Walking the Manasquan Reservoir

Walking the Manasquan Reservoir

Recently I was at the Manasquan Reservoir.  Even with the number of times I tried to spell it writing the post, I’ve struggled!

Anyway, the perimeter loop is 5 miles and it’s an, scenic, flat loop. You can run or walk, whatever you’re feeling like.  It took me about 2 hours to walk, but I was taking my time and seeing what I saw.  It would be a fairly nice loop to run or even do a workout on.  Why didn’t I run? I was catching up with a couple of people and it was a cross training day. I would come back and run.

It’s definitely an easy hike or walk but there is always a view along the way.  Plus, I saw people riding horses which I haven’t seen in a while. I parked near the boat ramp and just walked around that way.

The Manasquan Reservoir Park has about 1,200 acres which include the reservoir itself plus the surrounding forests and wetlands. While it was cold when we were out, you can definitely boat or fish at the reservoir too.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

It’s well marked with plenty of signs. It’s next to impossible to get lost (believe me, if there is a way to get lost, I will)

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

A few bridges in the beginning

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The water wasn’t frozen over but the tree branches had their fair share of icicles.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

Much of the path is easy, crushed, gravel

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

A pack of deer literally right next to me. They were tame and didn’t care…

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The final section goes by the road. It’s not more than 1/2 mile though.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

In all, it was a beautiful but cold adventure. I like the Manasquan reservoir and I definitely want to come back and run.

You Can See All NJ Hikes Here.

2019 Winter Hikes I’ve Done:

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Questions for you:

What is your favorite season to hike?

Have you ever come close to a deer? 

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

I haven’t had a lot of time to hike lately and I’ve missed it.  Truthfully between running and hiking, there are times I just appreciate hiking. Not trail running but just hiking and tooling around in on trails for a few hours. I’ve wanted to get to the Headley Overlook for a while.

Headley Overlook is located in Mahlon Dickerson Park in northwest NJ.  The park itself has about 10 miles of hiking or running depending on your mood. I went the day after a few days of rain, so the park was wetter than normal but still moderately easy to get through.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

The Headley Overlook looks over Lake Hopatcong and then follows a pass by the highest point in Morris County (1395′).

Then you return down an old flat rail bed.  You can hike anywhere between 1-10 miles because of all of the trail systems. We set out to stay around 3 hours. It ended up being somewhere between 5-7 miles.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

We parked at the beautiful and peaceful Saffin Pond. We started on the teal diamond which was rocky and a little wet due to rain.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Nothing too strenuous and I used my Under Armour Gore Trail shoes with no issues.  Slowly I started climbing over the course of a mile and arrived to the Headley Overlook around 2.5 miles. The view is wonderful and you can see Lake Hopatcong in the distance.

Around 4 miles, I reached the highest point in Morris County. It’s not the highest spot in NJ, but up there.

highest point morris county me

From there, we hiked back to the car which was another hour or so. We explored the old rail beds.  It was the lowest, and the wettest area from all of the rain.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

In all, it was a peaceful hike. The entire park has about 10 miles of trails which are doable for most, especially the rail bed (which is almost completely flat).

You can see all hikes here. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite hiking spot?

What is your favorite season to hike?

I thought mine was summer, but truthfully, I enjoy the lack of bugs and people during this time of the year.

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Recently, I found myself in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  Phillipsburg doesn’t get a lot of attention in the Garden State.  It’s an area northwest of Trenton and an area that is truly considered “the Garden State”.  I decided to take a walk at the 650 acre Merrill Creek Reservoir.  The reservoir is a man-made lake with a dam constructed in 1986-1987. A surprising fact is the construction cost $217 million and was one of the largest construction projects in the US.

Merrill Creek has plenty of space and can be used for running, hiking, cross-country skiing, and photography. If I was local it would be somewhere I would run. There are several loops but I chose to walk around the 5.5-mile perimeter loop.  It’s fairly flat and well maintained.

There are beautiful views of both the reservoir as well as mountains in the background.  If I lived close by, I could see myself running there.  It was quiet and there were only a few others on the trail.


Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

The bark peeled off means a bear got to it :O

The trail was a bit flooded over in one small section

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

You could walk over the dam

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

In all, it was a lot of fun and a short easy walk. It took about 2 hours to complete.  If you’re looking for something easy, scenic, and fun, the Merrill Creek Reservoir is a good option.

You Can See More Hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever walked around a reservoir

Where is your favorite spot to hike around you?

Exploring Sandy Hook

Exploring Sandy Hook

Recently, my husband and I went up to Sandy Hook and the Gateway Recreational Area.

The Sandy Hook Unit is located in Sandy Hook which is on the northeast shore of New Jersey.   Why is it called the “Gateway”?

Photo was taken by me when we flew over it last year

The barrier peninsula forms the other side of the “gateway” to New York Harbor. The Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area is located in New Jersey. In total, Sandy Hook has 6 miles of beaches. There are also many historical sites, including Fort Hancock, Lighthouse,  Missile site, and military artillery batteries.

sandy hook gateway recreation area

There are Two Primary Sites:

Fort Hancock: served as part of the harbor’s coastal defense system from 1895 until 1974.  There are over 100 historic buildings still left today.

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

Walking through the Battery

sandy hook gateway recreation area

Sandy Hook itself contains seven beaches.  What I didn’t realize was there is even a nude beach (Gunnison Beach).  Since it was 40 and windy, no one was there.  Surrounding the beaches are salt marshes.  It looked like it was an excellent spot for both fishing and surfing as we saw more people doing that than exploring.

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

OMG nude beach

Also worth your while to check out is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. sandy hook gateway recreation area

There are three hiking trails and one short boardwalk within the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. We spent about 90 minutes walking around, but it looks like a great spot to get to run or bike over 10 miles.  Most of the trails are bike path or pavement.

sandy hook gateway recreation area

In all, we had a great time.  Not our typical “hike through woods” but never the less a great time. It would be a beautiful beach or trail to run if we lived closer.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to a nude beach? (I actually have when I went on a cruise to the Carribean a while back).

Do you have any cool historical spots near you? 

Exploring Wells State Park (Sturbridge, MA)

Exploring Wells State Park (Sturbridge, MA)

It looks like Wells State Park is my last post for summer hiking. This summer, I was lucky enough to have time to hike in several spots in the Northeast.  Heck, I even did a couple of mountain races too.  I genuinely enjoy hiking as much as running.

Anyway, on my way back from the Boothbay Half, my husband and I stopped around Sturbridge.  Instead of running, we opted for a 4-5 mile hike in Wells State Park.  Wells State Park is neat because there is plenty of camping.  We were out early, and we saw lots of other hikers and campers.  It was never overwhelming, and it wasn’t as if the trails went right through campsites.  If I lived in the area, this would be a place I would camp.

Wells State Park is about 1,400-acres. Apparently, there are the campground has 60  sites. We primarily hiked around Walker Pond which appears you can fish or swim depending on the location.

There are over 10 miles of trails which are for hiking.  There is also a road that goes through the park for campers to easier setup sites.

Here are a few photos:

Wells State Park Sturbridge MA hiking

Around Walker Pond

Wells State Park Sturbridge MA hiking

Dirt Path

 

 

Wells State Park Sturbridge MA hiking

More Hiking

Wells State Park Sturbridge MA hiking

Wells State Park Sturbridge MA hiking

Do you see the frog?  I didn’t until my husband pointed him out.

Wells State Park Sturbridge MA hiking

Wells State Park Sturbridge MA hiking

In all, we had a great time, and if I’m ever back in the area, I will go back.  The trail itself is easy, and doable for kids or dogs.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour
Hiking through Belleplain State Forest
Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC
Walk Out a Mile and It Down Pours
Hiking Shark River Park

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

Do you like camping? I haven’t been in a while, but I don’t mind. 

What is something fun you did this summer? 

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