|Jersey Jaunts - Biking in (and around) New Jersey|
Manasquan Reservoir Perimeter Path
Distance: Approximately 5 miles (loop)
Topology: Generally Flat - 2 easy climbs
Surface: Stone dust
2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
reservoir located in
The path is not paved but is hard packed with crushed stone in most places, and wide enough for two-way single file traffic, much of the path is shaded with frequent views of the water. The path contains three dedicated bridges, and has four internal road crossings, three are entrance driveways in the park, and the third is a gated access road (no traffic). The pathway is not graded, and follows the natural contours of the land as it winds along the wooded shores of the reservoir. Although I considered it flat, since it runs alongside the level water of the reservoir, the trail does drop down behind the earthen dam (through the woods) and then climbs back up again. Some may find this to be a significant climb, while others might consider it just a bump; I will say that it is a steady climb (or decent) for maybe ½ mile with some almost flat spots during the climb, and a brief steep section or two, but no ups & downs. People ride horses, and push strollers around the path so it can't be that bad.
Besides the frequent water views, the path also takes you to a natural area where a short (40 feet?) trail leads to a viewing blind where you can observe an off-limits wetland area. Further along the trail (accessible by car as well) is a fairly new nature center, this is an air conditioned building with a ranger, and rest rooms. The nature center offers exhibits, and information about the ecosystem of the reservoir, you will also find kid oriented touch displays for the younger set to explore as well.
After you've made a lap or two on the trail, and visited the nature center, you can actually go out on the water. Row boat, kayak, and even electric motor powered boats are available for rent in the bait shop. If you're inclined to just sit after your ride, the park system usually offers a guided pontoon boat tour of reservoir as well. Next to the bait shop is the main boat launch (BYOB – bring your own boat) where you will see many fishing & sail boats take to the water.
If you're looking for some road biking from the reservoir, check out the Jersey Shore Tour Society’s web site, they run some of their weekly road rides from the parking area.
Directions to Manasquan Reservoir