The Black River

The Black River, Cooper Gristmill (8/30/2009)

This is hike #19 ("The Black River") in Hiking New Jersey: A Guide to 50 of the Garden State's Greatest Hiking Adventures (1st edition). We hiked along the Black River way back in May, 2005. At that time we did a 3.5-mile out-and-back from the gristmill to the environmental center and back. Today we covered much more ground via a nearly 9-mile lollipop which incorporated, as one part, the path from the earlier hike. This time we hiked much further along the Black River and took the spur to visit the remains of Elizabeth Kay's cottage. We arrived at the Kay Environmental Center from the south this time before heading back to the gristmill along the Black River trail. We had lunch on the bench inside the Butterfly Garden at the environmental center, where we watched bumble bees flit from flower to flower.

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Turbine outside the gristmill

Cooper gristmill


View from tunnel

16' high waterwheel

First view of the Black River


Gristmill from the trail

Central Railroad bed

Kay's Pond

Path along the pond

Reflections in Kay's Pond

Dam at Kay's Pond

The dam

Dam waterfall

Black River

Tiny trail mushroom

Bridge to Natural Area

Descending to Kay's cottage

Inside Kay's cottage


[Photo by Laura]


Rear of remains

View through arch


On the dam [photo by Laura]

Waterfall dam at cottage

Steps at cottage

Red Patriot's Path blaze

Abandoned bathtub!

Black River

[Photo by Laura]

Beautiful pines

Where are we?

Tangled trees

A car door!

Busy bee

On someone's front lawn!

Entrance to Environmental Center


Farm nearby

Road to the center

Private residence

Kay Environmental Center


The Butterfly Garden

Two moths

Our lunch spot

A bee's lunch spot

Cone flowers

Butterfly Garden and center


Patriot's Path post

Bird house in rear

Self portrait


Remains of bridge

Black River

Kay's Pond

RR bed and pond

Lots of tree roots

Cooper gristmill

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