Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation and Weldon Brook WMA, NJ

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation - Morris County Parks
Weldon Brook Wildlife Management Area - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Ogden Mine Railroad Path -

GPS Coordinates 41.007758, -74.586135

View Larger Map

Jersey Highlands Trail Map 126 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Mahlon Dickerson Reservation Trail Map - Morris County Parks
Mahlon Dickerson Reservation and Weldon Brook WMA, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.5 miles

Walk to the kiosk in the parking lot then beyond the yellow gate on the yellow-blazed trail.
Saffin Pond at sunrise.
The teal diamond-blazed Highlands Trail joins in from the bridge at Saffin Pond.
Yellow continues and teal leaves to the right crossing over Weldon Road.
The Highlands Trail through the woods.
A tiny little frog.
Climb through a power cut.
Power cuts seem ugly at first glance but there is beauty to be found.  The bees seem to be asleep on the flowers.  Yes, we hike that early.
There is even somewhat of a view at the top!
The first woods road to the left from the power cut as shown on the NYNJ Trail Conference map is overgrown but the second left at the communications tower leads to this gate into the woods.
Unmarked woods roads through Weldon Brook WMA.
Old stone farm walls in the woods.
The woods road goes through a pretty swamp...
... but this is the crossing.  Figuring it would be too difficult for Shawnee, I intentionally approached from this side so we could retrace from here.
Yes, she agrees it is too difficult and is already heading back and checking to be sure I am, too.
A tiny little red eft hiker on the trail.
Back through a section of power cut ...
... and back into the woods on the other side of the power cut.
Woods road through the woods to...
The Ogden Mine Railroad Path
Swamps on either side along the rail bed.
In one of the swamps, a beaver lodge with a belted kingfisher - did not even know she was there until I uploaded the picture.
A kiosk just before Weldon Road.
Cross Weldon Road to the parking lot.

[  0.00]  Walk through the parking lot to the kiosk and take the yellow trail through the yellow gate
[  0.60]  Right on teal diamond when yellow continues straight; cross Weldon Road; short distance beyond gate turn right on teal diamond
[  1.30]  Turn right in the power cut
[  1.50]  Continue straight in power cut at top of hill when a woods road leaves to the right
[  1.90]  Entering Weldon Brook WMA in power cut
[  2.00]  Continue straight at top of second hill (woods road to the left becomes too overgrown)
[  2.20]  Left at fork just beyond communications tower paved access road on right
[  2.30]  Continue through silver gate on woods road leaving power cut
[  2.40]  Keep right at fork
[  2.60]  Keep right at fork
[  2.70]  Blue blaze on right but that trail meets back up with woods road in a short distance
[  3.20]  Right at T-intersection then right again
[  3.40]  Right at T-intersection (tree on left has two white circle blazes)
[  3.70]  Turn right at intersection then keep right at fork for out-and-back to swamp
[  4.00]  Swamp crossing; retrace
[  4.20]  Turn right at T-intersection
[  4.40]  When woods road veers left, turn right on path through power cut
[  4.50]  At intersection just over rise, turn right on path into woods
[  5.00]  Turn right on Odgen Mine rail bed
[  5.40]  Keep straight on rail bed when blue starts to the left
[  6.20]  Keep straight on rail bed when a trail forks to the right
[  6.40]  Cross Weldon Road
[  6.50]  Back at parking

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