Saturday, July 19, 2014

Marble Hill Natural Area, NJ


ABOUT THE PARK:
Marble Hill Natural Area Grand Re-Opening - NJ.com
Warren-Highlands Trail/Marble Hill Brochure - Warren County

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates to River Road Parking 40.709615, -75.191613
My GPS got all kinds of confused and took me across the Route 22 bridge into PA so might be a good idea to take the brochure directions along.

View Larger Map
Off-road parking at the kiosk and picnic tables across the street from Aqua New Jersey.

TRAIL MAP:
Warren Highlands Trail/Marble Hill Brochure - Warren County
Marble Hill Natural Area, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  5 miles

THE HIKE:
Take the blue-blazed Warren Highlands Trail at the chain.  There is no way to walk around so you have to crawl under the chain.
It starts out as a rutted road...
... then follows an overgrown gas pipeline.
The trail gets better once it leaves the pipeline and enters the woods.
Ah, finally, some real trail!
Views of the Delaware River are very limited in the summer but in the winter there should be a decent stretch of trail with river views.
The trail continues uphill.
The orange-blazed Fulmer Mine Trail.
Stone work on the Fulmer mine trail that, according to the brochure, was possibly a former mine or shelter.
Fulmer Mine or the "Ice Caves."
Back on the Warren Highlands Trail through a rhododendron thicket.
Found one bloom that wasn't completely shot yet but we did miss full bloom which would have probably been end of June/early July.
The yellow-blazed Marble Hill Road Access Trail.
This trail crosses over some washouts and a small creek.
The red-square-on-yellow trail (not on the map) connects back to the blue-blazed Highlands Trail.
A large old growth tree.
A power cut ...
... with a nice view west into Pennsylvania.
Finding this on the trail creeped me out - HATE HATE HATE knives!  No way was I carrying it with me to dispose of it and it was all moldy and disgusting so I flung it into the woods in hopes nobody will ever find it again.
The trail becomes overgrown again...
... as it follows along a corn field.
Just around this right turn...
unexpected views of the countryside.
It was cool and cloudy so it made a nice break spot.
Farther downhill from the corn fields, some old stone ruins.
The trail follows the farm road.
Where the trail leaves the farm road it becomes very overgrown but it only leads down to Belvidere Road in a short distance so this was our turn around point.
Heading back uphill through the farm.
Back in the woods, a Merrill Creek Reservoir sign.
The red-blazed Lopatcong Municipal Park Access Trail.  Dogs are not allowed in that park, the reason we did not park there.
The Delaware River view, which is not a view at all in the summer with foliage in the way.
A little bit of the Delaware River on the right.
I had noticed this sign down on River Road so I left the trail and road walked a short distance to see what it was but unless you have an appointment, there is nothing to see.  All gated and locked up.
Just a short distance back to the car on River Road but it bypassed the overgrown gas pipeline part.
From the parking area I saw a large bird land on the fence way over at the other side of the Aqua New Jersey property so I zoomed in to see what it was.
He took off again after just a minute or two.
This one stayed behind.

HIKE SUMMARY:
[  0.00]  Follow blue blazes beyond yellow chain on rutted road; a few steps in at the T-intersection turn left; keep straight through overgrown gas pipeline
[  0.15]  Trail clears and enters woods uphill with seasonal river views
[  0.70]  Turn right on orange Fulmer Mine Trail
[  0.75]  Fulmer Mine; continue on orange
[  0.95]  At the end of orange, turn right on blue
[  1.10]  Straight on yellow when blue goes right
[  1.20]  Rock hop creek then turn right on red-square-on-yellow when yellow goes left
[  1.30]  Turn left on blue
[  1.80]  Cross power cut with views
[  2.30]  Views from corn field
[  2.50]  Old barn and stone foundation ruins
[  2.70]  Blue leaves farm road to right on overgrown path; turn around point
[  3.50]  Cross power cut with views
[  3.95]  Straight on blue when red-square-on-yellow goes right
[  4.00]  Straight on blue when red starts to the left
[  4.05]  Left on blue when yellow goes right
[  4.15]  Straight on blue when orange goes left
[  4.20]  Seasonal river view on right
[  4.40]  Straight on blue when orange goes left
[  4.90]  Leave trail to right on path to River Road then left on River Road
[  5.00]  Back at parking

7 comments:

  1. Very nice pictures of the wild flowers and the trail. Love your dog. Thanks so much for sharing these photos and maps and trails. I look forward to receiving these on email.

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    1. Thank you! Glad the info is of use to you.

      Daniela

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  2. Excellent write up! So glad to see you visited the preserve. I planned the route of and cleared the entire Warren Highlands Trail on the property myself. Three other volunteers helped me clear the other trails, and the signs were placed by voluntees and the Youth Corps. We have several more plans for the property that will include more trails, and we've now extended the Warren Highlands Trail through the next two pieces of property, mostly along fields, though they need more work. I will begin clearing the next piece of the trail through state land in ten days! It will eventually reach Allamuchy and the main Highlands Trail!
    Again, thanks promoting! -M'ke Helbing

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    1. Thanks! Another person who found out about the preserve from me went the next day and enjoyed it a lot. Believe it or not, as you were leaving your comment, I was over on your site reading your write-up about the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve - imagine that! Thanks for all of your work on making the trail possible. Very nice! I always try to give back by clearing downed branches and picking up litter and I did both while there. Always looking for new places to hike and will definitely be back for the new Warren Highlands Trail parts!

      Daniela

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    2. Glad you enjoyed! Note: we are still working on the trail, and this week almost finished blazing as far as Merril Creek. There is a lot of maintenance to reclaim the sections that grew in, but I'm working on it. New kiosks are being installed, and been working on that too. More to come soon!

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  3. I didn't know this trail was even around a place like Phillipsburg.My new fav place to hike

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    Replies
    1. Nice! Glad you found out about it!

      Daniela

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