Sunday, November 1, 2015

Allamuchy Mountain State Park - Allamuchy Natural Area


ABOUT THE PARK:
Allamuchy Mountain State Park - NJ Division of Environmental Protection

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 40.88799, -74.81404
Parking at Allamuchy Natural Area.
TRAIL MAP:
Jersey Highlands Trail Map 126 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Allamuchy Mountain State Park Map - NJ DEP


HIKE DISTANCE:  7.7 miles

THE HIKE:
We started on an unmarked trail to the left of the composting toilet.
It is a pretty, easy to follow trail.
The unmarked trail ends at the yellow trail where we turned right.
Shawnee loves the mountain bike trails - ramps over blow downs or ways around them.  Just what she needs at this age.
The last of the fall foliage.
At the end of yellow, a right on the gravel seasonally unmaintained portion of Deer Park Road.
To the left...
... ruins of an old house.
A little farther along on Deer Park Road, a path to the left at the very faded NO PARKING sign.
This leads to...
... a pretty little pond.
The old house on the other side of the pond.
The path continues on beyond the pond.  Although it is shown as unmarked on the map, there are old orange blazes and markers, mostly in the opposite direction.
The path follows along old electric poles.
Tricycle ruins.
After crossing a little creek I turned right to get to the unmarked trail down to Saxton Falls but ended up bushwhacking.  I realized later that the orange trail continues to the left and around some boulders coming out at the same point.  The trail down to Saxton Falls is pretty overgrown but passable this time of year. 
Coming out at Route 604.
A short road walk...
... on the Highlands Trail...
... to a left just beyond the guardrail.
Follow the narrow paved road around to...
... the Morris Canal Greenway path, which is very overgrown in this area.
Once at the river, turn left and cross a bridge.
Cedar Waxwing
This trail is also overgrown and thorny.
Chickadee
At the end of the trail the Musconetcong River
Heading back, the Morris Canal Greenway continues straight, but Shawnee is already following our return route to the right on the Morris Canal Greenway/Highlands Trail portion.
We went a little farther first where there is a second bridge.
Back to the overgrown Morris Canal Greenway/Highlands Trail section.
Back on the narrow paved road.
Right on Route 604.
Then the short road walk back to...
The unmarked trail on the left just past the evergreens and opposite the 45 mph sign.
Climbing back up.
Back at the top and turning right on...
... the white trail which also has some old red markers.
Deer Park Pond coming into view.
The dark-eyed junco back for the winter.
Left on blue at the pond.
Taking a dip in Deer Park Pond.
At this gate I should have turned right ...
... to find white in this overgrowth but I thought that might not be right so I continued and found ...
... the white trail!  But turns out it was not the part of white I was looking for.
When things started looking familiar, I realized I had looped right back around to Deer Park Pond down below so we had to retrace.
Heading back on the same section of white that we had hiked twice now.
Back to the unblazed/old orange trail...
... back along the little pond.
We turned left on Deer Park Road since the mileage was getting too long for Shawnee with going the wrong way so we had to take the shortest route back.
It wasn't all that bad until cars started coming by.  This road allows traffic as there is another parking lot where the blue trail starts. 
Coming out at the parking lot.

3 comments:

  1. Great pictures! Shawnee looks good too. Thanks for sharing. Joanne

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  2. Was thinking of driving from Philly to do this hike tomorrow, think it's worth it?

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    Replies
    1. It's a matter of personal preference. This park is about an hour from me so when I have limited time and/or need easier trails for my dog, it fits the bill. There is hunting (except Sundays) now so I would not go on any day other than Sunday.

      Daniela

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