Pickell Park

Pickell Park to Cushetunk (10/27/2012)

We climbed Cushetunk Mountain earlier this month. On that day we climbed it twice, the first time on one of the absolute steepest trails in New Jersey, the Blue trail heading south up the mountain. Today we returned to climb Cushetunk on a lollipop of my own invention.

This time we parked east of the mountain at Pickell Park. We parked in the huge parking lot off Mountain Road (so big it could easily fit 100 cars), and using this map we took Blue (yes, the same Blue) south starting outside left field at the baseball field. The trail begins by skirting open fields before entering the forest (after the power line cut) and climbing and climbing and climbing. Blue from the east seems less steep than Blue from the north, but there is still a good climb. We took a White spur (not on the map) to see if the views of Round Valley Reservoir were any better than earlier this month. They weren't. So we continued on Blue until the end, at which point we headed north on White all the way to the powerline cut. We took the cut all the way back to Blue. But instead of taking Blue all the way back to the car, we took two Yellow segments. The first segment parallels Blue when Blue is in the cut (this segment is not shown on the map), while the second skirts open fields north of Blue on the way back to the car.

There was a bit of color still hanging on but this year's fall foliage is just about gone. Hurricane Sandy, scheduled to hit New Jersey in a couple of days, is sure to blow every remaining leaf off every tree left standing. It seems winter hiking season is just around the corner, even though the temperature today was in the low to mid 60s F.

Total distance hiked today was 5 miles in under 3 hours with a decent amount of climbing.

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

The huge parking lot

Trail kiosk outside of left field

Heading down the 3rd base line

Cushetunk in the background

Bench in open field


Silo across field

Red-tailed hawk watching


Gorgeous leaf carpet

Beautiful tree lane

So inviting!

Last of the foliage

Lane of trees ...

... between ...

... two fields

Hunting blind

One of about six deer we saw

Leaf carpet

Heading into ...

... powerline cut ...

... on Blue

Fall foliage

Climbing on Blue

A breather

Climbing ...

... and climbing

"View" of Round Valley Reservoir


Steps on Blue

Heading down Blue

Nice colors

Heavy leaf drop

No martians allowed!

White trail to cut

Wildflowers and ...

... grass in cut

View NW

Tank on way

View NW


Heading SE ...

... in the colorful ...

... powerline cut


Park signs

Wild grass

Farm off cut

Overflow grazing ...

... in the cut

Color on ...

... a spur


On Yellow

Then on Blue

Yellow in the fields

Old wall of dam

Path skirts fields

Cushetunk looms

Foliage on Cushetunk

Two of four ...

... roosting turkey vultures


Two more vultures roosting

Blue heading back

Another hawk

Silo across

Bee at work

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