Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dickerson Mine Preserve and Black River Park, NJ

Dickerson Mine Preserve - Facebook
New Trails Blaze in Mine Hill Township - Randolph Reporter

 GPS Coordinates 40.875478, -74.611358

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Large parking lot off of Frank Road.  Unmarked entrance trail starts at the yellow gate.

Dickerson Mine Preserve - Mine Hill Township
Black River Park Trail - Hike Roxbury
Dickerson Mine Preserve at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  5.2 miles

About 1/10th of a mile from the parking lot the unmarked trail runs into the white-blazed trail.  To the left it runs along with a red-square-on-white trail.  The is the return route.
On the white trail.
Not visible in the picture but some snow flurries (not forecast) are falling from the sky.
Lots of mine tailings off the trail.
An old stone wall along the white trail.
The white trail turns right on a gravel road.
White following the gravel road.
White leaves the gravel road and passes some other blazed trails.
White turns right just before the power cut but a trail also continues straight ahead through the power cut.  I would have explored this but the snow was coming down harder so I decided not to in case I needed to cut the hike short.
Although it appears as though the trail follows the power cut in this area, it does not, it runs parallel through the woods.
Minehill Beach Pond (I would assume that is what it is called - no name on maps) comes into view and the snow is really starting to stick.
Turning left on orange from white.
Orange switchbacks down to the beach.
Minehill Beach
Minehill Beach Pond (I'm just going to call it that.)
The trail along Minehill Beach Pond.  Still snowing like crazy.
Believe it or not, blue skies up above and STILL snowing like crazy!
Nearing the end of the trail along Minehill Beach Pond.  Turn right at the end.
Randolph Park Pond
The trail along Randolph Park Pond.
Looking back at Randolph Park Pond from the far end with Dickerson Mine Hill in the distance.
The Black River Trail, although blazed yellow, not blazed in this direction.
Blazing starts at the loop portion of the trail.
The trail is blazed on the return route along the Black River.
After retracing back to Minehill Beach, continue straight on a trail to the right just after the gate which ends at the road, then a short road walk to the beige-blazed trail on the right.
The beige trail merges with the white trail.
After the beige trail leaves, the white blazes join up with the red-square-on-white trail.
At the end of the red-square-on-white and white, turn left on unmarked to return to the parking area.
At .1 mile the battery died on my pedometer so here are some very rough mileages from the track.  As this is a work in progress, the streamers I mention are there now but most likely won't be at some point.
[  0.00]  Take path beyond yellow gate; continue straight when trail comes in from the left
[  0.10]  Keep straight on white when white also goes right with the start of a red-square-on-white-circle blazed trail (waypoint #10)
[  0.60]  At t-intersection turn right to continue on white (left goes short distance to historical marker)
[  0.90]  White veers left onto more narrow path from gravel road, unmarked trail crosses over (waypoint #1)
[  0.95]  Keep straight on white when trail crosses over (marked with orange streamers to right) (waypoint #2)
[  1.00]  Keep straight when beige circle-blazed trail with pink streamers goes right; white turns right on footpath just before power cut (waypoint #3)
[  1.15]  White turns left at T-intersection, pink streamers mark trail to the right (waypoint #4)
[  1.30]  Turn left on orange when white continues straight (waypoint #5)
[  2.00]  Turn left on unmarked path when orange ends at T-intersection at Minehill Beach
[  2.25]  Turn right at the end of Minehill Beach Pond
[  2.40]  Turn left on path along Randolph Park Pond
[  2.95]  Retrace
[  3.20]  Turn left, continue through yellow gate then turn left and follow path along Black River (trail is not blazed in this direction but is blazed yellow going the opposite way)
[  3.50]  Keep straight when yellow blazes start and also go right (return route) (waypoint #6)
[  3.75]  Keep left on yellow along river when yellow also goes right (waypoint #6)
[  4.00]  Turn right, go through yellow gate, and continue straight
[  4.15]  Turn left on unmarked path along Minehill Beach Pond
[  4.50]  Continue straight towards gate passing the beginning of the orange trail, at gate keep right on footpath
[  4.60]  Continue on road when path ends at concrete barrier
[  4.70]  Leave road on beige circle-blazed trail to the right
[  4.80]  Keep straight on beige as it merges with white and green crosses over (waypoint #7)
[  4.85]  Turn left on white as it merges with green circle, beige circle leaves to the right with orange streamers, unmarked goes straight (waypoint #8)
[  5.00]  Keep right on white as it merges with red-square-on-white (waypoint #9)
[  5.10]  Turn left on unmarked at end of red-square-on-white (waypoint #10)
[  5.20]  Back at parking

Friday, December 20, 2013

Manasquan Reservoir, NJ

Manasquan Reservoir - Monmouth County Park System

GPS Coordinates 40.177684, -74.220032

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Environmental Center Parking Lot

Manasquan Reservoir Trail Map - Monmouth County Park System

Manasquan Reservoir, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  5.7 miles

Starting on the Perimeter Trail from the Environmental Center parking lot going clockwise.
Heading in this direction gets the road part out of the way first.
Reservoir views from the road walk.
It's actually kind of sad, the tiny strip of wildlife habitat between the road and the reservoir.  Who would live there?
The Perimeter Trail is all wide multi-use trail...
... with many restroom opportunities.
Although it's a busy place even on a week day in the winter, there are some quieter sections.
A wildlife blind off to the left overlooking Wetland #1.
A Wetland #1 resident.
Back at the reservoir.
No access to the dam.
Tons of ducks in the reservoir, mostly common mergansers and
American coots.
Coming up on the main parking lot.
Visitor center and boat launch.
The Environmental Center from the Visitor Center boat launch area.
Back on the Perimeter Trail where it actually starts in the main parking lot.
The Cove Trail leaves to the left and adds a bit of distance back to the parking lot.
We stayed on the Perimeter Trail...
... and ran into a long-time virtual hiking friend and blog follower!