Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ocean County Park and Lake Shenandoah Park, NJ

Ocean County Park - Ocean County Park System
Lake Shenandoah Park - Ocean County Park System

GSP Coordinates 40.09571, -74.18507
Beach parking lot.

Ocean County Park Brochure - Ocean County Park System (does not show the Perimeter Trail)
Lake Shenandoah Park Brochure - Ocean County Park System
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HIKE DISTANCE:  6.8 miles

Our friend Al, the poodle, was staying with us over the weekend so he came along.  The Perimeter Trail is tricky to find.  Walk out of the parking at the entrance.
Directly across the park road is a woods road.
The woods road will end up at the blue-blazed Perimeter Trail.
So much to sniff along the way.
At the intersection, left on the blue-blazed Perimeter Trail.
Oh look, a balloon.  It was the first of many for the day.  I'll keep you in suspense until the end.
Crossing the park road where we drove in.
Coming up on the building that says "The First Tee" is where we turned right to get to Lake Shenandoah Park.
But first, there is a porta potty so I parked Shawnee in a handicapped spot for a minute.
Now on to Lake Shenanhoah Park.
It's a short distance to Ocean Avenue with the Lake Shenandoah Park entrance on the other side.
First, behind the building straight ahead, a look at Lake Shenandoah.
The trail around the lake starts as a sand road in the power cut at the far end of the parking lot in front of the building.
The sand road soon leaves the power cut and becomes more scenic.
There were several kinds of ducks in the pond.  I thing these are ring-necked ducks.
Towards the end just before the Clover Street parking lot, left of a boardwalk...
... to views of the lake and some buffleheads.
Heading back, stay straight and veer left through the parking lot.
Then right out the far parking lot entrance.
Turn left before the guardrail to ...
... a pedestrian bridge crossing separated from traffic.
Left just after the bridge.
The path followed old pavement.
Time for a drink.
And a snack.
We went over to the lake and around the bend saw ...
... a memorial.  It must be for the teenager who was found deceased on February 1.
The trail again becomes paved and follows along the athletic fields.
Now it's road walking on park roads to complete the loop.
Finishing the loop at the power cut where the we started the loop.
A right turn leads out of the park and back over to Ocean County Park on the other side of Ocean Avenue.
Picking up the blue-blazed Perimeter Trail just before The First Tee building.
When the Perimeter Trail turns right on pavement, there is a path on the left to...
... Lake Fishigan.
Knowing this ran parallel to the Perimeter Trail we stayed on this path since it was much nicer and prettier than pavement along a fence.
At the far end we turned right a short distance, then left back on to the Perimeter Trail, now a sand road along the fence.
Then, for a pretty long distance, a sand road through a power cut.
Almost at the end, the dog park parking lot.
A sign looking back the way we came into the power cut.  Probably much prettier when the wildflowers are blooming.
The dog park looked empty.
It wasn't.  Two dog park visitors ran over to say hey.
The trail finally enters the woods again.
Back at the intersection with the connector trail.  Left back to...
The parking lot up ahead.
Tired hikers.
And here we go, 8, count them EIGHT balloons collected today.  Plus a bag of other litter which nowhere near made a dent in the amount of litter in the park but at least it was something. 
That makes 11 balloons collected in 2017 so far.

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