Saturday, June 30, 2012

Allamuchy Mountain State Park, NJ - Waterloo Village to Deer Park Pond

Allamuchy Mountain State Park - NJ Division of Environmental Protection
Allamuchy Mountain State Park Trails - Bikekinetics - nice trail descriptions
Waterloo Village - NJ Division of Environmental Protection
Highlands Trail - scroll down to section 4 - description for this hike starts about half way down section at "Cross Waterloo Road..."

GPS Coordinates  40.916192, -74.760987

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Although the NJDEP site states "Waterloo Village grounds are open to the public for walking. Parking is permitted outside the gates." I did not feel comfortable parking there since I knew an event was being held the day I hiked.  The coordinates above are far a large field just outside of Waterloo Village where the Highlands Trail crosses over Waterloo Road.  This is also designated as a parking area on the map.  A small gravel area leads to the field.

Jersey Highlands Trail Map 126 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Waterloo Village - The Star Ledger
Note that there has been a reroute of the Highlands Trail since the publication of the Jersey Highlands maps.  Instead of following Waterloo Road around and under I-80, the trail now crosses Waterloo Road, goes through the parking field, follows a woods road through the trees, crosses another field, reenters woods briefly, then joins up with the Morris Canal Greenway and follows along the Musconetcong River and under I-80.

HIKE DISTANCE:  8.95 miles (based on about 1 mile in Waterloo Village)

The greeter right at the beginning of the hike.
Leave the Highlands Trail to the left to enter Waterloo Village.
Rutan Cabin in Waterloo Village
Wood ducks and some big turtles (at top of picture) in a pond beyond Rutan Cabin.
Peter D. Smith House ~ 1874
Morris Canal
United Methodist Church at Waterloo Village
Morris Canal Greenway on the tow path between the Morris Canal and the Musconetcong River leaving Waterloo Village just before the Highland Trail joins in.
Combined Morris Canal Greenway/Highlands Trail
Most of the Morris Canal Greenway/Highlands Trail is a footpath between the Mustonetcong River and the Morris Canal with a minimal amount of road walking.
Stone ruins are visible off the trail.
Crayfish in the Musconetcong River
Orange-Blazed Waterloo North Trail
The red-blazed Barberry Trail skirts Deer Park Pond with outstanding views.
Watch your step!  I was so busy looking at the pond that I almost stepped on this guy.  Fortunately my foot only grazed his shell but I am sure it scared him half to death! 
Beautiful Deer Park Pond
Interesting tree formation.
The blue-blazed trail is a woods road that skirts along the other side of Deer Park Pond.
A shady, breezy, surprisingly bug-free break spot.
Musconetcong River
Different types of geese do interbreed - could the one front and center be a result of that - offspring of the white goose and a Canada goose?

[  0.00]  From the parking field, take the teal-blazed Highlands Trail into the woods on a woods road
[  0.10]  Come out of woods, cross paved road that ends to the left, cross field about half way then turn left towards kiosk and enter Waterloo Village; explore Waterloo Village ending up at the canal by the broken bridge
[  1.35]  Follow tow path between the canal and the Musctonetcong River towards the Morris Canal Greenway trail maker; keep straight at fork
[  1.45]  Teal-blazed Highlands Trail joins in from the right; now on combined Morris Canal Greenway/Highlands Trail; after a short distance go under I-80
[  1.75]  Starport historical sign and building ruins on the left
[  1.90]  Turn left on Waterloo Road
[  2.15]  Turn left into woods leaving Waterloo Road after second guardrail section
[  2.20]  Cross footbridge at historical sign for Morris Canal Waste Weir
[  2.25]  Turn right on paved Kinney Road (no street sign) then right on Waterloo Road
[  2.30]  Just after guardrail turn left on orange-blazed Waterloo North Trail
[  3.20]  Orange trail ends at white, turn right on white
[  3.70]  Turn left on blue when white goes straight
[  4.05]  Turn right on red-blazed Barberry Trail when blue goes left
[  4.85]  Turn left on white (looks like this is sometimes blazed red/white although map indicates red ends at intersection)
[  5.15]  At fork when white goes right, turn left on short trail to post showing end of red trail and white trail turning right (map does not show this trail as white rather blue) - turn left here and blue blazes will be up ahead
[  6.15]  Shortly after crossing bridge keep right on white when blue goes left
[  6.60]  Cross section of boardwalk then turn right on green-blazed Waterloo South Trail
[  7.10]  Green ends at Waterloo Road; although the Morris Canal Greenway/Highland Trail is reached by road walking to the right, cross over Waterloo Road instead, turn right at the parking area and follow the gravel parking access road to a well-defined unmarked foot path into the woods that leads directly to the Morris Canal Greenway/Highland Trail and avoids the road walk
[  7.20]  At the T-intersection turn left on the Morris Canal Greenway/Highland Trail
[  7.35]  Turn right on Waterloo Road a short distance, keep to the right of the guardrail then turn right on a grassy woods road just before the mailbox with 1054 on it
[  7.95]  Cross straight over paved Kinney Road and continue on footpath (now retracing from first part of hike)
[  8.10]  Turn right on Waterloo Road passing two sections of guardrail
[  8.30]  Trail leaves Waterloo Road to the right after second guardrail
[  8.40]  Starport historical sign and building ruins on right
[  8.75]  Cross under I-80 then watch for the teal-blazed Highlands Trail to turn left leaving the Morris Canal Greenway, go uphill briefly through woods then through field
[  8.85]  Cross paved road that dead ends to the left and enter woods on woods road
[  8.95]  Back at field parking

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Promised Land State Park, PA - Little Falls

Promised Land State Park - Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

GPS Coordinates:   41.314442, -75.234646

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Parking on right along road after crossing bridge.

Promised Land State Park Trail Map - Pennsylvania DCNR

1.4 miles (This hike was done in conjunction with the Bruce Lake Natural Area hike about 3 miles away.)

Walk to the end of the parking lot closest to the bridge, cross the street and follow the short path to the Little Falls Trail sign.
Blue-blazed trail along Wallenpaupack Creek.
Wallenpaupack Creek
Little Falls
Damselfly along Wallenpaupack Creek.

[  0.00]  Walk to end of parking closest to bridge, cross road and take trail to intersection; turn left at "Little Falls Trail" sign
[  0.10]  Turn right on blue-blazed trail before bridge
[  0.50]  Little Falls; keep straight at bridge (trail is supposed to continue on another half mile before crossing over the creek)
[  0.70]  Trail appears to fizzle out in a swamp; retrace
[  0.95]  Turn right and cross over bridge; turn left other side of bridge
[  1.30]  Turn left and cross bridge; keep straight after bridge
[  1.40]  Turn right at "Little Falls Trail" sign and cross road back to parking lot

Promised Land State Park, PA - Conservation Island

Promised Land State Park - Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

GPS Coordinates:  41.306599, -75.204756

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Sign to parking lot.
Parking lot just before bridge to island.

Promised Land State Park Trail Map - Pennsylvania DCNR

1.4 miles (This hike was done in conjunction with the Bruce Lake Natural Area hike about 3 miles away.)

Promised Land Lake from bridge.
Turning right at the kiosk for a counter clockwise loop, the trail starts off as a wide woods road.
Kayaks in Promised Land Lake
The map is not clear on this but a blue-blazed trail crosses over the woods road.  I turned right and followed the blue-blazed trail the rest of the way because it runs closer to the lake, yet it is terribly overgrown in places.
Flying Squirrel Red Squirrel, per Nick, below.
Lake views all along the trail.

[  0.00]  From parking cross bridge
[  0.10]  Turn right at kiosk; keep right at trail intersection a few steps ahead
[  0.30]  Wide woods road becomes more narrow footpath
[  0.55]  Turn right on blue-blazed trail when it crosses over
[  0.85]  Trail makes sharp left turn (unmarked) where straight dead ends in rhododendron thicket; in a few steps turn right as blue trail joins woods road coming in from left
[  1.05]  Keep right on blue when woods road leaves to the left
[  1.30]  Turn right when blue joins woods road
[  1.35]  Keep right when trail forks to left at intersection post 111; turn right at kiosk to bridge
[  1.40]  Back at parking lot