Allamuchy & Deer Park Ponds

Allamuchy & Deer Park Ponds, Allamuchy Mountain State Park (7/16/2011)

We headed back to Allamuchy today with the new NYNJTC map for the area in hand. My goal was to form a barbell-shaped hike that looped two ponds (Allamuchy Pond and Deer Park Pond), using the silver-blazed Allamuchy Pond trail, as well as parts of the white-blazed Deer Path trail, the blue-blazed Lake View Path and the red-blazed Barberry trail. The two lake loops would be connected by an unblazed path in the middle.

We parked in the Allamuchy Pond parking lot, on the northern bank of the lovely pond, and started heading south along its western bank. The views of the lake were wonderful from this side. But within less than a mile, the path became extremely overgrown. We could see the continuation of the silver blazes within the dense thicket, but couldn't get any further. Twice we bailed onto CR 517 which parallels the path (at a higher elevation). Back and forth we went, getting cut by the bushes. Eventually we just gave up and heading back north to the car. It's my impression that the Allamuchy Pond loop went into disrepair over the past many years and hard-working folks are now trying to put it back into good shape, but that they still haven't completed the work. I conclude this because the nicely groomed path ends quite abruptly at a point where one can see both the old silver blazes as well as pink ribbons on tree limbs heading into the deep thicket. Those venturing south along the western bank should take this into account.

So from the car we next headed along the eastern side of the pond, where there are no views, but it's lovely just the same. We found the unmarked trail at the southern tip, headed east to white where we continued east, eventually heading east on blue to Deer Park Pond. The pond was beautiful today, filled with lotus flowers and lily pads. We looped the lake on the blue, then red, having lunch on a prominent boulder sticking into the water with a fantastic view. We then continued west on red, making a left on white which we took back to the unmarked trail, from which we took the silver-blazed trail on the eastern side of Allamuchy Pond back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was just over 8 miles in 4 hours.

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

Allamuchy Pond from parking lot

Kiosk at parking lot

Allamuchy Pond ...

... from western bank

Indian head on rock

The distinctive silver blaze

Fishing tackle in tree


The path is nicely groomed here

Allamuchy Pond ...

... from western bank


Large frog sunning

Swampy area

Allamuchy Pond near northern tip

Path on northern tip

Rutherfurd Hall

What the?

New building near Rutherfurd Hall

Willows at northern tip




Allamuchy Pond dam


The dam

Boating in Allamuchy Pond

Allamuchy Pond from dam

Plant growing through bench

On eastern bank of pond


Stone walk

Old wire fence

View south

On white

Deer on blue

There were two

Ferns on blue

Getting closer to pond

Beaver lodge in Deer Park Pond

[Photo by Laura]

Wildflowers on pond bank

Pond was covered by lily pads ...

... and lotus flowers

Beaver lodge

Deer Park Pond dam

On the dam


View west from dam

On blue along lake

Gorgeous ferns on blue

Picking raspberries

Northern tip of pond

Blue path hugs bank

Climbing onto ...

... our lunch spot

They don't get ...

... much better than this!

Three Canada geese on beaver lodge

View of northern part

Beaver lodge

Very interesting tree!

Now on red

Wire fences abound ...

... on silver

And old growth

Allamuchy Pond [photo by Laura]

View from dam

A grassy section of silver

Rutherfurd Hall

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