Sunday, December 14, 2014

MacGregor Preserve and Tiger Brook Park, NJ

MacGregor Preserve - Chester Township
Tiger Brook Park - Chester Township

GPS Coordinates 40.760356, -74.690971

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MacGregor Preserve parking lot on Old Chester-Gladstone Road

Parkland Trails Map - Chester Township
MacGregor Preserve and Tiger Brook Park, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE: 5.2 miles

Sunday would be the best day for hiking from November through February.
There is no sign of a trail at the parking lot.  Facing the field, turn right and walk along the edge of the field parallel to Old Chester-Gladstone Road, entering the woods at the corner of the field.
And there is the blue trail!
Looking back across the field at the parking lot from the blue trail.
There was no good way to rock hop over Peapack Brook (shown as Tiger Brook on the map) so...
... had to break out those handy plastic boot covers again.  Once on the other side, after I took the boot covers off, I realized I had left my favorite gloves on a rock on the other side.  Sigh.  Had to go back for them, then cross back over yet again.
Peapack Brook
On the other side, the blue trail follows along Peapack Brook to old water towers.
The end of blue at a gravel road.
A right on the gravel road leads to the old water towers.
Turning left on the unmarked gravel road to continue on.
At the bridge, red goes left and straight; straight is to the reservoir.
The reservoir dam.
There are no red markers along the pond but according to the map it is still the red trail.
Looking back at the dam.
It's an easy rock hop over the inlet with a red marker on the other side but then red markers are sparse and it's a little bit of a bushwhack as the trail is not well-defined or maintained in this area.
I wanted to loop around on blue back to red but that eventually fizzles out.
A fire pit and benches on the other side of Peapack Brook - from here there is a clearing to the right that goes uphill and runs right back into ...
... the red trail.
A footbridge!  But a word of caution - just on the other side are a couple of deer in various states of decomposition :(  Literally right on the trail so you have to watch your step.
The red trail becomes a little unkempt ...
... until it turns left on the underground cable right-of-way.
At the Tiger Brook Park parking lot, the gravel road crossing over red is blazed purple (the gravel road is shown on the map but the map does not show it as being blazed purple)
Tiger Brook Park parking lot on Cooper Lane.
Red continues (it actually starts and ends on either side of purple) in the underground cable right-of-way,
Red leaves the right-of-way to the left; yellow starts (these blazes are facing the other way) straight in the right-of-way although there are almost no blazes.
Shortly after post 94 start looking to the left for green blazes.  It was a short bushwhack to green since there were too many blow downs to find where green was supposed to connect to yellow, if it even does.
Be careful out there little deer!
The end of green at purple.
On the purple-blazed gravel road.
Turning back on green at the other end.
From green to blue.
A footbridge over the brook but oh my, we have a problem!  Shawnee could not get over the gap where boards were missing so ...
... she had to go the other way.
The blue trail becomes very rocky in this section along the brook.
Old saw mill area.
Crumbling old stone walls.
Blue joins up with yellow briefly in the right-of-way.
There is no turn blaze but it leaves yellow on a wide woods road to the left.
Old cabin ruins.
With picnic tables!
Coming up on the field.
Crossing the field back to the parking lot.

[  0.00]  Facing the field turn right and walk along the right side of the field parallel to the road
[  0.10]  Enter the woods at the corner of the field on the blue-blazed trail
[  0.70]  Straight on blue when yellow starts left in right-of-way
[  1.00]  Rock hop over Peapack Brook (Tiger Brook on trail map)
[  1.35]  Left on gravel road at end of blue (right goes to old water towers)
[  1.60]  Straight on red when red also goes left across bridge; straight on red when white goes right; continue along reservoir
[  1.70]  Rock hop over inlet towards red marker
[  1.80]  Either stay on red or left on blue and meet back up with red
[  2.30]  Straight on red when white comes in from right; cross creek on foot bridge, continue on red
[  2.50]  After thorny, overgrown section, red turns left on right-of-way
[  2.60]  Cross purple-blazed gravel trail and continue on red in right-of-way
[  2.90]  Straight on yellow in right-of-way when red leaves to the left
[  3.20]  After post 94 bushwhack a few steps left then left on green
[  3.40]  Straight on green when red crosses over
[  3.60]  Right on purple-blazed gravel trail at end of green
[  3.80]  Right on green at bottom of hill
[  3.95]  Green turns left on red briefly then leaves to the right
[  4.15]  Left on blue; cross footbridge
[  4.40]  Old saw mill ruins
[  4.55]  Blue joins turns right joining yellow in right-of-way
[  4.60]  Blue leaves yellow to the left on wide woods road (no turn blaze)
[  4.70]  Cabin ruins with picnic tables on left
[  5.10]  Come out on field; keep straight in field then turn right back to parking lot
[  5.20]  Back at parking


  1. Nice to see you and Shawnee enjoying the nice weather we've been having. Thanks for sharing! Joanne

    1. Thanks, Joanne! Trying to take advantage of as many nice days as possible since they could come to an abrupt end at any time :(


  2. I went hiking in MacGregor Preserve & Tiger Brook Park yesterday. The map you attached was very helpful as the trails were really poorly marked in some spots and very overgrown to the point that I stepped on the bones of the deers you mentioned in your post as the vegetation was pretty high near that little brook! I hiked all the trails and put them on

    1. Very neat how all the trails are on OpenStreetMap - nice! Ugh, more overgrown trails. Such a shame that there is no maintenance.