West Morris Greenway

West Morris Greenway (4/13/2013)

Last week Daniela and Shawnee hiked this section of the West Morris Greenway as part of a much longer hike. Today we decided to walk the 4-mile section from Pleasant Hill Road in Chester to Main Street in Randolph (much of it aligned with Patriot's Path), then do a spur heading NE for a closer look at the Lamington River before heading back to the car in Chester. We used this map which gives an overview of many of the surrounding trails in the area, but which doesn't include the spur to the river at Main Street in Randolph. The path is the original grade of the Chester Branch of the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad. If you want solitude, this is the rail trail for you. The only time you will hear road sounds is at the trail head, and no where else! Ironically, we walked this same stretch in July of 2010 but didn't realize that until we got home. The path looks much different between seasons.

The highlight was on our return. Glancing NW into the gorgeous swampy area adjacent to the path, my eye caught sight of what looked like a dozen or so nests high atop some trees about 100 yards away. I zoomed in with my 35x optical zoom and saw birds perched atop a few of them, moving ever so slightly. It was a community of Great Blue Herons. A few were performing look-out duty while others were lying in their nests. Soon the trees will be filled with leaves and there will be no chance of seeing the nests from the path, so we felt very fortunate to see them today. I was able to snap a few photos through the thicket of branches and they are posted below.

Total distance covered was over 9 miles in about 3.5 hours.

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

Pleasant Hill Road trail head

Next to Bethlehem Hermitage


Heading east

View to the Hermitage

Approaching ...

... the Lamington River


Swampy river

Cat tail

Christmas Tree ...

... with decorations!

Continuing east

Wet section


Old tie still in RR bed

Skunk cabbage

Sandy damage cleared

Skunk cabbage bud

Woods road to right

Blue blazes of the WMG

Swamp at ...

... Lamington River

Spring buds


Line of pines


WMG emblem


Interesting line of trees

Green patches in swamp

Side of path sprouting

Bridge ...

... over stream

Building on Main Street

Gate Main Street end

Spur to river

Views of ...

... Lamington River

Heading back on spur

Blow down


Skunk cabbage on WMG

[Photo by Laura]

Heading back ...

... west

Dead garter snake

Powerline cut south

Path goes on forever

Views in ...

... powerline cut

Community of nests

Two Great Blue Herons ...

... stand guard

Tufted titmouse

Mine tailings

View west

Gorgeous greens

Swampy ...

... Lamington River

Cat tails

Woodpecker work

Brown Creeper

Garter snake


Spring is here!

The dreaded Glove Creeper

Birches along the way

Puddle reflections

Beautiful ...

... colors on ...

... Lamington River

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