Sunday, November 28, 2010

Island Beach State Park, NJ

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Friends of Island Beach State Park


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Island Beach State Park 2010 Visitors Guide Map

My hike was 12 miles long by starting along the beach at access 6, looping around the southern inlet part of the island over to a bird ID interpretive sign, then through a network of sand roads which I did not know were restricted access until I saw the sign as I was almost back at the paved road (no signs by the inlet).  Hikes should probably be from a beach access point, around to the bird identification sign at the inlet/Sedge Island area and back.  Alternatively, you can backtrack along the beach then take access 20 (or 21 if you need a restroom) from the beach over to the paved road for access to various short interpretive trails out and back to the bay and/or beach sides.  Approximate hike distances from beach access parking lots out and back along the beach with no side trails would be as follows:
Driving south all parking/beach access points are on the left.  You will not see access numbers along the paved road.  You might have to turn into various parking lots to find which access numbers they are before you find the one you want to be at.

Based on the way I hiked it starting at access #6.
Four wheel drive vehicles used for fishing are allowed on the beach and there are a ton of them.  The easiest walking is along the water line on the sand but you will constantly be dodging fishing poles and trucks.  This lightens up some after access A16 but does continue the entire length of the beach.
Some prettier beach pictures with cars and tire tracks cropped out:

At the southern tip of the island a jetty goes off to the left...
...and the Barnegat Lighthouse is visible across the inlet...
Following along the inlet through a fence, it becomes much quieter with no vehicles around.
A bird identification interpretive sign at the southwest corner of the island is about as far as you can go.
In this area is where I noticed tire tracks and a network of sand roads so based on not seeing any signs saying access was prohibited, I followed the sand roads in the direction of a brown house.  The sand on this road was very loose and deep and made for difficult walking.
The sand road veers to the left of this house and passes a few more buildings.  It eventually becomes a gravel road and skirts along the bay.
It wasn't until an intersection with another gravel road that I saw the back of a sign which said access to where I had been was prohibited.
A right at that intersection brought  me to the paved Central Road at beach access A-21.  I then walked along the paved road and took various side trails.
Spizzle Creek was the first to the left but although there are no signs, I knew no dogs are allowed on this trail so we skipped it.
At A16 is the Interpretive Center which has a very interesting trail.  A right turn heads to the beach.

Once at the beach, backtrack continuing straight across the paved road on a wide mowed path towards the bay.

Back along the paved road, another interpretive trail at A13 heads towards the beach.

Another mile along the paved road comes to A7 which has beach buggy access. Tice's Shoal boardwalk trail to a viewing platform at the bay is to the left:
And the Fisherman's Walkway boardwalk to the right goes to a viewing platform at the beach:

Beach access 6, which is where I had parked, was adjacent to beach access 7 so this brought me back to my car at 12 miles.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Harriman State Park, NY: Silvermine Lake to Turkey Hill Lake Loop

ABOUT THE PARK:  Harriman State Park - New York State Parks


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NY/NJ Trail Conference Northern Harriman - Bear Mountain Trail Map #119

12 miles

From the Silvermine Lake parking lot head west towards the picnic area where you will find the yellow blazes of the Menomine Trail.
At the end of the picnic area pass through a barrier and turn right.  If you were to go straight, you would end up in the abandoned parking lot of what used to be a ski area.
Shortly after the fork a gravestone on the right marks the burial spot of James Lewis who at one time farmed this land.
Cross over Seven Lakes Drive and arrive at Lake Nawahunta.
Continue following the yellow-blazed trail to the 1.5 mile point at it's end at the teal-blazed Long Path.
Turn right on the Long Path and climb steeply uphill to the Stockbridge shelter.
At 3.2 miles the teal-blazed Long Path turns left where the Nawahunta Fire Road comes in from the right.

At 3.7 miles carefully cross over Route 6 and continue along the exit drive of a parking area.
Turn left at the kiosk continuing on the teal-blazed Long Path.
At 4.1 miles keep straight on the teal-blazed trail at an intersection with an unmarked woods road and the red square on white Popolopen Gorge trail.  Climb steeply uphill to the Raymond Torrey memorial with views.
Popolopen Torne on the right
Bear Mountain
Continue along the teal-blazed Long Path as it switchbacks down steeply - watch for turns as they are easy to miss if you are not paying close attention to the blazes.  At the bottom of the mountain, at 5 miles, just before the Long Patch crosses a stream, turn left on an umarked woods road which will parallel the stream before veering away.
Along the way you might notice old blazes which have been painted over.  The painted over right turn blaze at the end of the woods road at 5.4 miles brings you back to the intersection with the red square on white Popolopen Gorge trail to continue on straight ahead.
 At 6 miles arrive at Turkey Hill Lake.
Turkey Hill Lake with Turkey Hill in the background
Turn right on the white-blazed Anthony Wayne Trail.  At 6.7 miles carefully cross back over Route 6.  Turn left and walk a few steps along Route 6 over the bridge, then cross over the guardrail to continue on the white-blazed trail.
A short distance ahead at the 7 mile point, turn right on the 1779 Trail.
At 8.5 miles turn right on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail which runs concurrent with the red circle on white Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail.
A steep climb up brings you to views of the Hudson River in the opposite direction.
A little farther ahead Silvermine Lake comes into view.
Descend steeply crossing over a rock wall at the foot of the Black Mountain at 9.5 miles.
At 10.4 miles turn right on the yellow-blazed Menomine Trail.
This trail will skirt Silvermine Lake arriving back at the parking lot just shy of 12 miles.
There were a lot of woodpeckers in the area.  I managed to capture shots of two of them.  If I have misidentified them, please let me know.
Pileated Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

[  0.00]  West through picnic area on yellow-blazed Menamine Trail
[  1.50]  Right on teal-blazed Long Path
[  4.10]  Straight at intersection with red square on white Popolopen Gorge Trail
[  4.40]  Torrey memorial
[  5.00]  Left on unmarked woods road
[  5.40]  Straight on red square on white Polopopen Gorge Trail
[  6.00]  Turkey Hill Lake; right on white-blazed Anthony Wayne Trail
[  7.00]  Right on 1779 Trail
[  8.50]  Right on white-blazed Appalachian Trail/red circle on white Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail
[10.40]  Right on yellow-blazed Menomine Trail
[11.90]  Silvermine Lake parking lot