For those interested in the State Forests at the other end of NJ

Badfish740

Explorer
Feb 19, 2005
589
44
Copperhead Road
After getting the hang of using NJPB maps I went hog wild and began applying them to the area where I want to take my next big trip: Stokes/High Point/Delaware Water Gap. The Gap is actually closer to me than the pines and we'll probably camp up there in November. Between the land condemned by the Tocks Island Dam project and the various farms and tracts that were bought up to form High Point State Park and Stokes State Forest, there's a lot to be seen up there once you get off of the pavement. For those who are interested in getting up that way (or who live up that way), take a look. This is all pure conjecture-I've only been to Stokes/High Point a handful of times and the Gap maybe a dozen, so please feel free to correct/add to any information I've come up with here:

I had heard that some of the unpaved roads at Stokes are only gated from first snowfall until early Spring. However, I tried to use Google streetview to check out some of the roads and found some of the roads to be gated. The images were taken in July 2011. This road is located at the intersection of Sawmill and Ridge. It's an unnamed road that branches off and travels south toward Sawmill Lake. It appears on USGS topographic maps and on Google of course, but as you can see its gated via the yellow steel swinging gates they use to close off roads for snow machines/cross country skiing:

http://goo.gl/maps/Ny6YT

At the south end where it meets up with the loop around Sawmill it's gated with this temporary barrier:

http://goo.gl/maps/hGRsE

Is that a permanent closure or did they just not get around to opening this road that particular year? It's barely a mile long but just figured it might be somewhat interesting.

Additionally, you can see where Sawmill/Ridge Roads were realigned at one point. On this topo you can see that Sawmill and Ridge were connected by a paved road (highlighted in blue) and that the current alignment of Sawmill was only a hiking trail that went south around what was then just a small valley:

AbandonedRoadHighPoint_zps3288284b.jpg


Just the faintest trace of this road remains-you can see it on Bing Maps which has better aerial photography for this part of the state than Google:

http://binged.it/17ilPeP

Here's the view of where the road once intersected with Sawmill heading west toward Ridge:

http://goo.gl/maps/VAbE5

And now looking east toward Sawmill from where Ridge and Old Mashipacong intersect:

http://goo.gl/maps/URS74

Obviously not driveable, but might make for an interesting hike. According to the old topo there was at least one structure on the road about halfway between Ridge and Sawmill. Also of note-it seems that you can't drive between Old Mashipacong and Ridge? There is a gate here:

http://goo.gl/maps/8cFxt

A bit further south is what appears to be an abandoned farm situated between Ridge and Sawmill. It's labeled as "Jeep Trail" on a more recent topo:

JeepTrail_zps14dd7431.jpg


From this end it looks as though it might now be a hiking trail given the red sign and the gate? Looking west from Sawmill:

http://goo.gl/maps/Tjri2

However, looking east from the intersection with Ridge reveals an ungated road that looks somewhat traveled:

http://goo.gl/maps/6HCTS

Worth checking out I guess but probably a good idea to "proceed with caution" given the fact that it's gated at one end. Now for another oddity-Google clearly shows that Steenykill Road and Ridge Road connect via an unnamed/unpaved connector which also shows up on the newer topo:

http://goo.gl/maps/SnqQf

Looking northwest from Ridge-no gate to be seen:

http://goo.gl/maps/vCQEo

However, once again like the "Jeep Trail" road, the other end might not be so inviting. This is the view from the end of Steenykill Road where the unnamed connector with Ridge and a road called Carp Hill all meet up:

http://goo.gl/maps/t6Zfl

On the trees you can see "POSTED" and "NO TRESSPASSING" signs (That one looks like it has some additional message on it as well) and a "NO PARKING" sign. If you pan to the left you can see a private home, but I'm doubtful that they own any property beyond the footprint of the home itself. I'm guessing the home was there and the land around it was bought up by the state years ago when High Point State Park was established. Maybe they post the signs in hopes of keeping four wheelers/hikers out even though they don't actually have the right to do so? That happens frequently with hunters who live near WMA land-they post in hopes of keeping other hunters out who don't know the property boundaries well. Another gateway to this network of roads is where Reinhardt meets Old Mashipacong, and again, there are no signs or gates:

http://goo.gl/maps/t6Zfl

It does appear that at least some of this land is held by the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust, so this may be a hiking area only:

http://nj.gov/dep/njnlt/maps/reinhardt.jpg

I can't find any information on Carp Hill Road, the road that runs between Reinhardt and the unnamed connector. Moving further south and west to the area around Deckertown Turnpike there is or was a trail of some kind that extended from Deckertown Turnpike through Mashipacong Bog/Camp property back to Deckertown Turnpike. This may have even been the original alignment of the road:

OldDeckertown_zps431f80be.jpg


Bing Maps reveals an image of what is left of it whereas Google Maps does not:

http://binged.it/17iCJKh

A check of Google Streetview on Deckertown Turnpike does not turn up any obvious entrance from the west side, but the roadway has been built up so it would be hard to see. The other end now serves as the driveway to the Summer camp:

http://goo.gl/maps/6unOY

It might be a nice hike in from the western end of Deckertown. The historic topo indicates it may have been paved, so there would likely be something left of it in the woods. DeGroat, between Grau and Meyer looks like it even offers some hillclimbs based on the elevation changes-you climb about 400' in just over a mile before descending into a small valley and coming back up again:

DeGroat_zps465a88c7.jpg


Also, it doesn't look as though Degroat is equipped with a gate (at least at this end-the other end can't be viewed), so maybe it's open year round?:

http://goo.gl/maps/McBaO

Another really interesting one is an unnamed connector between Skellenger Road just south of Lake Wapalane and Sunrise Mountain. The road forks at one point and there is a structure at the end of the north tine of the fork. The part of the road that continues on is shaded purple which would indicate private property which is kind of strange. The connection to Sunrise Mountain can't be seen because of the raised roadbed, but from Skellenger looking south it looks as though the road may have been permanently turned into a hiking trail:

http://goo.gl/maps/pd7Ok

The Shotwell Camping Area has a road that seems to connect to Tuttles Corner Road:

Shotwell_zps98251c67.jpg


It's gated and looks overground from the camping area:

http://goo.gl/maps/TJAUa

The Tuttles Corner end can't be viewed. Now here's a real mystery. There seems to be a road which connects Woods Road (part of Kittatinny Lake) and Coss Road, which connects Struble and Woods:

MysteryRoad_zps13bbd829.jpg


I can find no evidence of this road on Bing, which is usually pretty good at picking up old tracks in the woods:

http://binged.it/1cev0nE

Likewise, there's no image available on Google. In theory though, if its there and not gated, you should be able to travel from Woods Road (which is not private as far as I know) to Coss. From there you can either head northwest to Struble, or Southeast to the unpaved continuation of Woods Road. Woods Road (at least as far as Google Maps is concerns goes all the way to Bevans and past it, but if I remember correctly, there may be a gate there as per the NY/NJ Trail Coalition maps. It's also worth nothing that the only unpaved road (according to the topo) is the unnamed road. However, Bevans looks unpaved from this view off of Owassa Turnpike:

http://goo.gl/maps/1ppqX

A word of caution on Bevans-it crosses the Appalachian Trail, so no idea how that would affect access. All in all, this entire group of roads looks worth exploring:

http://goo.gl/maps/lKCos

Between Struble Road and Brook Road, an unpaved connector is shown that seems to follow a creek bed:

StrubleExtension_zpsf1c908a4.jpg


An examination of Bing Maps reveals other possible roads as well as abandoned fields, which makes sense since this area is within the Delaware Water Gap, where homes and farms were condemned in preparation for the failed Tocks Island Dam Project:

http://binged.it/17j0hP6

Happy trails!
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,127
Coastal NJ
This is, I do believe, the longest single post I have ever seen on NJPineBarrens :guinness: Congrat's!!

Although I have spent mucho time up that way, I can't answer your questions. Just respect pvt property, folks are very particular up there, and you should get a lot of exercise.
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
71
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Yes, that post is formidable in its magnitude :).

I can't answer these questions either, since that is a little further north than where I regularly spend my time. But in general the whole area was private long before it was public, and the remains of old roads, homesteads, structures, farms, etc., are pretty much everywhere.
 

Badfish740

Explorer
Feb 19, 2005
589
44
Copperhead Road
This is, I do believe, the longest single post I have ever seen on NJPineBarrens :guinness: Congrat's!!

Although I have spent mucho time up that way, I can't answer your questions. Just respect pvt property, folks are very particular up there, and you should get a lot of exercise.

Yes, that post is formidable in its magnitude :).

I can't answer these questions either, since that is a little further north than where I regularly spend my time. But in general the whole area was private long before it was public, and the remains of old roads, homesteads, structures, farms, etc., are pretty much everywhere.



:D Thanks-once I got into them I kinda went nuts... Toggling between the new imaging and the old topo/1930s aerial photos is pretty cool up in this area-particularly at Round Valley and Spruce Run reservoirs. Both were constructed in the 1950s/1960s-interesting to see the farms that occupied both valleys. My next area to tackle is the broad expanse of wilderness stretching across eastern Sussex/western Passaic/northern Bergen Counties (Newark Watershed/Wayawanda State Park, etc..)-with all of the iron mining and timber activity up there there are bound to be countless old roads to explore. As long as Ben doesn't mind me posting about non-pines stuff here in the off-topic forum I'll keep it going.
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
1,599
385
Trenton
My friends and I have explored many of the old mines in northern New Jersey. The New Jersey DEP has an extensive list of defunct mines and their locations in the archives. I have squeezed into some tight spaces exploring old mines. The worst mine I have ever been in I think was used for testing by Ingersoll-Rand. It had pooled stagnant water that you had to crawl on your belly to get through. It was so much fun.

I recall seeing capped test holes and core samples from the corps drilling for the Tocks Island dam in Pennsylvania, but I can't remember exactly the location. I haven't been in the area on the other side of the river in a long time.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
7,957
1,709
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Also realize that a lot of roads were closed up there after Hurricane Irene in 2011. Some of them were just re-opened in the last couple months. If you're looking at aerials from 2011, that might be a factor.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,127
Coastal NJ
I recall seeing capped test holes and core samples from the corps drilling for the Tocks Island dam in Pennsylvania, but I can't remember exactly the location. I haven't been in the area on the other side of the river in a long time.

There are quite a few on the Jersey side as well. It is well ventilated. :D In the end, the core samples showed that the geology of the area could not support the building of a dam in that location. And so the gubmint screwed up the lives of many, for absolutley nuttin'. The only saving grace, if you can call it that, is most of the area was preserved from any further foolishness.
 
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Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
1,599
385
Trenton
There are quite a few on the Jersey side as well.

Does the Rock Cores Trail still exist?

Over the years, I have come across and been shown a few poorly sealed bore holes on the Jersey side and dropped rocks down them counting away the seconds to see if I could hear the thud or a splash of them hitting the bottom. I was trying to gauge the bore depths using the formula 9.8m/s/s. It has never worked.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,250
2,502
Pines; Bamber area
:p

Reminds me of the time in 1977 I took my CJ5 up to the Catskills. I took a dim road such as you show and it would up and up and up (crazy me at 23 kept going) until we came to the end. A little cabin/house, all snug up there against a drop-off with a beautiful view of lakes and mountains in the distance. Two elderly gents were puttering around a well-kept little yard. The smaller of the two approached me with a stainless steel bug or garden sprayer in his hand. He said "how'd you get up here?". When I told him he looked at me with a mean look and a squint in his eye and said "turn around and get back down right now". I did.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
7,957
1,709
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I was on the Rock Cores trail last fall when I hiked up to Sunfish Pond - it's still there (see map link below). There's some kind of plaque with a bit of info on it. Quite a climb up to Sunfish Pond, but well worth it. Sure isn't like hiking around the pines... you will find out how good a shape you're really in. :D The Coppermine trail is cool also, there are mine holes right along it.

http://www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/upload/Hikes.pdf

Pick up a copy of Beck's The Roads of Home if you don't already have one.
_________

"What were you thinking about?"

"About those mine holes up in the mountain. About Sunfish Pond and Catfish Pond and all we could see if we could only get up there."

"We'd never make it," the schoolteacher from Newton assured me. "Haven't got the feet for it -- or the wind, either. Beyond that, neither you nor I can take the time. Even if we had permission we'd probably have to have one of the rangers or a guide -- they'd both come from the same place but we'd have to have them. And even with a guide it would take all of a day to get to the top of the Ridge and see things on the way. You just couldn't come down right away. You wouldn't do it anyway, for it would be dark before you'd get half started."
_________

Just like the Pines, Beck inspired me to explore the Delaware Water Gap. :)
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,127
Coastal NJ
I was on the Rock Cores trail last fall when I hiked up to Sunfish Pond - it's still there (see map link below). There's some kind of plaque with a bit of info on it. Quite a climb up to Sunfish Pond, but well worth it. Sure isn't like hiking around the pines... you will find out how good a shape you're really in. :D The Coppermine trail is cool also, there are mine holes right along it.

http://www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/upload/Hikes.pdf

Pick up a copy of Beck's The Roads of Home if you don't already have one.
_________

"What were you thinking about?"

"About those mine holes up in the mountain. About Sunfish Pond and Catfish Pond and all we could see if we could only get up there."

"We'd never make it," the schoolteacher from Newton assured me. "Haven't got the feet for it -- or the wind, either. Beyond that, neither you nor I can take the time. Even if we had permission we'd probably have to have one of the rangers or a guide -- they'd both come from the same place but we'd have to have them. And even with a guide it would take all of a day to get to the top of the Ridge and see things on the way. You just couldn't come down right away. You wouldn't do it anyway, for it would be dark before you'd get half started."
_________

Just like the Pines, Beck inspired me to explore the Delaware Water Gap. :)

Sounds like Beck and the schoolteacher were out of shape ;)
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
7,957
1,709
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Haha, really! He was 54 - that book was published in 1956 and Beck was born in 1902 (died in 1965). I will say however, I'm in better shape today at age 64 than I was 10 years ago.

I didn't realize Beck died so young until I just looked that up. What a shame. IIRC, he was in poor health in his later years. I really love his books. Just opening it up to copy that quote reminds me it's time to go back and read them all again. It's like getting re-acquainted with an old friend. :)
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
71
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Haha, really! He was 54 - that book was published in 1956 and Beck was born in 1902 (died in 1965). I will say however, I'm in better shape today at age 64 than I was 10 years ago.

I didn't realize Beck died so young until I just looked that up. What a shame. IIRC, he was in poor health in his later years. I really love his books. Just opening it up to copy that quote reminds me it's time to go back and read them all again. It's like getting re-acquainted with an old friend. :)


I think they took a jeep a good part of the way, if I recall that passage. Started with a boat ride across the river, didn't it? I have to get that one out and reread it again soon. I think that's the one that inspired me to go looking for the Log Gaol milestone on Johnsonville Rd.
 

wks

Scout
Feb 12, 2021
67
44
58
Queens New York
Beautiful scenery up in that corner of New Jersey.

20150729184519_stlion19~2.jpg


I have been to Port Jervis New York many times.
I have seen the High Point New Jersey monument from Port Jervis.

20150729184454_stlion17_2~2.jpg


Delaware River borders New York and Pennsylvania at Port Jervis.
Nearby it borders New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

20150727094556_stln0730153~4.jpg


My photos from Port Jervis about five years ago.
I am interested in visiting High Point State Park this year.
 
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