Mahlon Dickerson Pine Swamp

Pine Swamp, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation (4/27/2013)

We have hiked in this beautiful area at least twice in the past, the most recent time being September, 2009. But we have always focused on the southern and central parts of the park, never getting much further north than Morris County's vista-less high point. Today we decided to head back and cover the majority of trails in the northern part by following Hike #20 ("Mahlon Dickerson Reservation") in the book 50 Hikes in New Jersey (3rd Edition).

Something I noticed almost immediately was that there are many new trails blazed in this part of the park, trails that are not mentioned in the book nor which appear on the 2011 edition of the New York-New Jersey Trail Map #126 (Jersey Highlands Trails Central North Region). Ironically, they do appear on the new official park map, a surprise since the reverse is usually true with the government being years behind. Wanting to explore a bit, we did take part of the newly-blazed Purple trail which leads to a nice view over the roofs of the Jefferson Middle and High Schools. We also added an extra spur to Headley Overlook, something the book suggests to those who still have energy after the hike described.

Total distance hiked today was about 5.7 miles in just under 3 hours.

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

Kiosk at trail head

Parking for two dozen cars

To Headley Overlook

Spring bloom

Weldon Road crossing

Highlands Trail blaze

Bench at Headley Overlook


Lots of blooms

Headley Overlook

Lake Hopatcong in distance

Headley Overlook

Spring bloom

Dickerson marker

Exercise station


View east from Purple

Nice view east ...

... over Jefferson Middle & High schools

Painted trees

Newly-blazed Purple

Twisty tree

Cairn at intersection

Bridge over stream

[Photo by Laura]

Descending to ...

... edge of swamp

Another bridge on ...

... Pine Swamp trail

[Photo by Laura]





Cliff overlooking ...

... Pine Swamp

Various ...

... views of ...

... Pine Swamp

What the?

Trail through Pine Swamp

Morris County high point

Some blow-downs

Spring explosion

Boulders on Pine Swamp trail

Freshly cut

Pine Swamp trail

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