Columbia Trail-Hunterdon County Parks & Playgrounds
Columbia Trail is a 15 miles out and back trail. The trail is primarily used for mountain biking, road biking, walking and hiking. The trail is very family friendly and has a lot to offer families. Columbia trail is perfect for natural play areas such as rock climbing, streams perfect for splashing and lots of picnic areas. Hiking is free and a perfect way for families to spend the day together, and a great way to exercise.
Discover ponds, streams, meadows, waterfalls, woods and easy to follow trails.
3 Reasons my Family Loves Columbia Trail
- We love the beauty of the trail. After riding our bikes for a few miles we allowed the kids to explore. It offers lots of great areas for the kids to climb rocks and play in the stream.
- We often park the bikes and explore the small wooded trails off the main path. The kids loved climbing up the mountain and searching for magic treasures. My kids were amazed by the small waterfalls rushing down the mountain.
- Among the beautiful wooded areas you can spy gnome homes. The gnome homes have been placed all throughout the trail for hikers and bikers to enjoy. The gnome houses ranged from tiny doorways nailed to a tree stump to little cabins containing plastic trinkets and small visitor log books. My son refers to the trail as the “magic place”. It was so wonderful watching him spy the tiny enchanted houses. He had so many questions about magic and gnomes.
*Sadly, in 2014, a public policy empowered the Hunterdon County park rangers to remove dozens of gnome homes and any small trinkets associated with them. The rangers did leave behind any houses they considered biodegradable. Over the years various publications, including Weird New Jersey and the Black River Journal have written about these magical gnome homes along the Columbia trail. The gnomes even inspired a small picture book entitled, “Jerome the Gnome” about a Califon gnome who goes house hunting.
What Columbia Trail offers
- River and various streams
- Hiking and nature trails
- Nature studies
- Picnic areas
- Scenic overlooks
- Natural play areas such as rocking climbing
The main entrance for Columbia Trail is located across from 79 Main Street in High Bridge in Hunterdon County. The trail is located in portions of High Bridge and Califon Boroughs, Clinton and Lebanon Townships. The trailhead is in High Bridge with the terminus located on Valley Brook Road. No restrooms facilities are available.
Want to find more fun places to play in New Jersey? Visit our New Jersey Parks & Playground listing.