Saturday, August 12, 2017

Highlands Trail, NJ - Byram Trails

Jefferson Glen Bike Path - Byram Township Trails
Mansfield Bike Path - Byram Township Trails
Mansfield Woods Trail - Byram Township Trails
Sussex Branch Trail - Byram Township Trails
Cat Swamp Connector - Byram Township Trails
Allamuchy Mountain State Park - NJ Division of Environmental Protection
Lubbers Run Preserve - New Jersey Natural Lands Trust

GPS Coordinates 40.92134, -74.73860
Parking for the Sussex Branch Trail in Allamuchy Mountain State Park.

Jersey Highlands Trail Map 126 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Byram Township Trails - Byram Township
Trails hiked on the Byram trails map in yellow.
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HIKE DISTANCE:  11.3 miles

Shawnee's ashes are back and the key chain urn I ordered arrived so she now has a permanent place on my backpack.
Starting on the Sussex Branch Trail.
A short distance in, first trail on the right ...
... the Jefferson-Glen Bike Path.
A great blue heron at Jefferson Lake.
After the gate ...
... the trail continues on a narrow paved road.
Mom, dad and teenagers getting ready to start their day.  I'd be seeing them again at the end of the hike.
On the left ...
... a boat launch ...
... with views of Jefferson Lake.
This is still the trail continuing along Jefferson Lake.
The trail follows the bike route sign ...
... leaving the paved road to the right just before the Jeff Lake Camp sign.
The Highlands Trail comes in from the left and will now run together with the Byram Township trails.
Beyond the barrier the Highlands Trail follows a residential road to ...
... Route 206 across from Shop Rite.
A right on the sidewalk on Route 206 for 1/10th of a mile to the intersection.
Left over the crosswalk then ...
... about .65 mile of road walk on fairly busy Lackawanna Drive.
Pass Wild West City on the right.
A right turn on to quiet Mansfield Drive that has a sidewalk!  Could have used that on Lackawanna Drive.
Neil Gyling Memorial Park on the left, Byram Township Municipal Building on the right ...
... continue on the bridge over Lubbers Run ...
... then a left into ...
... Lubbers Run Preserve.  The entire out-and-back on this trail is about 1.3 miles.
It's a very pretty and easy to follow unmarked trail.
At the end where the trail makes a loop before retracing, a balloon in the swamp.  I did not think I would be able to get to it but ...
... I remembered those boot covers I keep tucked away.  Balloon confiscated.
Ten steps back towards the trail and there's another.
Heading back there are white arrows painted everywhere.  They were not visible going in the other direction.
Before the end, a short trail on the right to Lubbers Run.
Continuing on Mansfield Drive to the left.
Mansfield Drive ends at the elementary and middle schools but on the left ...
... the Highlands Trail continues on the Mansfield Bike Path.
Just after the bench on the left ...
... the Mansfield Woods Trail which is blazed.
The trail is really hard to follow around Cowboy Creek.  There is no identifiable trail, just the markers.
Heading back I took an unmarked side trail which went straight to ...
... the bike path at a bridge.
After the next bridge, the trail becomes paved.
Not good for dog paws.
Those arrows again.  There are probably woods roads that connect over to Lubbers Run Preserve.
The paved path continues through a power cut ...
... watched over by a red-tailed hawk.
The trail becomes gravel again ...
... to my turn around point at Route 605.
Heading back.
Mansfield Drive to left on Lackawanna Drive.
Crossing Route 206 ...
... left on Higlen Drive ...
... through the residential neighborhood back to right on the path.
When the bike path leaves to the left, right on the Highlands Trail.
I decided to check out the Cat Swamp Connector Trail and was glad I did as it goes through a pretty area.
Do you see it?  This was a distance from the trail.  I have no idea how I hone in on these like I do.
Balloon #3 for the day which brings my year to date total to 37.
This connector trail ends behind the Salt Gastro Pub where it is apparently OK to park.
Park here and stop in for a bite to eat afterwards.  I saw a tofu burger on their menu for those of us who are so inclined.
Heading back and continuing right on the Highland Trail.
This is a pretty rugged trail and I would probably have been better off starting with this part.
Shortly after crossing over the bridge ...
... left on the Sussex Branch Trail.
The Highland Trail leaves to the right but I stayed on the Sussex Branch Trail...
... past Jefferson Lake ...
... with that swam family from the beginning of the hike ...
... past where I had started on the bike path ...
... and back to the parking lot.


  1. I miss Shawnee, but certainly not as much as you do. So sorry for your loss.

  2. Thanks as always for posting. Love your blog, it always gives me inspiration to get out into the woods and away from the noise. In honor of Shawnee I'll be heading out with my daughter today to show her the back roads of this beautiful world we live in, so hopefully she can share it with someone someday as well. Keep up the terrific work..

    1. Thank you, Eric, and I can't think of a better way to honor Shawnee. Enjoy your day in the woods with your daughter!


  3. I love what you did with Shawnee's ashes putting them in a key chain holder to have on your backpack always. What a nice tribute! I go to Sussex Branch Trail a lot. I don't go out on Rt. 206 to get to the other trails. I never knew this was part of Allamuchy State Park. Thanks for sharing! Joanne from NJ

    1. Thanks, Joanne. Apparently not many people know about the trails around Jefferson Lake over to Route 206 because I ran into nobody the entire time. The only place there were other people was on the Sussex Branch Trail.


  4. We used to live in Netcong before we started hiking so it never occurred to us to investigate Sussex Branch Trail or other trails nearby. We didn't begin hiking till after we moved and only then discovered those trails which meant we had to drive 2 hours to get up there to hike! I think the keychain is a lovely & unique sentiment to carry with you.

    1. Ha ha ha! That's like me having lived in Virginia before I began hiking. What was I thinking?


  5. I'm sorry for your loss, Shawnee was a special girll.

    1. Thanks, Sidney. She certainly was special.