Saturday, April 6, 2013

West Morris Greenway, NJ - Black River Wildlife Management Area to Horseshoe Lake

New Trail Dedicated in Roxbury - Roxbury Register
Patriots' Path - Morris County Parks Commission
Black River Wildlife Management Area -

GPS Coordinates 40.801553,-74.696721

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Parking lot off of Pleasant Hill Road at western end of trail.

Patriots' Path Section 2 - Morris County Park Commission
(The online version of the map does not show the parking lot but the hard copy does.)

My total for all sections combined:  13.6 miles
  • From Pleasant Hill Rd parking lot in Chester to Randolph -  4 miles one way
  • From Randolph to Horseshoe Lake - 1.5 miles one way
  • Horseshoe Lake Loop - 1.5 miles
  • Black River WMA trail along river -  .55 miles one way

The trail starts beyond the gate in the parking lot.  This section is blazed blue and is a spur trail of the Patriots' Path.
Mileage posts every quarter of a  mile.
The trail runs along the Black River but you don't see much of the river,
Early in the morning you can see lots of birds over by the river.
Christmas in April?
A trickle of water off to the right.
Surprisingly little evidence of Sandy damage - this was the worst of just a couple of spots.
The Patriots' Path comes in from the right and the trail is now blazed white.
A glimpse of geese in the river.
For the most part there is swamp/wetlands between the trail and the river.
The trail goes on and on and on ...
After the white-blazed Patriots' Path leaves to the right, continue on as the trail is blazed blue and cross a bridge ...
... over a side creek ...
... just before the end of the Black River WMA and a parking area.
The trail continues on through a more residential area ...
... then crosses the road ...
... and enters water authority property.
Continuation of the trail through water authority property all the way to Horseshoe Lake.
At the railroad tracks the trail jogs left then right to ...
... Horseshoe Lake.
A short part of the lake loop is along a busy road.
The trail veers away from the road along the beach.
Some Sandy blowdown art visible on the return route.
Back at the small parking lot entering Black River WMA, a footpath starting between the concrete blocks leads ...
... through the woods ...
... and along the Black River.
After this wide open area, the trail fizzles out so it needs to be an out-and-back to the parking lot to get back on the greenway trail. 
Skunk Cabbage
Heading back on the Patriots' Path spur.
Where early in the morning there were millions of birds along this section, in the early afternoon there were millions of frogs and not a single bird.
Still looking sleepy from that hibernation.
There is one spot along the way where you can get a view of the river...
... and another inhabitant.
Back at the beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Great the photos...wish I was there now, but too much snow