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? 

Alexis Diner (Denville)

Alexis Diner (Denville)

After Hiking the Mahlon Reservation and Headley Overlook, I stopped at the Alexis Diner. When I arrived around dinner time, it wasn’t crowded and there were plenty of booths and tables open. I got a booth in the back which was peaceful.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Atmosphere: A
The Alexis Diner is everything you expect in a diner. The atmosphere is big, shiny, metallic, and stands out in a local shopping center.  The inside is lit by blue lights with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  There is a large dessert case towards the front with plenty of delicious looking treats.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was good but nothing unique or unusual. That’s been the trend lately. It wasn’t the best or worst, just average.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Food: B
After hiking, I was hungry. Alexis Diner has 10+ pages of food, so you’ll struggle not finding what you’re looking for.

I can never turn down a good Greek platter and ordered the  “Greek Pikilia” for an appetizer. It came with olives, spanokopita, grape leaves, pita, and tomatoes. It could have used hummus to round it out, but other than that it was good.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

For my entree, I ordered the “Heartburn Hotel” which came with hot pastrami, imported swiss, cole slaw, and spicy mustard. The sandwich itself was good, but could have used more mustard. It also came with French fries which were good, but nothing unusual.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

It was so much food, I ended up bringing some home.

Service: B
The waitress was friendly and one of the best I’ve had. I was disappointed because both the appetizer and entree came out at the same time. It wasn’t a make or break for coming back but I doubt I would have ordered both if I knew they would come out at the same time.

Cost: $$
For the coffee; appetizer, and meal it was $30. It’s definitely one of the most expensive diners I’ve been too.

Overall Thoughts:
I liked the Alexis Diner and I would go back if I’m in the area. It’s definitely expensive though.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee:  B
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $20-30
Overall: B

You Can See All 226 Diners Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of sandwich?
Do you like hummus?

Hibernia Diner (Rockaway)

Hibernia Diner (Rockaway)

The Hibernia Diner has been one of the most suggested diners since I started my diner journey. The timing hasn’t worked out until recently so when it did; I was excited to finally try it.

Hibernia Diner Rockaway nj

I got there on the weekend around lunchtime, and it was crowded, but we were quickly given a table. I asked for either a table or booth that wasn’t front and center, but the manager bluntly said no.

Atmosphere: B
The Hibernia Diner is a modern building. It’s open, with plenty of parking. It’s not the stereotypical metallic, shiny, building but the inside is clean and modern.Hibernia Diner Rockaway nj

The inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar. We were given my least favorite table, the one that sat in the front and center directly next to the drink station.  (I hate being front and center of any restaurant and there were other tables open). I would have preferred any other table, but the manager said no.

Coffee: A
The coffee was good, and the Hibernia Diner served Lacas coffee from South Jersey. I could have used more refills, but I have no complaints about the coffee itself.

Hibernia Diner Rockaway nj

Food: B
The Hibernia Diner has everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The best part is you can order anything, at any time.  They even have a separate menu to “eat on trend” with avocado toast and other unique options.

I decided to order the Country Steak Breakfast. It came with fried steak, eggs (I chose over easy), home fries, and toast (I picked rye).

Hibernia Diner Rockaway nj

The Country Steak had a thick gravy on top. It tasted great, and the steak itself was cooked perfectly. The eggs and both were good too. The hash browns were undercooked and still somewhat cold. The majority of my meal was good though.

Service: C
The waitress was friendly, but the service was a little slower than I would have hoped. The food took a while to come out.  I was somewhat salty about the manager giving us a blunt no at a simple request to sit at a different table though.

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was $15.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
I liked the Hibernia Diner, and if I’m back in the area, I will go back.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: B
Service: B
Cost: $10-20
Overall: B

You can see all 225 NJ Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite way to eat steak?
Do you prefer a booth or a table?

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.

Fireside Family Restaurant (Pitman, NJ)

Fireside Family Restaurant (Pitman, NJ)

On my way back to Virginia, I decided to stop at the Fireside Family Restaurant in Pitman, NJ.  When I arrived on Sunday, it was busy, but by the time I left, there was a line out the door which made it hard to get out.

Atmosphere: B
The Fireside Family Restaurant is a small square building that appears that it had an extension at some point.  The outside has plenty of parking. It’s a modest building and not a big shiny metallic diner.

Fireside family restaurant pitman nj

There are several tables, and then a row of booths in the extension.  There is a small dessert case towards the front. As I found out, the front gets very congested when it’s busy, and it was hard to get in and out.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but there wasn’t anything unique or unusual. I could have used more refills, but I don’t have any complaints.

Fireside family restaurant pitman nj

Food: B
The Fireside Family Restaurant has everything you need or want in a diner. There were plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. It didn’t have anything unique or special, but it didn’t lack any of the traditional diner items either.

Since it was brunch time I went with an omelet with grits. The omelet had sausage, tomatoes, and peppers.  It was good and typical of a diner meal.

Fireside family restaurant pitman nj

The grits were great, but I think they probably added a substantial amount of butter. Since living in Montgomery, almost two years ago, I’ve been on a quest for good grits. I have yet to find any as good as Montgomery, but I’m still searching.

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and our food came out within 15 minutes or ordering. No complaints about that!

Cost:
For my omelet, and coffee it was $13.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I enjoyed the Fireside Family Restaurant and I would go back again. It’s a typical NJ Diner with nothing exceptionally good or bad.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $6-14
Overall: B

You Can See All 224 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of omelet?
Do you like to go out for breakfast? 

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