Rockaway River WMA

Rockaway River WMA (12/17/2011)

Seven years ago, almost to the day, we hiked the Beaver Brook Trail from its southern end on Berkshire Valley Road (Route 699) to Lost Lake and back. Examining the NYNJTC Jersey Highlands Trails Map 126 (1st edition, 2011), I was able to piece together a circuit which traversed that trail once again past the two viewpoints noted on the map, and then visited new trails we hadn't done previously. It made for a very varied hike.

Like last time, we parked in the lot on Berkshire Valley Road (just north of Taylor Road), and headed north on the white-blazed trail. This trail climbs immediately, and it continues doing so for at least the next 20 minutes, right to the ridge. After the second viewpoint, labeled "Valley View Lookout" on the map, we continued north until we reached a narrow woods road used by hunters. This road is labeled Compton-Gobel Road on Google Maps. We headed east on this road, passing a handful of hunter SUVs, though we saw no hunters. We then headed south on another woods road which descended steeply on a badly eroded path until it reached Route 699 at exactly where Blue Road continues east. We took this road east, first visiting the wonderful waterfall at the southern dam of Longwood Lake. We then took a smattering of woods roads in the southwesterly direction, on the eastern side of Rockaway River. This area has dozens of criss-crossing trails, the vast majority of which do not appear on the aforementioned NYNJTC map. But if one keeps going in a general SW direction, one eventually comes out on Route 699 less than 0.1 miles south of the parking area. Straying east while in this area could get you arrested by the U.S. Military since the property is part of Picatinny Arsenal.

We covered 6.7 miles today in about 4 hours.

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On Beaver Brook trail

It climbs

And climbs

And climbs

Easy to miss this turn

Partial view NE

View SE


Walking along ...

... the ridge


View east

Fellow hiker Rich

Now descending

[Photo by Laura]

Mushroom face!

A rocky descent

Sign pollution!

Still descending

Creek crossing


[Photo by Laura]

Picatinny Tower

At Valley View Lookout

Climbing again

RSS Traverse?

Gorgeous moss

Moss close-up

Nature's graffiti

Smooth Beech trunk

Tree hugger [photo by Laura]

Moss art


Compton-Gobel Road

Thin ice

Heading east

Woods road to Berkshire Valley Road

Very old pipe

Rocky descent

Car seats

Very eroded

Path erosion

Longwood Lake

Crossing Route 699


On tiny Blue Road


[Photo by Laura]

Old growth on Blue Road

Bridge over Rockaway River

View to Longwood Lake dam

Dam waterfall

Laura on bridge

Dam waterfall

Beginning of the Rockway River

Downy woodpecker

Heading south

Parallel to river

Abandoned tires

Demolished hunting blind


More moss

Swamp moss

Swamp trees

Lots of woods roads here

Rockaway River



Smooth Beech

View to Picatinny property



Very wet road


Late fall greens

We climbed that mountain earlier

Our SUV in the distance

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