Wednesday, July 4, 2012

India Brook and Buttermilk Falls Natural Areas -Mendham, NJ

Buttermilk Falls and India Brook Natural Areas -

GPS Coordinates 40.786021, -74.620565

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Parking along gravel road on opposite side of Mountainside Road from the trail head.

The available maps show suggested short hikes.  This map shows all of the trails used for this hike - disregard the highlighted route.  Although many trails are blazed, colors are not shown on map.
Mountainside to Combs Hollow Trail Map - Hike Mendham

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.6 miles

The white-blazed trail starts out through the woods...
... then runs parallel to India Brook.
India Brook on a rainy July 4th morning.
Small cascades in India Brook.
Lots of boulders for rock hopping over India Brook.
Overgrown red trail to Wood Duck Pond.
Wood Duck Pond
Mowed path to Frog Pond.
Frog Pond - you can hear the frogs but you can't see them.
Berries in Frog Pond.
Abandoned Mendham Water Company Pond
Either a male bullfrog or male green frog.
Lewis Forge Bridge
An American flag on the hiking trail on the 4th of July.
Yellow-blazed trail through the woods to the former Seeing Eye facility.
Abandoned kennels of the former Seeing Eye facilities - some kin came through here perhaps?
Cooling off at the top of Buttermilk Falls.
Buttermilk Falls from the other side of India Brook.
[  0.00]  Cross paved Mountainside Road to trailhead at park signs
[  0.35]  Keep straight on white towards Steep Hill Road bridge abutments when yellow goes left (will be coming out that way from yellow end of hike)
[  0.60]  Keep straight when other side of yellow trail goes left  (will be starting yellow trail here at end of hike); rock hop over India Brook to the right (shown as Stepping Stones on map), right on white when yellow (a different yellow trail) goes left
[  0.70]  Right on red when white turns sharply left (red is very overgrown to Wood Duck Pond)
[  0.77]  Trail turns left at the end of Wood Duck Pond (no blazes)
[  0.80]  Trail turns away from pond to the right and follows to left of dry creek
[  0.88]  At T-intersection, turn left on mowed path (right goes to Amalia Ct. parking lot)
[  1.20]  Frog Pond on right; keep straight when trail leaves to left
[  1.65]  Turn right at intersection with old building then right just beyond building on light blue-blazed foot path
[  1.70]  Keep to the right of the pond
[  1.75]  Keep straight when a trail goes left between two ponds
[  1.95]  Cross swampy area on puncheons
[  2.05]  Turn left at t-intersecion (right goes to Combs Hollow parking lot)
[  2.25]  Side trail to right to Lewis mine; retrace
[  2.30]  Continue right on mowed path
[  2.45]  Old building at beginning of light blue trail on left, keep right at fork after building (this trail will be blazed yellow but did not see blazes at beginning of trail)
[  2.65]  Keep straight when side trail goes to the right
[  2.85]  Keep left on yellow when trail goes right
[  2.90]  Turn right on white just before Lewis Forge sign, keep straight when trail crosses over and continue straight on raised trail to end, turn right at end just before India Brook
[  3.00]  Cross over bridge then turn right following yellow/white blazes along left bank of India Brook
[  3.40]  White/yellow turns left leading away from India Brook
[  3.45]  Immediately after blow down, white leaves to the right, turn left on yellow
[  3.50]  Keep straight on yellow when trail to right goes to private residence
[  3.65]  Turn left and cross field to former Seeing Eye facilities
[  3.75]  Circle former Seeing eye grounds and return to field
[  3.90]  Retrace back across field and continue left on yellow
[  4.05]  Yellow trail turns left and crosses the bottom of the field
[  4.55]  Yellow trail becomes difficult to follow because of blow downs - trail always continues just the other side of the blow downs
[  4.60]  Continue through mowed path in power cut towards Ironia Road parking lot and soccer field
[  4.80]  At kiosk with yellow blaze, turn right and walk along left edge of field towards soccer goal (posts to the left will have yellow blazes and arrows)
[  4.90]  Turn left into woods at end of field
[  5.00]  Turn right at side trail to Buttermilk Falls, retrace
[  5.10]  Continue straight on yellow coming from Buttermilk Falls 
[  5.20]  Keep right on yellow towards footbridge when unmarked trail goes left
[  5.30]  Cross Lewis Forge bridge; turn right on yellow
[  5.35]  Trail turns left over raised earth
[  5.40]  Turn right on white uphill briefly to Falls sign, at intersection turn right on white/yellow;  keep right at fork, then right at next fork (no blazes but yellow blazes start up again after Buttermilk Falls)
[  5.60]  Other side of Buttermilk Falls, yellow blazes start again, trail rugged and rocky with many blow downs
[  5.85]  Yellow ends at white; rock hop over India Brook to the right, turn left on white
[  5.95]  Turn right on yellow when white goes straight (blazes stop but trail well defined)
[  6.20]  Yellow ends at white, turn right on white
[  6.55]  Cross Mountainside Road
[  6.60]  Back at parking


  1. Are there any trials in this area (india brook/ buttermilk falls natural area) that connect to the Appalachian Trail? me and a friend were wanting to hike the AT again and since we live in this area were curious if any of the trails connect these areas together.

    Mostly this curiosity is from the buttermilk falls trail we saw off of the AT down near the Del water gap. is this trail the same trail as the Buttermilk Falls natural area in Mendham??

    1. Buttermilk Falls in Mendham is not the same as the DWG Buttermilk Falls. "Buttermilk Falls" is a very common name and they are all over the place. Nothing connects to the AT from Mendham.


  2. Hey I stumbled across your blog. This is great! I too have a blog, and write about hiking, dogs and life lessons along the trail from a Christian perspective. I love that you have all these pictures. Too many times we go out on a trail thinking the dog can take a nice swim and end up at a lake with either no trail access or no beach. Many are not suitable for our dog. There's no description like a picture. Great site. thanks

    1. Thank you! That is one of the reasons I am heavy on pictures and light on words - nothing like seeing it for yourself!