Saturday, April 25, 2015

NJ Appalachian Trail - Section 2 - NJ 94 to Liberty Corners Road

April 25, 2015

Miles: 14.3

Time:  6 hours 44 minutes
Elevation gain: 3,219 feet

Year to date miles:  119.9

Parking: Canal Road, room for around 8 cars.

Map: Appalachian Trail Conservancy New York / New Jersey Appalachian Trail Guide and Maps 

From parking area, pass by gate.
When AT goes straight or right, stay straight (northbound).
Walk on Pochuck boardwalk.
Cross Route 517 (parking along road - mostly people just walking the boardwalk park here)
Cross Route 565.
Ascend Pochuck Mountain
Pass Pochuck Shelter.
Arrive at Liberty Corners Road.
Retrace steps back to intersection of AT and road to parking area on Canal Street.
Continue southbound on the AT.
Cross pasture.
Arrive at Route 94.
Retrace steps back to intersection of AT and road to parking area on Canal Street.
Turn left on dirt road to arrive at parking area.

Hike description:

I enjoyed this hike. The trail in the beginning of the hike was bursting with wildflowers. The boardwalk over Pochuck swamp was incredible - it is long! We got to see so many turtles and red winged blackbirds. There is also a suspension bridge over the swamp - it looks sturdy, but it does creak a lot when you walk on it. Trek didn't like it one bit! There are many people who walk along the boardwalk - it really is a pretty walk. After leaving the swamp, the hike gets more hilly & rocky. The climb down Pochuck Mountain is reasonably steep and rocky, so slow going. Moxie, who is getting older, had some problems with the rock scrambling. The final part of the hike - heading to Route 94 is through pasture. There are multiple stiles to go over (which we assisted the dogs with). There is puncheon over the pasture - which is good, because it just looked like a field of muddy cow poop. Luckily the cattle were in the next pasture over.

The access road to the AT from the parking area.

Walking on the boardwalk. It goes forever!

Pochuck Mountain

View of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Preserve

Suspension bridge over a canal in the swamp

Cattle in the field next to us

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