Johnsonburg Swamp Nature Preserve
The last time we hiked this preserve was over ten years ago, way back in 2005. The only thing I remembered about it was the spectacular view of Mud Pond from High Rocks. So we returned today to visit it once again.

We parked in the parking lot for the Frelinghuysen Elementary school on Route 94. There is a opening in the hedge. If you walk through that opening, and cross Route 94, you can walk on the right edge of an open field with a driveway and building to the right. This is the trailhead and is quite easy to find. But problems begin once you get a bit further in. The yellow blazes on the trees and wooden wands seem to disappear where the hunters park. We spent at least 30 minutes wandering around the open fields looking for the trail. We finally found it, nearly by accident, at 40 59' 12" N, 74 51' 43" W. There is a tree with a somewhat visible yellow blaze and an empty sign which faces what seems to be an unpenetrable forest. Walk past that tree, head left and you will see more blazes. The going is a bit tricky at first but after about five minutes the trail improves. In fact, the further you go in, the better the trail gets.

We did basically the same hike as we did in 2005, visiting the furnace (on a very small blue spur), than the view from High Rocks (still one of the best in New Jersey in my opinion), then a visit to the bank of the swamp on Yellow, before turning back and retracing our steps back to the open field and then back to the car on Route 94. For those interested in the track, you can see it here. Of course you should skip all of the meandering at the beginning!

Total distance hiked today was 4 miles (much unneeded) in just under 2.5 hours.

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
















Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
Web design by Dan Balogh