Friday, March 30, 2012

Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve, NJ



ABOUT THE PARK:
Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve - Hunterdon County Parks
Crystal Springs Section - Hunterdon County Parks

DIRECTIONS:
Mountain Farm Nature and Activity Center Parking
GPS Coordinates 40.749200, -74.857190

View Larger Map
Room for 5 cars.

TRAIL MAP:
Teetertown Preserve Trail Map - Hunterdon County Parks
Crystal Springs Section Trail Map - Hunterdon County Parks

HIKE DISTANCE:  8.4 miles

THE HIKE:
Continue through the parking lot and veer left on the paved path to start the hike.  No blazes or signs in this area.
The paved path leads to the Old Orchard Trail (no sign or blazes).
The blue-blazed trail starts from the Old Orchard Trail.
A brief road walk through a residential area connects from the blue-blazed trail to the ravine.
An old bridge in the ravine.
The creek flowing through the ravine.
The white-blazed trail leads up out of the ravine.
An early spring flower on the trail.
The red-blazed trail leads through woods then to camping sites and a field.
Skunk Cabbage
First pond in the Crystal Springs section.
Second pond in the Crystal Springs section.
Scenic farm fields in the Crystal Springs section.
Some white markers lead the way from one field to another but for the most part the fields are not blazed.
Cross on a beaver dam to reach a cluster of several ponds.

An American Bittern flew up out of a swamp near the ponds.
An Eastern Bluebird near the ponds.
A lot of beaver activity in the pond area.
Oops.
Last farm field on the way out of the Crystal Springs section.
A pond along the Pond Trail.
Some Tree Swallows were very happy to pose for pictures.

HIKE SUMMARY:
[  0.00]  Continue through parking lot and follow paved path to the left at 5 mph sign
[  0.20]  When paved path turns left, keep right in mowed path (Old Orchard Trail)
[  0.30]  Keep straight when a mowed path goes to the right
[  0.35]  Old Orchard Trail veers left around perimeter
[  0.45]  Keep straight on foot path when Old Orchard Trail veers left around perimeter (not on map)
[  0.50]  Come out at corner of field and turn right on blue-blazed trail downhill on rocks at old fence for short distance then at T-intersection with blue, turn right on blue
[  1.10]  Turn left on paved Teetertown Road
[  1.20]  Turn left on paved Hollow Brook Road
[  1.30]  Keep straight on Hollow Brook Road at Ravine Road; becomes gravel and crosses old bridge
[  1.45]  Keep straight when the Geology Study Trail goes left
[  1.70]  Turn left on white-blazed trail at the Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve sign
[  1.95]  Right on white when the Geology Study Trail goes left
[  2.15]  Right on white/red when red goes left
[  2.35]  Left on red when white goes right
[  2.65]  When red turns left leaving field at bench and porta potty, turn right and cross field towards kiosk on other side
[  2.75]  Continue straight through campsites
[  2.80]  At kiosk, cross chain barrier and veer left towards gravel parking lot
[  2.85]  Turn right and proceed through gravel parking lot
[  2.90]  Cross straight over paved Pleasant Grove Road to orange-blazed trail
[  3.15]  Cross two log foot bridges
[  3.25]  Turn left and proceed around perimeter of field
[  3.95]  Turn left on gravel road with larger gravel rocks and cross creek
[  4.00]  Turn left at T-intersection
[  4.10]  Turn left through path in clearing towards ponds and old red house; retrace
[  4.20]  Turn left at power line on somewhat overgrown footpath
[  4.25]  After short uphill climb, come out on field between pine trees; turn left and follow outer perimeter of fields (map needed to navigate around unblazed fields)
[  5.00]  First white blaze on right going from one field to the next
[  5.15]  Turn right at end of field
[  5.25]  Follow white trail markers to next field; turn left and follow left side of field
[  5.35]  Follow white trail markers to next field
[  5.45]  Follow white trail markers to next field
[  5.55]  Continue straight with field on right, open area on left, ponds straight ahead
[  5.70]  Turn left at bottom of hill heading towards picnic tables
[  5.80]  Continue through parking lot and picnic tables crossing gravel road to ponds; keep left and cross on beaver dam to loop around pond (trail does go completely around pond but is not shown on map); return to gravel road at parking lot
[  6.10]  Turn left on gravel road after looping around ponds
[  6.20]  Walk beyond chain barrier across gravel road
[  6.25]  Keep left on gravel road at fork
[  6.30]  Turn left on road with larger gravel rocks, cross creek
[  6.35]  Turn left at T-intersection at field
[  6.65]  At corner of field turn right briefly then left into woods on orange; cross footbridge
[  7.05]  Cross paved Pleasant Grove Road, walk through parking lot
[  7.10]  Turn right at end of parking lot
[  7.20]  Come out on field and turn right on gravel road towards pond
[  7.25]  At bench path along pond eventually fades out in swamp; retrace
[  7.35]  Back at bench turn right on gravel road
[  7.50]  Other side of pond by picnic tables keep left to mowed path when gravel road goes right
[  7.75]  Turn right on mowed trail (shortly ahead is beginning of blue trail from earlier in hike)
[  7.85]  Keep right on mowed trail when overgrown footpath goes left
[  7.95]  Turn right at corner of Old Orchard and continue along perimeter then turn left on mowed path leaving Old Orchard
[  8.10]  Continue by residences on left
[  8.25]  Turn right at second birdhouse towards maintenance garage
[  8.40]  Back at parking lot

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Norvin Green State Forest, NJ: Osio Rock and Torne Mountain


ABOUT THE PARK:
Norvin Green State Forest - NJDEP
Camp Vacamas

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 41.018698, -74.362042

View Larger Map

Camp Vacamas office and parking as seen from the blue-blazed Hewitt-Butler Trail.
Although the map shows marking at Camp Vacamas, when you pull in there are "No Trespassing" signs all over and I could see no indication of where hikers are allowed to park.  I went into the office and asked and the lady said I could pull on in and park in their lot but that in the summer they would not have any room for hiker parking at all.  So you might want to check before doing this hike during camp season or do this hike from Otter Hole as described by NJ Hiking.

TRAIL MAP:
New Jersey Highlands Trails Map 125 - NY/NJ Trail Conference (shows southern part)
North Jersey Trails Map 115 - NY/NJ Trail Conference (shows northern part)

PEAK BAGGING:
Wyanokie Torne - New Jersey 1K Club
Torne Mountain - Peakery.com

HIKE DISTANCE:  5.7

THE HIKE:
I did not get a lot of pictures on this hike because there were 40 mph wind gusts so it was hard to stay up high taking pictures.  I had to move through rather quickly or risk being blown away!  This is a very scenic trail with many more views than what I am showing.
The blue-blazed Hewitt-Butler Trail starts directly across the drive from the camp office.
A pretty pine grove shortly after the start of the trail.
New York City skyline from Osio Rock.
Looking back at Osio Rock while ascending Torne Mountain - the New York City skyline is just to the right of Osio Rock.
A stone chair along the trail.  This is before reaching "The Stone Living Room".
"The Stone Living Room" reached by a short side trail to the right from the blue-blazed trail.
The red-blazed trail is a mostly smooth and easy woods road until right before meeting back up with the blue-blazed trail where it descends through a rocky area.
Looking back at Torne Mountain heading back up Osio Rock.
Descending Osio Rock heading back to Vacamas.
Tufted Titmouse
Turkey

HIKE SUMMARY:
[  0.00]  Across from Vacamas office start uphill at beginning of blue-blazed trail
[  0.60]  Trail turns right on woods road briefly at bottom of descent then leaves woods road to the left (turns not blazed)
[  0.65]  Rock hop over creek
[  0.70]  Blue trail turns right on woods road at Vacamas sign on left
[  1.60]  Rock hop over creek
[  2.00]  Rock scramble up to Osio Rock
[  2.30]  Keep left on blue when red starts to the right
[  2.70]  Side trail to the right to The Stone Living Room
[  3.10]  Blue descends and starts to parallel road below, turn right when blue crosses over a trail - this is the red trail but it is not blazed at the intersection; blazes can be seen to the left and will come into view shortly after turning right
[  3.45]  Left on blue when red ends at bottom of rocky descent
[  4.10]  Rock hop over creek
[  4.40]  Nature Conservancy sign
[  5.05]  Blue trail leaves woods road to left at Vacamas sign
[  5.10]  Rock hop over creek
[  5.15]  Blue turns right on woods road briefly then leaves to the left uphill (turns not blazed)
[  5.70]  Back at parking lot

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Point Mountain Reservation, NJ


ABOUT THE PARK:

DIRECTIONS:
Easy to miss - no sign at road.  Watch for small opening in trees and enter on gravel drive.

TRAIL MAPS:
(The North Section is not shown correctly on the combined map so you would want to print the North Section map out also.)

PEAK BAGGING:
Point Mountain - Peakery.com

HIKE DISTANCE:  
11.45 miles covering all sections
There are many options for forming shorter hikes.

THE HIKE:
The forecast was for fog until 9 AM then clearing and sunny.  Instead it drizzled almost the entire hike.
The white trail starts through farm fields from the parking lot.
There is something to be said for hiking in the fog.  As long as it does not last all day.
Everything blooming early this year due to the mild winter.
Creek crossing just before Penwell Road.
To connect to the Northern Section, cross Penwell Road slightly to the left and look for the trail going uphill to the right at the private drive road sign.
After going up and over a mountain, the trails go around farm fields in the northern section, probably with better views on a nicer day.
Back in the Central Section, a bench at a field view comes in handy for changing into dry sock just in case you were to have slipped into the creek earlier on slippery rocks.
Blue trail along the scenic Musconetcong River.
Musconetcong River
These two mallard ducks were swimming upstream as though on a mission...
... then they suddenly stopped paddling and rode the current back down like having the best time in their own water park:
Flowers already blooming along the river.
Rock scramble up Point Mountain.
View from Point Mountain.  The dot in the sky in about the middle is a bug flying by the camera lens.
View from Point Mountain without the bug.
HIKE SUMMARY:
[  0.00]    White trail starts through field from parking lot
[  0.60]   White trail veers left into woods
[  0.90]   Stone ruins on right at creek crossing
[  1.35]   White trail veers right when yellow comes in from left
[  1.40]   White trail crosses Point Mountain Road slightly to the left
[  1.55]   Stone ruins on left
[  1.90]   White ends at stone wall, right on orange (map shows white/orange combined but it is only orange)
[  2.30]   Left on orange when unmarked comes in from right (not on map)
[  2.50]   Turn right on white when orange continues straight towards a field
[  3.00]   Rock hop over creek with waterfalls (map is missing mileage between creek and Penwell Road)
[  3.15]   Turn left on Penwell Road briefly then right on white at private drive sign
[  3.85]   At top of mountain, turn right on red when white goes left
[  4.00]   When red ends turn right on blue
[  4.35]   When blue ends, right on white
[  4.45]   Keep straight on white when unmarked goes left (not on map)
[  4.55]   Right on white when orange goes left
[  4.80]   Make sharp left turn on orange just before white ends at parking lot P4; at fields continue straight - no orange blazes in this area
[  4.90]   Turn left at far side of field
[  5.00]   Turn right at opening to next field then jog left and follow along left side of field
[  5.10]   Turn right at end of field
[  5.20]   Turn left to next field then either continue straight or turn left ending up at opposite corner of field
[  5.35]   At opposite corner of field, exit field on trail where orange blazes resume
[  5.60]   Right on white/orange when orange goes left (shown as orange on map)
[  5.65]   Turn right on unmarked t-intersection, white blazes come into view up ahead
[  5.70]   Straight on white when unmarked goes right
[  5.80]   Right on white when blue goes left
[  6.00]   Right on white when blue goes left
[  6.20]   Right on white when red goes left
[  7.00]   Cross Penwell Road slightly to the left
[  7.50]   When white ends at orange, turn right on orange and come out into field with bench
[  7.65]   Left on orange at the end of the field
[  7.70]   Turn left on blue when orange goes right
[  7.75]   Blue leaves the field at second bench
[  7.80]   Blue trail starts to follow Musconetcong River
[  7.90]   Keep right at fork when unmarked goes left
[  8.00]   Keep right when the blue trail forks (left fork shown as orange on map but it is blue)
[  8.45]   Cross Point Mountain Road and continue on blue to the right after crossing
[  9.25]   Cross Point Mountain Road to parking P2; turn right on parking lot to blue trail (shown as orange on map)
[  9.30]   Turn right on orange when blue goes left; rock scramble to summit
[  9.65]   Overlook; continue right on yellow when orange goes left
[  9.85]   Cross Point Mountain Road
[10.10]   Right on white when yellow ends
[10.85]   White trail leaves woods and enters fields
[11.45]   Back at parking