Monday, December 1, 2014

Watchung Reservation, NJ - Yellow/Orange/Red Trails

Watchung Reservation - Union County, NJ

GPS Coordinates  40.683070, -74.372946

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Watchung Reservation Trail Map - County of Union, NJ
Watchung Reservation - Yellow/Orange/Red Trails at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE: 3.75 miles

It was 62 degrees today on December 1 so of course, we had to hike again.  After yesterday's successful hike of 1.9 miles, we cranked it up to 3.75 miles and Shawnee handled that beautifully, too.  She is getting an adjustment at the chiropractor tomorrow so hopefully that will fix her occasional wobble and stiff-legged Frankenstein gait that happens every so often.  Other than that, she kept up fine and could have kept going.  She can go more the next time.
From the parking lot look for the white blazes of the Sierra Trail, follow them to the right along New Providence Road for a short distance, then turn left on to the trails.
It seems to always be muddy in this area but with snow melt, it was a soupy mess.
She just can't get enough sniffing.
At one point Shawnee was sniffing and she started acting differently like she wanted me to come look.  She was trying to show me this injured mouse.  I think we probably startled a fox that was in the process of procuring breakfast.  As much as I wanted to snatch the mouse up, take him with me and make him better, he was too severely injured so I felt the best thing was be to leave him there. 
Still catching up on reading her pee-mail.
This hike was actually long enough to stop for a drink.
Nearing Surprise Lake there was a section of nasty, muddy construction.
Coming up on Surprise Lake which looks surprisingly empty.
This Great Blue Heron stood crooked like this for a very long time.
He may have been watching that construction.  Looks like the old dam is being torn down.
Drained Surprise Lake
Up ahead on the trail along Surprise Lake, blue jays and a cardinal were bathing in a mud puddle.
The blue jays took off and a few other birds joined in.
Leaving Lake Surprise on an unmarked trail with old, dry pavement.
Looks like an old light fixture.  This was probably a paved, lit trail in the olden days.
The Loop
The red-blazed Hill Top Swamp Trail was the driest trail we were on!


  1. wow! I really like Watchung Res but it seems that I have explored the other part of the reservation.
    If you come back to the park again, I would strongly recommend The Deserted Village :-)!

    1. Yes, I have been to the Deserted Village several times. This time I wanted to do some trails I had not been on before so I skipped that part.


  2. Bravo Shawnee! You made it further. You are doing so well girl! I'm so happy for both of you! The pictures of the blue heron, blue jays and cardinal were great! Thanks for sharing! Joanne

  3. Yay Shawnee ! Glad you are feeling better :) I used to fish in Surprise Lake as a boy. I thought of the fish when I saw it drained.

    Nice to catch up on the blog :)

    1. Thanks, Eddie! I think that Great Blue Heron was thinking of the fish, too, with his neck stretched out to the side looking into the water :(