The Toughest Trail Climb in NJ


aka Fidodie
Staff member
I present to you the toughest trail climb in NJ.

Screenshot 2017-05-18 at 06.53.38.png

Is it the longest, NO. But it is going to hurt.
Is it the most climbing, NO. but once it starts, it is relentless.
Is it the steepest, NO. But you are going to hike-a-bike.
Is it the most technical, NO. But you will dab. and dab again.

In the end, you will be spent - the reward - a downhill. Followed by the completed connector trail bringing Cush white to RV red. My phone decided to crap out on this ride, so the connector isn't visible, but you'll see the right turn at the cairn, where the trail heads away from the reservoir.

Park in the cush lot, go into the woods along the pipeline cut. stay low, start the climb to the saddle, and make a right onto yellow. climb to red (the trail which opened again last year) - at the end, climb to the saddle. At the top, go to the left of the log. Follow the trail until you get to the firepit. You'll see it, if you can still see.

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Incredibly profound yet fantastically flawed
This used to be part of the race course there way back. You basically would start the race with a short roll out and then hit this climb right away. It was the second race I ever did after the long defunct Fuller Volvo AMBC Eastern Shore Championships (anyone remember that race in Wye Mills, MD?) Round Valley was way tougher than MD as a course - that climb was rough, especially without any kind of warm-up. In fact, this and Mountain Creek were probably two of the tougher courses we did that year.


aka Fidodie
Staff member
the cush red & white trail has been there since the time of the native americans! got hammered during sandy, and was never re-opened @Norm took care of that last year..
White was cleared this year - could have been anyone, but we probably could guess.

the connector trail has been there, it was marked, but not cleared. it is now pleasantly ridable!
OK I tried to ride this but couldn't follow all the zig zags. I eventually got most of it after a false start and a warm up 300+ ft of climbing. The last steep section is pretty ridiculous hike-a-bike, but I was expecting a payoff of a spectacular view of the reservoir from the highest point around there but - bupkis! Couldn't see shit. Then a downhill where I busted my balls on one of those step drop-offs. I ended up at the powerlines clearing but couldn't find a way to the reservoir - no wonder @fidodie took the zip line from the top to the other side. Nothing here but several ominous hunting blinds

I found a rarely used double track that basically took me to the top of the no view summit, then some other trails back to the car. So if you can't follow Pat's, try this one

I think I'll stick to the Round Valley side


aka Fidodie
Staff member
that is one way to do it, i guess......
never go off the east side of the ridge, unless returning to the railroad lot.
there are things there. terrible things.