Taylor Steelworkers Historic Greenway
Today we returned to High Bridge, New Jersey. We last visited back in July of 2009 when we hiked through the Ken Lockwood Gorge starting at the western end of the Columbia Trail in High Bridge. This time we returned to hike the Taylor Steelworkers Historic Greenway, which begins not far from the Columbia Trail trail head. But the town must have been celebrating something because we couldn't find a single parking spot in the large municipal lot. So we headed for Lake Solitude and parked there, in a gorgeous spot overlooking the lake.

From there, we first headed south, visiting the Solitude House, then continued south along the historical greenway, passing the Bloomery Forge ruins, walking along a narrow easement between two large lots of huge metal parts and pipes manufactured by the privately-owned Custom Alloy which is still operating on that spot today. After crossing the 100-year-old truss bridge (recently restored), we continued through the TISCO complex, which includes the oldest office building in America and headed for the trail head at the Columbia Trail (which we would have gotten to first had there been parking in town). We then visited the magnificent falls at the Lake Solitude Dam (we took an unblazed trail straight down to the bank, the red-blazed spur has two small benches but no view).

After the falls, we headed back through the TISCO complex, crossed the bridge and then continued on the Historical Greenway east, crossing River Road, and continued east on Nassau Street for about 0.1 miles before entering the lovely woods at one of the trail heads for the Nassau Trail. We followed the Nassau trail through gorgeous woods, including a beautiful pine plantation, before spilling back onto Nassau Road east of the woods. We headed north along the road to a farm field, the edge of which we took east to the ruins of the historical Springside Farm, now in disrepair. We would have continued further, but the path wasn't mowed and not obvious. So we headed back to Nassau Road which we took all the way back to River Road (not a single car passed us, it's a beautiful mostly unused road). We crossed River Road and then headed back north to Lake Solitude, where we had lunch overlooking the falls where we watched an amazing Great Blue Heron fishing (you can see a series of photos at the end).

Total distance hiked today was just over 4 miles in 2 and 3/4 hours, much of this time spent reading informational signs and exploring.

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Lake Solitude

Solitude House south

Heading to the house

Old stone storage house

Inside the storage

Solitude House

From inside another storage house

Solitude House


Sun dial [photo by Laura]

View inside Solitude House

Bloomery Forge ruins

Historical Greenway [photo by Laura]

Kyle Zalinsky memorial marker


View of Custom Alloy

Easement through Custom Alloy property

100-year-old truss bridge

View of Raritan River South Branch

Old truss bridge

TISCO office building

Reading information sign

Behind TISCO offices

Railroad tracks through complex

Front of TISCO office building

Trail head at Columbia Trail

Garter snake

At the falls [photo by Laura]

Lake Solitude Falls


View downstream behind falls

Ruins behind TISCO building

Huge tree roots

Nearly petrified

Ore on river bank

View to RR bridge

Taylor Wharton RR bridge

Close-up of factory windows

Back through Custom Alloy property

About to cross River Road

Nassau Trail trail head

Mighty pines

Gorgeous woods

Pine plantation

Creek [photo by Laura]

Giant mushroom

Laura at creek

JORBA bike obstacle

Trail head on eastern side (Nassau Road)


Heading into...

...Springside Farm

Damaged window



View inside barn


Another barn

Silo and barn

View inside barn

It's getting overgrown...

...at this point

Pool behind house

Beautiful Nassau Road

Mourning dove

Remains of shovel?

Beautiful house and flowers on River Road

Mushrooms at ruins

Strange building

Heading back to Solitude House

Another building at complex

Buildings from high ground

Walking to the dam

Great Blue Heron in tree

View of falls

Making is way down

Our lunch spot

He sees something

False alarm

Gear mechanism on dam

Changing his fishing spot

Closer to the water...

...lunch at last!

Lake Solitude from our lunch spot

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