Where to take the kids?


New Member
I've been taking my 7 and 8 year old girls MTB at Tamaques Park in Westfield. They're doing a great job and are ready to move on. I have a feeling Santa is going to leave two Ibex Alpine 440's under the tree this year! :)

Where should we go next? Tight single-track surrounded by pricker-bushes isn't going to go over so well just yet. But we should start hitting some climbs and a bit more technical terrain without being overly scary.

Any ideas?

BTW, we're in central NJ -- Summit. Near Warren / Watchung / Berkeley Heights / New Providence..

I will say that for beginners, Clayton is ideal, as well as Cheesequake. Both are easy to navigate, and not that techy at all.
You can go to Chimney Rock and stay near the ballfields or the Middlebrook Trail. You could go to Lewis Morris/Patriots Path. Actually PP might be perfect with the occasional foray into LM. Cheesequake probably isn't all that far either.
I've done a small loop at Chimney Rock. I've parked at the main lot, rode past the fields and playground, down a short, steep hill along side of a walking bridge; small water crossing; up a pretty steep technical climb; and then around the loop hitting about five or so log crossings. I think that's too hard for them right now. Heck, it's even a challenge for me to clear everything nicely! Is there anything easier at CR?

Come to think of it I have taken the whole family to Patriots Path but since we also had training wheels with us we stayed on the pavement. We might have to go back and hit the dirt. Any suggestions on where?

I've never been to Cheesequake State Park before. It looks like about the same distance as Chimney Rock -- about 40 minutes..

I haven't been to LM in years. Anything doable there for the kids?

Kittatany should be good. The Team Bulldog kids race is held there. Don't worry about the sticker bushes, my boy was in Wawayanda with training wheels on.
I've taken my 8yo to Clayton, Mercer CP, and Allaire. Mercer is the easiest of those three. Since she is not that strong or has full-grasp on how to use the gears, she had to walk up some steeper sections at Clayton and Allaire.

Another place to consider is the Delaware Raritan Canal tow-path. It's flat and easy. The cool thing is that it actually goes somewhere. I take the towpath from Hamilton to Princeton. Stopping for ice cream or whatever breaks up the trip and makes it more interesting. You could probably do something similar from Somerset to New Brunswick.
If you want real fun while biking the best place to take the kids is grandma's house and then go yourself. If that option isn't available I suggest kittatiny big time. Park in rt 206 parking lot. Go down the rail trail and make yer first right then left.
Wher to go?

I grew up in Mountainside for 25 years, you can go up to the Watchung reservation, there is a place called trailside museum and suprise lake. You can take the kids riding in that field and a back road between trailside and the lake. Then take them inside the museum, its great for kids, lots of little bird and spider and bug things of nature, its good..

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