Monday - Friday
8:30 - 4:30

908-766-3000
Directory

166 Mine Brook Road
Bernardsville, NJ, 07924

Trails in Bernardsville Borough and nearby

For thousands of years before the first Europeans set foot in America, the land on which Bernardsville now sits was part of the Lenapehoking, or “homeland” of the Lenape Native American people. The first Europeans settled in our area in the mid-1700s, primarily from Holland, Scotland, Ireland, and England. In the early 20th Century, Bernardsville became a “Mountain Colony” retreat for wealthy families who established large estates throughout the Somerset Hills to enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside. Many of the trails described below have long histories, dating back to these early settlers, the Revolutionary War, and the Mountain Colony period, when many were used as equestrian bridle paths.

Click on the map below to see details about each trail. The same information is also provided below.

Trail Access Points Map

General Trail Rules

  • All Borough trails are open to the public between dawn and dusk.
  • On those trails where dogs are permitted, they must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Motorized vehicles such as ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, mopeds, and dirt bikes are prohibited.
  • Hunting, trapping, and/or carrying of firearms of any kind, including paintball and airsoft guns is prohibited.
  • Smoking and/or consumption of alcohol is prohibited.
  • Removal, destruction, or disturbance of plants, wildlife and/or soils is prohibited.
  • Camping and/or campfires are prohibited.
  • Please stay on marked trails and obey all trail signs prohibiting entry into restricted areas.
  • Keep our trails beautiful! Please bring your trash out with you and pick up after your pets.
1

Peters Tract Trail

Bernardsville Borough Owned Trail

Parking
Parking is available in the parking lot of the Recreation Center House at 251 Claremont Road.
Entrance
The trail begins in the left rear corner of the Recreation Center backyard. Look for the brown Hiking Trail sign at the trailhead and red arrows blazing the path.
Length
Approximately 1/2 mile out and back.
Difficulty
Easy hiking trail, with a large clearing at the end.
Other
Leashed dogs permitted. Carry-in/carry-out – no garbage facilities. No bathroom facilities.
History
The land through which the Peters Tract trail runs was originally part of the “Claremont” Estate built in 1903 by George B. Post, the renowned architect of many grand Bernardsville estates, as well as the New York Stock Exchange building and many other notable projects. The 30-acre parcel known as “Peters Tract” was generously donated to the borough in 1962 by Thomas McClure Peters and his wife Marion Hood Peters, George B. Post’s granddaughter.
2

Laurelwood / Round Top Trail

Bernardsville Borough Owned Trail
Parking
Parking is available at the municipal gravel lot located just north of 169 Mine Brook Road.
Entrance
The trail begins near the middle of the tree line at the back of gravel lot. There is a sign at the entrance, and the trail is marked by yellow diamonds.
Length
Approximately 9/10 mile out and back.
Difficulty
Moderate Hiking Trail. There is a steep section at the beginning. The trail crosses Laurelwood Drive and continues to Round Top Road.
Other
Leashed dogs permitted. Carry-in/carry-out – no garbage facilities. No Bathroom facilities.
History
The Laurelwood/Round Top trail was originally part of the Frederic and Mary Olcott estate known as “Round Top Farm.” This large estate once stretched from Mine Mount Road to Mount Harmony Road, and included the area now occupied by the Somerset Hills Country Club. The Olcotts were some of the most generous benefactors in the Borough’s history, donating large tracts of land and building the original Bernardsville School House, which now houses the Somerset Hills School District’s administrative offices.
3

Mine Brook Park Trail

Bernardsville Borough Owned Trail
Parking
Upon entering the driveway of 271 Mine Brook Road, bear right toward the small white building. Parking is on the small grass field to the right fronting Mine Brook Road (Route 202).
Entrance
There are two trail entrances, one at the left rear corner of the large field, and one at the right rear corner. This loop trail is marked with red arrows.
Length
Approximately ¾ mile.
Difficulty
Easy to Moderate Hiking Trails.
Other
Leashed dogs permitted. Carry-in/carry out – no garbage facilities. Recycling bins and portable restroom at site.
History
The park property is on one of the earliest known settlements in Bernardsville. The land was originally settled in 1736 by Alexander Kirkpatrick, his wife and young son, who fled religious persecution in their native Scotland. The Kirkpatricks went on to be a prominent family in early New Jersey politics and government, with descendants serving in the State Senate and on the New Jersey Supreme Court. The property was later owned by the Squibb family, of pharmaceutical industry fame.
4

Old Army Trail (Polo grounds access)

5

Old Army Trail (Chestnut Ave access)

Partnership with the New Jersey Audubon Society
Parking
Parking is available at either the Polo Grounds or a small pull-off lot on the South side of Chestnut Avenue, a short way past the Bernardsville Middle School grounds.
Entrance
The trail can be accessed via the trailhead located at the back of Evankow Field (the large soccer field behind the Polo Grounds), or via the pull-off lot on Chestnut Avenue.
Length
2-mile loop trail.
Difficulty
Moderately hilly, some steep sections, rocks, and roots.
Other
DOGS ARE PROHIBITED ON THIS TRAIL
History
The Old Army Trail takes its name from the Revolutionary history of this area. It was through these woods that the Continental Army soldiers barracked at Jockey Hollow cut a trail from their encampment to walk to John Parker’s Vealtown Tavern, which still stands in Bernardsville, and is now known as the Old Library building. The Old Army Trail connects Bernardsville to the Morristown National Historic Park (including the New Jersey Brigade Area, Cross Estate Gardens and Jockey Hollow), and the Morris County Patriot’s Path.
1

New Jersey Brigade Area

United States National Park Service

U.S. National Park Service:
New Jersey Brigade Area and Cross Estate

Wikipedia: New Jersey Brigade Encampment Site

2

Cross Estate Gardens

New Jersey Historical Garden Foundation

Website: www.crossestategardens.org
3

Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary

NJ Audubon Society

For information about the Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, please see the New Jersey Audubon Society’s website.
4

Little Brook Sanctuary

Somerset County Parks Commission

Website: https://www.somersetcountyparks.org/little-brook-sanctuary

A wealth of information on other Somerset County Parks and trails, many near Bernardsville, is also available at https://www.somersetcountyparks.org/