Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Apshawa Preserve, NJ

Apshawa Preserve - New Jersey Conservation Foundation

GSP Coordinates 41.025230, -74.373941

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Apshawa Preserve Trail Map - New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Note that at this time (Dec 2012) the yellow trail is closed due to flooding of the pond by beavers.  Additionally, trails had not yet been cleared after Hurricane Sandy so there were areas with heavy trail obstruction due to blow downs but it was possible to get through/around them, just a lot more time-consuming.

HIKE DISTANCE:  4.85 miles

The white trail leaves the parking lot through the gate of a deer exclosure.  (NJ Urban Forest Blog has some nice background and details on the deer fencing.)
The green trail connects from the white trail and descends into a pretty valley with a rock hop over a creek.
Old dam at historic Mixing Pond on Apshawa Brook.
Looking back at the dam after a short but very steep descent.
Building ruins and tanks, from what I understand these are from an old water purification system of the early 1900's.
More old tanks in the woods.
The green trail crosses over Apshawa Brook at the ruins and tanks then follows along some pretty cascades...
... before it climbs out of the gorge to views of...
... the New York City skyline - but you have to remember to turn around at the top to see it.
Confused by the tangle of blow downs at the top.
More views to the west farther along the green trail.
Exit through another gate of the deer exclosure and turn left on the red trail to Butler Reservoir at the dam.
A female and male Bufflehead couple enjoying a nice December day on Butler Reservoir,
The red trail loops around Butler Reservoir for almost one mile.
Dark-eyed Junco 'Slate-Colored' (I believe)
Looking back at the dam from the opposite side of Butler Reservoir.

The red trail veers away from Butler Reservoir and is supposed to cross the creek on a bridge but in this heavy area of blow downs, there was no bridge to be found.  The blazes suddenly stopped but continued on the other side.  Fortunately there are plenty of rock hopping opportunities to cross over.
The red trail ends at the white trail which leads to the yellow loop trail around the pond which is now closed.  The white trail continues across a spillway/beaver dam (?) to bypass the yellow trail.
The residence of the culprits?  Can't help but wonder if they are making use of some of that storm debris.  Kind of looks like a new roof, doesn't it?
Passing by the other side of the Butler Reservoir dam on the white trail.
Climbing up to ...
... a view of Butler Reservoir from up above on the white trail.
Back down into the valley and the parking lot.

[  0.00]  White trail from parking lot through gate at deer exclosure
[  0.20]  Left on green when white goes straight
[  1.00]  Pass exclosure gate and High Crest Lake on left
[  1.20]  Descend steeply at dam, keep to left of creek over boulders
[  1.35]  Ruins and old tanks from early 1900 water purification system
[  1.75]  Turn around at top for view of New York City skyline
[  2.10]  Cross over woods road
[  2.30]  Exit exclosure through gate; turn left on red (gravel road) past dam
[  3.25]  Rock hop over creek (used to be a bridge but did not see it – lots of blowdowns so you lose the red markers and have to watch for them to continue on the other side of the creek)
[  3.30]  Turn right on white when red ends
[  3.55]  Turn right on white when yellow begins (yellow closed due to flooding of trail by beavers)
[  3.65]  Right on white when the other end of yellow goes left
[  3.95]  Left through gate on white when red goes right
[  4.35]  Straight on white when green goes right
[  4.65]  Straight on white when green goes right
[  4.85]  Back at parking


  1. Great Post! Thanks for the update on the Yellow Trail!

  2. That beaver lodge looks huge!

    1. It was pretty big! I was hoping to see a beaver but nothing. I am sure they were all holed up in there snickering over how they have managed to keep the hikers away.


  3. Great photos, we did the hike today , it was an adventure looking for the trail markers at times.

    1. Thanks, Nancy! Yes, those trail markers can be elusive at times!