Bearfort Mountain North



Bearfort Mountain (north of Stephens Road), Wawayanda State Park (2/11/2012)

Last week we hiked Bearfort Mountain south of Stephens Road in West Milford, NJ. Today we returned to hike a loop of exactly the same length on Bearfort Mountain north of Stephens Road. The other difference this week was that nearly the entire hike was during a wonderful light snow which made the entire forest appear as if someone had sprinkled powdered sugar all over it. Yum ... powdered sugar.

Like last week, we parked in Pequannock watershed parking area P8 and walked west through the gate, beginning a steady climb up the closed part of Stephens Road. We then headed north on the blue-blazed Spring North trail all the way to its end 2 miles later. About 1 mile in, however, we noticed a nicely defined spur trail heading east and marked with beautiful cairns. We followed it for a few tenths of a mile but stopped when it began to descend sharply. Had there not been low-hanging clouds we would have gotten some nice views. But not today. At the end of the Spring North trail we encountered a wonderful swampy area with two beaver lodges. Their intricate dam extended quite a ways around the swamp flooding out part of the trail. We had to walk on the dam for a bit at one point. At the end of blue, we continued south on the red-blazed Terrace Pond Red trail back to Stephens Road which we took east back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was 4.3 miles, in 3 hours.

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


At parking area P8

Pine Ridge Equestrian Center

Closed part of ...

Stephens Road [photo by Laura]




Last week's trail head

Spring North trail head

 

Stream


De-layering

Woods road wall
 


Mine on hill

Mine close-up

Descending from mine

Climbing in snow
 



Gorgeous views of ...

... semi-frozen lake ...

... off trail [photo by Laura]
 


View east

View north


Rocky stretch
 


Mountain Laurel

[Photo by Laura]

Blows-down

 


Fire ring?

Rock lichen and snow

Cairns on ...

... spur to the east
 


Partial views through trees

Sun struggling to come out


Clouds obstruct the view
 



Woodpecker work

Oily reflections

Interesting rock marks
 


Colorful oil

Huge glacial errata

Erratic toomfoolery [photo by Laura]

A snowy path
 


Nice boulder on blue

Steep descent here ...

... to a swamp

Beaver lodge in swamp
 



Path along swamp


Beaver dam
 


Trail flooded here

Walking on dam

Intersection with Terrace Pond Red

South on Terrace Pond Red
 


Red blaze reflection

Slippery stones

Rhododendron overhang

[Photo by Laura]
 


Rhododendron



[Photo by Laura]
 


Beautiful views ...

... of a snowy ...

... Terrace Pond ...

... Red trail
 


Evergreens

Winter color


Pine cones
 


Tiny sprouts

Snow fleas!

Swamp

Beautiful narrow stretch
 



End of Red trail

Stephens Road closed west of here

House and farm on Stephens Road
 


Are they serious?

Privately owned?

Fire Tower West trail head

Stephens Road
 



Mini Palisades

Horses!

Riding lessons
 

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