Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Delaware Water Gap NRA, NJ - Upper Ridge Equestrian Trail

Upper Ridge Trail in New Jersey - National Park Service
Kittatinny Lodging Camp - Facebook page with lots of old pictures from when Kittatinny Camp was in operation in the 40's, 50's and 60's before it's demise with the Tocks Dam Project that never happened.  There was still some evidence of the camp's existence on this hike.

GPS Coordinates 41.259630, -74.815194

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From Jager Road pull into a field at the trailhead sign.  There is a large loop for horse trailers to turn around.  Did not notice any specific areas to park a car so just pulled to the side near the gate at the far corner of the field to be out of the way in case any horse trailers came in but none did.

Northern Kittatinny Trails Map 122 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Delaware Water Gap, NJ - Upper Ridge Equestrian Trail at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  5.2 miles

I was dog sitting two dogs that are accustomed to hiking so with three dogs in tow, wanted an out-of-the-way place with an easy trail.  This trail does not appear to be used much, even by equestrians so it's a quiet, easy hike.
The gate at the corner of the field where the hike starts.
Looking back towards Jager Road from the gate.  My car did not suddenly change colors - it's a loaner while mine is in the shop.  Subaru is dog-friendly so they did not mind when I told them I would be hauling dogs in the car.
Starting off on the old Upper Ridge Road, now a trail.
The surface of the trail changes throughout the hike.  Here we have a grassy woods road.
There was only one blow-down that the dogs got through very easily.  Me, not so much but no photographic evidence of that.
Old stone farm walls along the trail.
On the right, two posts ...
... and an old wooden arrow at a woods road not on the map.
We went to explore and it is a very pretty trail that descends ....
... down into a little ravine.
The trail veers right away from the creek, crosses a small stream ...
... the kind of fizzles out but we were heading in the wrong direction at this point so we retraced back to the Upper Ridge Trail.
Back on the Upper Ridge Trail, watch for a trail on the left shortly after crossing over the creek at the guardrails.
The trail is somewhat overgrown but it leads to ...
... a pond!
Heading back to the Upper Ridge Trail.
There are a few equestrian trail markers along Upper Ridge Road.
Taking a break in the middle of the Upper Ridge Trail since there was not another soul around.
Seasonal views appear just as ...
... the trail becomes asphalt and starts to switchback down.
New and old trail markers.
The asphalt ends and it's back to dirt/gravel.
Some gorgeous old growth trees along the way where homes probably once stood.
After crossing a wooden bridge ...
... turn left at the gate ...
... down to Kittatinny Camp Lake.
Footings from the old camp dock?
A current satellite snapshot compared to the 1954 topo map - the lake is considerably smaller now and the black dots indicating camp buildings are long gone.
The straight row of pines at the top of the hill seemed to be part of the old camp.
On top of the hill at the huge old pines where camp cabins once stood.  I believe these are the pines that can be seen in several of the old camp pictures in the background of group photos.
The lake is below to the right but the view is now obstructed.
Heading back on the Upper Ridge Trail.

Here is a video put together for the visiting dogs' families so they could see the hike while away.


  1. Nice! I am going to have to try this one too- looks nice and flat.

    We did your hike from Millbrook Village a couple weeks ago- really nice. We just did the Old Orchard Trail, very nice walking. Had a hard time finding the trailhead though- its not on the map, and no cell connection to check your site!!

    I had read and studied where to begin, but one we got there I couldn't find the trail, - no internet either!! So we drove to the top of the hill, and got a weak signal- just enough to check the map!! THEN we had a great hike :)

    1. Oh no! I hate when trailheads are hard to find. I wonder if maybe that is intentional, to keep those that are up to no good from finding the trail. Glad you found it eventually. I would say the Upper Ridge Trail is very similar to the Orchard Trail. A little but of up and down but very smooth and yes, a very easy hike. And a nice big sign to find it :)


    2. LOL. Oh good!
      This time I'll make notes before losing Internet!!
      It is weird- with my old phone ( old os) if you lost signal , the page that you were last on would stay open to read, but on OS 7 if you lose signal- it just shows a blank page.... Ugh!

  2. Cool post showing the old map of the camp and current Google map views! Hank from NJ Hiking once schooled me to this mapping tool if you haven't seen it - really amazing.(http://maps.njpinebarrens.com). -TJK

    1. Thanks, TJ! That is a very cool mapping tool of Hanks. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I used to live on that road as a kid before Tocks Island kicked me out. Still recognize some markers and landscape you shot.

    1. It must have been horrible being booted out like that. At least it is preserved now and not a reservoir or development.


  4. I was only 7 when we were bought out due to Tocks Island - so I didnt realize the impact until I was older. But my dad built a house on that road in his early 20s and only had it about 4 years. I just went back there this weekend to hike it. I know where the properties were located. There is a second pond too !! At the beginning after the guardrails and the water - there is a path that crosses the road. The right side is better kept - but the left side goes down to a better pond that is at the very end of the hike. If you walk the right path - there should be apple trees down there somewhere as a mansion used to sit on that property and it had a small apple orchard