Egbert Lake

Egbert Lake & Copperas Mountain (7/8/2012)

Four days ago our attempt to circle Egbert Lake was flummoxed when the abandoned railroad bed of the Wharton & Northern Railroad came to a sudden end at private property just east of where it crossed Green Pond Road. Undeterred, we returned to the pond today and worked in another stretch of the railroad bed (this time west of the pond) as well as a climb to the ridge of the southern part of Copperas Mountain only to be flummoxed once again in our inability to find an elusive viewpoint on the NYNJTC Map #126. But we did get to see a big black bear -- the second one on the trail for me this week and the third in two weeks! This is promising to be quite a black bear summer!

We parked at Egbert Lake, just off Green Pond Road, not far north of Timberbrook Road. We circled the beautiful lake in a clockwise direction and then took the railroad bed SW. Within minutes a big old black bear lumbered across the RR bed heading SE. By the time we caught up to where he crossed, however, he was nowhere to be seen. We continued SW until the RR bed reached private property (there is no sign, but downed trees and overgrown vegetation hides the bed at this point). Here we made a right on a woods road crossing over Burnt Meadow Brook on two small bridges made of railroad ties. This spot, at least today with the sunshine and the multitude of blooming wildflowers, was one of the most beautiful spots we've seen so far this year.

Using NYNJTC Map #125 loaded into my iPhone with the PDF Map app, I could see exactly where we were at every point. The map shows a red unmaintained trail to the ridge but the map is wrong. There is no trail where the map indicates. To get to the ridge, one must simply continue straight after crossing over the two bridges, and not veer to the right. Going straight will have you climbing the ridge in no time, and you eventually meet up with the unmaintained trail on the map. Upon reaching the ridge we continued along the woods road SW looking for yet another red unmaintained trail with the star "vista" on the map (at this point I needed to use the paper NYNJTC Map #126 because they haven't yet released the PDF version). But although we did find a trail heading to the left (as indicated on the map), it did not continue SW as specified on the map. So we couldn't reach the vista. Perhaps the rest of the trail is now overgrown. So we turned back. At this point we met a trail runner named Kim with whom we chatted a bit. When we saw her later she also said she couldn't find the trail to the viewpoint. And she went further than we did, taking the main woods road all the way SW until the "No Trespassing" signs for Picatinny Arsenal appeared. So we backtracked to the lake and had lunch on a small rock island in the lake, reached by downed trees.

Total distance hiked today was 6.5 miles in just over 3.5 hours.

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

Egbert Lake from parking lot

Lily pads in lake


[Photo by Laura]

Bridge over creek


Woods road around the lake

Our car from the other end

Egbert Lake ...

... from SW tip

Curious insect

Queen Anne's Lace

Large tie on RR bed


View SW

View NE

What the?

Bridge over Burnt Meadow Brook

A truly beautiful spot

Laura on first bridge

Wildflowers abound


Laura on second bridge

Ricketty second bridge

Dense vegetation

Now on woods road

Look at that tree! [photo by Laura]

Woods road

Searching for unmaintained trail

Climbing to ridge of Copperas

Season view


CU of dragonfly [photo by Laura]

Metal bowl in tree

Very limited view

Mountain Laurel


Stony path

Old blazes

View from Copperas ridge

Rocky descent


Back to Burnt Meadow Brook

Cat tails

[Photo by Laura]

Awesome ...

... wildflowers

Lily pads

View from the bridge

Moth lunching


Egbert Lake

Trail runner Kim

Lady of the lake

Our awesome lunch spot

Wildflowers on lake

Bee having lunch

He's hungry

Our lunch view

Beaver lodge


Beetle ménage à trois?


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