Friday, August 30, 2013

Watchung Reservation, NJ - Blue Brook

Watchung Reservation - Union County, NJ

GPS Coordinates for Sky Top Picnic Area:  40.670467, -74.393181

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Parking along both sides of Sky Top Drive.

Watchung Reservation Trail Map - County of Union, NJ
Watchung Reservation, NJ - Blue Brook at EveryTrail

3.75 miles

The white-blazed trail goes into the woods around the porta potty.
A molting cardinal on the picnic table.
The white-blazed trail enters the woods.
Passing through a pretty pine area.
An unmarked trail comes to a bridge over Blue Brook.
On combined white and pink ...
then leaving white when pink splits to the right to ...
Hermit Pond
The pink trail then follows closely along Blue Brook.
Ruins of Feltville Mill.
Deserted Village of Feltville up above.
When pink crosses over a bridge to the right, an unmarked trail continues along Blue Brook.
Back on white briefly ...
before crossing the spillway (currently dry) at Lake Surprise.
Lake Surprise from the spillway.
White Baneberry
On the blue-blazed trail to ...
another unmarked trail on the other side of Blue Brook.
The trail crosses over Blue Brook on a rock hop to loop around and repeat part of the unmarked trail from earlier back to the bridge below Feltville.
Just the other side of the bridge an unmarked trail goes steeply up ...
the Gorge ...
and meets back up with the white trail.
A tunnel through Sandy blowdowns.
Back at Sky Top Picnic Area.

[  0.00]  Take the white-blazed trail to the left of the picnic pavillion
[  0.10]  Stay right on white at the fork
[  0.35]  Keep right on white when a trail also goes left then after a few steps turn left on unmarked when white continues straight
[  0.50]  Keep straight when pink starts at Drake Farmhouse ruins; straight when boardwalk goes left
[  0.55]  Turn right on white/pink
[  0.85]  Turn right on pink when white goes straight
[  0.95]  Short side trail on right to Hermit's Pond
[  1.05]  Trail goes left along Blue Brook
[  1.35]  Pass Feltville Mill ruins; Deserted Village of Feltville up above to the left
[  1.40]  Keep straight when bridge goes right and another trail goes uphill to the left
[  1.55]  Go uphill to the left towards ruins when trail fizzles out, then right on upper level trail before log steps
[  1.90]  Left at T-intersection with bridge on right; after a few steps turn right on white
[  2.10]  Turn right at dam and if dry, cross over
[  2.15]  Turn right other side of dam
[  2.25]  Turn left at T-intersection then keep right at fork on blue; keep right on unmarked at next fork
[  2.35]  Keep right on trail coming in from the left (not all of these trails are on the map but was keeping along the brook as much as possible)
[  2.40]  Keep right towards Blue Brook when blue continues straight
[  2.50]  Keep right on blue as it comes in from the left; after few steps, straight on white when blue leaves left
[  2.60]  Keep right downhill on unmarked when white forks to the left
[  2.70]  Rock hop over Blue Brook when trail ends and continue left on other side
[  2.80]  Turn left and cross bridge; at fork keep left uphill
[  2.90]  Keep left at fork at top of ascent
[  2.95]  Turn right at T-intersection on white
[  3.05]  Right on white at next T-intersection
[  3.25]  Cross over unmarked trail
[  3.60]  Turn left on unmarked when white goes straight
[  3.75]  Back at parking

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