Hartshorne Grand Tour

Grand Tour, Hartshorne Woods (9/4/2013)

Seven years ago we hiked the Rocky Point section of this beautiful woods near the shores of New Jersey. Today we returned to hike the areas known as Buttermilk Valley and Monmouth Hills following the Hike of the Week for 4/3/2003 (updated on 2/6/2013). One of the more striking features of this area is the sand. At times you'd think you were walking on the beach, other times the sand is redder than anywhere I've seen in this state, still other times it's the same as a hike in northern NJ or upstate NY. The highlight of the loop is the somewhat open area near the middle when you leave the heavy canopy of the forest and walk into what can be described as an amazing natural sculpture garden, where you're surrounded by tall trees covered with heavy vines that make them appear like hedge sculptures. It's breath-taking when the dappled lighting of the sun is just right.

Total distance hiked today was nearly 6 miles in just over 3 hours.

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Informative sign ...

... and kiosk map at trailhead

Slight ascent on beach sand

[Photo by Laura]

So inviting

Wide path ...

... at the start



Grand Tour is narrower

Beginning a climb


Deep beach sand

Eroded path ...

... like natural steps

One of the few blazes!

Old fence

Tall growth

Deer lunching



First pass through ...

... "sculpture garden"

Tiny wildflower


Large spider spinning


At least five webs

Second pass ...

... through the ...

... very beautitful ...

... "sculpture garden"


It's like an ...

... arborteum here!

Crooked tree

Tree kindness

Beautiful tree-lined path

Gray catbird

Partial view of ...

... Navesink River

[Photo by Laura]


Reddish dirt


Beautiful ferns

Shrivelled tree offering



Interesting congolmerate

Very red sand


Descending ...

... along eroded path

Traffic rules

Lunch time [photo by Laura]

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