Pequannock Watershed


View Pequannock Watershed in a larger map

Park Overview:

The clear lakes, streams and ponds, the mountains with their dramatic rock outcroppings, the forests all combine to make the Pequannock Watershed one of the most scenic areas in New Jersey. FEE and PERMIT REQUIRED

Trail Uses:Hiking
Trail Miles:24.1 miles
Park Acreage:15000 acres
West Milford/Passaic/NJ
Buy Trail Map:North Jersey Trails Map
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Park Description:

The City of Newark's Pequannock Watershed property adjoins the southern boundary of Wawayanda State park.  The area encompasses 15,000 acres and includes five major reservoirs totaling almost 2,000 acres.  The clear lakes, streams and ponds, the mountains with their dramatic rock outcroppings, the forests, and the varied vegetation of the watershed all combine to make it one of the most scenic areas in New Jersey.

Trails Overview:

In addition to the Jersey Highlands Trail Map, the North Jersey Trails Map [link above] covers the northern portion of the watershed.

Nine trails range from 0.7 to 4.6 miles.  The Bearfort Waters/Clinton Trail [4.6 miles; yellow] is a major north-south trail that connects the main section of Wawayanda State Park with the Pequannock Watershed [see "Comment" posted below on June 23, 2010 for update].  It runs parallel to and west of Clinton Road.  The Echo Lake East Trail [2.1 miles; white] off Echo Lake Road follows a relatively level route along the east shore of Echo Lake.  Several trails lead to a fire tower northeast of Clinton Reservoir.

Advisory:  Parking/hiking in the Newark-owned watershed is by permit only and requires payment of a fee.  It can be obtained in person (on weekdays) from its Echo Lake Office, on Echo Lake Rd, West Milford, or by mail at PO Box 319 Newfoundland NJ 07435 (phone 973-697-1724).  Alternatively, permits are issued at 920 Broad St, Room 211, Newark, N.J. 07102 (phone 973-733-8008).   Note:  The Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation which previously issued permits on behalf of the City was dissolved in July 2013.

  • Permits are required for all parking areas identified P1 to P9, except for P7 (which is on NJDEP land).


  • The primary access to trails is from Clinton Road, which extends north from NJ 23 near Newfoundland.  The watershed has assigned numbers to the trailhead parking areas, from P1 to P8 [not all of which are on Clinton Road].  Area P1 is located at the intersection of Clinton Road and Van Orden Road, 1.7 miles north of NJ 23.  [Google Maps: "Clinton Road and Van Orden Road, Newfoundland, NJ"]
  • NJ Transit Bus #194 & 195, which run along NJ 23.
Contact Information:City of Newark
Region:Bearfort Ridge and Wawayanda
Fees:Yes, click on 'Contact Information' for further information

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.


Effective today until at least mid-May Clinton Rd, West Milford  will be closed beyond the fishermen's parking lot and before P3 parking.  There will be bridge removal and heavy construction right at P3.    From Warwick Tpke (north end) Clinton Rd will be barricaded just south of  P7 parking area.   Terrace Pond trails parking  areas will be open and hikers can road walk to P5.     The old bridge is being removed and road alignment ongoing for the next month.    Hiking permits are still required.   

Bearfort Waters/Clinton & Highlands Trail

On June 5th, 2010 Estelle says:

The reroute of the BW/C and Highlands Trail has been completed.  All the HT blazing is done, some of the BW/C yellow blazes will be completed shortly.  The HT crosses Clinton Rd, Pequannock Watershed at P4 and now continues straight up the hill. It turns left and co-aligns along the newly created Bearfort Waters/Clinton (yellow) trail.  Since it's new, take care to follow the blazes.  There is no longer a loop hike possible since the trail across the beaver dam is closed. The beavers have made this crossing nearly impossible!  It's possible to hike from P4 to parking area P9 using a car shuttle.  This is a beautiful hike along ridges, with, at one point, a view of Buckabear Pond and Clinton Reservoir. After the beaver dam, the rest of the hike is along the reservoir.   Check the Highlands Trail webpages for further detail. 

Happy hiking!

Click for further discussion, especially about Timber Rattlesnakes in the area.

This is a remote area with

This is a remote area with very limited police presence and long delays in response, to problems. A car was vandalized 3/28 with a wallet and cell phone taken.

Clinton Road

The bridge has been replaced and Clinton Road is open.   This repair was completed before Winter.   

Vandalism Alert

A caution to take all your valuables with you, and lock your car when parking along Clinton Road and in any of the designated parking areas.  This is a remote area with very limited police presence and long delays in response to problems.    A car was vandalized 3/28 with a wallet and cell phone taken.  

The Highlands Trail


Visit The Highlands Trail website for complete, accurate and up-to-date information about New Jersey's Millenium Trail, including trail descriptions, current trail conditions and maps.

Click here to go directly to information about the Highlands Trail in Pequannock Watershed.

Notice of some Trail Closings

Just a reminder to hikers that due to Beaver Activity, the Clinton West and Buckabear Trails where they cross the Dam between Clinton Reservoir and Buckabear Pond are sometimes immersed in water.Please use caution. And due to this same raising of the water level and the steep slopes, the portion of the Bearfort Waters Trail West of Buckabear Pond is impassable, unmaintained and we suggest making alternate plans before attempting a thru-hike. We expect to have a reroute of this section completed by Summer of 2009. The remaining sections of these trails are still open.