Lilac Lollipop

Lilac Lollipop, Farny State Park (6/3/2012)

While hiking Farny last week I became intrigued with the Lilac trail which we partially hiked at both ends of a woods road that cuts through a good part of the park north of Splitrock road. So of course, we returned today to hike the Lilac trail, as well as a couple of spur trails to some lovely ponds along the way.

We parked at the pull-off in the power line cut on Upper Hibernia Road, not far north of where we parked last week (at Beaver Pond). While the NYNJTC Map 125 (Jersey Highlands Central North Region) indicates an unmarked woods road heading east from this point, as of today the entire length to the Four Birds trail is now blazed in yellow and is called the Wildcat Ridge trail! But if you're not paying attention (we weren't), you may end up missing the left turn which occurs about 30 feet from the start! We ended up taking an unmaintained trail south until it suddenly ended in the middle of nowhere. Faced with backtracking or bushwhacking we chose the latter. After navigating some tricky terrain and vegetation, we managed to get back to yellow, but had I not had Map 125 loaded into my iPhone with the Avenza app "PDF Maps" it would have been much trickier!

At the intersection with the Four Birds Trail we headed north on that trail and then reached the SW end of Lilac via a short stretch of woods road. We took Lilac in the clockwise direction, taking two spurs to the west along the way. Instead of taking Lilac all the way to its eastern end (a portion we covered almost entirely last week), we headed SW on a woods road (same one from last week), all the way back to Lilac at its SW end, then continued east on another woods road to our lovely lunch spot on the bank of Splitrock Reservoir. After lunch we headed back south on Four Birds and then west on the newly-blazed yellow to the car, the stick of today's lollipop.

Total distance hiked today was about 8 miles in just over 4.5 hours.

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

Power line cut on Upper Hibernia Road

Mountain Laurel flowers

Trail head looking out

Old hunting platform

Bushwhacking through ferns

Bushwhacking through rhododendron thicket

Found the trail!

Large fallen tree


Now blazed in Yellow


On Four Birds trail


Power line cut

North of Splitrock Road



Woods road to ...

... Lilac trail

Stream off Lilac

Tire treads and critter print

Pond off ...

... of Lilac trail

Lotus flowers


Laura on edge of pond

Lotus flower

Flower inside the bud

Damsel fly

Crossing on another spur

Stream off Lilac spur

Second pond


Laura at second pond

Stream crossing

Bridge on Lilac

Laura on bridge

Abandoned wall at ...

... intersection with Camp Lewis trail


Lilac flooded

Ferns on woods road

Ocean of ferns


Frog in puddle


Bridge over Lilac stream

Toad in grass

He was a big one

Boat in Splitrock reservoir


Our lunch spot

View north

Laura and her Osprey Manta 30

View to dam

View north from vista

View to dam

Mountain Laurel on reservoir

Dam and bridge

Laura on vista

[Photo by Laura]

Turkey vulture ...

... in power line cut


Awesome ferns

Mushrooms on yellow trail

Sun comes out ...

... on yellow

Rhododendron tunnel

Back to car

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