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Sussex Branch Trail

Average Rating:    (3.5 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 10

The Sussex Branch Trail is a rail trail with a packed cinder surface extending from Waterloo Rd. in Byram Township to Branchville in Sussex County. There is a 1.5 mile detour around the town of Newton.
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Latitude
40.91506924984297
Longitude
-74.73793029785156
Trail Directions
Trail is a rail trail with multiple access points. Please contact the managing agency for maps and directions. Kittatinny Valley State Park, PO Box 621, Andover, NJ 07821. Phone 973-786-644
Trail Length
20 miles
Trail Level
Trails for all skill levels
Trail Type
Unknown
City/County
Sussex County
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
September 5, 2006

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: spylab ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
This is more of an endurance-exercise trail than a backwoods adventure trail like nearby Allamuchy State Park. It's a good trail to take the girlfriend or kids on, as the difficulty of the trail is only really determined by the distance you are willing to travel. There are a bunch of unmarked offshoot trails, most of which sadly either loop directly back to the main trail or cut out to access roads or the highway.

Beginning on Waterloo Road in Mount Olive, you will find the Sussex Branch a flat, wide, smooth bit of old railbed which runs as such all the way up to Cranberry Lake. This couple of miles is a glorious Sunday stroll, and on a nice weekend day is often littered with runners, dog walkers, stroller-pushers, and people just out to enjoy the outdoors.

Once past Cranberry Lake, as afoermentioned the trail's difficulty is determined by the rider's endurance. The trail quickly drops to singletrack, and varies between mild maintenance and "where'd the trail go?". Every couple of miles or so the trail exits to either a town such as Andover, some small-town crossroad buried in rural Sussex county, or a major road crossing (such as up by the four corners in Augusta).

On our first ride of the trail my two friends and I decided to make the full round trip - 21 miles up to Branchville and 21 miles back. The trail does stay predominantly level with no steep downhill runs or inclines to speak of. The trail's northern end is about the most anti-climactic thing you could imagine after a 21-mile haul; the trail deposits you out basically in someone's side yard along a road, and that's it. No "Trail End" marker or anything. Of course, since the Sussex Branch is a point-to-point and not a loop, the scenery is very familiar coming back and can make the return trip quite boring.

I was glad to have done the whole trail, especially now that I feel I can provide an accurate summary of the trail in its entirety. I might only really return if I just want a gentle pedal for a couple miles, but the full trip might be a bore if done multiple times.

Recommended Route:
There are a bunch of side trails which take you deep into the woods and apparently even meet up with the more XC-savvy Allamuchy trails. They are often not easy to find or discern, and getting lost or looped back to the main trail is all too easy. The main trail offers little option for routes, however be sure to bring plenty to drink if you are making the long trek. A deli in Cranberry Lake and gas station/ The Chatterbox in Augusta are your only chances to replenish along the way (and although the Chatterbox has some kicking food, keep in mind you've got about 19 miles southbound to stir that food around!)

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Allamuchy is much more challenging and fun overall, and is only a few miles away.



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Review Date
July 24, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: jacares , from newton nj sussex

Summary:
me and my friend ride this trail alot around 3 to 7 times a week its fun but the real fun is at night i know its illegal but sometimes you dont have a choice(keeping in mind your riding a trail thats about 20 miles and the quickest way home is the trail){also lets say you have bout 15 min to get home)anyways at night its fun because you need to know what the heak your doing, riding slow is not an option,and always bring a light
i have a question!!! does anyone else here a train coming from that trail or see the eyes that we see? or see things,get drained of your energy,or even felt like you have been watched???
we have

Recommended Route:
hell have fun ride the whole thing its flat so why not(most of it is at least)>flat

Other recommended trails in the same area:
paulinskill valley trail



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Review Date
January 30, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: snyder jimmy , from newton nj north america

Summary:
i truely ride this trail a lot. Me and my friend zach, to tell you the truth it is a very good senic route however to get the full effect you have to have a plan. unless you peffer to ride alone or if you have no friends you should bring a friend. my plan starts with an early mourning(5:45)breakfast, than a shower than a tv shou than once it is just about time to go GO.frome the very begining to the very end of the day you get to see the best sights and the best workout bring food with you you'll need it!

Recommended Route:
the whole trail

Other recommended trails in the same area:
if you are looking for a detailed ride start at the begining and ride it to the paulinskill valley trail then ride that as far as possible than turn around and race home... it is fun to also bring a friend>



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Review Date
July 6, 2001

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Donald , from Hackensack, NJ

Summary:
Secure parking available for free at Kittatiny State Park. This is a great place to start a tour of the Northern half of Sussex Branch Trail. You can watch airplanes take off and take challenging side trails.
Follow the Park road past the airport all the way back. You need a trail map from the Ranger building. There you can pick up the Sussex Branch Trail for a long, flat but scenic ride up to Branchville where the trail ends rather abruptly. Use road 663 to get around Newton; there is a gate about 1.1 miles from Route 616.
Frequent port-o-potties, absence of litter, nice smelling horsey poop. Leave the trail cleaner than when you came.
Four stars because some very short lengths are rough and narrow.

Recommended Route:
Trail from Kittatinny State Park to Branchville



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Review Date
May 21, 2001

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Please Select

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Reviewed by: mike , from bloomfield

Summary:
for all the people that say the trail is boring try something new make a left or a right off the trail go in the woods the trails all loop in some way dont be afaid great sigletrack back there and some old farms all kind of wildlife look out for the snakes they are big



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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5
 


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