Saturday, September 9, 2017

Round Valley Reservoir, NJ - Water and Pine Tree Trails and New Hiking Dog Introduction


ABOUT THE PARK:
Round Valley Recreation Area - State of NJ DEP
There is an entrance fee between Memorial Day and Labor Day and the park can only be accessed via the main entry.  Between Labor Day and Memorial Day there is no fee and the park can also be accessed from the Fish and Wildlife Boat Lunch Area.

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 40.61939, -74.84925
South Lot

TRAIL MAP:
Round Valley Recreation Area Trail Map - State of NJ DEP
Powered by Wikiloc

HIKE DISTANCE:  2.6 miles

THE HIKE:
First let me introduce my new hiking partner, Rocky.  He came with that  name, responds to it and it is a proper hiking name so we are keeping it.
Rocky getting out of the Newark, NJ animal shelter.  He is a 7-year-old German Shepherd/Border Collie/Pit/Whatever mix released by his owner in July with no reason given.  He was very depressed in the shelter and was listed as urgent.  Black dogs have a harder time getting adopted as well as older dogs and Rocky had both of those strikes against him.  Then with the hundreds and hundreds of young dogs and puppies being brought in from Texas every day, he did not stand a chance.  I always want the dog nobody else wants.  He was perfect for me.  Bonus:  Already neutered and reliably house trained :)
Off on his first hiking adventure.
Rocky is very afraid of men until he gets to know them so just our luck that there were about 50 men in the parking lot when we arrived.  They were going in the opposite direction, I parked as far away from them as I could, we stayed to the perimeter of the lot and all was well.
Exit the South Lot, turn right and head towards the boat launch.
Near the end, left on the Water Trail that is shown as unmarked on the map but is actually blazed in blue.
The white-blazed Family Hiking and Biking Trail joins in from the left.
Round Valley Reservoir
Rocky seems to enjoy the scenic views like Shawnee did.
The white trail leaves left, blue continues right although there were no blue blazes for a while.
Shaping up to be a fine hiker.
This looks like a good break spot.
Sorry about the pink water bowl, Rocky.
Now for the true hiking test.  Would he want chicken jerky for a snack?
Oh yeah!
So happy with my choice - he is a VERY good hiker.
How do you like hiking, Rocky?
He likes it!
Nearing the impoundment dike.
This gate would be locked from Memorial Day to Labor Day so there would be no access.  Now it is open.
On the impoundment dike.
Swimmers to the left, and it was a COLD morning!
Up ahead to the right is the NJ Fish and Wildlife Boat Launch which would be an alternate parking after Labor Day when that gate is open.
Heading back through the gate.
We turned right and went as far as we could until the trail ended then retraced ...
... to continue on blue up into the woods.
The map does not show the blue trail connecting to the green trail but ...
... it does!  This is the loop of the green Pine Tree Trail.  We went left.
At the end of the green trail ...
... first a sniff, then ...
... left to the South Lot on the right.
Wouldn't you know we get back to the car and a MAN is parked next to us getting stuff out of his truck.
Rocky and I just went off to the right a bit and watched, tentatively at first.
Then with more interest.
Looks like they were going scuba diving.  Brrrrr.
A tired but happy hiker.

33 comments:

  1. This looks like a great hike, so pretty! And congrats on your new hiking buddy!

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  2. I am so happy for you and Rocky! You always adopt the unadoptable. I love that so much. Rocky looks like a great hiking dog. You saved him and will give him a happy life. I love all the pictures of your hike.

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    1. Thank you! I always say the joke is on those who rejected them because when I end up with them, they turn out to be the best ones.

      Daniela

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  3. Congratulations! What a cutie! Good on you for picking an older black dog. Here's to many happy hikes together!

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    1. Thanks! I tell you, so many benefits to getting an older dog. It has just been too darned easy!

      Daniela

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  4. I was hoping you'd adopt a new hiking buddy and it looks like you have yourself a winner. He's going to be a beloved friend. Congratulations to you both!

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    1. Thanks, Bill. I would have done it a lot sooner but I was so swamped with end of summer dog sitting that I just couldn't bring a new dog in until that was over with. It was killing me to have to wait!

      Daniela

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  5. Welcome to your new life, Rocky! You are one lucky pup. You are going to have so much fun.

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  6. One of my favorite places. This is where my husband and I had our first date and where we go snorkeling. He actually built a beach on the backside when his dad passed away. It used to be his little secret, but the boaters have discovered it. There is also access to Round Valley from the Pickell Park parking lot in Whitehouse, and you can hike the whole back side (where the Jeep trail and campsites are). It's more technical, but there are less people. This post reminds me that it has been a long time since I saw the Pine Trail. Now I want to go! Thanks for the idea. Rocky is beautiful, and seems like he's grateful for his second chance. I look forward to getting to know him through your posts :)

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    1. Thanks! I did go in the Pickell Park way almost exactly 5 years ago! http://gonehikin.blogspot.com/2012/10/cushetunk-mountain-nature-preserve-nj.html

      Daniela

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  7. I am sure Rocky thinks he died and went to Heaven!

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    1. Thanks, Holly! There are so many at the shelter. Wish they could all feel that way.

      Daniela

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  8. Thank you for finding a wonderful and loving "Black" hiking dog. I had read that, also, about people overlooking them perhaps because they do not stand out in the shelter as do some brighter colored dogs. Well This news made my day and brought a smile to my face. Rocky's chicken jerky pose looks, to me, so much like Shawnee's when you gave her such treats. He is one beautiful hiking buddy.
    Bill from Clifton

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    1. Thanks, Bill. He does a lot of things that remind me of Shawnee. I asked her to send me a good one and I think she did!

      Daniela

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  9. So happy for you! And for Rocky! Looks like you've both found a forever friend. It's kind of exciting to think of all the adventures ahead of him w/you as his hiking partner & guide. I'm sure Shawnee is happy for you, too, and glad you rescued another forgotten dog like she was to share their life and love with you.

    All The Best To You Both,
    Linda

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Yes, it is kind of exciting to think of all that is ahead of us. Road trips! I am sure Shawnee approves of him. Rocky was actually in a run opposite of where Shawnee was in that shelter.

      Daniela

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  10. Congratulations-he looks like a great dog-so glad he found a great home! He looks like he is taking to his new life like a duck to water.

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    1. Thanks! He definitely seems to be enjoying it.

      Daniela

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  11. It warmed my heart to see that you got a new hiking companion! Rocky looks like a great hiking dog. I wish you many happy hikes and years together. As long as he goes on nice long hikes, I think he will be a great dog. That's what dogs need is a lot of exercise. I've been to Round Valley. It is a nice place to hike. You got some nice shots of the heron. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. What a cutie! Congratulations to you both !

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  13. Congrats!!! Looks like he'll be the perfect adventure companion and his name is SO appropriate for the trails around here. Such a handsome guy too. I didn't know black dogs have a hard time getting adopted, just thought that applied to kitties. I'll never understand how people can dump a pet at a shelter after having it for years, but he's better off now.

    The chicken-jerky photo is so Shawnee-esque!

    Dawn

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. Yes, lots of things about him remind me of Shawnee. He even has that little white tip on his tail.

      Daniela

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  14. This post brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Congrats to you and Rocky- wishing you many years of adventures together. When I lost my beloved dog, I knew I would never replace him, but thought the best way to honor him was to adopt another and continue to share the love. Rocky is one lucky pup!

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    1. Thanks Michelle. That is exactly how I have always felt.

      Daniela

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  15. Love to see you with that new dog and like the reasons you picked him. Wish you both plenty memorable hikes for the future and looking forward to see them on you blog. All the best, Elmar

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    1. Thanks, Elmar. The blog pictures do look better with a dog in them, don't they?

      Daniela

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  16. Rocky is a fine looking dog and I'm so happy he has you,he will have a great life. Happy Trails!

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