Veterans Park’s Red Trail Redone

If you are looking for a great way to spend an afternoon, visit the Red Trail at Veterans Park. It’s part of a greater loop, including the blue and yellow trails; the whole loop is 2.5 miles in length. Park at 40 Conkling Road in Ledgewood and start on the blue trail. Once you are on the easement road where the trail widens, look on your left for the start of the red trail.

This trail explores the eastern side of Mooney Mountain, winding through large rock outcroppings that look like giant sleeping turtles, and a walk over bouldery rocks.

The red trail also passes by a stone structure with mysterious beginnings. Look for the painted rocks all through the trail for an added bit of fun!

When the red trail ends, turn right onto yellow trail. At end, turn right onto blue trail. Look for two dirt bikes about 25’ up in the trees, on the left side of the blue trail (before the easement road ends).

Special thanks to Joan and Bruce Blondina for adopting this trail, and making such great improvements like clearing and widening the trail, reblazing, proper rock placement and the removal of trees and debris. Your work is appreciated by all who visit this beautiful trail!

Take A Hike on Roxbury Trails – Zoom Meeting through Roxbury Library

Monday, April 20
6:30pm – 8:00pm

Members of the Roxbury Open Space Committee and Roxbury Trails Committee will highlight the best places to hike, romp and walk in Roxbury Township.

Where are the best places to hike in town?  Members of the Trails Committee will give an overview of Black River Park, Horseshoe Lake Park’s bike path connection to West Morris Greenway, Ice Age Trail at Orben Park, Ledgewood Park/Morris Canal Park, Riggs Trail, and Veterans Park.  Review will also include hiking best practices, and which trails are best for beginners and for the more advanced.  

Roxbury Library Staff is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Hike With a View

A less-traveled trail in Roxbury, the Yellow Trail in Veterans Park offers a great view of the Succasunna Valley. Parking for this trail is 45 Patricia Drive in Flanders. This trail is a loop, and includes part of the Blue Trail. Start at the kiosk where the blue trail begins, and cross over the easement road (where the blue trail turns) to where the yellow trail begins.

Some of the yellow trail is rocky. You will come upon a well-crafted picnic table, which is where the best views of the valley are. Continue on the trail through a wooded path, and come out a bit further down on Patricia Drive; walk to the right to get back to your car.

A small section of the trail needs a bit of work to widen it, but the rest of the trail is clear and easy to navigate. It’s a perfect trail to get away from it all.

Crowd-less Hike

Yesterday we hiked on the Ice Age Trail, which is located at 9 Orben Drive in Landing. It’s a 1.3 mile trail, which will give a beginner hiker a good workout.

It’s a steep but short well-marked hike which takes a hiker up to the ridgeline, with views on either side. It’s a nice hike this time of year before the foliage blocks the view. The trail is dry, and many parts are wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side.

You can see Lake Rogerine through the trees, and if you look to the the south, you will be looking at the trails at the Ledgewood Basin (more on these trails tomorrow).

An interesting find along the trail… a tree grew out of an old tire!

The loop takes you back to the parking area, which holds about three cars. If the parking lot is full, come back another time; it’s too difficult to practice social distancing when passing fellow hikers. Enjoy the views; and hopefully the Roxbury trails will not be closed any time soon!

Spring Hike

A perfect secret of a hike that gets you outside without other people is Veteran Park’s Green Trail. it’s a loop trail that is 1.3 miles in length, and is fairly level; a great trail for someone just looking for a stroll in the forest. Drive up Mooney Mountain to Patricia Drive. Once you enter Veterans Park, look for the trail head sign on the right, and turn into the cleared parking area.

At the start, the trail splits (it’s the start and end of the loop) stay to the left and walk this well-marked trail. Soon you will be able to see the Succasunna Valley on your left. Views are best in the winter and spring before the foliage blocks the view. If you look carefully you can see the SSC Swim Club, Carey Road, and even the Flanders Valley Golf Course. You will come to a spot where the trails forms a T, head to the left for a picnic spot near a stone outcropping.

Linger awhile and enjoy the peaceful view. Head back the way you came, and stay left at the fork in the trail. You will find yourself in a gathering of silver birches, and then you will be parallel to Patricia Drive.

Enjoy your afternoon in these woods! Before you leave Veterans Park, drive to the end of Patricia Drive to see where the Blue Trail begins; an adventure for another day.

Ledgewood/Morris Canal Park Yellow Trail

Today was a beautiful day to walk this trail, located right by where Emmans Road and Mountain Road meet. Park in the lower lot, and take a moment to enjoy the view of the Ledgewood Basin. There’s an accessible wooden ramp/platform to fish from.

Walk straight up the Morris Canal’s incline plane, and take a peek into the water turbine. At the top of the incline plane, turn left onto the yellow trail. This part is very steep, but worth it once you reach the rock outcroppings. The trail is covered in moss; it feels like you are in a setting for a book with elves and hobbits. Turn around to see a view of the neighboring hillside, with Routes 46 and 80 in between.

Once past the boulder area, head down the back side of the mountain. Turn left on the easement road (blue trail), and soon turn right to follow the yellow/blue trail. There is a stream crossing; if the water is high, walk right, up stream, and find a rocky spot to safely cross the stream. Then it’s an easy walk to the upper parking lot; follow the driveway back to your car.

Roxbury's Black River Park Trail

A great local trail to visit with kids is Black River Park Trail, located right behind Suburban Furniture. There’s a short loop trail which guides you along the pond, cross a bridge, and walk along the stream. On the left you will see a blue blazed trail; you wind around and cross the stream on another bridge, and wind up seeing a line of cedar trees. Follow them to head back to the parking area.

If you want a longer hike, once you follow the yellow trail to the end, go right and cross the stream. You will find yourself in ‘the sandpits’, a spot that makes you feel far away from home. It’s nestled between Mine Hill’s Sunset Lake and Randolph Lake. Walk between the two lakes with power lines above your head; at the end of the sandpits, stay to the left and walk along the bank of Sunset Lake. Once you wind up by Mine HIll’s beach, look to the right to see the start of Mine Hill’s orange trail. Check out the map below of the Mine Hill Trails. Stay healthy!

Fresh Air

These last couple of weeks have been pretty scary for all of us. Our main goal is to keep our family, friends and neighbors safe, and to be sure that we have enough TP. (At this point, I think we all do!)

For some of us, it’s rough being inside all day, but it is absolutely imperative that we practice social distancing. There is a way to get out without jeopardizing our health; in fact, some fresh air and exercise can do us some good.

Visit the trails near you. Roxbury has trails in Veterans Park, Ice Age Park, Black River Park, Ledgewood/Morris Canal Park, and Riggs Park. There’s also a beautiful, wide trail off of Horseshoe Lake called the West Morris Greenway, which is wide enough to accommodate social distancing and still walk side by side. Check out the pages on this site for parking, trail descriptions and maps.

Wednesday my friend and I hiked the blue trail at Veterans Park, and here’s some pics from our visit:

Most of this trail is wide enough to walk side by side and still maintain social distancing. Use these images for a scavenger hunt! It’s a great trail for kids too.

Let’s take our coronavirus lemons, and make lemonade by exploring nature in our area. Thanks for reading!

~ Sandie