Saturday, April 18, 2015

NJ Appalachian Trail - Section 3 - Vernie Swamp to brook north of High Point Shelter

April 18, 2015

Miles: 10.8

Time:  4 hours 19 minutes  
Elevation gain: 1,667 feet

Year to date miles:  99.5

Parking: Route 519, gravel area along road. Room for around 5 cars.

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

Facing the road from the parking area, turn right on the road.
Walk a short distance and then turn right into the woods.
Hike up steep hill.
Continue to hairpin turn at stream crossing.
Retrace steps to Route 519.
Cross street.
Continue along trail.
There are several street crossings - maybe 5?
Walk on puncheon over Vernie Swamp.
At end of the swamp, retrace steps back to Route 519.

Hike description:

Warm day, reaching around 80 degrees! Luckily not too humid. This hike was a mixture of rocky wooded trails, pastures, and puncheon. Only one steep hill - the rest of the hike was relatively level or easy hills. The hike had a number of stream crossings. We passed by two ponds - we saw one with several dead fish in it - so we didn't let the dogs swim in it. Part of the hike crossed fields & we had to climb over stiles. We didn't see any livestock - I'm not sure if any are ever in these fields. We re-hiked the puncheon over Vernie Swamp. We had hiked in this area during the winter, and had to give up because we lost the trail! We found where we got lost before - it was only around 30 yards from the end of the swamp! The puncheon were covered in snow before, so it was hard to find the trail and not fall into the swamp. Today it was so easy! We saw a few hikers today. There was a large church group backpacking for 4 days on the AT. And a couple of section hikers. I guess we count as section hikers too, even though we only do day hikes.

Returning from brook to Route 519.

Crossing over one of the stiles - Trek was able to do them by himself

Walking along the edge of one of the fields

Crossing the swamp

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