Timberbrook Lake

Timberbrook Pond, Farny State Park (5/21/2011)

We've hiked in Farny State Park, a surprisingly rugged area with 30 miles of trails in Morris County, a handful of times in the past. But we always did so without a map because none had been available. Last month the NYNJTC released an excellent new map set for the Jersey Highlands region, which covers Farny, as well as the neighboring patchwork of parcels owned by the Pequannock Watershed. So with map in hand, off we went to areas we've never hiked before. We saw lots of wildlife, including (within 10 minutes) a black bear mom with her two cubs, not more than 15 yards from us! They quickly scurried away but the mother stopped about 30 yards away to watch me as I snapped photos. (No, I didn't stay long.) We saw turtles (several in a swamp, one right on the trail far from the swamp), frogs, birds of many sorts, a snake, salamanders, chimpmunks, squirrels, you name it.

We parked at the end of Timberbrook Road, at a small dirt lot on the western side of the road, opposite the entrance to scout Camp Winnebago. We headed north on the Yellow trail to Timberbrook Pond, continued north on the White trail along the eastern bank. At the northern tip the water was too high to cross Timber Brook to get to the Wharton & Northern Railroad rail trail, so we followed the white-blazed "High Water Walk Around" to get to the rail trail a bit further east by following two woods roads. We then took the rail trail all the way to a woods road at the southern end of Charlotteburg Reservoir, turning right on a woods road and heading easterly along the bank of the reservoir (which you can't really see through the trees), before making a sharp right to continue uphill on yet another woods road, eventually (after taking the right at a fork) ending up at the beautiful Misty Pond. We crossed the dam, walked south along the western bank and found the Blue trail. We made a right here, then a right on the White trail, then a left on another woods road and eventually (after a right at another barely detectable fork) ended up walking back to the car through the gate of Camp Winnebago.

It should be noted that none of this description will make any sense without the aforementioned map in front of you. And even with the map, I would only recommend this hike to someone with a strong woods sense. For about a third of this hike I wasn't quite sure if we were on the right path. Amazingly we were, but we didn't know it.

Total distance hiked today was 5.8 miles in over 3.5 hours.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Camp Winnebago entrance

Boat on Yellow trail!

That's me [photo by Laura]

Everything is so green already!

Beautiful ferns line the path

A concerned momma bear!


Beautiful trail heading north

More ferns

Towers on western side of Timberbrook Pond

Time to get the trekking poles out

Buck marks

Swampy southern part of Timberbrook Pond

Red-winged black bird


View SW

View NW

Beautiful reflections in Timberbrook Pond

Houses on the western side

The dam at Timberbrook Pond

Blaze for the high water trail

Ruins of RR bridge

More ruins

Tie nails

Rails still in place

Bridge ruins

Roaring Timber Brook

Laura in ...

... the eroded RR bed

[Photo by Laura]

Drill mark

The RR bed was wet here

Swamp north of rail trail

Garter snake on trail

Complete view

Turtles sunning in swamp

Turtle in swamp

Dark red tannin color in standing water

The rail trail was flooded in many parts

Part of rail still in place

Yes, that's the rail trail after heavy rains

Frog in flooded trail

We walked along the edges

Gorgeous views ...

... of Charlotteburg Reservoir ...

... from the ...

... southern tip

A very muddy woods road

Curious chipmunk

Turtle on trail

Close-up of turtle

Laura and the turtle

Beaver lodge in Misty Pond

Woods road along Misty Pond

View from the western bank

Misty Pond

View south

View east

It's a small pond

But it's gorgeous

Dam of Misty Pond

Behind the dam

Crossing behind the dam

Wet puffy cattails

Crossing the dam

Misty Pond from southern tip

End of Blue trail

On a woods road

Collapsed building on woods road

Gate to woods road near Camp Winnebago

Laura at one of the camp signs

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