Camp Jefferson

Camp Jefferson, Lake Hopatcong, NJ (10/31/2011)

This is the Hike of the Week for 10/27/2011 as described on the NY-NJ Trail Conference site.

New Jersey received a freak winter storm on October 29, only a third into autumn! This is somewhat unprecedented. Most years it doesn't even snow until after Christmas. The snow, landing on trees which still had leaves, caused literally hundreds of thousands of tree collapses. At one point at least a half million residents of New Jersey were out of power, as were we. And traveling was a mess with tree branches, and entire trees, blocking roads. We lost power on Saturday afternoon (10/29). Laura and I took Monday off intending to go hiking. Still out of power at 2 PM on Monday (Halloween) we decided to see if we could get to the trailhead for this new NYNJTC hike. Amazingly we did. All the roads were open, though in several places the traffic lights weren't working.

This is a pretty little hike with no major vistas (unless one traverses a bit into the powerline cut at one point). It's also short which was a plus since we spent 90 minutes tramping through snow, at times over a foot deep! Yes, on Halloween! And the snow afforded us the opportunity to see animal tracks all over the forest. We even saw fresh bear tracks at one point (there's a photo here). Poor beast must have been wondering what all this white stuff was, covering what he should be eating in order to fatten up before hibernation. The snow will be melted soon, given the fact that we're in for a week of 50+ F temperatures.

Total distance hiked today was 2.3 miles in 90 minutes, at times through snow over a foot deep. Incidentally, the trails through the camp are not open to the public during the day on weekdays in June, July and August when, presumably, the camp is active.

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

In the large plowed lot

Snowed in playground adjacent

Trail head by Skate Park

Cabins of ...

... Camp Jefferson

Camp road

Lake at camp


Gradual climb



Loop beginning

[photo by Laura]

Fall foliage

Bear tracks!

Gorgeous yellow foliage ...

... still on trees


Blue trail

Gradual climbing

Rocks covered in snow

Orange short-cut


Collapsed tree

Hunting chair

Partial view towards Mahlon Dickerson


Blazed powerline tower

Powerline cut


Foliage is past peak

[Photo by Laura]

Snow cone!

Deep snow

Fall color on snow

Balanced rock



Leaves on snow

Whaleback heading SW

Careful descent

Slippery descent

Another powerline cut

Leaf drop

Lots of blazes!


Beautiful yellows

Heading back to camp

Camp road

Dan taking ... [photo by Laura]

... this photo

Ascent to camp



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