Saturday, June 30, 2012

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


ABOUT THE PARK:
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..."

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates  40.916192, -74.760987

View Larger Map
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.

TRAIL MAP:
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 HIKE:
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?


HIKE SUMMARY:
[  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

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos. I'd never heard of Waterloo Village so I Googled it and found it fascinating. Thanks for introducing it to me.

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    1. Thanks, Bill! It's a miracle I got any pictures at all - most of them were blurred by bugs coming at my head. It was a really nice hike for a hot day but the bugs were incredibly annoying except for at the pond. There were so many dragonflies there that they had probably eaten all of the bugs.

      Daniela

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    2. Do you ever run into any bears in pa and nj?

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    3. I have never seen bears in PA or any of the other states I have hiked in but I have seen several in NJ.

      Daniela

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    4. Did you ever feel threatened?

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    5. No, I have never had a negative experience with a bear. A few of them have taken off like a deer would when seeing a person. Usually I just see bear butt. A couple have shown interest, more in my dog than me, but when I spoke to them and they realized there was a human with that dog, they went on their merry ways. My dog doesn't react to bears at all, or any wildlife for that matter.

      Daniela

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    6. I went to Waterloo Village yesterday. I never got to the canal hike because there was so much to explore in thr village. I will have to go back soon. I enjoy your blog. I live near Scranton so many of your hikes are close to me.

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    7. Thanks, Amanda! Glad you enjoyed Waterloo Village!

      Daniela

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  2. I love Hiking Waterloo, Deer park pond is a nice place to have lunch and take a dip.

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  3. Went by that parking area mentioned at the beginning and noticed they put an actual state park trailhead sign there now. It's marked as a blue trail, and looks to be heading into Waterloo Village from there. What's odd though is that it says "Jenny Jump Trail"...last I checked the Jenny Jump Trail was about 10 miles away and didn't even go in that direction. was just odd.

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    1. Yes, that is very strange, The Jenny Jump Trail is well, in Jenny Jump State Park, like you said, a distance away.

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