Ranger Loop, Allamuchy

Ranger Loop, Allamuchy Mountain State Park (9/7/2013)

Two years ago we hiked to what I described, at that time, as possibly the best view in all of Morris County (even though it technically was about 0.1 miles into Sussex County). Back then we climbed straight to the view from Waterloo Road. Today we returned to that amazing view, only this time we parked in the very large lot at the intersection of Waterloo Road and Continental Drive, at the southern end of the Sussex Branch rail trail. We hiked north along the bed to the red Ranger loop trail which we took all the way to the second crossing of the Highlands trail which we then took south to the view. Upon further inspection I stand by my initial assessment. The view over Waterloo Lakes is just about the best view in all of Morris County. Yes, even though it's technically about 0.1 miles NW of the county border. Today the timing allowed us to have lunch at the viewpoint before taking an unblazed trail a bit west where we then headed north on the yellow Pebble Loop trail all the way to the White trail which led us back to the railbed and back to the car. This JORBA map contains all of the trails we hiked.

Total distance hiked today was 5.3 miles in 3.5 hours with a lot of climbing. While the climbing is mostly gradual, there is a lot of it.

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

Large parking lot

View from Sussex Branch rail trail

Path narrows at ...

... Jefferson Lake

Northern water snake



Various ...

... views of ...

... the beautiful ...

... Jefferson Lake

View south

Ranger Loop trailhead

Climbing begins


[Photo by Laura]

Huge blow-down


Tiny berry

Small overhang


Green canopy

Tiny mushrooms

Dead beetle


Trusting toad

More climbing

Blow-down hopping

Now on the ...

... Jersey Highlands trail

Creek crossing


Spider spinning

Boulder field


Another trusting toad

More boulders

Bright green caterpillar

First view

Amazing ...

... viewpoint

Morris Canal down below


Tilcon Lake

Waterloo Lakes

Red-tailed hawk

[Photo by Laura]

Best view "in" ...

... Morris County


Our lunch spot

Lake Tilcon

[Photo by Laura]

A meandering Interstate 80

Saplings on Highlands trail

Unblazed trail

Damned kids

Ferns on Pebble Loop trail

Sandy damage

Hunting allowed on the trail?

On White for a piece

Bridge over creek

Creek looking south

[Photo by Laura]

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