Tilcon Lake

Tilcon Lake, Allamuchy Mountain State Park (7/9/2011)

I've been discovering many new trails since the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference released their Jersey Highlands (Central North Region) map set earlier this year. With map in hand, and just an idea of a possible loop, we headed back to Allamuchy today, to a recent addition to the park situated between the rest of Allamuchy and Stephen's State Park. According to a sign on the big iron gate on Kinney Road, the park received a grant in 2008 to restore this area to a viable wildlife recreation area in five years. I don't know what it was previously but a wide paved road leads into the area which is now dominated by a large lake.

We parked at the iron gate on Kinney Road and headed to the lake. It's a beautiful area, bathed in sun for the first 30 minutes or so. We continued heading north (following an unmarked path) reaching the northern part of the lake, where the path swung to the east to Waterloo Valley Road, a road not well-travelled. We then headed back west on another unmarked path which took us all the way under Interstate Routh 80 and then east along the Musconetcong River to an area directly across the river from Waterloo Village (along the way we visited an abandoned house).

We intended on crossing the footbridge to Waterloo Village but it was demolished, so we had to replan. We decided to do a 2-mile loop using unmarked trails on the map. We headed east up the old Morris Canal inclined Plane 4, walking on the original sleeper stones that formed the base of the plane upon which huge vessels were pulled up from the Musconetcong River. We continued east until the canal trail became overgrown, at which point we headed north and then west along a blue-blazed bike trail (most likely blazed by JORBA) eventually arriving back at the bottom of Plane 4. At this point we backtracked to Waterloo Valley Road (still bereft of traffic).

We crossed the road and headed west along what appeared to be an old rail trail (now a bike trail) which runs parallel to an operational railroad higher above and Waterloo Valley Road below. Eventually we came back to Waterloo Valley Road, proceeded SW until we got back to Kinney Road, which we took north back to the car, passing a large field on the left where folks were flying radio-controlled model airplanes.

Total distance hiked today was 6.7 miles in just over 3.5 hours.

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

Iron gate on Kinney Road

Wide paved road to lake

Trail north

Approaching Tilcon Lake

Wildflowers abound

Tilcon Lake


Long row of sign-less sign posts

Continuing north

Radio-controlled plane across Kinney Road

Field of color

Morning dove

Flooded path


Wildflowers along puddle

Cat tails

Path narrows

iPhone tells me where we are

Vegetation in Tilcon Lake

Gorgeous dragonfly

Tiny snail

Lake is on both sides here

Dead shrimp

Tilcon Lake

More overgrown here

View of Tilcon Lake looking south

Lots of green

Another awesome dragonfly

Tilcon Lake from north

First view of Musconetcong River

Shaded path between river and lake

Tilcon Lake from northern tip

Lots of shade here

Path heading east


Gate at Waterloo Valley Road

Stream along another path

Triangle pose

Stone hopping over stream [photo by Laura]

Trail along the river

Under Interstate 80

Bridge support across river

Musconetcong River

Narrow path along river

Musconetcong River

River vegetation

Abandoned house

Cellar entrance

Stove in kitchen

View through window


Ladder to attic

On stairs

Demolished bridge ...

... to Waterloo Village

View of river looking east

Path heading east

Heading up canal plane 4

Huge stone walls ...

... on either side

Original sleeper stones

Ferns where canal used to be

On blue-blazed bike loop

Narrow path heading west

JORBA obstacle course

Musconetcong River

View of demolished bridge

Laura looking east

Dan and the river [photo by Laura]

Back to desolate Waterloo Valley road

Waterfall on path south of road

Old RR bed (?) heading west

Bike Festival sign

View east

Back to Kinney Road

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