Of all the Monmouth County parks that I’ve walked in, this has probably been my favorite. I liked the walk along the water, and due to the moisture and water, there were some tricky spots to the trail. Shark River Park is known for wet trails. Also, of the Monmouth county parks, Shark River Park had the least amount of unmarked trails. Many of the trail junctions were not marked, and fortunately the map was detailed enough that you are not likely to get off track.
I started this walk using the River’s Edge trail which meanders parallel to the Shark River. You will begin by walking along Schoolhouse Road until you come to the bridge over the river. At this point, follow the trail into the woods and along the river.
The trail is rated more difficult, and compared to other trails in the park, that statement would be true. There were plenty of wet spots along the trail that would take some navigating. And, there were hills with fashioned stairs to climb over.
The River’s Edge trail ran into the Hidden Creek trail, and at the junction I made a right. The Hidden Creek trail was relatively flat, but there were spots with big puddles that presented a minor challenge. I stayed on the Hidden Creek trail until I came to a junction with the Pine Hills trail. This trail is a loop trail, which was a nice diversion as it was dry compared to the rest of the trails in the park. Finishing the loop, I jumped back on the Hidden Creek trail.
I was only on the Hidden Creek trail for a short bit before I jumped on the Cedar Loop trail which headed back to trailhead. This trail, while flat and easy the whole way, had spots that were really wet and particularly challenging to cross.