Washington Valley Park, West

Washington Valley Park, West (8/4/2013)

The last time we hiked in this rugged area was nearly six years ago, when we followed a hike in the newly-released 3rd edition of 50 Hikes in New Jersey. At that time we traversed trails in the middle region of the park. A recent examination of the park map revealed an expanded network of trails that begged to be explored. So back we headed today. Like last time, we parked in the lot on Newman's Lane just south of Middle Brook. It should be noted that the bridge that crosses over that brook is currently closed to traffic due to construction. It's impossible at the moment to get to the parking area from the north; the only option is from the south.

We first headed west on Blue (right across Newman's Lane from the parking lot) and then stayed right at each fork (Blue is a network of trails west of Newman's Lane) paralleling Middle Brook. It was our intent to get on the white-blazed Middle Brook trail (MBT) at Newman's Lane but we could only find Blue, which we took west until it merged with the MBT. Our next hope was to take the MBT as far west as Argonne Farm, then turn back. But when we reached Crim Road, we encountered a sign announcing that the MBT was closed west of that point due to unsafe conditions. So we turned back at Crim Road, skirted the Crim Road soccer fields and then took the most southern and western Blue trails over the mountain and back to Newman's Lane.

Total distance hiked today was 4.5 miles in about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

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Kiosk at parking area

Huge parking lot

Newman's Lane closed at bridge

Heading into woods on Blue

First view of Middle Brook

Middle Brook

Gorgeous narrow path


Igneous basalt along parts

Continuing west

Now on the MBT

Bench over Middle Brook

Sturdy bridge over Middle Brook

But there's no path!

Middle Brook from bridge

View east

[Photo by Laura]

Beautiful purple damselfly


MBT wet in spots

Boardwalk in wet area

Heading to Tullo Road

Busy bee

Gate on Tullo Road

Bridge over stream

Middle Brook west of Tullo

View north

[Photo by Laura]

MBT blaze in park

MBT map

MBT closed west of Crim Road

Crim Road soccer fields

Tullo Road bridge over Middle Brook

Golden rod

A cicada! But not Brood II

Middle Brook


Amorous Japanese beetles

Climbing Blue


Ascending on Blue

Red cedar

Lovely ...

... meandering path

Huge uprooted tree

Short boardwalk

Tiny stream

JORBA obstacle

JORBA bridge

[Photo by Laura]


Beautiful ...

... boulders

Abandoned car

Interesting rock patterns

Construction sign

View to pedestrian bridge

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