Bearfort Waters

Bearfort Waters, Wawayanda State Park (12/26/2009)

This is almost Hike #3 ("Lake Lookout") in the brand new book Best Easy Day Hike: Northeast New Jersey. I say "almost" because two feet of recent snow, and inches of steady rain the previous day, made it impossible to complete this hike today.

I never saw such severe trail flooding. A stretch of the red-blazed Old Coal trail passes through a very wet swampy area. Apparently on good days it's passable, but not today. After trudging through about 50 yards of 8" deep water (which readily seeped into our boots), we came to a dead stop at an area that looked to be at least a foot of water deep. We could see the continuation of the red trail about 50 yards ahead, but on both sides of us was very deep swamp. Proceeding straight ahead was the only option. I tried making some headway by walking carefully on ice patches, but at one point my foot went right through the ice and I ended up knee-deep in mucky wet, cold swamp. I had a devil of a time getting both my left leg and my left hiking pole out of the muck before we turned back, very wet.

So we got close to Lake Lookout, but never actually saw it. Oh well. Next time. Total distance hiked today was 4.3 miles in about 2.5 hours.

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

Old Coal trail head

We put on our Kahtoola Microspikes

Very icy here

Bearfort Waters

Not passable without Microspikes

Bearfort Waters


Ferber Lodge

Ferber Lodge


Old Coal trail blaze

Boundary walls


Animals tracks

More Rhodendrum

Lovely swamp

Nice climb


Macro photography

The wet part begins

It's a stream

Gas line cut

Tiny trail waterfall

The swampy area

Very wet on both sides


That's as far as we got


Tracks were all over

Back at Ferber Lodge

Water pump

Bearfort Waters

Beaver dam in rear

Boats on bank of Bearfort Waters


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