Saturday, August 16, 2014

Weldon Brook Wildlife Management Area, NJ - Yellow Beer Trail

Weldon Brook Wildlife Management Area - New York New Jersey Trail Conference

GPS Coordinates 41.016090, -74.614664

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I believe parking is on the grass across from the office park but there aren't any NO PARKING signs by the gate and enough room for 2-3 cars to park on the side without blocking the gate.

Jersey Highlands Trail Map 126 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Weldon Brook WMA, NJ - Yellow Beer Trail at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  8.5 miles

This hike is not at all what I intended to do.  I came across a yellow-blazed trail (not on the map), also sometimes blazed with beer bottle caps, and followed that in a direction other than where I wanted to go thinking it might eventually turn.  It did not.  This is, however, a very pretty WMA so we'll just have to go back and hike what I missed another time.
The entrance.  You can either crawl under the chain on the right or...
... go to the left before the chain link fence take the trail around.
Sometimes it's a woods road, other times a trail.
Side trail to Blue Heron Lake was blocked by downed trees that are passable for humans, but would have been too difficult for Shawnee since there were multiple trees down behind the one in the front.
Got a little bit of a picture of Blue Heron Lake.
But a much better picture of the moon.
Continuing on the woods road to ...
Rose Pond
Momma Wood Duck scurrying the kids away to safety.
Wildflowers along the trail.
Sun rising through the trees. (We started at 6:30 AM.)
Hornet's Nest
Looks like mountain bikers made trails around blow downs and Shawnee is pawticularly grateful for that.  At her age going around is preferable to hurdling over
It was just before this yellow-blazed "Beer" trail that we turned left to go to Arapaho Lake but never made it because we ended up in someone's back yard.  It was too overgrown to bushwhack to the lake before the house so we had to turn back.
The yellow trail is very lovely passing through nice areas of forest.
But it also becomes very overgrown in spots.
There are plenty of blazes to follow so it's hard to lose the trail.
It does open up to a woods road...
... but where the yellow trail leaves the woods road, we decided to take a break...
...then continue on the woods road since that was the direction I wanted.  That plan failed - the woods road fizzled out into thick overgrowth.
Back to the yellow trail hoping that although it was not going in the direction I wanted, that it would eventually turn east.  It never did.
Too far in to turn back so continuing on the yellow trail.
Shortly after a creek crossing...
... the yellow trail ends at ...
... Arapaho Trail.  A left would bring us right back to Arapaho Lake, right?  Well, yes and no.  A little way in, HUGE no trespassing and private road signs.
So back the other way and turned right on Glen Road (Route 620).  There is enough room on the shoulder to walk but cars zoom by and it's not all that pleasant.
So which is it?
At least there are some interesting things to see on the road walk.
According to the map, a right turn on Angelo Drive opposite Lukoil should lead to the power cut with trails back to the WMA.  If not, I was prepared to return to Lukoil and call a cab.  Seriously!
Or maybe not.  (This was at Lukoil.)
Angelo Drive goes through a swanky neighborhood on a quiet residential street.
Doesn't matter to her.  She HATES road walking.  See that look of total boredom?
To the left, that opening, could it be?
Indeed!  The trail through the power cut!
Looking a little happier but being back in the woods would really make her day.
The power cut is actually quite pretty with all of the wildflowers.
The trail enters the woods and I should have turned left and stayed with the power cut but I thought I was already farther along the cut so I turned right.  That was wrong.
I was also distracted trying to get pictures of the turkeys!
So we bushwhacked until we ran into a woods road ...
... that took us right where we wanted to be.
Thought he was in focus.  Apparently not.
Happy dog back in the woods!
Back at the car.


  1. That picture of the moon is awesome! How do you always manage to get such good pictures of birds? By the time I get within range of taking a picture, they're already flying away.

    1. Thanks! This camera does take incredible moon shots. Because the moon stands still, LOL. Remember that for every good bird picture I post, there are 149 pictures of an empty branch that I don't post :)


    2. LOL, this is true. I can't count how many times I've gotten home to find a picture I thought was good that ends up being blurry or whatever I was shooting moved. At least you can get close enough to them to get your shots in even if you only get a branch. I tend to be heavy footed when I walk so they can hear me coming from a good distance away. Cheers!

  2. I love your pictures as always especially of birds and turkeys. The moon shot was awesome! I love your dog Shawnee. She makes your pictures so much more enjoyable too. What a trooper she is!

    1. Thank you! I think having Shawnee in the pictures adds more dimension but I have to send her out in front of me to get her in the pictures. She doesn't hear very well any more and can't tell how far behind her I am when she is in front. That worries her because she always needs to know I am with her at all times. So she plods along right behind me so she can keep an eye on me :)


  3. Thank you for a wonderful site! You guys are an inspiration and a font of ideas for hikes. I hiked the Weldon Brook WMA three weeks ago. Near where you turned left onto the yellow trail, I turned right and headed for what looks like a causeway between two ponds on the NY-NJ Trails Conference map. Some causeway! It was about one foot wide and made up of mud and rotting logs. Thank heaven for waterproof boots. It is a beautiful place, though, and worth returning to.

    1. Thank you! Had I not been lured in by that yellow trail, I would have gone the way you went. I knew there was a dicey crossing there but thought it might be better this time of year with less rain. I guess not! Thanks for the heads up.


  4. Holy moly! You were another ten minute walk down Glen Road from stopping in to visit ME and my poppa! He lives just off that road.