Cushetunk Mountain
We hiked this mountain over two years ago but hadn't returned since. This is partly due to the fact that some of the trails are closed for over half the year (January 1 to August 1, due to eagle nesting) and partly due to the fact that in 2010 there weren't many trails indicated on the map; in fact, we may have hiked all the ones that were on the map. But when my friend Daniela hiked this mountain last weekend, she hiked newly blazed trails indicated on a new map (from 2012), and even discovered a couple of trails which still don't appear on any map. So back we headed today.

The map for 2012 indicates a sub-network of trails east of the mountain beginning in Pickell Park. None of this was on the 2010 map. Following Daniela's suggestion, we once again parked in the large lot in the powerline cut near Railroad Avenue and did the following loop. We headed east on White for just a bit, before picking up the Yellow which we took east climbing the mountain. Next we headed south on White climbing steeply at times. Next, heading east on Blue we continued climbing on what is surely one of the steepest trails in this area. Then we took some trails that Daniela discovered. On the map note where Blue, heading south climbs, but then turns sharply NE to descend. Here we made a right on White (yes it's here, but not on the map). When the blazes ended we continued west on a lightly-traveled path (also note on the map) until we once again reached White just south of where we turned east on Blue earlier.

A map from Readington Township indicates two Overlooks along this stretch, but there were none, only seasonal views on White along the ridge. Continuing west on White, when we got to where "Parking Lot Trail" heads north, we headed south steeply on a dirt path (not on the map). This took us all the way to the bank of the beautiful Round Valley Reservoir where we next headed west along a Green trail (also not on the map), then north (on Green) before it ended on a woods road along the ridge (with one spectacular vista over the reservoir). This road is also not on the map. It took us back east to the Parking Lot Trail which took us back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was 6 miles in approximately 3.5 hours with lots of climbing.

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

Powerline cut looking east

We didn't see any!

Laura "Clint" Eastwood

On Yellow

Gorgeous forest

Some leaf drop

Out-of-focus red-tailed hawk


Climbing on White

Now on Blue

Steps on Blue

Blue keeps going up!

And up!

On White at the top

Tree hopping on unblazed path

A rocky White ridge trail


Ridge trail closed 7 months a year

Limited view south

The White ridge trail

Very very ...

... rocky on this stretch

View of Round Valley Reservoir

[Photo by Laura]

On trail to reservoir bank

Round Valley Reservoir

Sweeping views ...

... from the northern bank

View east

View west to dam

[Photo by Laura]

Taking a breather

Choppy waters

Large fire ring

Hiking west along Green

View from Green

[Photo by Laura]

The views from Green ...

... are magnificent

Zoom to northern dam


Cairn on Green trail

Fishing near dam


Choppy shore

Zoom to dam


Reservoir fishing

Green veers away from reservoir

And climbs!

Fence near Green

We found this turtle ...

... climbing on Green

[Photo by Laura]

Woods road heading east

View west

Vista over reservoir

Zoom to fishing boat

Mushrooms that ...

... explode powder

Tree hopping

Saw several short posts

Partial views ...

... to the north

Heading down Parking Lot trail

Millipede climbing tree

Laura dwarfed by trees ...

... on Parking Lot trail

Trail head kiosk

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
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