Remember: The safest place right now is at home.
March 18, 2015
Link to map has been updated
The link to the map has been updated. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and providing us with the URL for the correct link!
March 17, 2015
Just a note - the link for the map should be updated, as the URL no longer works. I did find the map online here: http://ucnj.org/parks-recreation/paths-trails-greenways/watchung-reserva... We picked up a color copy of the map at the nature center (which opens at noon). Having a color map made it easier to follow than a black and white one. We studied the directions posted above, and they did seem a bit complicated. However, it really wasn't. We did the whole Sierra Loop (white blazes), and had our map but didn't end up referring to it during the hike. We found the trails very well blazed, and easy to follow. There are many side trails (both marked and unmarked), but it was straightforward to stay on the Sierra Trail. This hike does have a lot of car noise, but it didn't really bother me except for the portion of the hike where you can see the cars across the brook (on the west side of the reservation). I really enjoyed going through Feltville - abandoned/ghost towns are so fascinating. Here are some photos: http://www.agiletrekker.blogspot.com/2015/03/sierra-trail-watchung-reservation.html
September 30, 2013
First off, let's make an addition to the directions. If you are coming from the west traveling on 78 E, take exit 44, which takes you immediately to Glenside Ave. then follow the directions. We walked the white blaze trail from the nature center going to the western most point and looping back by the white trail and eventually the pink blazed History trail which takes you by the Copper Mine gorge. The trail takes you up and down the hills around the brook several times so you get in a few hundred feet of climbing. The section of the brook by the old mill is beautiful with the cliffs and the little falls. Its too bad its so close to the road noise. If I were to do it again I'd skip the section of the white trail south of south of Sky Top Drive. The overlook at the end is quite disappointing and the section of trail is straight and road noisy. I'd just cut through the pine plantation, head west to the old mill. Then after crossing back over Sky Top I'd return along the north side of the brook on the white trail then cut over to one of the trails that passes by the Copper Mine Gorge and head back to the parking. Overall, not exceptionally wild but it's nature and a nice way to put your feet on some uneven terrain. Also if you wanted to you could transition from picnic grounds to hiking pretty nicely with a family.