Saturday, February 10, 2018

Ireland Brook - Farrington Lake - Davidson's Mill Pond Park, NJ

Ireland Brook Conservation Area - Middlesex County Parks

Davidson's Mill Pond Park - Middlesex County Parks

GPS Coordinates 40.42131, -74.48314
Ireland Brook Conservation Area Parking

Ireland Brook Conservation Area Trail Map - Middlesex County Parks
Farrington Lake Trail Map - Middlesex County Parks
Davidson's Mill Pond Park Trail Map - Middlesex County Parks
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HIKE DISTANCE:  6.4 miles

From the parking area, continue beyond the gate ...
... to the kiosk.
We were under time constraints on this hike because rain was moving in for the afternoon although it looked like it was already on the way
A short jog through a gas pipeline cut.
The blue-blazed Forest Brook Trail.
Ireland Brook
Coming up on Riva Avenue ...
... left over the bridge ...
... then right just beyond the guardrail on the other side of Riva Avenue to Farrington Lake.  That tree straight ahead ...
... has the orange Farrington  Lake Trail end blazes so we turned left to start on the Farrington Lake Trail.
Farrington Lake
American Black Duck
More American Black Ducks
The trail veers left to Riva Avenue where a right comes to ...
... crossing over Davidson Mill Road.
It's a little bit of a road walk to just about where that car is up ahead ...
... where the orange trail picks up again to the right.
The trail forks - we kept right and returned left.
At the end of the Farrington Lake Trail cross Riva Avenue ...
... to Davidson's Mill Pond.
To the left in the grove of evergreens is the park entrance.  We worked our way over there ...
... and turned right on the paved park road.
At the far side of the pond on the left ...
... left on the yellow Hidden Pond Trail.
This must be Hidden Pond.
Balloon #13 of the year.
Yellow ends at a dirt road which is the white-blazed Farm Road Trail.
We turned left ...
... went by swamps on the left ...
... then turned left on the blue-blazed Mill Pond Trail.
A nice spot ...
... for a break!
At the end of the blue trail ...
... left on the paved park road almost to the park entrance ...
... where a Farrington Lake Trail spur starts to the right.
This crosses over Riva Avenue ...
... and meets up with the upper level of the Farrington Lake Trail.
We merged back on at that fork and now retracing back.
Ring-Necked Ducks
The end of the Farrington Lake Trail.
The short road walk on Riva Avenue ...
... back to the blue Forest Brook Trail.
Ireland Brook
Just as we were coming up on that kiosk from the beginning of the hike, it started to spritz.
Just as we got in the car ...
... the real rain arrived much earlier than forecast.  We made it just in time.


  1. Nice combination of parks/trails! I've been to Davidson's Mill Pond Park before, but it was before the (Yellow) Hidden Pond Trail was built. I was actually just there this past summer, but I had never hiked the Farrington Lake Trail or been to Ireland Brook Park, so I sort of did the reverse of your hike and started with the Farrington Lake Trail (from Davidson's Mill Pond Park) and headed out to Ireland Brook Park, then did the entire Forest Brook Trail. Both trails (Farrington Lake & Forest Brook) were excellent! I would have liked to try out the Ireland Brook Trail as well, but I don't think there's a way to get from the Forest Brook Trail to the Ireland Brook Trail directly; one has to drive around to another parking area (I believe off a cul-de-sac in a housing development?)

    Enjoyed the different duck pictures you took on Farrington Lake; I don't recall seeing any ducks in the water when I went there last August. And Ireland Brook is a nice little stream; very peaceful to listen to when skirting up against it for part of the hike!

    As always -- keep up the great work!


    1. I had these maps printed out in my to do file for quite some time but never thought the trails would be that interesting so they kept going to the back of the file. I only ended up there because I needed a Saturday no hunting hike nearby and was I ever pleasantly surprised. The trails were varied and interesting enough that it was easy to ignore traffic noise. It does look like most of the Ireland Brook trails have to be accessed from a different parking area so saving that for another time. There were some other types of ducks and a Great Blue Heron but they were too fast and wasn't able to snag their pictures. I did notice that the lake was much busier with wildlife at 7 AM than it was on my return route at 10 AM.


  2. Looks like a nice trail...glad you made it before the rain. Glad Brody and you and doing well on the hikes also. Thanks for sharing! Joanne from NJ

    1. I don't know how I did it but that is two hikes in a row now where I made it back to the car just as it started to rain when it wasn't supposed to rain for another few hours.