Monday, November 23, 2009

Jonathan Woods, Hog Pen Hike, Denville, NJ

Jonathan Woods, Denville NJ

Hog Pen Hike in Denville NJ's Jonathan Woods

Emma and I had the hike of our lives on 11/14/09 discovering Jonathan Woods and the Hog Pen Hike in Denville, NJ. This hike was part of Morris County Park Commission's Hike A Park A Month program and led by Jim Florance from Protect Our Wetlands, Water & Woods [POWW].

If you remember back to Morris County Hiking Trails in Daily Record, that is when I learned about Hike A Park A Month. I followed up with Russ Nee - listed in the article as contact - and eagerly enlisted for this hike.

Tom Edmunds from MCPC Trails Mapping/GIS welcomed us at the Cedar Lake Community Club House at 9am. That was our starting point, by special permission. For future hikes to Jonathan Woods and Hogs Pen, consider accessing the park from Ford Road where there is parking.

Protect Our Wetlands, Water & Woods - POWWWWe lucked out with the weather: no rain during the hike despite the looming Nor'easter parked by Manhattan. Eighteen fellow hikers took part in our 4.3 miles and 2 hours 38 minutes hike.

As you can see from the photo display above [that Tom Edmunds created], we started off with an overview presentation of the Park area and history of how it came to be. Jim Florance, our hike leader and a member of POWWW, explained the piecing together of parcels of land that POWWW has been extremely active in making happen since 2001.

In addition to the environmental benefits that this park offers, it also has historic meaning. More specifically, Hog Pen is an area where "settlers built stone walls between the two [ridges] that served as a sanctuary for themselves and their livestock during the Revolutionary War's Battle of Springfield in 1780. The land is also an integral part of a trail system which eventually will link Pyramid Mountain through Boonton Township to Wildcat Ridge."

For our trail details, I've included identification of the path we followed:

Trail Details For Hog's Pen Hike, Jonathan Woods, Denville NJ

Map your trip with EveryTrail

On the POWWW site, you can find several links to maps, in addition to the map linked to above showing Jonathan's Woods and parking:

+ The Jonathan Woods trail map
+ The Jonathan Woods topographical map

It also includes listings of upcoming events - such as the 2010 NJ Audubon co-sponsored hike and a wildflower hike - as well as ongoing projects like the deer exclusion fencing project.

Photos Taken During Hog Pen Hike in Jonathan's Woods in Denville, NJ

Instead of affixing all of my photos to the EveryTrail map, I uploaded them to Flickr and share them with you via slideshow.

[Subscribers, click on this link to view the Flickr slideshow of our Jonathan Woods Hogpen Hike in Denville, NJ.]

Next Hike Details - It's In Kinnelon!

Now, the most exciting news of all is that December 2009 hike takes place in our very own Silas Condict Park in Kinnelon, NJ! I hope you will join us.

Here are details. If you plan to attend, please make contact with Tom Edmunds to reserve a spot. His email is tedmunds [at] morrisparks [dot] net. And, if you must cancel last minute, please do let him know, too.

DATE: December 5

PLACE: MCPC Silas Condit Park in Kinnelon, NJ

TIME: 9 AM start about 2.5 to 3 hours

MEETING: Far parking lot opposite picnic shelter and the “casino”. We hope to have access into the casino.

NOTE: This may be a difficult hike for some as it will require bushwhacking in a few areas and some steep slippery slopes especially if we have snow/ice beforehand. Definitely wear good hiking boots and your favorite walking stick/cane.

Many thanks to Tom Edmunds and Jim Florance for this scenic hike. We really enjoyed ourselves, loved learning about the area and appreciated how welcoming the entire group was.

See you in December at Silas Condict!

BTW, look for Morris County and the Park Commission on Facebook; I just became a fan. You can also find them on Twitter.

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