Banker-Cedar Swamp Loop

Banker-Cedar Swamp Loop, Wawayanda State Park (7/21/2013)

Last week we hiked a bunch of unofficial trails in the southern park of this beautiful park. Today we returned to hike a few more of those unofficial trails, as well as the Banker trail (official) and a redux of the Cedar Swamp trail, one of my favorite trails in the park. If you are a fan of rhododendrons, this is your dream hike! The trails north of Cherry Ridge Road are packed with these plants, sometimes so thick you have to duck to walk through the tunnels they form.

Once again, we parked on Cherry Ridge Road avoiding the $10 park entrance fee, and used this JORBA map. We first headed north on the Banker trail. Along the way we followed a spur east and then south (on the NYNJTC map, but not the JORBA map) and then further north on Banker a short spur east to Sawmill Pond Brook which had a relatively elaborate bridge over the brook. Instead of continuing north on Banker to its end on a residential street, we headed west on the unofficial Plymouth trail, passing the abandoned Plymouth car along the way (hence the name). Reaching the Double Pond trail we headed west and then south along the Cedar Swamp trail. Every trail up to this point was packed with rhododendrons, but if you are a fan of rhododendrons the hiking doesn't get better than on the Cedar Swamp trail. This we took south to the unofficial Rockadendron (yup!). Crossing Cherry Ridge road the rhododendrons were replaced by Mountain Laurel. We continued along the unofficial Wall trail (named for the elaborate stone walls it skirts) all the way back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was over 6 miles in about 3.5 hours.

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Heading to Banker southern terminus

On Banker ...

... heading north

Rhododendron tunnel

Webs were all over!

Tiny trail mushrooms

Tiny trail eft


Interesting formation on southern spur

Bench and fire ring on southern spur

Tall pines on southern spur

[Photo by Laura]

Sandy blow-downs on Banker

Swallowtail front view

Swallowtail side view

Rhododendrons anyone?

Giant mosquito!

Spur to Sawmill Pond Brook

Bridge over brook

View from across bridge

Critter tracks


Tight rhododendrons on Banker

Lovely bark on Plymouth

Tall mushrooms

Bumpy root-ridden Plymouth

Pock-marked Beech

Mushroom on Plymouth

Bridge over stream

Frog near stream

Deep tanin color

[Photo by Laura]

What gives the trail ...

... its name

Heading west on Double Pond

Gorgeous mushroom

Stone bridge on Double Pond

Boardwalk on Cedar Swamp trail

Boardwalk stretches far

Giant tree roots

Blow-down cut-through

Abandoned car on Cedar Swamp

Low tunnel

About to duck in [Photo by Laura]

That's thick vegetation!

Blue blaze of Cedar Swamp

We passed the start of Porcupine

Crossing Cherry Ridge Road

Cherry Lake from Wall trail

Wall on Wall trail!

Ferns abound ...

... on Wall trail

Mountain Laurels on path back to car

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