Sunday, February 8, 2015

Double Trouble State Park, NJ

Double Trouble State Park - New Jersey DEP

GPS Coordinates 39.897753, -74.221855

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The parking lot is large but if you don't get there early, it fills up even on an icy winter day.

Double Trouble State Park Trail Map - NJ DEP (map is color coded but trails are not blazed)
Historic District Trails and Cranberry Bogs - NJ DEP (shows the main trails but not all of the trails names that exist on posts at some intersections)
There were a few copies of this map in the trail guide box at the Berry Packing House and it actually shows the names of the trails that are sometimes on posts at intersections.
Double Trouble State Park, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE: 8.6 miles

Starting out through the historic village ...
... to the Mill Pond Trail (no signs).  The woods road on the other side of the canal is also part of the Mill Pond Trail loop but we just stayed on this side for an out-an-back to Mill Pond Reservoir.
I had hoped to get out of the north Jersey snow and ice but there were still some long stretches of it here.
The dam at Mill Pond Reservoir.
Mill Pond Reservoir
Heading back on Mill Pond Trail.
Cedar Creek
Back on Double Trouble Road to White Bridge over Cedar Creek.
Cedar Creek from the bridge.
Just after the bridge, a right on Clear Brook Path.
Shawnee found some foot paths at the end of Clear Brook Path so we followed until they fizzled out.
Cedar Creek from the foot paths.
Back at the intersection with Double Trouble Road, park patrol.
The sign at the intersection shows names different than on maps.  We continued straight across Double Trouble Road on what the map says is Nature Trail/Sweetwater Trail - the sign says Mud Dam Road.
Lots of robins in this area.
Mud Dam Road or Nature Trail/Sweetwater Trail
The next intersection sign shows the name Sweetwater Lane but Also Swordens Pond Road, which is not on the map.  That is the way we were heading to get away from the more crowded areas of the park and do some exploring.
But first, a break at the bench around the corner.
Quiet back trails with no snow or ice and no other people!  There was some evidence of horses so this area must be used more by equestrians.
Sometimes the trail gets a little tight but was passable all the way to...
... the power cut.
Heading back we took some of the trails to the right (which were on our left heading out) but they all seemed to lead back to the power cut.  I walked in a short distance at each intersection and as you can see by the track above, they all seem to run parallel back to the power cut.  Looks like there used to be cranberry bogs here that have now all reverted back to forest.
A very pretty, quiet area.
Ours were the only tracks.
I finally found the turn to Sworden's Pond, shown in on the first map link, above.
Continuing on trying to follow the loop shown on the one map, the trail was pretty flooded out in places and did not look like it got much use at all.
Back on Sworden's Pond Road to the Sweetwater Road intersection.
Through the old cranberry bogs.
After looping around the Cranberry bogs, we took the Sweetwater Trail a short distance to the "Danger No Horses" sign, which is the Nature Trail but no sign indicates that.
Nature Trail
Bridge over Cedar Creek.
Cedar Creek from the bridge.
Continuing on the Nature Trail at Upper Hooper Bog and Lower Hooper Bog.
It turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny, 50-degree day where 60 miles north it had been foggy, dreary and cold all day.
Coming up on the Berry Packing House at Gowdy Bog.
Back to the parking lot.


  1. Great pictures! Love Shawnee! Thanks for sharing. Joanne

  2. Another excellent round of pictures! I first did Double Trouble back in 2006; I think the only marked trail was the Nature Trail...the rest were a bunch of sand & dirt paths, just waiting to be explored! I finally visited again last year, and it did seem like more of the trails were officially named. I visited the Mill Pond area both times; in 2006, it was sort of dry...enough that I could actually cross and continue on the trail; although it fizzled out after a short distance.

    I once saw an equestrian last the form of a female state trooper! She was very nice, and didn't mind if I took a picture of her. (There was also another hiker present, and as she talked to the officer, it enabled me to snag a short video :) So perhaps some of the "evidence" of horses would point to that.

    Anyway, I was surprised to see the robins...there must be a decent food supply for them there, so why fly south?? Excellent shots of Cedar Creek as well -- I'm surprised Shawnee didn't jump in for a dip (even if the water is cold...never seems to bother her!)

    Keep up the great work!


    1. Thanks, Jim! I always wondered where that trail went on the other side of the dam but too much water to cross each time I have been there. Glad I wasn't missing much. There seem to be many more off-the-beaten-path trails to explore there so I'll have to go back again someday. Shawnee actually does tend to stay out of the water when there is ice, well, now that she is older and wiser. Once it got up in the 40's she would have gone in (she went through a big puddle) but we were back where it's more crowded and I always have her on leash when other people and dogs are around so that kind of puts the damper on taking a dip.