Friday, September 11, 2009

Hiking in New Jersey

Many hikers are surprised in a positive way when they hike through New Jersey - unless they hit the height of mosquito season. The trail initially runs along the top of a ridge before turning northwest through rolling hills, farmland, and bogs.

The Pochuck Boardwalk is a one mile section of the trail which runs through a flood plan near Vernon, NJ. Walking through in the late afternoon, there was abundant bird life. Here is a 2001 picture taken by Ed Goodell.
Further west, the trail descends into a water filled valley which is now the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. It is packed with wildlife, especially of the winged variety.

As the trail reaches the northwest corner of the state, it climbs onto another long ridge line. At the peak is Highpoint State Park and it's tower which can be seen for miles.
At this point the trail turns southerly to the Delaware Water Gap. Being a ridge line, it is quite rocky. Rocky are of all sizes and cover everything. Views are good, and many people are surprised at the amount of wildlife present. Actually, the wildlife has been pushed to this area from the highly developed and populated state. From here and down through the first half of Pennsylvania, there are a number of people who visit in search of BOP (Birds of Prey).
On reaching the Delaware Water Gap, friends Mark & Martha hosted me at their nearby home for a huge "hiker dinner" and plenty of stories to go around. It is always nice to see friends both new and old for a short break in the walk.

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