Cascade Lake Park

Cascade Lake Park, Warwick, NY (3/4/2012)

When the 2012 edition of the NYNJTC's North Jersey Trails map 116 came out just recently, I noticed a network of trails blazed just north of the AT and Surprise Lake in Warwick NY labeled "Cascade Lake Park". This park had appeared on the previous edition of the map, but as a network of unblazed woods roads, so this time I took notice and mentally noted it for a future visit. And we headed there today to hike the majority of trails. We parked at the dead end of Seminole Drive and following this map hiked the part highlighted in yellow. (For a larger map of the area, click here.)

First we did the Orange loop, which climbs to partial views over the lake. Then we headed south on Red along the western bank of the lake and stream until we crossed the stream on a bridge at the southern tip. Here we noticed that the Red trail actually continues in two different directions: to the NE, as is displayed on the map, and to the north along the eastern bank of the stream back to the lake. This part is not on either the town map or the NYNJTC map. We continued on Red in the NE direction, next heading east on Green until we got to Blue.

One of the highlights of the hike was just south of the Green/Blue intersection and something we stumbled upon unexpectedly: a beautiful lean-to built into the side of a boulder on the northern side of the trail, with its own stone walkway. It is surrounded by cairns, plants, decorations, mobiles made of seashells, the American flag, painted trees, and various plaques. It's a loving shrine to the memory of Daniel Rocco Battista of Warwick. He died in 2008, just two months before his 21st birthday. A web search produces Facebook and MySpace fan pages, memorial blood drives, art festivals dedicated to his memory. He clearly had a huge impact on many people, and this shrine was made in his memory with an incredible amount of love. It's something to behold, and has been respectfully undisturbed.

Next we took Blue east and did the Aqua loop before taking Blue all the way back to Red, at the dam and lovely waterspill for the lake. The car was no more than a quarter mile further.

Total distance hiked today was 4.5 miles, in just under 3 hours.

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

The large parking area

View of lake from lot

Large kiosk

A tree with an eye!

Heading south on Red

Canada geese in lake


Cascade Lake

Woods road heading south

A rocky ascent on Orange

Partial view of lake from above

Don't Stop Believing on rocks

Palisades-like rocks

A live tree bench!


Stream across Orange

Two very close trees

Swamp along Orange

Gorgeous green in swamp

Antenna towers west of Orange

OK, I won't! [photo by Laura]

Hornet's nest

Old wheel

View of lake ...

... looking north

Red blaze in rock

[Photo by Laura]

Boundary wall on Red

Heading south along stream

Tree with huge nails

This appears to be ...

... a canal south of lake

Nature's graffiti

Beaver activity on Red

Something jumped into the water here

Extremely eroded ...

... section of Red

The road used to go across

[Photo by Laura]

[Photo by Laura]

Red heading NE

Beautiful cairns ...

... at Memorial lean-to


View from front

Getting a better look

"Danny is Eternal"

Lots of mobiles

A shell mobile


Tiki lamp out front


A very eroded ...

... Blue trail

Blue and Pink comingle


A rocky ascent ...

... on Blue

Heading SW on Aqua



Heading back on Blue



Stone wall on Blue

Rock jumble off trail

Lake dam

Head-on shot

View from the dam

Cascade Lake

Cracks in ice

[Photo by Laura]

Benches overlooking lake

Cascade Lake ...

... through birches

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
Web design by Dan Balogh