Schooleys Mountain County Park

Schooleys Mountain County Park

Morris County Park Commission
Fairview Ave, Long Valley, NJ 07853
Open daily, sunrise to sunset
(973) 326-7600   Website    Google Maps     Trail Map GeoPDF

Gravitas:   Challenge:      Proximity:

Special notes for parents
This is a great hike for hiker dude kids if you park at the trailhead recommended and climb up to the ridge top. While you can also find parking on top, and walk on flat trails for beginners, it’s kind of a long drive for just that. You’ll want to make a day of it: you can find lunch in Long Valley, but more likely you should plan on carrying a picnic in your packs and eating at the top. There’s enough scrambly variation to please experienced kids. Definitely explore the Electric Brook gorge, assuming your kids (and you) are competent to walk it. It’s very steep in parts.
The Gorge Trail provides a steep, entertaining descent to Electric Brook

School Daze

This is a charming hike with views, rock formations, and a cold water stream that tumbles through a steep, bouldery gorge.  It’s located in western Morris County, about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Trenton.  Here you have the option to park at the bottom (on Fairview Avenue), or park at the top (off Schooley’s Mountain Rd).

From the Fairview trailhead, this is a moderately strenuous hike for Experienced walkers, especially if you choose to descend down to Electric Brook on the Boulder Gorge Trail.  Experienced hikers will enjoy descending and returning from the Patriot’s Path.  The trail is quite steep and entertaining, and adds an extra 200 vertical feet to the 500 or so feet between the high point of the trail system and the Fairview entrance.

Alternatively, from the Schooley’s Mountain Road parking lot, you can stick to the trails in the central loop.  These are graveled woods roads providing access to the viewpoint with minimal elevation change, making this suitable for Beginner hikers.  Intermediate hikers can add a bit more adventure and travel up or down the Falling Waters Trail to enjoy Electric Brook as it descends toward the South Branch of the Raritan, one of NJ’s premiere trout streams.

Kids will enjoy the views, the rock formations, and the dramatic descent of Electric Brook.  While the trail along the western bank of the brook has been permanently closed, the eastern bank is accessible via the Falling Waters Trail. Note there is a private in-holding within the park along a short stretch of Electric Brook’s eastern bank which should be respected.

Electric Brook tumbles impressively through a bouldery gorge

A recommended route for Experienced hikers is to start at the Fairmont Ave trailhead, and ascend along the left fork using the “Patriot’s Path.”  Take a short, steep side-trip to descend and return via the Boulder Gorge Trail to Electric Brook, then continue up Patriot’s to the viewpoint (marked with a star on the trail map).  Continue on the blue blazed trail (which is now called the Falling Waters Trail), then stay right shortly after you reach Lake George to pick up the “Grand Loop” to begin your return walk via the Quarry Stone (shorter, slightly more interesting) or the Highland Cut (longer) to the Bee-Line and back to your car.

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