Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mountain Way Park, NJ


ABOUT THE PARK:
Virtually no information about this park online.
Parks & Forestry - Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills
Central Park of Morris County - Morris County Park Commission (where the hike starts)

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 40.83679, -74.50299
Parking at the disc golf access in Central Park of Morris County - packed at noon.

TRAIL MAP:
Central Park of Morris County (shows parking and pond trails) - Morris County Park Commission
Trail map at kiosk on yellow trail.
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HIKE DISTANCE:  7 miles

THE HIKE:
I had just noticed this park on Google Maps when my friends Dan and Laura Balogh discovered it and hiked it so I printed out their tracks to follow as no maps are available online.  Dan and Laura hiked this in February so their pictures look much different than mine in July.
West Mountain Way Park
Watnong Mountain
Even at 6:45 AM several cars are in the lot but as far as I could tell, nobody was on the hiking trails.  I think most people are there for disc golf and the gravel path around the pond.
Ice Pond in the fog.
Going left on the yellow trail.  I had planned on keeping left on all of the trails to form a loop of sorts.
I had wanted to go to the dam but there was a photographer dressed in camo with one of those huge camera lenses staked out on the dam so I decided to wait until the end of the hike.
The sun starting to break through the fog.
Just after the intersection of many, many markers ...
... a kiosk with a map.
Shortly after the kiosk, left on blue.
Balloon # 33 of the year.
Coming up on Mountain Way.
Looking back where I came out of the woods.
Blue now turns right on a paved path along Mountain Way.
At the parking lot, cross Mountain Way...
... and follow the path to ...
... the red trail.
This trail gets pretty rugged.
Vista at the power cut.
Some other vista visitors.
A very poor shot of a turkey.
Coming back around to Mountain Way after finishing the red loop.
I continued on the paved path in search of another trail on the same side as the red trail ...
... which I eventually found.
It's an unmarked woods road that looks to be a littered party spot.
Complete with an old wrecked car.
You can reach out and touch the red trail at the top.
Almost back down at Mountain Way, this deer was facing in the direction of Mountain Way and cars zoom up and down that road.  Not wanting to spook him in that direction, I bushwhacked around in a circle to come up on the other side of him ...
... and as planned he turned back towards the mountain and the wife joined him.
The headed in the safe direction where I wanted them to go.
Coming back out on Mountain Way, straight across the road are markers for the red/blue/white trail going into the woods.
Left on white at the intersection.
Finishing the white loop, left on blue.
The left on yellow when blue turns right.
Passing that kiosk from earlier in the hike ...
... then left at the intersection of many, many markers.
I wasn't sure if that's an owl in the tree or not so I posted the picture on a Facebook wildlife group and others seem to think it is an owl in there.
A juvenile robin.
Back where I would keep left to go to the pond, I retraced right to go to the dam.
Just beyond the dam, the upper pond.
And way over at the far side of the upper pond, a green heron.
Ice Pond without fog.
Back at the parking lot.
Today's haul:  One balloon and 5 plastic water bottles.



2 comments:

  1. I brought my dog here one day and never found these trails that you were on. The only trail I found was a short wooded trail and then paved trails across the street from the parking lot you parked in. It was right next to the ball fields. I guess Shawnee couldn't make this hike? This is close to where I live so I will try looking for these trails again. Thanks for sharing. Joanne from NJ

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    1. Shawnee can only do rail trails now with the stroller. The challenge is finding shaded rail trails but I have a couple of places in mind. Just need to get my hiking fix in every so often.

      Daniela

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