Wednesday, November 28, 2012

D&R Canal State Park, NJ - Amwell Road to Zarephath

Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park
Colonial Park - Somerset County Park Commission

GPS Coordinates 40.503477, -74.582888

View Larger Map
Amwell Road (Route 514) Parking Lot

D&R Canal State Park Map

5.6 miles total out and back (2.6 miles each way + .4 miles in Colonial Park)

Walk beyond the gate directly from the parking lot heading north.
The bridge over the canal leads to ...
... Colonial Park.  I did not know it at the time but there is much more to explore based on the map I found later.
Not  much to see in the rose garden in the winter.
View of the canal heading back over the bridge.
Interpretive sign at the spillway.
Following deer tracks.
Water joins in from the left so the path has water on both sides for a while.
Hibernating Canoes
The path crosses over Weston Canal Road.  There are a couple of pull-out parking spots on the left on Weston Canal Road.
The next street crossing is at the turn around point at...
Pillar of Fire (Zarephath)
Heading back southbound.
Couldn't get very good shots of this very elusive hawk but I think it might be a Coopers Hawk.
Taking off just after I shot the first picture.
Crossing back over the spillway.
An old mile post.

[  0.00]  Head north from parking lot beyond barrier
[  0.40]  23 1/2 mile marker
[  0.50]  Bridge on right to Colonial Park
[  0.90]  Back from Colonial Park continuing on path
[  1.30]  24 mile marker
[  1.80]  24 1/2 mile marker
[  2.30]  25 mile marker
[  2.45]  Cross Weston Canal Road
[  3.00]  Pillar of Fire; retrace
[  3.55]  Cross Weston Canal Road
[  3.70]  25 mile marker
[  4.20]  24 1/2 mile marker
[  4.70]  24 mile marker
[  4.80]  Bridge on left to Colonial Park
[  5.20]  23 1/2 mile marker
[  5.60]  Back at parking

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Harriman State Park, NY - Parker Cabin Hollow to Lake Skenonto to Tom Jones Mountain

Harriman State Park - The Palisades Parks Conservancy
Harriman State Park - New York State Parks

GPS Coordinates 41.234518, -74.149136

View Larger Map
Parking on Route 106 at the White Bar Trail.

TRAIL MAP:  NY/NJ Trail Conference Southern Harriman Bear Mountain Trails Map 118

Tom Jones Mountain -

8.4 miles with Parker Cabin Hollow
6.6 miles without Parker Cabin Hollow

The hike starts uphill on the White Bar trail at the western end of the parking lot.
Lots of trees down from Hurricane Sandy.
A huge THANK YOU to the  trail maintainers who had been through clearing the way.  Most of the route of this hike had been cleared but on sections that had not been cleared, the blowdowns were easy enough to navigate through or  around.
The White Bar Trail goes up and over the first summit of Car Pond Mountain then up again ...
... to nice views just over the second summit.
At the bottom of Car Pond Mountain, cross a creek on a footbridge then turn right on the orange-blazed Parker Cabin Hollow Trail for a 1.9 mile total out-and-back.
Beaver lodge in a swamp off of the orange trail.
Car Pond Mountain from the orange trail.
Creek flowing through Parker Cabin Hollow.
Back on the White Bar Trail, the Triangle Trail joins in briefly.
Then the White Bar Trail continues at a higher elevation with winter views all around.
A lot of storm debris along the Victory Trail but it has all been cleared.
Easy hiking along the Victory Trail all the way to...
... Lake Skenonto.
Taking a break at Lake Skenonto.
Continuing on the Victory Trail, Tom Jones Mountain up ahead with the shelter visible at the top.
A pretty section of pine trees...
... before the Victory Trail leaves the woods road then heads to the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail for a steep climb up Tom Jones Mountain.
At the top of Tom Jones Mountain, the shelter and ...
... views.
A broken Ramapo-Dunderberg red dot on white trail blaze on the way down.
Then up to Black Rock for more views and the Nurian Trail which begins with a steep, narrow scramble. I had come up this scramble with Shawnee before and remember it being very challenging but making her go down just was not happening.  Trying to detour to the left is not possible due to think thorny vines but around to the right is a path where others have detoured before and we were able to get around it that way.
The Nurian Trail descends steeply from Black Rock and it's very slippery with the thick leaf drop.  Let's just say as carefully as I was paying attention to where I was stepping, I still needed to make use of the first aid kit.  There are very sharp rocks under all of those leaves.
This is how Shawnee spent her time while I was busy rendering first aid.
The Nurian Trail meets back up with the White Bar Trail which makes a left turn and runs along Route 106 before crossing over at the parking lot.

[  0.00]  From the western end of the parking lot, take the White Bar Trail uphill
[  0.70]  Views from second summit of Car Pond Mountain
[  1.10]  Cross footbridge then turn right on orange Parker Cabin Hollow Trail
[  1.70]  Rock hop creek
[  1.95]  At intersection with woods road where orange turns right, retrace
[  2.20]  Rock hop creek
[  2.90]  Turn right on White Bar Trail
[  3.35]  Yellow Triangle Trail joins in from the right briefly then leaves to the left
[  3.65]  Red dot on white Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail crosses over
[  4.00]  Shortly after power cut turn left on woods road when Victory Trail joins from the right
[  4.05]  White Bar trail leaves to the right, keep straight on Victory Trail
[  4.55]  Keep straight on Victory Trail when Yellow Triangle Trail crosses over; Lake Skenonto on right
[  4.80]  At woods road fork keep right on Victory Trail
[  5.30]  At T-intersection keep left on Victory Trail when woods road goes right
[  5.35]  At fork keep left on Victory Trail where it becomes paved
[  5.50]  At fork keep left on Victory Trail
[  5.60]  Victory Trail leaves the woods road as footpath to the left at large transformer
[  6.45]  Turn right on red dot on white Ramapo Dunderberg Trail and climb steeply
[  6.60]  Views at Tom Jones Mountain with shelter on right
[  7.00]  Cross Route 106 and follow RD Trail right as it parallels Route 106 before veering away
[  7.60]  Left on white-blazed Nurian Trail at Black Rock
[  7.95]  Rock hop creek, go uphill briefly then turn left on White Bar Trail at T-intersection
[  8.15]  Keep left on White Bar towards Route 106 when woods road goes right
[  8.20]  Just before red and black barrier at Route 106, turn left on White Bar
[  8.40]  Cross Route 106 to parking lot