Saturday, July 12, 2014

White Lake Natural Resource Area, NJ

White Lake Natural Resource Area - Warren County, NJ
White Lake Natural Resource Area - Facebook
Vass Farmstead -
On White Pond - NJ Skylands (history of the area and ruins)

GPS Coordinates 40.992959, -74.911661

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The parking at the trail head is VERY had to find.  I had initially parked at the Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail lot (40.992103, -74.910355) .15 mile up Spring Valley Road and found this parking area having walked there looking for the trail head.  Went back to move my car and still passed by it and had to turn around.
Room for maybe 3-4 cars but I don't think this is a place many people park.

Trail Brochure - County of Warren, NJ
White Lake Natural Resource Area, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  5.1 miles

The Ridge and Valley Trail starts at the gate at the parking area.
A newer Ridge and Valley Trail marker.
The trail starts out as an old rail bed.
Right after crossing a creek on a wooden bridge ...
... the ruins of an ice house/marl processing facility from the mid to late 1800's.
An unmarked trail leads from the ruins to White Lake.  Vass Farmstead is directly across White Lake.
The red-winged blackbirds always come through for me when other won't sit still for two seconds.  The female ...
... another female ...
... and a male.
Heading back along the marl ruins to rejoin the Ridge and Valley Trail.
An older Ridge and Valley Trail marker.
Old and new markers.
Lime Kiln
Spider webs were plentiful on the trail.  ("Were" is the operative word - they ended up in my hair if I didn't see them.)
The Ridge and Valley Trail becomes a woods road before ...
... the start of the blue trail on the left.
The blue trail crosses over a gravel road which is blazed for the green trail to the left.  My intention was to return on the green trail but later in the hike there was a change in plans.
The blow down on the top lives with new growth perpendicular to the trunk.
The blue trail follows a mowed path through a gorgeous wildflower area.
The Vass Farmstead across from the wildflower meadow.
At the gravel drive a quick trip to the left to say hi to the fish and ...
... to let Shawnee cool off.  We started hiking at 6:30 AM but it was warming up quickly with high humidity and she doesn't handle that too well any more.
To the right up the gravel road, the Vass Farmstead directly across Stillwater Road.
Looking back at White Lake from the Vass Farmstead.
The parking lot on Stillwater Road - this lot is busy because all of these people are fishing and kayaking on White Lake and there were a couple of photographers taking pictures in the wildflower meadow.  Shawnee and I were the only ones on the hiking trails.
The boat launch.
The blue trail continues as a mowed path.
Just before the gate the blue trail turns left.
At the end of the blue trail and the beginning of the red trail, an overlook of White Lake - a perfect spot for a chicken jerky break.
Continuing on the red trail.
The red trail comes out at another parking lot.  Although blazes indicate the end of the trail, the map shows red turning right and meeting back up with blue.  That is the way I had planned on going then taking green back over to the Ridge and Valley Trail.  It was, however, becoming increasingly hotter out and I felt there was too much sun exposure on the mowed paths for Shawnee so I shortened the hike by road walking back to the car.
A turkey vulture in a tree in the meadow.
The walk along Spring Valley Road isn't bad, not much traffic but what little traffic there is zooms by FAST!  Fortunately, there was plenty of shade and we weren't in full sun very much.
A farm with an antique car for sale.
And curious horses.  The were checking Shawnee out.  Shawnee likes horses but is afraid of cows.

[  0.00]  Walk beyond the silver gate from the parking area following newer yellow and older slate Ridge and Valley markers
[  0.25]  Trail forks to the right, crosses creek on bridge, marl ruins; continue beyond ruins on unmarked footpath
[  0.35]  White Lake; retrace
[  0.45]  Continue on the Ridge and Valley Trail
[  1.50]  Lime Kiln
[  2.30]  Turn left on blue
[  2.70]  Straight on blue when it crosses gravel road and green goes left
[  3.10]  Blue becomes mowed path through wildflower meadow
[  3.20]  Right on gravel boat launch access road; cross Stillwater Road to Vass Farmstead; retrace to boat launch
[  3.50]  Just before the boat launch, continue right on blue
[  3.85]  Blue turns left into woods just before silver gate
[  4.00]  End of blue at White Lake overlook; continue on red
[  4.20]  Continue through parking lot at end of red, turn left on Stillwater road then left on Spring Valley Road
[  5.10]  Back at parking


  1. Looks like a great your pictures and to see your Dog Shawnee. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey, great blog! I love your shepherd! They recently finished the loop trail going around the lake as well as have several other trails in progress. It is getting to be a really nice place to go hiking.

    1. Thanks, and thanks for the info. Will have to put it on my list to revisit!