Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Horseshoe Bend Park, NJ


ABOUT THE PARK:
Horseshoe Bend Park - Kingwood Township
Horseshoe Bend Park Press Release - New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Horseshoe Bend Preserve - Hunterdon Land Trust

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 40.497133, -75.043580

View Larger Map

TRAIL MAPS:
Overview Map of Horseshoe Bend Park and Surrounding Area - Kingwood Township (this map shows the entire trail that is under construction)
Horseshoe Bend Park Trail Map - Kingwood Township
Horseshoe Bend Park, NJ at EveryTrail


HIKE DISTANCE:  5.8 miles

THE HIKE:
After the winter snow melt with heavy rain over the weekend, it was sometimes hard to tell the difference  between the creek and the trail.
The creek is quite pretty.
The marked white trail with mile markers every tenth of a mile.
Burke's Run
Burke's Run needs to be crossed here and with the snow melt and rain, it was over ankle deep.
Don't use these plastic boot covers much but they sure do come in handy when they are needed!
A red fox has just darted away to the upper left but I wasn't fast enough to get his picture.
Coming up on hilltop fields.
The orange trail goes around the fields but other than some posts with orange tape, there are no markers in the field area.
The neighbor's horse.
At the far corner is an off-leash dog park where all of the people and dogs are standing a distance away.  We'd rather hike - Shawnee will take a hike over a dog park any day.  This is the only place we saw people during the hike.
The orange trail (still umarked) leaves the field downhill to a steam where the orange markers will start.
Crossing the creek before climbing back up to some nice countryside views.
Coming back down to Burke's Run.
And another ford where the boot covers were needed.
Burke's Run
The map shows a trail under construction so we made an attempt to see how far we could follow it.
Once the cleared blowdowns come to an end, pink ribbons mark the way.
Up above Burke's Run.
The pink ribbons continue all the way to the top but the blowdowns become ticker and harder to get through or around.
Once things clear out again, the pink ribbons abruptly end....
... near an orchard.  No choice but to retrace back to the orange trail ...
... through the tangle of thorns and blowdowns - the two things Shawnee hates most but her harness came in handy to assist her up and over when she started getting tired.
It will be a really nice, long trail once the clearing is done.
Back on the orange trail where the going is much easier.
It was in the 60's so of course a cooling down was called for.
The other end of the trail under construction.  Would have loved to have followed the pink ribbons from this side to see how far I could get to connect to where I lost them before but we had already had enough bushwhacking fun for one day.
In case you have made it this far without getting muddy, no need to worry here!
Old farm fence and older farm fence.
Coming up on the park entrance road.
Turn right on the park road then left at the kiosk.
Some huge white trail markers!  Orange leaves to the right of this white trail ...
... along a pretty creek.
This orange/white trail is a new trail not on the map.  Orange has been changed to continue straight but if you don't get off here, you'll just keep going around on orange.
After orange/white, an unmarked trail.

6 comments:

  1. What a great hike! It is thawing here in Wyoming a bit so we may be able to see the ground soon BOL!

    RA

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    1. I wish for you to see the ground soon - it is sooooo nice! There were two little piles of snow near the parking lot when we did this hike and my first thought was that it must be some sort of sick April Fool's joke - we have had enough of that stuff already!

      Daniela

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  2. Awesome- have been meaning to go there, several people have told me about it. How long can you hike there- it looks small on the map.

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    1. I read there are 7 miles of trails but that must include that new trail that is still very much under construction. I can't imagine how you can get 7 miles out of it without that. If you take that new trail, only take it until the nice view of the creek below. Beyond that point it goes uphill and it's very rough going with all the thorns and storm debris that need to be cleared. But you should be able to squiggle around and get about 4-5 miles out of it. Definitely worth it, a very pretty and peaceful place!

      Daniela

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  3. I was there yesterday and spotted a male snowy white owl. He was flying with a snake! So pretty and very cool to see. Some are saying that I couldn't have......has anyone else spotted him?

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    Replies
    1. How cool! I wish I would have seen him but I totally think it is possible. There have been many snowy owl sightings this winter.

      Daniela

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