Sunday, October 31, 2021

Cedar Swamp at Wawayanda Park

Wawayanda State Park
Sussex and Passaic Counties.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Cherry Ridge Road: Unblazed
Banker Trail: Green blaze
Cedar Swamp Trail: Blue blaze
Double Pond Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.6 Miles

Pros: Very quiet natural area, scenic rhododendrons
Cons: No scenic views, parking and road to get there are difficult
Hike Type: Back and out
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Google Maps of Parking:

Hiking Partner:
Yehudah Koblick

The Cedar Swamp is a unique area in the highlands region with a non-coastal Cedar Grove in a mountain region. I had an infection on my foot and had to take it easy, so I opted for this hike which was supposed to be easy. However, a wrong turn in the beginning and an abundance of water from the recent soaking rains flooding the trails made this hike much more difficult than expected. I ended up returning home very sore with difficulty walking.

We parked at the end of the Cherry Ridge Road. The last part of this road is a dirt road that is in very rough condition. In fact, I considered turning around as the road deteriorated, but at last we made it to trailhead parking, where we met some bikers. We missed the beginning of the trail and ended up walking further on the trail part of Cherry Ridge Road, until we realized our mistake and turned around. We went back to the trail and this time correctly took the Banker Trail.

Part of the Banker Trail was flooded by a swamp outlet, and while skirting around the trail to avoid the water, I ended up slipping into the water and getting all wet. We continued to the Cedar Swamp Trail, crossing through beautiful, dense rhododendron forest, where it sometimes provided a canopy, and then reaching the boardwalk along Cedar Swamp. We the crossed the boardwalk, walked a bit more, then took the Double Pond Trail which we had intended to to take around as a loop trail. However, this trail was entirely flooded and impassible, so we had to turn back around and return the same way we came.

Map of the Route

Cherry Ridge Road Foliage

Rhododendron Forest

Two Intertwined Trees

Car Ruins on the Cedar Swamp Trail

Cedar Swamp Boardwalk

Rare Mountain Cedars

Flooded Out Double Pond Trail

Double Pond Trail

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