Sunday, November 8, 2015

NJ Appalachian Trail - Section 5 - Crater Lake Trail to Millbrook-Blairstown Road

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
11/8/2015 11.6 miles 5 hours 1,489' 2.6 mph 682.8

Trail Map
Trail Map & Guide
Parking: Skyline Drive (just after turning left onto it from Blue Mountain Lakes Road)

Hike directions:
Head into forest behind the parking area.
Within 50' reach the AT.
Turn right.
Pass Crater Lake Trail on left.
Climb steeply.
Join a woods road.
Reach intersection with Crater Lake trail again.
Turn around and retrace steps.
Cross Blue Mountain Lakes Road.
Walk along woods road, which eventually becomes rocky.
Descend to a beaver pond on the right.
Turn around at Millbrook-Blairstown Road and retrace steps to parking area.

This hike didn't have a lot of elevation gain, but was rocky - which made for tricky footing with all of the leaves on the ground. We brought along our senior dog, figuring it wouldn't be too bad for her. There is a rock scramble on this hike though - near Crater Lake Trail. We had to carefully lift her up and down. We even helped our younger dog, because it looked like a place where he could injure himself on a tree root if he slipped. Yeah for harnesses!
Other than that section all of the elevation gains were much more gradual or had easier footing.

We didn't stop by Crater Lake - it was only in the 40's today, so taking the dogs swimming wasn't appealing. We did pass by a pond - but it was a rather murky beaver pond. Not ideal for swimming. This hike does not have much in the way of fresh water (unless you want to drink out of the beaver pond - ick).

The trail going west of Blue Mountain Lakes Road is very easy for around 1.8 miles. Good footing, minimal elevation gain - nice to be able to move quickly without worrying about tripping on rocks.

Approaching rock scramble area

Woods road with no rocks! Dogs were loving it!

Swimming was not encouraged

Back on the easy woods road

Approaching the parking area

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