Allaire, Southern Section

Allaire State Park, Southern Section (12/27/2008)

This is the Hike of the Week for 11/17/2006 as described on the NY-NJ Trail Conference website. With forecasts of freezing rain to the north, we headed south. Last month we hiked the northern section of this lovely park which rests on the northern border of New Jersey's beautiful Pine Barrens. This time we hiked all around the southern section (just north of Hospital Road), an area very popular with moutain bikers. We knew this for certain the moment we pulled into the parking area and noticed at least a dozen folks mounting their bikes. Within the first 2 minutes of our hike (literally), we had to get off the trail to allow four bikers to pass. But the farther we got into the park, the fewer bicycles we encountered. It's no wonder the park is popular with them ... with the numerous moss-lined gullies and narrow serpentine paths it's a natural bicycle stunt park!

While the Allaire State Park South Side Trail Map (which we obtained from the visitor's center in November) has every path clearly marked in orange, blue and white, the blazes in this park are few and far between, and the non-blazed intersecting paths are numerous. This caused us to take a wrong leg every at least twice, so the GPS device (which I got for Christmas) came in handy, since I marked several waypoints before leaving home. In fact, the last 30-45 minutes were totally blaze-less, though we knew we were headed in the right direction because of the GPS readings, and the bike tracks. Total distance covered was 5.3 miles in less than 3 hours.

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Trailhead of the Orange trail

There goes the fourth in 2 minutes

Horses also use these trails!

Lovely pine-lined path

Beach sand!

Dan taking ... [photo by Laura]


... a photo of his favorite Xmas gift!

Blow-downs near abandoned gravel pit


It's the pine barrens

Lovely moss is everywhere

And rhododendron

On the Blue trail

USGS observation well


At the power line cut

View west from the cut


More beautiful beach sand

Interesting tree pocks

Lovely lichen

Tiny moss flowers

My finger for scale

Moss on the trail

Moss photographer [photo by Laura]


Mountain Laurel thicket


In a gulley [photo by Laura]

We're near the end

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