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Daniela Wagstaff's Blog (55)

Farny State Park (and the new Wildcat Ridge Trail) - 08/26/2012

The last time I hiked the white-blazed Four Birds Trail along the western side of Splitrock Reservoir through Farny State Park, it was absolutely miserable.  The trail was poorly blazed, completely undefined in most places, it was frustrating.   I heard the trail had been reblazed a while back and had found that to be the case farther north on the Four Birds Trail so I went back to check out the section just north of Split Rock Road.  Sure enough, there is now a kiosk south of Split Rock…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on August 27, 2012 at 8:31am — 1 Comment

Roland May Eves Mountain Inlet Sanctuary to Hopatcong Natural Area Preserve - 8/4/2012

If you look at NYNJTC Jersey Highlands Trail Map 126 you will see the Highlands Trail leaving the map to the left at about the center of the map.  That is where this hike is, just off the map on the Highlands Trail.  It starts at Roland May Eves Mountain Inlet Sanctuary on Lake Hopatcong.  The first half of the hike all the way to Bear Pond is very pretty and quiet.  The second half which goes into Hopatcong Natural Area Preserve is also very pretty but runs along a ridge above Route 206 so…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on August 5, 2012 at 8:27am — 2 Comments

India Brook and Buttermilk Falls Natural Areas, Mendham, NJ - 07/04/2012

Keep this one in mind for a hot weather hike.  I had no idea until I finished around 1 pm that the real feel temperature was 100 degrees!  It was breezy and comfortable throughout this hike even with the heat and high humidity.  There were a few short sections through direct sunlight but just briefly before being back into the much cooler shade.  There were surprisingly few bugs - what a relief for a change!  The trails range from grassy woods roads to more challenging boulder hopping.  Some…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on July 5, 2012 at 9:39am — 2 Comments

Splitrock Reservoir North and Indian Cliffs - 04/21/2012

Back in July 2010 I hiked the entire Splitrock Reservoir loop but at that time the blazing was so horrible that the trails were almost impossible to follow.  In fact, I gave up, cut over to Charlotteburg Road, a dirt road that runs along the reservoir, then found a nicely blazed orange trail that connected me back over to the white-blazed Four Birds Trail, which was not as badly blazed as the blue trail but still very hard to follow.  I heard recently that the white and blue trails had been…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on April 22, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Long Island, NY: Hither Woods and Hither Hills - 3/18/12

This hike is kind of far away, 2 1/2 hours out to almost the eastern tip of Long Island from the Goethals Bridge.  But I feel it is worth mentioning since it such a unique hike and there is very little information online about it.  It most definitely warrants a long day trip but only in March or April or in the fall/winter when the summer beach traffic is not an issue - when that happens you'll sit in traffic all day just to get there.  I left at 6:30 am, arrived at 9 am, hiked 12.6 miles…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on March 20, 2012 at 8:08am — No Comments

Musconetcong Gorge Preserve and Sweet Hollow Preserve - 02/26/2012

I had never hiked here because the reviews of the trails were not that great and there were not enough trails for me.  There used to be a map that was hard to follow because it did not show colors to match up to the blazing of the trails.  There is a newer map out now which does show the colors of the trails (although not 100% accurate, it's good enough) and it seems the trails have been reblazed.  There are lots of blazes - never had trouble following the trails.  There is also another…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on February 27, 2012 at 8:03am — 2 Comments

Tohickon Valley, PA - 01/29/2012

This hike is about half way between Frenchtown and Lambertville on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River.  If you aren't familiar with this area, you will be amazed at the unexpected terrain.  Tohickon Valley is a deep gorge with amazing vistas that can't be captured adequately in pictures.  This hike is easily overlooked because it traverses Ralph Stover State Park (45 acres with 1 mile of hiking trail) and Tohickon Valley Park, a Bucks County park (612 acres with any hiking…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on January 31, 2012 at 7:51am — No Comments

Franklin Parker Preserve, NJ - 01/22/2012

I was very pleasantly surprised by this hike.  There are the typical packed sand roads of the Pine Barrens through cranberry bogs but most of the red-blazed trail and part of the yellow-blazed trail are designated for foot traffic only.  These are very scenic foot paths through cedar swamps, along canals and rivers and through dense pine forests.  It made for very nice hiking and the constant green of the pine trees infused color into an otherwise dreary day.  There are a lot of swampy areas…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on January 23, 2012 at 12:13pm — 2 Comments

Hook Mountain and Nyack Beach State Park, NY - 01/14/2011

Someone told me a while back that somebody told them this was the worst hike they ever did.  So it sat at the bottom of my list for a very long time.  I was going to try it a few months ago but was told that most of the bike path needed to hike the loop was closed because of damage from Irene.  Since I was looking for a no hunting park for yesterday (Saturday) since today (Sunday) is much colder, I figured I'd call to see if the bike path had been reopened.  (There is no hunting allowed in…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on January 15, 2012 at 2:57pm — 2 Comments

Silas Condict Park, Morris County, NJ - 1/9/2012

My dog has Monday chiropractor appointments out in Riverdale - exit 53 off of I-287, smack in the heart of hiking country.  I have taken advantage of that by taking a half day off work and combining her appointment with hiking at some of the smaller parks that I never get to because they are too far away for the amount of trails available.   Today we checked out the new white-blazed trail at Silas Condict Park.  It's only a 3 mile hike but it's a very rugged and scenic trail with huge rock…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on January 9, 2012 at 9:48pm — No Comments

Ringwood State Park, NJ - 12/25/2011

I usually avoid Ringwood State Park because of the firing range smack in the middle of the hiking trails - listening to incessant gunfire is not my idea of a relaxing day in the woods.  But I figured Christmas Day might be a good option.   Even though the firing range's web site says they are always open, I seriously doubted anyone but me would be there on Christmas Day and I was right.  It was just me, my dog, a ton of birds and a bear.  I would have never seen the bear had he not taken a…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on December 26, 2011 at 10:37am — 1 Comment

Mountainside Park, Pequannock, NJ - 12/19/2011

This park is on the newer Jersey Highlands Trails map but there is also a map on the township web site and a free map on the NY/NJ Trail Conference site.  Parking lot coordinates: 40.971152,…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on December 20, 2011 at 10:12am — 7 Comments

Appalachian Trail from Warwick Turnpike, NJ to Prospect Rock, NY with Cascade Lake Park, NY - 12/4/2011

If you look at the upper right corner of the North Jersey Trails Map 116, there is a little park just over the NY state line called Cascade Lake Park.  Apparently it is a newer park that not much has been done with until fairly recently.  There is an online map from 2006 but it is outdated and it took me a while to figure it out.  Turns out the map shows woods roads that are blazed sporadically with old, faded blazes.  I could not find a few of the trails but that could have been due to poor…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on December 6, 2011 at 8:38pm — 2 Comments

Trexler Nature Preserve, Lehigh County, PA - 11/27/2011

This hike will put you into scenic view overload as you cross hilltop meadows with views of the rolling hills of Pennsylvania all around.  But beware - those rolling hills will give you quite a workout.  This hike involves several fairly steep up and down stretches.  There are some building complexes on the horizon that you need to turn a blind eye to and apparently there is a shooting range nearby that you will need to tune out but for the views, it is well worth doing this hike.  This…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on November 28, 2011 at 11:04am — No Comments

Washington Crossing State Park, Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain and Goat Hill Overlook - 11/13/11

Headed a little south to try to eek out just a little more fall foliage and I did find some of the last of it.  I hadn't actually intended to hike Ted Stiles Preserve in conjunction with Washington Crossing State Park but there appeared to be a connection so I took both maps along just in case.  Once I got to that possible connection point and saw how easy it was to hop from one over to the other I thought, what the heck, and continued on.  Turned out to be a 14 mile hike total.

It's…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on November 15, 2011 at 10:44am — No Comments

Allaire State Park - 11/05/11

JORBA maintains multi-use trails south of the Manasquan River in Allaire State Park and their map is available online.  Although I read about trails north of the river, I could find no map online.  NJ DEP kindly sent me a copy and here is a scan of it.  What is nice about these trails is that loops can be formed with multi-use and hiking only trails, I…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on November 5, 2011 at 8:58pm — 3 Comments

South Mountain Reservation: Locust Grove to Mayapple Hill - 09/25/2011

Some really lousy weather forecasting almost foiled my weekend hiking plans.  Initially Sunday was the better day so that was the chosen hiking day.  Woke up Saturday morning to find the forecast had changed making Saturday the better day and Sunday the rainy day.  I had already made other plans for Saturday so Sunday had to be the hiking day.  Loaded up rain gear and stayed close to home just in case it became a total washout with thunderstorms as forecast.  It had been a couple of years…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on September 26, 2011 at 10:26am — No Comments

Worthington State Forest, NJ: Appalachian Trail - Sunfish Pond - Dunnfield Creek 8/20/2011

I did the reverse of this hike: http://njhiking.ning.com/profiles/blogs/dunnfield-creek-sunfish-pond

just a little over a year since I hiked to Sunfish Pond the day of the fire, 8/7/10.  It was a very foggy morning, which was actually kind of neat. (Better fog than…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on August 21, 2011 at 9:54am — 1 Comment

Wawayanda State Park - 07/31/11

It was about 10 degrees cooler at Wawayanda State Park (80 degrees versus 90 degrees in central NJ) so I headed out there to do the NJ Hiking Pumphouse-Red-Dot-Hoeferlin Loop with a couple of modifications.  Instead of parking by the park office, I parked half a mile away at the pullout along Warwick Turnpike to save the $10 parking fee (been spending WAY too much on gas for hiking here lately) and I added…

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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on August 1, 2011 at 8:42am — 1 Comment

Stokes State Forest - Stony Brook/Appalachian Trail Loop from Culver's Gap - 06/18 and 06/19/11

Yes, I did this hike twice, both on Saturday and again on Sunday.  For several reasons...

  • Early on in the hike on Saturday morning my camera broke - had very few pictures of the hike
  • I had done 17 and 14 mile hikes the last two times and 10 miles just didn't seem like enough
  • It was a very easy, pleasant hike
  • The weather forecast for Sunday changed for the better and it turned out to be nicer than Saturday
  • It's only an hour drive for me and…
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Added by Daniela Wagstaff on June 19, 2011 at 10:19pm — 3 Comments

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