Manasquan Reservoir Perimeter Trail Mountain Bike Ride in Howell, NJ
My sons and I, and my wife, went for a non-technical trail ride at Manasquan Reservoir on Sunday.
It was our second time riding our mountain bikes on the Perimeter Trail at the reservoir. We did the trail for the first time last year in the fall. My cousin with her husband, son and daughter from New York came for a visit so we took them to Manasquan for a picnic and bike ride.
Main Entrance Sign to Manasquan Reservoir
Sunday was a beautiful day for bike riding. Other people thought so too so the trail was crowed with bicyclist and walkers. We only encountered 4 horseback riders on the trail that day.
The Perimeter Trail at Manasquan Reservoir in Howell, New Jersey is a multi-use trail designated for hiking, horseback riding and biking; it loops five miles (eight kilometers) around the reservoir. Everyone except my wife rode the trail twice. The first time around the trail we rode counter clock wise. The second time around the loop we went clock wise.
I don’t remember riding the trail clock wise before and I find it a bit tougher because what was a nice easy downhill going the other way became a fairly long climb this way. Other than that one spot, the trail is pretty much the same from either direction and is a lot of fun to ride.
If you have young kids or if you are not in your best physical condition, it may be easier riding the trail counter clock wise. It took us about half an hour to ride the 5 mile loop trail at a fast pace.
Riding toward Manasquan Environmental Center
Besides the trail, there are also kayak rentals, boat tours, fishing, kiddies’ playground, picnic tables, barbeque pits, boat launch and an Environmental Center.
The Manasquan Reservoir has enough activities for the whole family to make for a very enjoyable day out. The 5 mile Perimeter Trail loops around the edge of the reservoir is great for hiking and bike riding. Some sections of the trail go through woods and some are out in the open. The trail is 5 miles long and there are no bathrooms or water along the way until the Environmental Center. There are benches for sitting along the trail.
An easy, 5 mile, wide, loop trail around Manasquan Reservoir that winds through woods and open areas around the Reservoir. The terrain is generally flat, with some ups and downs, of hard packed dirt and gravel/cinder. There is nothing technical about the trail. The trail is strictly for dirt trail riding.
• Garden State Parkway to Exit 98, Interstate 195 west. Proceed on I-195 west to Exit 28B, Rt. 9 north-Freehold. Stay in right lane when entering Rt. 9 north. At first traffic light, turn right onto Georgia Tavern Road. Follow Georgia Tavern Road for 0.3 mile. Turn right onto Windeler Rd. Continue 1.5 miles to the Reservoir Area on left.
• State Hwy. 9 south from Freehold to Georgia Tavern Rd. Use Jug handle to turn left onto Georgia Tavern Rd. Proceed on Georgia Tavern Rd. for 0.3 mile. Turn right onto Windeler Rd. Continue 1.5 miles to the Reservoir Area on left.