Miquin Woods Preserve
Miquin Woods is a relatively small preserve in Hunterdon County, with just over 300 acres and less than four miles of trails. For over 50 years it was the home of the Boy Scout's of America's Camp Watchung, and several buildings still remain, one actually built in 1850! While the preserve is small, it's a very beautiful, and it apparently has its very own resident bear! We've never hiked here before, so when we pulled into the grass lot this morning (after following narrow, winding country roads for a while), we were fortunate enough to be greeted by a man who had just taken his dog Diesel for a morning jaunt. We told him we planned on hiking just about every trail in the preserve, for a total of about three miles. He elaborated as to how beautiful some of the paths were and then added, as a last minute after-thought, "and watch out for the bear". He told us he had seen the big bear "a week ago Tuesday" and then showed us his pepper spray and the whistle he carried around his neck.

Well sure enough, not more than thirty minutes into our trek, Laura made a left as I lingered to take photos (what else is new). In seconds she came rushing back warning of the big bear sitting on the trail just looking at her. Not wanting to let such a photographic opportunity go to waste, I cautiously headed in to snap him, much to Laura's chagrin. But the big gentle beast wanted nothing to do with us, so I merely got a shot of his big ole rear, and another of his side as he made his way from us as quickly as he could. We didn't see him again.

We did end up covering just about every trail in the preseve, and it was remarkably beautiful. A word of warning: while the official park map implies that there is a red trail and a blue trail, all of the trails are blazed yellow. But it's impossible to get lost. Half of the trails are north of the lovely Spruce Run, and the other half south of it.

Total distance hiked today was 3.5 miles in approximately 2 hours.

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Kiosk at parking lot

Dry stream

Old camp building

Narrow woods trail here

Wider woods road here


Wooden bridge

Steel bridge

Macro photography

Awesome pine trees

There goes the bear!

Partial side view of bear

Gorgeous Spruce Run

This is ...

... a very lovely ...

... and tranquil spot

[Photo by Laura]

View upstream


[Photo by Laura]

Another abandoned camp building

Spruce Run near road bridge

Road bridge over Spruce Run

View downstream

Pipes under bridge

Old camp road

Curious chipmunk

View NE

Building from 1850

Detail view

Heading to ...

... Craig Pond

Taking a break

Craig Pond from northern bank


Demolished bridge over Spruce Run


Collapsed bat house


Overgrown trail in parts

Trail south of Spruce Run ...

... is filled ...

... with lovely ...

... ferns!



Leaf close-up


Giant boulder area


Back on camp road

Old traffic signs

Gate to camp road

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