Sunday, May 14, 2023

Jungle Habitat Spring Hike

Long Pond Ironworks State Park
West Milford
Passaic Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Red Trail: Red blaze
Orange Trail: Orange blaze
Overlook Rock Spur: White/Black
Tapawingo Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hr
Estimated Distance: 4.8 miles

Pros: Interesting History
Cons: Trails are a mess
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Google Maps of Parking:

Jungle Habitat was a short-lived drive-through safari and theme parked owned by Warner Bros. that opened in 1972 and closed in 1976. It's been abandoned ever since, and the property was purchased by the state of New Jersey in 1988. It was subsequently turned into a part of Long Pond Ironworks State Park, with hiking and biking trails added.

Not much is left on the property other than a myriad of trails. However, there are some really cool tunnels at the former entrance, as well as some abandoned gatehouses, former animal enclosures, and ride tracks. There are trails and paths all over the place, and many of the official marked trails used for biking are windy with many annoying switchbacks.

I started at the main parking area, and took the Red Trail to the large open abandoned parking lot. I then took the Orange Trail which goes on the side of the parking lots, but after realizing how windy it is with unnecessary switchbacks (good for biking but annoying for hiking) a ditched the trail and went back to the large empty parking lots, trying to fine the main entrance with the still-existing tunnels. After a few wrong moves turns I found the entrance and tunnels, which was really interesting. I also passed a guard house, the fence behind some former exhibits, and an old single-track rail like.

I couldn't find the new "Tapawingo" Trail recently constructed. It's not on version of the Map yet. I ended up having to bushwhack up to a bike trail, which I then took to the Tapawingo Trail. I admired the view here and then descend through the heart of the former Jungle Habitat property, which I took back to my car.

Map of the Route

Airplane at the Greenwood Lake Airport, Right Next to the Former Jungle Habitat Property

Entrance and Parking at the Former Jungle Habitat Property

Information Sign at the Beginning of the Hike

Updated Maps

Old Road Near the Parking Area

Former Parking Area

Entrance Gate

The Famous Jungle Habitat Tunnels

Entrance Gate

Rail of a Former Ride

Abandoned Former Animal Enclosure

Approaching the View on the Tapawingo Trail Hike

View on the Tapawingo Trail

Former Animal Enclosure

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Windbeam Mountain Spring Hike

Windbeam Mountain Spring Hike
North Jersey District Water Supply Commission
Passaic Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Stonetown Circular Trail: Red blaze
Highlands Trail: Teal blaze
Windbeam Lane Extension: Unblazed

Total Time: 1:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.6 Miles

Pros: Good climb with great views
Cons: None
Hike Type: 2 Car Point to Point
Level of Difficulty: Difficult

Google Maps of Parking:

Windbeam is a mountain that has a prominence from all sides and can be seen from miles away. It's a narrow, steep ridge that has excellent views from all sides. I had been meaning to hike this mountain for quite some time but haven't had the opportunity until now. The weather was finally beautiful after a week of rain and two previous weekend of heavy rain.

This was a two-car hike. We parked one car at the end of Windbeam Lane (there is a small spot at the end for just one car.) We parked the other car at the Stonetown Recreation Center, and started the hike from here. We took the Stonetown Circular Trail around the foot of the mountain, and then started the climb. The trail joined with the Highlands Trail as it climbed steeply up to the first view at Lower Windbeam Mountain. We continued climbing to the next view, with views on both sides of the mountain. And then we reached the summit with great views and a large flag on top.

We then took the climb down the mountain, which we took to the unblazed Windbeam Lane Extension Trail. We crossed around the fence blocking the trail, and our car was right there on the other side.

Map of the Route

Skunk Cabbage on the Foot of Windbeam Mountain

Windbeam Mountain from the Startof the Hike

First View, on Little Windbeam Mountain

View of Wanaque from Windbeam Mountain

Windbeam Mnt View

Trail on Windbeam Mountain

Manhattan Skyline in the Distance

Wanaque Reservoir

American Flag at Windbeam Mountain Summit

Quarry in the Distance