Open dawn to dusk year round.
(732) 842-4000 Website Trail Map (GR Series)
Gravitas: Hiking: MTB: Proximity:Part of the Monmouth County Park System, Clayton Park is an easy 25-minute shot from Trenton (off I-195 Exit 11). It’s absolutely lovely, featuring 8 miles of trails through a mixed habitat of mature hardwood forest, wetlands, and fields. The topography is rolling hills…there’s no more than a hundred feet or so of elevation gain at any one climb, but you can string together a few of those climbs to improve the aerobic value.
The soil in Clayton park is sandy, and the trails are generally hard-packed, making for both easy footing (if you’re walking) or non-technical cycling (it’s a very popular mountain bike spot). It’s also a great place to go cross country skiing after a big snowfall. Really, I adore the place.
I have only two complaints: 1) it’s such a popular cycling spot that it takes some of the enjoyment out of hiking, especially on the weekends during the spring and summer, as you’ll be dodging bikes, and 2) the trail system is a little confusing…you’ll definitely want to bring a trail map with you the first few times you go out. You can print the PDF file we provide in the Trail Map link above. Better yet, load it into your smart phone. It’s one of our new “GR Series” which works with a free app called Avenza PDF Maps, and will show your location using the GPS chip in your phone. Very useful, especially here.
After Washington Crossing State Park, and Baldpate Mountain, Clayton Park is the closest place to Trenton to have a serious walk in the woods. Since discovering it, it’s become one of my local “favs”.
Definitely check it out.
Activities | Cycling-MT | Hiking/Walking | X-C Skiing
7 thoughts on “Close and Smooth”
We can’t get trail map link to work!
Oops! My bad. Should work now.
I enjoy Clayton all year round, though I really like snowy winter hikes through it!
Sourlands is nicest in this area
Hey Chris, I love the Sourlands, and you’ll find a comprehensive review of it on the site (along with a GR series map). That said, don’t dismiss Clayton Park. It’s lovely, about 15 minutes closer to Trenton, and provides much easier footing (Sourlands is bouldery, whereas Clayton is smooth). If you’re looking for a relaxing walk through gorgeous, mature hardwood forest, Clayton is tough to beat.
Hello . Thanks for all this posts . I really enjoyed Baldpate & Clayton . I also recommend Sourland Mountain preserve( 30 minutes from Trenton) in Somerset county and Turkey Swamp where you can Kayak for $13/hour and have nice trails .
Please do not stop these postings I really appreciate it .
My dog loved this walk- there are ponds and creeks for swimming and the underbush is not super dense so there is a little less worry about ticks. Nice easy walking, too.