Red Dot, Wawayanda

Red Dot Figure-8, Wawayanda State Park (6/22/2013)

Today we returned to Wawayanda for the first official summer hike of 2013. The park was quite different from our last visit just three months ago. The trails we traversed today were closed for at least six months due to damage from Hurricane Sandy but reopened not long ago. I'm glad too, since this is one of the loveliest hikes I've done in Wawayanda, especially if you like solitude and huge swamps.

Today we parked at the eastern boat launch in the closest spot to the trail head possible (not sure how this happened since the lot was getting a bit crowded even by the time we arrived at 9 AM). We headed east along the northern bank of Lake Wawayanda, picking up Double Pond trail which we took east to the Red Dot trail. We headed south on the Red Dot, following the eastern leg at the lollipop in the middle, then continued south on an 'unmaintained trail' where the Red Dot heads east then south. This unmaintained trail is amazingly well-maintained and has one of the loveliest spots of the entire hike, on a sturdy wooden bridge that passes through a gorgeous wet area. The feeling of solitude here is amazing. Continuing south we headed east on the Cherry Ridge trail (a woods road), before heading back north on Red Dot taking the western part of the lollipop in the middle. The short stretch between Cherry Ridge and the inner lollipop has another fantastic spot, overlooking a huge expansive swamp to the east near a stone bridge apparently erected by someone named Nature Jim in 1993. We continued north on Red Dot, this time taking the western leg of the lollipop in the middle. We then traced our path back to the car.

One aside: during our short jaunt along Cherry Ridge Road we noticed a nicely maintained (though unblazed) narrow trail heading south (east of the Old Coal trail, which it seemed to parallel). We walked it for a few minutes before turning back, since it wasn't on the map. When I got home I learned that there is a network of trails here that doesn't appear on the NYNJTC North Jersey Trail map #116. So of course we'll be going back one day to check out those!

Total distance hiked today was 6.3 miles in just over 3 hours.

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

Paddlers in Lake Wawayanda

Parked right at the trail head

Wawayanda Lake boat house

Boats in lake

Dirt road north of lake

Wawayanda Lake

Lotus flowers in lake

Lotus flower close-up


[Photo by Laura]

Various views of ...

... Wawayanda Lake ...

... from dirt path

Site of future wedding?

Wawayanda Lake ...

... from NE tip

On the dam

Boy Scout tents on Double Pond

Double Pond trail

Gorgeous swamp on Double Pond


Boardwalk ...

... through swamp

Lotus flowers ...

... in swamp

Can you find the frog?

View north


Red Dot trail head

Rhododendron thicket

Gorgeous deep tanin color

Bridge over stream

Deep tanin reds

Rhododendron on Red Dot

Red Dot blaze

Heading ...

... south

Swamp through trees




Unmaintained trail ...

... passes through wet area

View east

View west


View west from bridge

View east from bridge

Bridge through swamp

View to Old Coal trail head

Heading east on Cherry Ridge trail


Huge swamp east

Swamp ...

... extends ...

... far east

Dragonfly at swamp


Wet trail

Rock bridge

Three frogs in one shot!

Sign for Nature Jim's Bridge

Gorgeous view of swamp

Seems like a salt marsh here

Rock outcrop ...

... affords great view

Rock bridge

View east from rock bridge

Rock bridge

White-eyed Vireo


Grassy patch on Red Dot

Deep tanins ...

... on return

Boardwalk on Double Pond

View west

Wawayanda Furnace

Ruins west of furnace

More views ...

... of Wawayanda Lake ...

... from NE tip

Rowers in lake

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