Friday, December 14, 2012

Garret Mountain Reservation and Paterson Great Falls


ABOUT THE PARKS:
Garret Mountain Reservation - Passaic County Parks
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park - National Park Service
Morris Canal Greenway Project - Passaic County Parks

DIRECTIONS:
GPS coordinates for parking at Lambert Castle: 40.900877, -74.173313
My GPS had trouble with the coordinates and took me through the park which is not correct - this parking lot is not accessible from the park.  The New York New Jersey Trail Conference page gives written driving directions.

View Larger Map
Park in the upper lot on the right.  The Morris Canal Greenway Trail starts from the end near the porta-potty.

TRAIL MAP:
Garret Mountain Reservation Map - New York New Jersey Trail Conference (free map)
Morris Canal Greenway - County of Passaic
Great Falls Map - .7 mile street walk from Garret Mountain Reservation


HIKE DISTANCE:
Without Passaic Great Falls - 6.3 miles
With hiking to Passaic Great Falls - 8.2 miles

THE HIKE:
The welcoming committee near the parking lot.
Shawnee doesn't chase wildlife.  Oh, she wants to, but it is not allowed and she respects that.
The Morris Canal Greenway (shown as yellow on map) starts from the parking lot behind Lambert's Castle and ascends to the observation tower.
Going up on old steps.
Looking back at Lambert Castle from higher up.
The observation tower at the top.
The Morris Canal Greenway joins in with the yellow trail.
An unmarked side trail leads...
... to ...
... views of Paterson.
Back on the yellow trail/Morris Canal Greenway, more views at a parking area as the yellow trail leaves to the left and the Morris Canal Greenway begins to follow the white trail.

In a ravine, white leaves to the left when the Morris Canal Greenway continues to the right.  This is not on the map so I followed in hopes it would lead to Patterson Great Falls...
The Morris Canal Greenway ended at this sign on Caldwell Avenue.  Not knowing if I could actually get to Great Falls from this point, I retraced back to the white trail.  It wasn't until I got home and found the Morris Canal Greenway map that I realized I could have turned right on Caldwell Avenue, right on New Street which crosses over I-80, left on Grand for 1 block, right on Hoxey for 1 block, right on Mc Bride.  At intersection where Wayne Avenue goes left and McBride turns right, cross straight over McBride to the pedestrian walk over the Passaic River to the falls.  According to Google Earth, this would be .7 miles from where the Morris Canal Greenway ended at Caldwell Avenue.  Another .5 mile to circle around for full views of the falls then .7 miles back to pick up the Morris Canal Greenway back to the white trail.
Assuming that when I was there I knew how to get to Great Falls, that is what I would have done instead of driving afterwards, so I will insert Great Falls here.
The spray coming off of the falls.
Looking back at the pedestrian bridge with the communication tower at Garret Mountain behind the bridge.

The communication tower on Garret Mountain from Great Falls - yes, that is how close it is!
Crossing the pedestrian bridge.
View from the pedestrian bridge.
Back at Garret Mountain Reservation, meeting back up with the yellow trail...
... that leads to ...
... Barbour's Pond.
The Canada geese were having a blast splashing around in the pond.
A Bufflehead couple.  Looks like Mr. Bufflehead on the left found himself some breakfast?
Mrs. Mallard
Mr. Mallard
Looking back at Barbour's Pond.
Horses on the white trail.
"The Rocks"
The communications tower seen from Great Falls.
Picnic spots with views.
Benson Memorial
Crossing Overlook Meadow.
A Dark-eyed Junco
Coming around behind the stables.
Back to more views after the stables.
Lots of air traffic overhead - no doubt flights to and from all 3 airports!
New York City skyline.
The observation tower.
Back down to Lambert Castle.


HIKE SUMMARY:
[  0.00]  From Lambert Castle parking lot take Morris Canal Greenway trail up to top of mountain
[  0.15]  At the top with the observation tower on the left, turn right on Morris Canal Greenway/yellow trail
[  0.35]  Short side trail on right uphill to views
[  0.55]  Trail turns left, comes out on field, skirts around field to the right
[  0.65]  Turn right on white/Morris Canal Greenway when yellow goes straight
[  1.00]  Right on Morris Canal Greenway when white goes left in ravine
[  1.30]  Morris Canal Greenway ends at Caldwell Avenue - either retrace or...
This is how you would incorporate Paterson Great Falls adding about 1.9 miles:  Turn right on Caldwell Avenue, right on New Street which crosses over I-80, left on Grand for 1 block, right on Hoxey for 1 block, right on Mc Bride.  At intersection where Wayne Avenue goes left and McBride turns right, cross straight over McBride to the pedestrian walk over the Passaic River to the falls.  According to Google Earth, this would be .7 miles from where the Morris Canal Greenway ends at Caldwell Avenue.  Another .5 mile to circle around for full views of the falls then .7 miles back to pick up the Morris Canal Greenway at Caldwell Avenue back to the white trail.
[  1.60]  Back at the ravine, turn right on white when Morris Canal Greenway goes left
[  1.75]  Turn right on yellow when white goes straight and yellow comes in from the left
[  2.00]  Cross paved park road, veer right to break in guardrail with yellow blaze
[  2.10]  Barbour's Pond
[  2.40]  Keep left on yellow at fork
[  2.55]  Yellow leaves paved path to the left behind shelter
[  2.75]  Abandoned picnic areas on left
[  2.90]  Cross paved road on gravel path then keep straight on white when yellow turns right
[  3.50]  At T-intersection when white goes left, turn right on unmarked to The Rocks
[  3.60]  Turn left on unmarked at intersection, The Rock on the left
[  3.70]  Turn left on unmarked at intersection, The Rock on the left (straight ends in Overlook Meadow, will be returning that way)
[  3.75]  Keep straight on white when white comes in from the left
[  3.90]  Cross paved park road
[  4.00]  Turn right on yellow when white goes straight
[  4.30]  Cross parking lot at communications tower
[  4.40]  At Benson Memorial (tank) turn right and cross paved park road, continue across Overlook Meadow with picnic shelter on left
[  4.55]  Continue on woods road at the other side of Overlook Meadow
[  4.60]  Back at the intersection at The Rocks, keep straight on unmarked
[  4.70]  Turn left at T-Intersection on unmarked
[  4.80]  With observation tower straight ahead, turn right on paved path and continue right along parking lot; continue on unmarked path parallel to park road
[  5.30]  Turn left on yellow, cross paved park road, continue on yellow around stables
[  6.00]  Observation tower
[  6.15]  Turn right on Morris Canal Greenway and descend to parking lot
[  6.30]  Back at parking lot

3 comments:

  1. What a great hike you took here! We visits Garret and the Falls over the winter a few years ago. I never knew that you could hike/walk a few streets and get to the falls. We did not do much exploring, but did get to visit both by car. You are making us want to go back!

    great job, as always :)

    -Jeff C, getoutsidenj.com

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  2. Also, have you ever taken a tour at Lambert Castle? We did not have enough time on the day we visited, but wanted to take a tour next time we go back.

    -Jeff C, getoutsidenj.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jeff! Actually, I don't believe you could have connected to the falls before. I think the Morris Canal Greenway needed for the connection is very new as of this year. Wish I would have known how close I was to the falls when I reached the end of the greenway. It took me almost 20 minutes to drive to the falls through traffic and it was only about 2 miles away driving around from Lambert Castle. I could have walked there faster, for sure!

      I have not taken the Lambert Castle tour. I always have my dog along so can't go where she isn't welcome.

      Daniela

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