Saturday, January 28, 2017

Laurie Chauncey Nature Trail, NJ

Laurie Chauncey Nature Trail - Lawrence Trail Guide (Page 3, #1)

GPS Coordinates 40.342287, -74.714995
The parking lot is HUGE.  I parked at the far end near where the trail enters the woods.  There are no signs but from looking at the trail on Google Earth this is where it should be.

Laurie Chauncey Trail at ETS - New Jersey Trails Association.
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HIKE DISTANCE:  4.2 miles

From the far end of the parking lot where I parked, we went up on the grass...
... and headed towards the buildings a short distance to a clearing on the left.
Looking back at the parking lot from where we entered the clearing.  There are no signs but this is the Laurie Chauncey Nature Trail.
A short distance in, a sign at a right turn.
Now signs become plentiful.
There are side trails that are not on the map.
It is very wet in places.
A left on ETS Drive ...
... and a short distance on ETS Drive ...
... before turning right back on to the trail.
Crossing an old power cut.
This trail was perfect for her - easy enough for the wheelchair and more to her liking than the gravel multi-use trails.  She likes to feel the earth under her paws.
Several bridge crossings along the way.
The trail meets up with Stony Brook.  (And the sun came out.  For a second.)
A red-bellied woodpecker showing his red belly.
We went left at this fork,
Stony Brook
The trail becomes a little more rugged after that fork.
Just after crossing this bridge at the bench ...
... the signs are misleading.  You see the sign that says to turn right but when you go around to the other side of the post you see that the Laurie Chauncey Nature Trail continues straight.  What this means (and I can see it on the map now in retrospect) is that turning right completes the loop back to the parking lot but straight goes to ...
... Providence Line Road where I presume the Laurie Chauncey Nature Trail ends.  A left here goes to ...
... the part of Providence Line Road closed to traffic.
There is a bridge down to the left where we headed passing by ...
... the trail I wanted to continue on to the right.
First to the bridge for a look at ...
Stony Brook
Turning around and heading back to that trail we passed.
The map shows this as "Ettl Farm Trail" but the sign says "Stony Brook Trails".
For the most part the trail is defined by downed tree limbs.
This made it easy to follow the trail but hard going with the wheelchair that kept getting hung up on the tree branches.
Oh. No.
Stony Brook
This doesn't look so bad and it's not a bad crossing if you are not in a wheelchair.  It's a downhill rock hop/uphill log jump combo.  Not at all easy but I got her over it somehow.
After a second such rock hop the trail splits a short distance ahead.  We went right and switchbacked up the hill.
We continued straight at the Ridge Walk sign. (This trail is not on the map.)
The trail comes out into a gas pipeline cut...
... with a paved bike trail at the far side of the cut.
At this intersection we followed the paved trail right...
... but it was a little confusing where to go so we looped around the tennis courts and stayed in the gas pipeline cut.
This pipeline cut, between the back yards of Princeton McMansions, is the fanciest pipeline cut I have ever seen - Lush, thick, mowed grass.
That is until you cross the street to where the regular houses are, then it becomes a regular pipeline cut with a trail mowed into it.
We like this better anyway except it was pretty wet.  The Laurie Chancey Nature Trail joins back in from the right.
This leads straight back to ETS Drive where the Laurie Chauncey Nature Trail cuts through the parking lot but there are no signs at all.
There is our car, way over at the far end.


  1. Always glad to see Shawnee still hiking. Look's like a nice trail. Thanks for sharing! Joanne from NJ

  2. Thanks. I will have to check this one out!

  3. I've been wanting to check this one out. Thanks for posting it!

  4. Did this one last year, and I was as confused as you were about how to find an entrance to the trail. Plus, looking at your post and my map I now see where I went wrong a couple of times during the hike. Thanks!

    PS: The ground was frozen when I did my hike, I remember telling myself I was lucky I picked a cold day, i.e. no mud.

  5. What a great trip. Always good to see our friend Shawnee:) Thanks for sharing!