Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Columbia Trail, NJ - Bartley Road to Long Valley

Columbia Trail - Morris County Parks

Bartley Road Parking GPS Coordinates 40.81665, -74.72535
Bartley Road Parking at the eastern end of the Columbia Trail
The Bartley Road parking is on a very busy street.  A better choice would have been just a short distance along the Columbia Trail:

Fisherman Access Parking GPS Coordinates 40.81445, -74.72876
Fisherman access parking (that is what the sign says on Bartley Road) which is off of a gravel road that crosses the Columbia Trail.

The Columbia Trail - State of New Jersey
Columbia Trail - Morris County Parks (scroll down to Columbia Trail then click on the "trail map" tab)
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HIKE DISTANCE:  8.2 miles (4.1 miles each way)

Because parking was on such a busy street, I had to move all of the contraptions on to the trail before bringing the dogs out.  This is where a biker drove by and identified himself as a blog follower.  Always so cool!
Finally all saddled up and ready to go.  Al the poodle joined us today.
If for no other reason, the stroller comes in very handy to carry stuff.
In just a short distance passing by the parking lot where it would have been easier and safer to get everyone and everything set up.
Shawnee was not doing well in the wheelchair at all so within the first 3/4 of a mile, it was the stroller for her.  I think we need to retire the wheelchair and just stick with the stroller from here on out.
Stashing the wheelchair so I don't need to lug it along and can pick it up on the way back.
The stroller rolls very easily and smoothly on this fine crushed gravel.
What Shawnee sees.
An overgrown Patriot's Path joins in from the left.
Another stroller with children who thought it was very neat to see a dog in a stroller.  (Photo taken and posted on blog with dad's permission.)
Al seemed to be getting tired and Shawnee did not mind him joining her in the stroller.
To the right, the Gillette Trail which leads to a parking area and Schooley's Mountain County Park across the road.
The Gillette Trail leaves to the left ...
... but sadly, looks like it has not been maintained and is very overgrown.
Just before the end of this section in Long Valley, the trail passes behind some not so attractive places...
... to a fence which forces a detour to the left ...
... around a development.
I wasn't quite sure what this was at first.
But a distance ahead is a kiosk indicating it is Mill Pond Park.
Long Valley
The end of this section in Long Valley at Route 517.  Across the street is parking for the next section.
Heading back and checking out Mill Pond Park.
Just a short distance in on the Mill Pond Trail...
... and we could go no farther.
Nice place for a break though.
Continuing on to the Frying Pan Tree Trail on the right.
There is a place to park bikes since they are not allowed so I parked the stroller, left the dogs for a sec and ran in for a look.
Nice views of the South Branch Raritan River right off the trail.
Had to run back to the abandoned dogs but these trails are definitely worth checking out.
Heading back.
Running into our friends again.
Al wanted to walk for a bit.
But decided riding was more fun.
Retrieving the wheelchair stashed off to the left.
Back at the parking area.
All loaded up, which takes forever with breaking down the stroller.