Green Pond Mountain North

Green Pond Mountain North, Pequannock Watershed (7/2/2012)

Virtually the entire nation has been in the grip of another heat wave with temperatures all over the US in the 90s and as high as 115 F in some places. Its been in the 90s in northern New Jersey for the past few days and temperatures are predicted to be in the 90s from tomorrow until Sunday, July 8! Ugh! So when weather forecasts predicted mid to high 80s in NJ today, my friend Andy and I took advantage of this one-day respite to log some miles on the trails. But at times it still seemed quite hot, so we decided to abbreviate a longer hike along the northern ridge of the Green Pond Mountain to something a bit smaller.

We parked at the two-car parking area at the northern terminus of the Four Birds trail, on Bigelow Road. We took the white-blazed trail south, climbing the mountain immediately. At a fork with a woods road, we took the woods road all the way down off the ridge to a series of other woods eventually meeting up with the Four Birds trail about a mile further south. We then proceeded north along the trail, once again climbing the ridge. Within a few minutes of getting back on the trail we came within 50-60 feet of a very big black bear. He stopped from his lumbering to give us a quick look, but after sizing us up he decided we weren't worth the trouble. So he continued along the Four Birds Trail in the direction we needed to go! Thankfully he got bored with the trail and eventually bailed, bushwacking his way through some heavy growth, branches swaying and snapping as he made his way into the forest. After seeing five bears last year, this was the first of the year. And, as has always been the case, they have all been in northern New Jersey.

We had lunch at an awesome viewpoint along the ridge before heading back to the car. But before heading home I decided to take a few photos of the old Newfoundland train station and old box cars nearby. Key scenes from the wonderful indie movie The Station Agent were filmed at this location.

Total distance hiked today was 5 miles in about 3.5 hours. A permit is required for hiking in this area, which can be purchased at the office on Echo Lake Road. The permits are good for the calendar year.

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Bigelow Road parking

Climbing immediately

Kiosk near the trailhead

Mine tailings?

Partial view

View to Route 23





Inviting path

On a woods road


Daddy Long-Legs with dead moth!

Ascending very rocky woods road


Creek crossing


Small creek

The bear ...

... heading on Four Birds


Preparing to climb to ridge

Climbing steeply


First viewpoint

Andy climbing

View NE

View SE

[Photo by Andy]

View to Craigmeur

Steep drop down

View to ...

... swamps

Zoom of swamp trees

Fall foliage?

Various ...

... views ...

... of swamp

End of Deerhaven Lane

Turkey vulture

House at end of Deerhaven Lane

Our lunch spot


Watch your step!

Andy at the viewpoint



Very tiny toad

Wood tick!

Slug on mushroom

Newfoundland train station

Water tower and ...

... box cars

Dining car

Dining car

Train station


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