Beaver Pond

Beaver Pond, Farny State Park (6/9/2012)

I love Farny State Park. It's within 35 minutes of our home and it's one of the most rugged areas in the entire NJ-NY area. It's almost impossible to believe that this wild area is in Morris County, but it is. Armed with my NYNJTC PDF Trail Map 125 (Jersey Highlands Trails) loaded into my iPhone, we headed back today to do a figure-8 lollipop using lots of blazed trails, unblazed woods roads and unmaintained trails, many of which we hadn't previously done. Summer is just around the corner. We saw loads of animals today, many of which I was able to photograph. Others, alas, were too elusive for me and my camera. Thankfully the bugs were hardly a problem.

We parked at the southern end of Upper Hibernia road at the Beaver Pond trailhead. The last time we visited Beaver Pond was way back in 2005. We took the trail east but then continued on an unblazed trail until we got to the Four Birds trail, which we took north. We continued on the this trail, crossing Split Rock Road and then headed east on a woods road to the first vista (indicated on the map) for today, on some rocks right at the bank of Splitrock Reservoir. We then headed west on another unmaintained trail until we got back to Four Birds, upon which we continued north. There was another vista on the way, although not very impressive, it being seasonal and the trees were already filled with leaves. We had lunch at the third spectacular vista, on a relatively small granite island in the reservoir which we got to by hopping a few rocks across a wet area. We watched paddlers and fisherman on the water.

After lunch we continued just a bit further north on Four Birds but then took the first woods road west to the Lilac trail, which we took west. We planned on doing the entire Lilac, but being short on time bailed on another woods road which crossed Four Birds twice before meeting Lilac once again near it's SW end. We took Lilac to the last woods road of the day (the one we took to the first vista). We stayed on this one for just a few minutes before turning right on Four Birds and taking this lollipop stick back to the car. It started pouring about halfway, so there aren't many photographs from this period.

Total distance hiked today was about 9 miles in 5 hours.

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

Beaver Pond trail head


Approaching ...

Beaver Pond

Trail parallels bank

Lily pads

Two beaver lodges


Unblazed trail east

Pond from SE tip

Top of drowned utility pole

Old wooden pylon

Turtle hiding

What is this for?

A rocky Four Birds trail

Stream crossing

Powerline cut

Kiosk at Splitrock Road

Trashed car on woods road to ...

Splitrock Reservoir


More fishermen


One of the fingers

View to reservoir

Tiny toad

Rock hopping


He was curious

Garter snake



Laura at ...

... vista overlooking ...

Splitrock Reservoir




Beautiful path


Sea of grass

Four Birds trail

More ferns

Tree hugging [photo by Laura]


Paddler and fishermen

Splitrock Reservoir

Near our ...

... lunch spot!

[Photo by Laura]



Our lunch view

About to continue

Stepping stones to island

Awesome swamp ...

... on Lilac trail

Two dogs who ...

... ended up chasing a deer

Chipmunk with spider web on face

Awesome mushroom!

Tanin color in stream

Look at that color!

Stream off Lilac trail

Lilac trail

Woods road

Back to Beaver Swamp after downpour

Lotus flowers in pond

Beaver Pond

[Photo by Laura]

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