Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hill and Dale Preserve, NJ

Hill and Dale Preserve - New Jersey Conservation Foundation

GPS Coordinates 40.68351, -74.78209
Parking is on the opposite side of Parsonage Lot Road from the Hill and Dale Preserve.  It is actually the parking lot for Hell Mountain Preserve, which I can find nothing about online.
The kiosk in the parking lot has maps for Hell Mountain Preserve but I could see no trail.  Perhaps another one to explore in the winter.
If anyone is game in the meantime, here are the maps.

Hill and Dale Preserve Trail Map - New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Powered by Wikiloc

HIKE DISTANCE:  1.7 miles (hiked together with Cold Brook Preserve - 2.7 miles, 2.3 miles away)

Chipping Sparrow
Walk out of the parking lot...
... and cross Parsonage Lot Road slightly diagonally to the right ...
... to the kiosk and trail which is blazed orange but shown as red on the map.
After a short distance the blue trail goes left.  I was going to return that way but could see a blow down that would present problems for Shawnee so I already knew I was not going to return that way.
These trails are very well blazed.
Orange/red goes through a wooded section and merges with blue for a few yards.
We stayed with orange which proceeds uphill along fields.
Today it was all about red-winged blackbirds - a female here ...
... and a male.
Going up, the views behind are spectacular - the pictures don't so it justice.
After passing along the top, orange/red goes into the woods.
Where orange/red turns right and crosses the creek, we kept straight on blue.
She is getting hot in the sun ...
... and LOADED with ticks.  Yes, every black speck is a tick and that is just a fraction of what was on her.  Even though she was just dosed with K-9 Advantix a few days ago and I was sprayed down with Deep Woods OFF, they were on me, too.
At that part where orange/red and blue are together, staying left on orange/red when blue leaves right.
We retraced on orange/red all the way back.
The ticks I pulled off of Shawnee when we got home before I let her inside.
The ticks I pulled off of Shawnee before we got in the car.  I stick them in a container with rubbing alcohol which makes them deader than dead.  Or drunker than dead.  Whichever, dunk them in and they never come out. 

Cold Brook Preserve, NJ

Cold Brook Reserve - Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation

GPS Coordinates 40.67468, -74.74965
Parking lot just to the right off of the entrance drive.

Cold Brook Preserve Trail Map - Hunterdon County Parks
It might be different in the winter but at the time of this hike the map was pretty useless since there were very few blazes and the ones I did see did not match the map.  Field perimeter trails were overgrown and virtually non-existent.  I only did about half of what was on the map because it was too cumbersome to get through and ticks were horrendous.
Powered by Wikiloc

HIKE DISTANCE:  2.7 miles (hiked together with Hill and Dale Preserve - 1.7 miles 2.3 miles away)

American Robin
Walking in along the entrance drive to the start of the trail.
American Goldfinch
Yellow Warbler
The beginning isn't too bad, the entrance road starts to become overgrown but there is still a visible trail.
That post hidden in the brush must be a trail marker but there is nothing on it.  We turned right here,
The grass starts getting ...
... longer and longer and thicker.
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Farms to the right of the field.
The path into the woods which should be blazed red here but there are no blazes visible,
Fortunately, after the initial overgrowth, there is a visible trail.  I am guessing this is mostly due to horse traffic as there were hoof prints visible.
A bridge but not where it belongs.
Yellow blazes!
Then red blazes but I was on the opposite side of the wooded area from where the map says the red trail should be.
Coming back out to the fields.
Eastern Kingbird
Back on the entrance road where the going gets easier.  We cut the hike short since it was so difficult to follow anything remotely resembling a trail.
Pretty scenery, though.
Straight ahead is the exit, left is the parking area.