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Hartshorne Woods County Park in Middletown


In this latest edition of Hike New Jersey, we head to Monmouth County and Hartshorne Woods County Park in Middletown, New Jersey. Hartshorne Woods is part of the Monmouth County Parks System.

According to the park system, the woods were named after an English Quaker, Richard Hartshorne, who settled in the area in 1669 and bought about 2,400 acres of land.

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Hartshorne Woods Park has over 15 miles of hiking trails, with some of the toughest trails in the Monmouth County park system. The park spans several different entry points including Claypit Creek, Buttermilk Valley, and Rocky Point. April and I started at the entrance to Claypit Creek.

This park has easy, moderate, and difficult trails … so something for everyone. There are a few hills on this hike, nothing too hard, but still downhill. We met people who hiked, jogged and biked the trails. We hiked part of the Claypit Creek Trail and Laurel Ridge Trail. Both trails were “moderate”. Claypit Creek is about half a mile and Laurel Ridge is two and a half miles. So we ended up with about 4 kilometers in total.

We enjoyed our hike to Hartshorne Woods. The trails are well marked and clear. I will say there are a lot of tree roots and loose rocks so watch your steps. . wear good hiking boots. Dogs are welcome, don’t forget your leash … but we saw lots of happy dogs along the trails.

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