Weldon Brook Wildlife Management Area

Weldon Brook WMA (8/6/2011)

What a pleasant surprise this Wildlife Management Area was! But unless you have a good map (like the NYNJTC Jersey Highlands Trails Central North Region Trail Map 126), and in addition a GPS device (like an iPhone loaded with the MotionX-GPS app), you may have some difficulty. As is typical in WMAs, none of the trails are blazed, even though they're in terrific shape. This was the first time we ever hiked in this rugged area, just north of the Sussex-Morris Country boundary. We visited two named lakes, one unnamed (at least on the map), saw some interesting ruins, lots of boundary walls, explorartory pits, lots of unusual insects (like a dung beetle!) and lovely wildflowers in a powerline cut, among other delights.

We parked just off Route 15, on Blue Heron Road, across the street from a small office complex and headed east through the gate, bypassing the trails to Blue Heron Lake (saving that lake for lunch) and eventually headed north to Arapaho Lake. We took another trail back south, passing through two relatively large (unnamed) bodies of water in the eastern section of the WMA. This crossing was alot of fun because of the flooding. Had we not had trekking poles, which came in quite handy while balancing on the few felled trees across the water, it would have been very tricky. We continued south in the powerline cut until reaching a large communications tower where we headed NW. Eventually we got back to the stick of the lollipop, where we headed back west towards the car, but not without first visiting the lovely Blue Heron Lake where we had lunch, and where I saw lucky enough to actually see a blue heron flying away across the lake from where we ate.

Total distance hiked today was 6.7 miles in 4 hours, in the shape of a lollipop.

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

Heading east from the gate

Ruins less than 10 minutes in


View north

Crossing on logs

Beaver activity


Now heading north ...

... along sturday ...

... boundary walls

Arapaho Trail Road

Boat at Lake Arapaho

Various views ...

... of Lake Arapaho

[Photo by Laura]

Lake Arapaho

Lady of the lake

House on Arapaho Trail Road

A grassy start of next trail

Skeletal and fur remains

Mostly dry stream crossing

Shot-up WMA sign

Tangled rhododendron thicket


Interesting tree!

Path is a woods road here

Unnamed lake

Laura crossing at left

Crossing on felled trees

Beaver lodge, ducks, a turtle!

Busy bees at lake

View NW

Laura on narrow path

My turn [photo by Laura]



Climbing to ...

... the flowery powerline cut

View SW

Monarch butterfly

Wildflowers in path

Bright orange mushrooms

Bear tracks in mud

Another busy bee

More gorgeous color

Looking north

View south ...

... to Lake Hopatcong

Commnications tower

Danger indeed

A hard-working dung beetle!

Laura dwarfed

Curious locust

Fragrant honeysuckle

Rocky path

Another awesome beetle



Muddy section

Very tiny mushroom

Lots of green


Old utility pole

Flowers ...

... cattails ...

... and a blue heron ...

... at Blue Heron Lake

Our lunch spot

Pink lotus flower

More of them!


Beaver lodges

Lodges from other side

Abandonded drum

Blue Heron Lake

Wildflower against lotus background

Laura surveying the lake

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
Web design by Dan Balogh