and even hosts cross country races. There are also several picnic areas in Shark River Park.

Shark River Park has about 9 miles of trails.  I had planned to just check it out and walk about a mile or 20 minutes.  Even though I brought both a hard copy of a map and a trail app, I ended up getting lost and walking around 5 miles.  Since it was my day off and I had nowhere to be, it wasn’t a big deal, but I was glad I brought water out of my car as well.

Here are a few of the trails I covered.  I didn’t use a Garmin, so I can’t tell you how much of each trail I covered.  I do know I know I covered the entire Pine Hill trail since it was a loop.

Shark river park monmouth nj

Ceder Loop Starts at the center of the loop.

Shark river park monmouth nj

There is a “Fitness trail” at Shark River Park which is flat and would be great for running.  It has 20 stations with strength workouts.  You know…workouts I always say I’ll do with running and don’t.

Shark river park monmouth nj

The Hidden Creek trail at Shark River Park is about 2 miles long and connects to the Pine Hills Trail.  I only now I was on this one because I did cover Pine Hills!

Shark river park monmouth nj

Finally, the Pine Hills Trail at Shark River Park close to the Garden State Parkway and goes up a few small inclines.  It’s nothing unmanageable.

Shark river park monmouth nj

In all, despite getting lost, I enjoyed the hike at Shark River Park. I will say it was “comforting” to hear a few sounds of the Garden State Parkway because I knew I wasn’t “lost forever” in Shark River Park.

Shark river park monmouth nj

The take away is…don’t follow your gut…follow the trail map.   Maybe not eat mushrooms on the Shark River Park trail either…

Shark river park monmouth nj

I am definitely going to come back and run at Shark River Park, and I bet it’s such a fun cross country course.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour
Hiking through Belleplain State Forest
Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

When was the last time you got lost? 

Are there any good hikes near you?


  1. I live in the midwest in a pretty small town … BUT we are fortunate to have a few hiking trails near by AND I have some great friends who are willing to let me tag along with them because I unfortunately don’t know the outdoors as much as others might. Do you take your cellphone with you? Do you get cell service while out in the great outdoors??

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