Saturday, August 2, 2014

Paulinskill Wildlife Management Area, NJ - Hyper Humus Marshes North

Hyper Humus Marshes - NJ Audubon
March 1956 Hyper-Humus Ad

GPS Coordinates 41.090907, -74.705954

View Larger Map
Continue up the long drive to the parking area just before the gate.  This is looking back towards the entrance from the gate.

Hyper Humus Map
Paulinskill Wildlife Management Area, NJ - Hyper Humus Marshes at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.2 miles

This hike is amazingly gorgeous but be aware that there is no shade for about 2/3 of this hike and even on a cool, mostly cloudy day, when the sun comes out it gets HOT!
Starting at the gate from the parking area, take the road named "Dirt Road" on the map.
The dirt road meets up with the Paulins Kill on the left.
Gray Catbird
Dirt Road
Marshes, then ponds on the right.
Great Egret
Beautiful ponds with lots of wildflowers.
Leaving the dirt road on a path between the ponds.
Eastern Phoebe?
It was getting hot in the sun so a cool down was just what she needed.
Red-winged Blackbird
At the other side of the ponds a woods road leads through a shady, wooded area to...
Reynold's Lake with a startled Great Blue Heron taking off.
A mowed path goes to the right...
... but ends at a broken bridge.
A woods road goes to the left ...
... and ends at a house with a mowed lawn.  There were no private property signs but it looked like someone's house and yard to me so this was where we turned around.
Early leaf change. (Way too early.)
On the way back between the ponds I was taking pictures of this Great Egret and had no idea a cormorant was sharing the tree with him until I uploaded the pictures!
Changing branches.
Shawnee is very close and the Great Egret is not worried.
But when I got to where Shawnee was, the Great Egret became worried about me and took off.
Back to the dirt road crossing a bridge over ...
Paulins Kill
Dragonflies were doing a great job of keeping the marsh area mosquito-free.  (But there were plenty of mosquitoes on the rail trail where dragonflies don't hang out.)
Dirt Road becomes a path.
Getting hot and lagging in the sun so lots of water breaks were needed when shade was available.
We actually weren't going to hike this weekend because it was supposed to be a washout but at 8:30 AM on the first day of the weekend storms the rain stopped.  At that moment the forecast changed to "storm moved out" so we scrambled to be on our way to hike and yes, I forgot the chicken jerky.
But I did have some Pill Pockets in my backpack that I give her Tramadol with when we are hiking so she got all of those instead.  I think all is forgiven.
A Cedar Waxwing hiding his head behind a leaf.
I was surprised she tried to walk across this bridge but she soon realized what she was walking on and scurried back.
Not paw friendly :(
The bridge goes over the Paulins Kill but there is nothing on the other side so this is a turnaround point.
Waiting for mom to come back over that horrible bridge.
The path ends at the Sussex Branch Trail.
Sussex Branch Trail - all shaded and breezy.
Looking back at Hyper Humus from the Sussex Branch Trail.
The intersection with the Paulinskill Valley Trail where we turn left.
Cross Route 663 and continue through the Paulinskill Valley Trail parking lot.
In under half a mile, turn left...
... back to the parking lot.

[  0.00]  Continue on road beyond the barrier
[  0.80]  Keep straight when bridge goes left; proceed between two ponds
[  1.10]  At the other side of the ponds, woods road veers left
[  1.40]  Make sharp right turn at intersection
[  1.50]  Turn right at intersection to Reynolds Lake
[  1.70]  Retrace at broken bridge
[  1.90]  Turn right and follow woods road along left side of Reynolds Lake
[  2.10]  Retrace at end of woods road near residence
[  2.30]  Right on woods road retracing back to path between ponds
[  2.75]  Continue on path between ponds
[  3.00]  Turn right and cross wooden bridge
[  3.80]  Turn right on path between ponds
[  3.90]  Bridge with metal grate; retrace
[  4.00]  Continue straight with pond on right
[  4.15]  Turn left on Sussex Branch Trail
[  5.60]  Cross Route 663
[  5.75]  Turn left on Paulinskill Valley Trail
[  5.85]  Cross Route 663
[  6.20]  Turn left back to parking


  1. Beautiful photos as always. I especially like the wildlife, swans, egrets, butterflies! I love your dog too. What a trooper. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Funny story...I was supposed to do this walk/hike with my boyfriend and my dog just yesterday! It was pretty hot thought and Wes' hair is pretty log currently so we copped out and ended up at his office so he could do some extra weekend work instead. Definitely planning on dragging the boyfriend ans dog there this week though. I personally love this area!

    1. It is a totally awesome place!


  3. Hyper Humus is One of our favorite secret spots while Trail biking. If you make the right turn on the Sussex Branch Trail it will take you all the way down into a Newton neighborhood. Once you go beyond the big sign pointing to Hicks Ave, you enter a trail that very few people venture. Great photos!

    1. Thanks! And thanks for the reminder and info. I always meant to go back and see what is out that way. Will have to do this soon!


  4. Thanks for the great step-by-step pics! I know this area very well as my wife's father used to work for Hyper Humus. Beautiful area with two rail trails to work with for great variety hike. Very nice!!

    1. Thanks! It is such a nice area with so much to see.