Bear Season

Fall is a great time to hike the trails and enjoy the foliage show, but be aware that there are bears in the forested areas of Roxbury. To avoid an encounter with a bear:

  • Do not feed or approach the bear! Bears are wild animals and their behavior can be unpredictable.
  • Remain calm and make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in a loud, assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands or making other noises.
  • Keep your distance and make sure the bear has an escape route.
  • Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away. If you are with someone else, stay together in a group.
  • To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans, knocking rocks together or using an airhorn. Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head.
  • The bear may utter a series of huffs, swat the ground and make popping sounds by snapping its jaws. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and do not run.
  • If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect scents in the air. It usually is not a threatening behavior.
  • Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact and then slowly back away. Do not run.
  • If the bear will not leave, slowly back away and head for nearby shelter.
  • DO NOT RUN and do not turn away from the bear.

For more information on bears in New Jersey, visit www.state.nj.us.

Roxbury’s Adopt-a-Trail Program

Having a favorite trail in town to hike can feel like a wonderful getaway close to home. When your piece of solitude is broken by trash or damage, you may feel like restoring it to its pristine, natural condition.

A perfect solution is to Adopt-A-Trail! Available trails are:

  • Veterans Park Yellow Trail
  • Veterans Park Green Trail
  • Veterans Park Blue Trail
  • Ledgewood Park Blue Trail
  • Ledgewood Park Yellow Trail
  • Ice Age Trail
  • Black River Trail
  • Riggs Trail

A sign naming you/your family/ business/group will be posted showing your affiliation at the kiosk of the trail.  Responsibilities would include:

  • Signing of contract for a one-year agreement
  • Minimum trail clean-ups of two times per year, early spring and early fall
  • Gloves and bags will be provided by Roxbury Recreation and DPW Department’s Clean Communities Program
  • Report to Roxbury Recreation any maintenance needed on the trail, such as a downed tree, stream blockage or missing trail markers
  • Report to Roxbury Recreation any damage on the trail, such as graffiti, structures, party spots

We appreciate volunteers like you to help maintain our growing trail system! Thanks!

For additional information, please contact Roxbury Recreation at 973-448-2016 or Roxbury Trails Committee at sdidome26@gmail.com.

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.