Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gnome Hollow Preserve, NJ and Paulinskill Valley Trail

Gnome Hollow Preserve - Ridge and Valley Conservancy
Paulinksill Valley Trail - Kittatinny Valley Park, NJ DEP

Paulinskill Valley Trail Parking
GPS Coordinates 40.99221, -74.91036
Parking on Spring Valley Road for the Paulinskill Valley Trail.
Gnome Hollow Preserve Parking
GPS Coordinates 40.999728, -74.893359
Gnome Hollow Preserve parking lot off of Stillwater Road.

Gnome Hollow Preserve - Ridge and Valley Conservancy
Gnome Hollow Preserve and Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.5 miles

The Gnome Hollow Preserve map shows a connection to the Paulinskill Valley Trail.  My intention was to start on the Paulinskill Valley Trail, hike to and around Gnome Hollow Preserve and back since the preserve trails are not long enough.  I could not, however, find the connection so I drove to Gnome Hollow Preserve and tried to find the connection that way.  I could not find the continuation past Stillwater Road yet in looking at my combined tracks, I came pretty darned close.  As the connection apparently is not complete, it would be possible to connect by continuing on the Paulinskill Valley Trail, turning right on Stillwater Road (a very low traffic road) and road walking to where the trail enters Gnome Hollow Preserve on the left.
Starting on the Paulinskill Valley Trail on the other side of Spring Valley Road from the parking lot.
Paulins Kill
Paulinskill Valley Trail
Private property between the trail and Paulinks Kill.
79 miles to Jersey City.
Bridge over Paulins Kill.
We took a pretty trail parallel to the rail trail because there were no private property signs but there was one at the other end.  Oops, sorry!
Back on the rail trail.
After a very wet section we bushwhacked up thinking I might run into the connector trail to Gnome Hollow Preserve.
Temporary markers for the part of the trail that is missing?
Couldn't find a trail so we ended up heading back down.
We got back in the car and drove the short distance around to Gnome Hollow Preserve.
Trailhead at Gnome Hollow Preserve.
Ruins ...
... and an old Christmas Tree farm.
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
The trail, which starts out as a woods road that is quickly becoming overgrown, is blazed with both yellow and green markers.
On a foggy morning, a tiny bit of blue sky.
The woods are very pretty...
... buy there really aren't any trails.  It's mostly bushwhacking from marker to marker.
Some areas in the woods are clear but still no defined trail.
And some turn markers are backwards.  Looks like somebody tried to fix this one but ran into a problem.
Taking a break on the ridge.
Tire swings off in the distance.
Old stone fence.
A huge old tree.
For the currently partial connection to the Paulinskill Trail look for yellow markers going towards a house in the distance.
The trail comes out at Stillwater Road but there is swamp on the other side and even though I road walked a bit, could not find the continuation of the trail.
Coming back, finding the trail was obvious although there is no clearing and you have to find a way in so road walking around from the rail trail, it would be easy enough to find this end of the trail.
Heading back to the parking lot, trails marked in yellow only split so the tripple blazes indicate a split, not beginning or end of the trail.
There are supposed to be views but there were none.  Probably only partial winter views.
Coming out at the parking lot on yellow only trail.
The views are from Stillwater Road just before Lincoln Laurel Road, not from the trail.

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