Saturday, June 4, 2016

Miquin Woods Preserve, NJ


ABOUT THE PARK:
Miquin Woods Preserve - Hunterdon County Parks

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 40.73106, -74.90439
Parking is in a HUGE mowed field.

TRAIL MAP:
Miquin Woods Trail Map - Hunterdon County Parks


HIKE DISTANCE:  4.2 miles

THE HIKE:
Al the poodle has been staying with us so he came along.  Make note of how white he is on his way to the hike.  He won't be finishing that way.
The blue trail starts right off of the huge parking field.
Just a few steps in there was a small deer off to the right.
She actually started to approach Shawnee then spat and took off in the opposite direction.  Shawnee doesn't bother wildlife and did not react to the deer.  It is one of the things that makes her such a great hiking dog.
After crossing over the wooden bridge, left on a gravel road over ...
... Spruce Run.
A short distance ahead a wide grassy woods road leaves to the right.  Thinking this might be the yellow trail, I turned right.
No yellow markers or blazes but the woods road looks maintained so this must be it.
Even when it becomes overgrown there is a distinct foot path.
That turns to a gravel road, crosses an old bridge and comes out at...
... an old house and ruins.
Comparing my GPS track to the map I could see this was not the yellow trail at all so we retraced.
Back at that intersection we turned right (would have been left coming off of the blue trail) and a few step ahead there was a board ...
... and just inside the woods, a small yellow paint blaze on a tree.  The yellow trail is there, just not very obvious from the gravel road.
Damselfly
Once well into the woods, the blazed become more obvious and frequent.
When the trail widens it is coming up on ...
... the gravel road where we turned left.
We then turned right across an open area and followed a footpath to the pond.  This is not the trail shown on the map but obviously a path others have taken before to loop around the pond.
It allows you to sneak in and catch a deer drinking in the pond.
That is until Shawnee shook and the clanging of her tags gave us up.
That beaver had some big ambitions trying to bring this big tree down.
Gray Catbird with breakfast.
You can get around the pond passing the beaver lodge on the left...
... and a beaver dam on the right.
Lots of beaver activity.
It's a very pretty hike around the pond.
At one point we took a side trail down to Spruce Run and Shawnee crossed over.  Had to call her back and couldn't figure out why she did that until I got home and looked at my track.  Later in the hike, we ended up just to the left of where she is standing in this picture at the end of another side trail to the opposite bank of Spruce Run.  She totally knew what she was doing!
Back up at the pond and continuing around, Al growled and barked at that threatening bench.  Funny how they know what is out of place in nature.
Problem is, just beyond that bench is where the actual trail is but it's all flooded out.
There were two options - either turn back, or follow Shawnee.
OK, follow Shawnee it is.
Al was not having any of this.
So he had to hitch a ride.  But look at him.  FILTHY!
Back on the official trail, coming up on ...
... an 1850's farmhouse.
Continuing on the gravel road coming up on where we picked up the yellow trail previously, just to the left before the grassy woods road that was not the yellow trail.  Veering left back to ...
... the bridge over Spruce Run and the blue trail on the right just beyond the guardrail.
The blue trail forks - we had come in from the left at the beginning of the hike, keeping right now.
This part of the blue trail follows above Spruce Run to a scenic break spot where Al has completely caught on to what happens on a hiking break.
Al leaping for joy because I totally understood he wanted chicken jerky.
Pretty break spot above Spruce Run.
A little farther along, a side trail down to...
... that spot along Spruce Run where Shawnee had crossed over before, right where Al is standing.  I had been standing on the other side just beyond that tree.
Continuing on to the red trail.
Hmmmmm.  How is this going to play out?
To my surprise (and relief), Shawnee went over.
Al insisted on hitching another ride.
Coming to the end at the parking field up ahead.
Tired, dirty dogs on their way home for baths.

6 comments:

  1. We have been here a few times! I never knew those houses were down there on the right of the main path-always thought it just went to the road-now we will have to go check them out! Those are some crazy busy beavers at that pond-a few years back-that part where the red bench is was a path and the pond had a wall there (and many many years ago I think a diving board)-I think the beavers have raised up the level with their dams.
    That second house was the boy scout hospital- years ago you could peek in and see the beds still in there.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing that water was probably where it wasn't before because of the beavers. I made it around to the porch at the back of that second house but there was broken glass everywhere and that always worries me with the dogs. Plus there was a noise inside that house. That was enough for us to see!

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  2. You got some great pictures once again. The white dog didn't look that dirty on the way home. I thought he would have looked a lot worse. Looks like a nice spot to hike. Thanks for sharing! Joanne from NJ

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    1. Oh please, the camera did not do the filth justice! I also thought he did not look so bad in the pictures but you should have seen him in person. Ugh.

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  3. I just want to say that I love your blog so much. I hope to continue hiking for as long as you have. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, that is so sweet of you!

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