Friday, July 12, 2013

Wawayanda State Park, NJ - Cedar Swamp to Lake Lookout

Wawayanda State Park - NJ Department of Environmental Protection

GPS Coordinates 41.156879, -74.414655

View Larger Map
NOTE:  Your GPS might take you to Canistear Road but the parking lot on Cherry Road cannot be accessed that way due to private property and gates.  Be sure to approach via Clinton Road.  Cherry Ridge Road is very rutted once it changes from pavement to gravel.
Parking lot off of Cherry Ridge Road.
North Jersey Trails Map #116 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Wawayanda State Park Map - NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Wawayanda State Park - JORBA
Wawayanda State Park, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  8.55 miles

Starting on the green-blazed Banker Trail across Cherry Ridge Road from the parking area.
Banker Trail
Rhododendron in bloom.
Leaving the Banker Trail to take the blue-blazed Cedar Swamp Trail.
The Cedar Swamp Trail is sometimes well-defined...
... other times a little overgrown, but passable.
Crossing a wet area on logs and rocks.
Bear print.
Boardwalk through the swamp.
Yellow-blazed double pond trail.
Boardwalk to ...
... a bridge over a swamp.
Male and female red-winged blackbirds.
Wawayanda Furnace
Builder William Ames initials and date.
Wawayanda Lake
Wawayanda Lake from unmarked trail.
Spillway on blue-blazed Wingdam Trail
Wingdam Trail
Sitting Bear Trail
Wawayanda Lake view from Sitting Bear Trail.
Swimming beach on the far side of the lake.
Blowdown art on the white-blazed Lake Lookout Trail.  It was in this area that I saw a baby bear climb a tree then heard mama bear "yelling" from inside a thick pile of blowdowns so just kept moving along and didn't get a picture of the baby :(
Lake Lookout
The trail at the far end of Lake Lookout is overgrown but passable.
Leaving Lake Lookout, the trail forks.  Right must be the continuation of the Lake Lookout Trail.  Left is an unmarked but well-defined trail that goes through a very pretty area.
The unmarked trail ends at ...
... Old Coal Trail.
From Old Coal Trail, an unmarked trail to the left which is the Mojo Swamp Trail on the JORBA map.
Pretty forest floor views from the Mojo Swamp Trail.
There are rocks to the left to cross over on.  Would not advise sloshing through, getting stuck and having to be pulled out...
Approaching the swamp.
Red-winged blackbird in the swamp.
The Mojo Swamp Trail ends on Cherry Ridge Road.
Cherry Ridge Road
Cherry Ridge Road is gated just before the parking lot.
Trying to hitch a ride.

[  0.00]  Cross Cherry Ridge Road to start on the green-blazed Banker Trail
[  0.40]  Left on blue-blazed Cedar Swamp Trail when green continues to the right
[  0.55]  Stay right on blue when unmarked (Rockadendron?) goes left
[  0.80]  Blowdown in trail then swampy section on logs and rocks
[  1.30]  Clearing with rusty car
[  1.45]  Boardwalks
[  1.85]  Blue ends at yellow, left on yellow-blazed Double Pond Trail
[  2.25]  Straight on yellow when red dot starts to the left
[  2.60]  Yellow now on gravel road through picnic/camping area
[  2.80]  Wawayanda Furnace; continue on trail going uphill behind furnace
[  3.00]  Left on blue-blazed Wingdam Trail across dam then right on unmarked
[  3.55]  Right on blue-blazed Wingdam Trail at T-intersection
[  3.75]  Right on orange-blazed Sitting Bear Trail (no markers at intersection)
[  4.85]  Keep left on orange when unmarked (not on map) goes right
[  5.15]  Right on yellow-blazed Laurel Pond Trail
[  5.50]  Right on gravel Cherry Ridge Road
[  5.55]  Left on white-blazed Lookout Trail
[  6.10]  Keep left when green goes right; Lookout Lake, keep left around lake
[  6.20]  Turn left at end of pond and take unmarked trail to the left
[  6.50]  Turn right on red-blazed Old Coal Trail at T-intersection
[  6.75]  Straight on Old Coal when Lookout Trail comes in on right
[  6.90]  Unmarked (Hemlock & Load?) on the right, turn left on unmarked footpath which is the Mojo Swamp Trail on the JORBA map
[  7.40]  At T-intersection not on map, turn right
[  7.60]  At T-intersection on map, turn right when left goes to Cherry Ridge
[  8.00]  Turn right on Cherry Ridge
[  8.55]  Back at parking


  1. Great descriptions and pictures as always!

    1. Thanks! Love the shot of the wet bear print you got - talk about cutting it close! My mud print might have been made by the same bear - that was on the Cedar Swamp Trail also. I saw wet raccoon tracks like that once. Makes you realize just how much wildlife is out there that you don't see.


  2. Glad to see you're back on the trails. I enjoy reading about your hikes and was hoping you hadn't given up on the blog...or hiking.

    I did a similar hike at Wawayanda in Spring of '09 and turned back due to muddiness. It wasn't impassible, but wasn't enjoyable either.

    1. Thanks, Ken! It was good to be back on the trails. In addition to this awful heat and humidity, my dog, Shawnee, was having some problems and I can't hike without her. She turned 12 earlier this year (got her out of the shelter 7/11/2001) and she is starting to show her age now. The vet has been telling me for years that she has arthritis in her knee but it was never obvious until recently. She's been going to a chiropractor for almost 2 years for a problem with her front leg that has been kept under control. The adjustments have enabled her to continue hiking, but no such luck with her back leg. She limps terribly after just a 2-mile walk in the park. I decided to try giving her Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory) on hiking days, in addition to higher doses of glucosamine and chondroitin every day. Although I only intended to hike 5-6 miles at Wawayanda and it turned into over 8 miles and she did fine, just a little hobbling towards the end. She could barely get out of bed that night, but was fine the next day so that is an improvement over not being able to walk normally for days on end after hiking. I am hoping we can get back to full speed soon. If nothing else, maybe shorter hikes and not as many but we'll see what she can handle.


  3. Oh my gosh...what a muddy dog!!

    Glad to see you back too- really look forward to your posts!!

    Poor Shawnee- it is sad when they slow down!!
    Seen some similar issues with my little cattle dog this year too- need to shorten her walks a bit too. I think the heat takes a toll too- we are still fine as long as the weather is cold.
    My Pointer is still great at 10- so he is my summer hike dog.....except that he is a terrible wimp, and hates to be alone!!

    We saw a bear at Wayawanda last year, quite close, my knees were like jello, and it took a lot for me just to keep walking normally!!!!

    Hope Shawnee enjoys some cooler shorter walks .............we look forward to seeing the pictures from those too
    Lesley and Elsie

    1. Thanks, Lesley! Yes, it's so sad to see them age and this awful weather we have been having doesn't help either but I suppose it is better we haven't been able to hike as much during lousy weather than during great weather.

      All the times I have been to Wawayanda and never seen a bear there then had that very close (too close) encounter this time! The book that I show in the right sidebar, "Three Hundred Zeros," he recounts a hysterical Wawayanda bear encounter in the book and I think about that every time I am there.


  4. Glad to see another post from you. We are hating this weather. My dogs and I are so antsy to go out hiking! Looks like the weather will improve in another week.

    1. Starting Monday it is looking good so far. Hope that doesn't change! Shawnee and I are getting fat sitting around here instead of hiking!