Stephens State Park

Stephens State Park (11/5/2011)

The fall foliage was still hanging on in northern New Jersey this weekend, despite the area getting walloped by a freak October snow storm that dumped nearly two feet of snow in some parts of the area, and which felled a bazillion trees, leaves and all.

Just driving to Stephens was a chore this morning. We came from Route 206, heading west on Waterloo Road (Route 604) only to find that the road was closed west of Continental Drive, forcing us to head all the way south to Route 46 and take that west to Willow Grove Street in Hackettstown (which is what Waterloo Road becomes eventually), at least a 10-mile detour! Heading north on that road, we soon came to another "Closed Road" sign about a quarter mile from the park entrance! Forget about it! We went through the small opening and entered the park, where we found lots of other cars, so apparently other folks had the same idea. Bottomline: Waterloo Road was closed for 10 miles, from Continental Road east of Waterloo Village, all the way to its southern part (called Willow Grove Street) in Hackettstown. This meant that it was impossible to get to the entrance road to Stephens State Park, and yet the park itself was open!

Parking at the park office, we did a lovely, colorful circuit first heading east on Orange, where we started immediately encountering loads of felled trees across the trail. We next picked up the White trail taking that to the Blue trail which we stayed on just for a bit. When Blue made a sharp right we continued on an eroded woods road/gulley downhill (sharply at times) once again meeting the White trail. We then headed SW, in the shade of the mountain, continuing SW on Red-White before turning left on Red which took us south back to the parking lot.

Total distance hiked today was 3.7 miles in 2.5 hours.

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

Lime kiln

Park office

Trail head

Colors on Orange

Lots of felled trees

Party balloon


[Photo by Laura]

Boundary wall


Lots of trees blocking trails

Yellow explosion

The last ...

... of fall foliage ...

... for 2011

Lots of leaf drop

Beeches still bear leaves

Color on Orange


Beech leaf hitching a ride

Nice reds

Power line cut

Water tank in back

Trucks parked on Dorset Drive

Red-tail hawk

View east to ...

... tree farm?

Color on White trail

Rusty ...

... abandoned bike

Stone foundation


On road/gulley short-cut


[Photo by Laura]


Ferns in shade of mountain

Tree across trail

Burst of color

View to mountain

End of White

Trees were all over trail


Color on Red-White trail

Red trail

Abandoned pipe?

Yellow blazes among yellow foliage

Back to the car

The Musconetcong River

View south

Laura on bridge over river

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