Two Brooks

Two Brooks Trail, Pequannock Watershed (2/20/2012)

Today we returned to the Pequannock Watershed for at least the sixth time in as many weeks. As previously mentioned, a permit is required for hiking in this area, and the permit can only be purchased in person at the office which is closed on Saturdays and Sundays until sometime in either April or May. In other words, it's not easy, and because it's not easy the hiker traffic is light. We have seen a grand total of five hikers in the half dozen trips here this year. So if you're after some real solitude, you can't go wrong with getting a permit.

Today we parked in parking pull-off P-4 at the lovely trail head of the fantastically picturesque Two Brooks trail, easily one of the prettiest trails in the entire watershed. The trail head on Clinton Road is itself very pretty and inviting with a bench and a sturdy kiosk displaying a large NYNJTC map. This is not common in the watershed which is quite rugged and where trail heads merely begin without fanfare. From the trail head we headed east traveling the entire one-mile Two Brooks trail, then headed north on the yellow Fire Tower West trail. At the blue-blazed Newark Connector trail we headed east further climbing the ridge, then north to the fire tower on the Fire Tower Ridge trail. After taking in the spectacular views, we headed north on yellow all the way to Stephens Road and then turned back taking yellow all the way back to the Two Brooks trail which we then retraced back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was 5 miles, in just over 3 hours.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

P-4 on Clinton Road looking south

Bench and NYNJTC kiosk

Mossmans Brook

Trail parallels brook


Getting ready ...

... to climb


Beautiful pines


First ridge

[Photo by Laura]

Trail parallels Cedar Brook

[Photo by Laura]

Awesome log bridge ...

... over Cedar Brook

Partial views south

Descending again

Highlands trail co-aligns


Trail parallels Clinton Brook

On narrow re-routed path

[Photo by Laura]

Crosses brook on huge rock

End of Two Brooks trail

What the?

Swamp on Yellow

On the final ridge

View of fire tower and fireplace

Photo from below

See Laura?

Laura way down below!

Wind vane

View north

Cedar Pond

View south

Can you find Laura?

View east

View NE

View south to Clinton Reservoir

Mountain gap far south

Laura checking her iPhone ...

... far below

Back to earth


Fire tower looms over us

View north on Yellow

Frozen water hole

Gate on Stephens Road

View south from Stephens Road

Laura below on Yellow

Swamp off trail

Cedar Pond from Yellow

Heading south on the ridge

[Photo by Laura]

Highlands blaze


Back to Clinton Brook

I crossed on old trail

Mountain Laurel

Rocky jumble ...

... on Two Brooks trail

Now descending the ridge

Dwarfed by pines

Woodpecker hotel

A bit of snow at trail head

More info on back

Sign for P-4

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