Spent the Weekend up at a Cabin at Stokes. Great time of year to be there as Spring gets into full gear! Spent Friday (5/3) mainly exploring/shooting through the SW (of 206) section. Hiked to Hidden Falls and Buttermilk. Great to get to Buttermilk on a weekday and have only a few people around (as opposed to the weekend hordes). After that explored more in the DWG park, including Walpack center, and NPS 615.
Silver Spray Falls
Saturday (5/4), did some birding in the morning then hiked an easy but pleasant 3-4 mile loop. Started on the Blue Mountain Trail (Brown/Green Blaze) in the Flatbrook tent sites. This is an easy 1.4 miles that takes a leisurely hour. You hit a parking area, where there's old barns and start on Brown blazed trail following the Flatbrook River into a beautiful pine forest ravine along the Stony Brook falls. Stony Brook Falls
Why this area isn't as popular as Tillman beats me. After perhaps a half mile, you then hit the Silvermine trail which isn't as nice as the first two. It starts with a steady gain in elevation. Finally you've broken a sweat! After about 25 mintues you hit a side trail to the actual silvermine, and I was certainly underwhelmed by the mine itself. It is strange realizing that this forest that you thought was quite natural and pristine was in fact a center of commerce 140 years ago, though!
Mysterious Infrastructure in the Middle of Nowhere!The last 45 minutes of the trail gets rocky, and after passing the remnants of an uncompleted damn project from the 1920s you hit a very rocky descent (and wonder about rattlesnakes) and hit the original Blue Mountain trail and backtrack to the start.
Spent the rest of the Sat and Sunday enjoying the cabin, eating and shooting around Ocquittuck. Did make it up to Sunrise Mountain both nights hoping for some decent shooting, but it's quite hazy (not sure if that is weather specific to when I was there or a year round thing, but didn't translate to DSLR very good!
Was a great trip overall and Stokes and the surrounding area (High Point/DWGNP) are in my opinion are as good as it gets in Jersey. And you can't beat the night sky up there!
Thanks for reading, hope to update soon with more adventures