Sunday, November 29, 2020

Appalachian Trail to Cascade Lake Park

Appalachian Trail Natural Scenic Area /
Cascade Lake Park /
Passaic Co., New Jersey &
Orange Co., New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Red Trail: Red blaze
Green Trail: Green blaze
Blue Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.6 Miles
Hike Type: Lollipop Loop

Pros: Quiet area with nice scenery
Cons: Cascade Lake Park trails are not well marked

Google Map of Parking:

Two weeks prior was my first visit to Cascade Lake Park. I wanted to reach the westernmost contiguous end of the my Appalachian Trail visit, and it involved Cascade Lake Park and the beautiful area of Prospect Rock along Bellvale/Bearfort Mountain. On my trip two weeks prior I determined to come back and explore the area more. So this trip involved a further west approach on the Appalachian Trail, and then exploring more trails in Cascade Lake Park.

I parked on Longhouse Drive, in New Jersey, just a short distance from from the New York State Line. I took the Appalachian Trail from the roadside parking east, heading along some small ridges and then alongside the marsh at Long House Creek. I crossed the creek on the bridge, then climbed the hill to the connector trail to the Red Trail of Cascade Lake Park. This trail is not on the map, but is a wide unmarked trail that connects the Cascade Lake Park Red Trail to the Appalachian Trail.

I took this trail to the Red Trail, taking it north alongside the western side of Cascade Lake. There is a vast range of wide trails in Cascade Lake Park, some marked and many unmarked, and it can be confusing. I veered off the Green Trail at an intersection, and took this trail to the Blue Trail. I did not see any markers on the Green Trail, but it is listed on the map as such.

I then walked past the lake dam, which is quite an impressive cascade, and then climbed up to the northern end of the dam, walking along an unmarked trail alongside the trail and up the hill, and then intersecting another trail which I took which goes alongside the creek back to the Red Trail. I then took the Connector Trail back to the Appalachian Trail, and went back along the Appalachian Trail on the same route as I came heading back to my car.

Map of the Route

Sign for Ride Help at the AT at the Beginning of the Hike

Appalachian Trail at the Beginning of the Hike

Small Newly Constructed Bridge on the AT

Large Swamp Alongside the Appalachian Trail

Bridge Across the Long House Creek on the Appalachian Trail

Long House Creek

Cascade at the Cascade Lake Dam

Waterfall over the Cascade Lake Dam

Dam Waterfall Low Shutter Speed

Me at the Cascade Lake Dam Waterfalls

View of the Cascade Lake Dam and Waterfalls from Above

View of Cascade Lake from the Dam

Me at the Cascade Lake Dam View of the Lake

View of Cascade Lake from the Overlook at the Swinging Rope

Swinging Rope with Platform to Swing into the Lake

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