Last week I decided to stop at Shark River Park in Neptune, NJ. Shark River Park was established in 1960. It’s actually the oldest Monmouth County Park. It’s just under 1000 acres and located between Neptune and Wall. There is plenty to do at Shark River Park including, fishing, hiking, and it even hosts cross country races.
It 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.
Ceder Loop Starts at the center of the loop.
There is a “Fitness trail” 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.
The Hidden Creek trail 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!
Finally, the Pine Hills Trail is close to the Garden State Parkway and goes up a few small inclines. It’s nothing unmanageable.
In all, despite getting lost, I enjoyed the hike. I will say it was “comforting” to hear a few sounds of the Garden State Parkway because I knew I wasn’t “lost forever.”
The take away is…don’t follow your gut…follow the trail map. Maybe not eat mushrooms on the trail either…
I am definitely going to come back and run, 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?