Your Official Guide to Hiking at Cheesequake Park
Hiking is therapeutic!
Although some may think otherwise, true nature lovers know that hiking is a therapeutic and rejuvenating hobby.
It doesn’t necessarily matter what trail is followed on a hiking adventure because the true journey begins when the hiker takes their first breath of crisp, open air.
Upon setting foot in a state park with a hiking trail, people are instantaneously transported to a less stressful mindset where the worries and troubles of everyday life can be forgotten and the only thing that matters is that they are in control of the hike they go on; what path is taken, the turns taken, duration of the hike and, most importantly, where they end up.
When hiking, you can (and should) deviate from the main trail to create your own journey
While it may seem that hikers have very little control over where they end up on a hike because trails are clearly marked out and designated, that is not the case.
More often than not, hiking trails are designed to follow one path but will have smaller side trails stemming from that path.
Should hikers choose to digress from the main path when a spark of adventure is ignited from within, they will be creating an individual quest for themselves and begin exploring nature the way they want to, not how someone told them to.
Although the park rangers and those who designed the trails have given hikers a suggested path that they can take, and that path is absolutely breathtaking in itself, they also wanted to give people a chance to test their skill level and explore new areas.
While the main trail may be more of a flat path, with only small hills and rugged areas, the side trails may lead to more challenging and complex terrain.
Cheesequake State Park:
Diverse hiking trails for all experience levels
One Monmouth County New Jersey park that holds true to that mentality is Cheesequake State Park in Matawan. Their main hiking path, the Green trail, is essentially a beginner’s trail with only small elevations, rolling hills, and marshlands to overcome.
It is the epitome of a pleasant hike in Central New Jersey because hikers can leisurely stroll through the park and take in the beautiful scenery.
As they continue along this trail however, unchallenged walkers may wish to spice up their journey. If that is the case, the park has made it possible for everyone to increase the complexity, turning off onto either their Blue, Yellow or Red trails.
These trails are slightly more rugged, offering hikers the chance to challenge themselves and become their own nature guide.
Details of each trail
Alright. Here we go!
Find a trail that interests you and then go ahead and head out for your hike!
A great choice for beginners
The Green trail at Cheesequake State Park is complete with a wooden boardwalk because, as the main trail through the park, everyone, beginners and experts alike, follow this path to an extent.
As an easy to navigate path, beginner hikers will be given the chance to decide for themselves whether or not they enjoy the activity.
If they are comfortable hiking and want to challenge themselves during their first outdoor adventure, Cheesequake State Park has made such a decision easy.
Along the Green trail, visitors can follow easy to read signs and decide to what extent they wish to increase the trail difficulty.
A step up in difficulty from the green trail
If hikers only wish to increase the difficulty level by one degree so to speak, the Blue trail is the path they should turn onto from the Green trail.
On this trail, the difficulty level is higher, but by no means unmanageable for the beginner hiker.
Those who turn off the Green trail onto the Blue trail will encounter a few more rolling hills, more elevation, and more noticeable obstacles. It gives the hikers a new view of the park.
There is slightly different scenery along this path and followers will be able to explore a new area, take in the fresh air, and relax as they walk in tune to the sounds of nature.
Getting tougher with more obstacles to encounter!
Another trail that stems off of the main Green trail is that of the Yellow trail.
Hikers who decide to venture into this territory are more likely to encounter obstacles such as staircases taking them down steep hills, curves, bridges and other natural roadblocks.
Although the path is still carved out with wooden boards and a clear destination, the terrain is more difficult and hikers may require more experience to comfortably complete the course.
One advantage of taking this trail is that hikers are given the chance to fully appreciate natural land developments.
As they follow each curve, bridge, or staircase taking them up or down a hill, hikers begin to appreciate the beautiful area and ways in which it serves society.
They feel the ground beneath their feet, the up and down motion the boards take as they follow the curves of earth and see all of the beautiful trees, plants, and animals that call this area their home.
Most people who take this path gain a newfound sense of relaxation.
The highest hiking difficulty level at Cheesequake
On the Red trail, the most difficult hiking trail in Cheesequake State Park, hikers are sure to encounter a multitude of elevation changes, curves and bridges.
Hikers are not guaranteed a boardwalk walkway on this hiking trail, therefore it is recommended that only experienced hikers or those who wish to truly become one with nature venture down this path.
It is a great path to take if hikers truly want to escape their troubles and come to peace with their day to day activity.
Walking through the park on this path gives visitors a chance to lead their own path, listen to the natural sounds of the park, challenge themselves, and see what they’re truly capable of.
Once hikers complete their journey on the Red trail, they often have a sense of accomplishment because they have overcome the natural obstacles and roadblocks, completing what is classified as one of New Jersey’s more difficult hiking trails.
Great trail for mountain biking
The last hiking trail option at Cheesequake State Park in Matawan, NJ is the White trail.
This trail is not only designated for hikers but also for mountain bikers.
Due to its multi-purpose use, the White trail has rugged terrain, no boardwalk walkway, and a few, but not many, obstacles that hikers must overcome. If visitors are interested in both hiking and mountain biking, they may choose to walk the path prior to biking it.
Also, as a completely separate path, not connected to the Green, Blue, Yellow or Red trails, the White trail is perfect for serious hikers or bicyclists who want to test their skill and complete the path as quickly as possible.
With so many hiking options at this one state park, people who visit Cheesequake State Park know that they are going to find a hiking trail that is suitable for their hiking experience and skill level.
The breathtakingly beautiful state park, in this sense, can be enjoyed by everyone.
As hikers make their way through the 1.5 – 3.3 mile long hiking trails, overcoming obstacles and taking in the sounds of nature, feelings of peace and serenity can be experienced. The ability to choose the path they take, even alternating between difficulty levels and leading themselves through the park also attracts many people to this area.
No one feels as though they are “stuck” when hiking at Cheesequake State Park because, much like it is to simply explore nature on their own, hiking in this park is almost entirely self-driven.
See other places to go hiking in NJ.