Round Valley Recreation Area, Lebanon, NJ

Round Valley Reservoir, Clinton Township, NJ

Round Valley Reservoir, Clinton Township, NJ

My husband and I are pretty easy to please when it comes to finding housing in a new state. Plant us as close to nature and low-traffic backroads as possible (and throw in a garage for all our bikes) and we’re happy as clams.

You can imagine our delight when we gave our real estate agent those guidelines and she came up with a place less than a mile from 5,200 acres of pristine blue water. The property wasn’t bad either. Where do we sign?!


The Round Valley Reservoir, located between Clinton and Lebanon, New Jersey, is the deepest body of water in the state and, unlike the reservoirs of New York State, you’re actually allowed to tread right up to the blue stuff. The Round Valley Recreation Area┬áhas a sectioned off beach for swimming, as well as hiking, camping, horseback riding, and x-country skiing. In total, there are 12 miles of trails.

Round Valley Reservoir Map, NJ

The park is bike-friendly and allows mountain biking on the Cushetunk trail, a challenging nine-mile ride up and down a mountain ridge and partially around the reservoir. For something a little easier, cyclists should try the lower Cushetunk trail, which guides you along the reservoir. Or pedal the Family Hike and Bike Trail, a short loop also suitable for cyclocross.

I left my bike at home today, opting to first explore on foot. A few people were out casting fishing lines and soaking up the bright sun, but otherwise I had the place to myself.

Round Valley Recreation Area, NJ

Round Valley Recreation Area, NJ

 Round Valley Reservoir trail map. Photo credit:

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