Moderate Hikes

//Moderate Hikes
Moderate Hikes2018-01-29T11:30:41+00:00

Black River Trail / Riverside Trail (Red)

The trail starts 150 feet along the Main Trail from the kiosk and bathroom house at edge of the parking lot. It descends stone steps, passes through a picnic area, and descends very gradually on a paved path. At 0.2 mile it passes a junction with the purple-blazed Waterfall Trail across the river, and then reaches the scenic waterfall and short view trail over Trout Brook. The Trail then curves away from the brook and descends through open forest, passing a junction with the orange-blazed Wintershine Trail at 0.6 mile.    After curving south, the trail reaches the Black River at 0.9 mile and travels along its rocky shore for the next 900 feet, reaching a junction with the blue-blazed Haki Trail at 1.0 mile.  After crossing a bridge over the river, the trail passes a picnic area and bathroom house and again follows the rocky river bank for the next 0.2 mile – keep an eye out for fishermen trying their luck with the trout.  At 1.2 mile the blue blazed 3 Pools Trail junction enters from the right.  Now following a wide gravel path, the Trail descends and passes a large boulder in the River, which fell long ago from the walls of the gorge.   After a 0.1 mile rocky section along the shore, the Trail crosses a bridge over Rhinehart Brook, then a smaller tributary, makes a sharp right turn at 1.6 miles and descends to re-cross  Rhinehart Brook at 1.8 miles,  reaching its terminus at the junction of the yellow-blazed Windy Ridge Trail and white-blazed Main Trail.

Length: 1.8 mi.
Usage: Hiking
Terrain: Rocky, Steep
Park(s): Hacklebarney State Park

Chubb Park Red Spur to Blue Spur

The red spur starts from the last parking lot in Chubb Park, next to the ball fields and the playground. A Patriots Path post is located on the eastern edge of the lot. The Path descends through the field past the tennis court, reaches a woods road in 300 feet and then turns left into the woods, gradually descending. It crosses a paved park road in 200 feet and a powerline at 0.2 mile, then descends more steeply through a short overgrown section, regains the open woods, and reaches the end at the Blue Spur at 0.3 mile.

Length: .3 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian, Strollers
Terrain: Hilly, Flat, Paved
Park(s): Chubb Park

Evans: Blue Trail

The blue trail bisects 150 feet from the parking lot:  to the right, the rocky trail turns right and ascends to ridge line and turns left, reaching a rocky knob at 0.1 mile.   This is the high point in the preserve.  A yellow trail junction leaves to left, while blue trail descends to the remains of an old dam that powered a saw mill. It reaches Ayers Brook at 0.3 mile and turns right to follow the brook downstream.   Next it crosses a wooden bridge over a tiny tributary and turns sharply left, ascending to cross the red trail, and then reaches the white trail at 0.6 mile. Blue blazes end here.

From parking lot, the trail continues downhill after bisecting on a wide woods road.  Passes junction with the yellow trail at 0.1 mile, crosses a bridge over a stream at 0.2 mile, and reaches a junction with the yellow trail at 0.3 mile.

Length: 0.9 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
Terrain: Rocky, Hilly, Flat
Park(s): Evans Family Forest Preserve

Evans: Red Trail

This trail runs along the eastern border of the the preserve.   Starting from the South Road trailhead,  the trail is coblazed with green for 0.25 mile, then turns right as green/white goes straight.  The trail descends and reaches a woods road, passing a junction with the yellow trail at 0.3 mile and Blue/Green trails at 0.5 mile until its end at park boundary (stone wall) at 0.7 mile.

Length: 0.7 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
Terrain: Rocky, Hilly
Park(s): Evans Family Forest Preserve

Evans: White Trail

This trail follows the eastern border of the preserve.   Starting from the junction with the red trail, 0.25 miles south of the South Road trailhead, the trail narrows to a path through the woods, and in 0.3 miles goes straight as the green trail descends to right, then descends to its terminus at the rock wall boundary of the park.

Length: 0.5 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
Terrain: Rocky, Hilly, Flat
Park(s): Evans Family Forest Preserve

Evans: Yellow Trail

The trail is a lollipop loop with two short stems.  One stem begins at the high point of the preserve, 0.1 mile from the Willow Drive parking lot at the junction with the blue trail.   An easier access is to follow the wide trail from parking lot downhill for 0.1 mile to junction with yellow trail (to right, uphill in 0.1 mile is blue junction at rocky knob).  The trail turns left downhill and in 0.1 mile crosses a rickety bridge over a stream, then ascends to begin the loop--to the left, the trail ascends gradually and in 0.1 mile it curves around to the right (straight ahead, an unmarked trail leads in 300 feet to  Highlands Ridge Park and its trail system).   After looping to right, the trails passes through a "green tunnel" across a regrown field.   It crosses a small bridge over a seasonal  stream and at 0.5 mile widens out on a broad woods road and then reaches a junction--to the right the trail descends to beginning of loop at 0.7 mile.    Going straight on the woods road, the trail turns left as the broad woods road turns right to begin the blue trail.   Crossing a tiny tributary, the trail becomes a woods road and at 250' crosses Ayers Brook on a wooden bridge, ending at the junction with the red trail.

Length: 1.0 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Equestrian
Terrain: Rocky, Hilly, Flat
Park(s): Evans Family Forest Preserve

Loop Trail, White Blaze & Unblazed

From the parking area, a wide path crosses a meadow through a cut in the trees.   Reaching the edge of a large clearing at 0.3 mile, the White Trail ahead is a winding path through the forest,  looping back around to the meadow path at 1 mile (although there are several points at which the forest loop reaches the meadow path).   It returns to the parking area in 1.1 miles.

Length: 1.1 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking
Terrain: Rocky, Hilly
Park(s): Parker Road Preserve

Tiger Brook: Blue Trail

A lovely trail through streams and forest and old ruins, it is quite overgrown for approximately 0.5 mile west of the old stone ruins and ATT corridor, but is very passable by early winter.   There are two potentially difficult stream crossings in high water conditions.

The Blue Trail begins 0.2 miles along the Purple Trail from a T-junction at the southern edge of the pond: the Trail descends to a brook, turns left along the shore for 0.2 mile, then turns right to cross a stream on rocks (difficult crossing in high water).  It ascends 250' and just before the wide ATT corridor turns right (almost a U-turn) to follow the stream bed upstream.  It crosses the AT&T corridor again at 0.5 mile and continues its gradual ascent.  At 0.8 mile it levels off and shortly reaches the northern edge of a field on the right, turns right to follow the edge of a field uphill (straight ahead the Trail leads in 0.2 mile to the MacGregor Preserve parking lot on Old Chester-Gladstone Road).

At 1.1 miles the Trail turns right off and reenters the forest, now on a wide path descending steadily (at this junction, walking around the edge of the field leads back to the parking lot in 0.2 mile).  At 1.4 miles it passes a stone ruin “old cabin and picnic area” on the right, then goes downhill to a third junction with the AT&T corridor at 1.5 miles.  The Trail turns right briefly before turning left into the woods – this section is quite overgrown in foliage season.   After a short boardwalk section at 1.7 miles, the Trail crosses an unnamed brook which follows upstream through a rocky overgrown section -- this is the old sawmlll area. The Trail clears at 1.9 miles, before turning right on a plank bridge over a stream at 2 miles (caution: some planks are loose or missing – only for experienced hikers), meets the Green Trail entering from the right at a “Y” junction, and ends in a clearing at 2.1 mile.

Length: 2.1 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
Terrain: Rocky, Steep, Stonedust, Hilly
Park(s): Tiger Brook Park / MacGregor Preserve

Tiger Brook: Gravel Road / Purple Trail

The Trail begins at the Cooper Lane parking lot gate and descends on the gravel road.  At 1.1 miles it reaches a pond on the left and the Red Trail junction on right, then is co-blazed with the Red Trail until a T-junction with another gravel road, crossing an outlet to a brook. The Purple Trail turns right to end at 1.4 miles at the junction with the Blue Trail, just before old water tanks located straight ahead.

Length: 1.4 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
Terrain: Steep, Stonedust, Hilly
Park(s): Tiger Brook Park / MacGregor Preserve

Tiger Brook: Green Trail

The Green Trail is a U loop with both ends on the Purple Trail; as of this writing, neither trail junction is blazed from the Purple Trail. Starting from the parking area gate, the first junction with the Green loop starts in 200 feet at the far edge of a small field to the right.  It descends and crosses the Red Trail at 0.2 mile, continues its descent through a thorny, overgrown section and reaches the beginning of the Blue Trail at 0.4 mile.  In another 300 feet, it reaches a Y-junction and angles left while the Blue Trail continues to the right. The Trail briefly meets the brook shore, crosses the Red Trail which follows left for a few yards, and then right to continue to a junction with the Purple Trail at 0.8 mile, 0.5 mile downhill from the entrance gate on the Purple Trail.

Length: 0.8 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
Terrain: Hilly
Park(s): Tiger Brook Park / MacGregor Preserve

Tiger Brook: Red Trail

his is a loop trail that is quite overgrown in its eastern section but completely passable by early winter.  The Red Trail crosses the Purple Trail entrance road at the entrance gate; turning left, it descends on the broad AT&T corridor and then turns right in 0.1 mile  (this section may be impassable during growth season, so an alternative is to continue straight to Cooper Lane and turn right until just before the brook crossing, to rejoin the Red Trail).

At 0.2 mile a short boardwalk section leads almost to Cooper Lane, then U-turns south to cross a bridge over a stream at 0.3 mile.  The Trail veers away from the road, passes the White Trail northern junction on the left at 0.4 mile and descends, now a broad woods road. The Trail reaches the northern edge of the pond at 0.8 mile, crosses a broad grassy corridor, and then a narrow path through brambles to cross the pond inlet, then the grassy shore of the pond, reaching a junction with the White Trail southern junction at 0.9 mile.

Continuing to the edge of the pond, the trail turns right on a gravel road and right again over the pond outlet on an intersecting gravel road. In 300 feet, the trail turns left and ascends, crossing the Green Trail at 1.5 miles and shortly reaches a T-junction with the Yellow Trail AT&T corridor. Turning right, the Trail returns to the Purple entrance road to complete the loop at 1.75 miles.

Length: 1.75 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking
Terrain: Rocky, Steep, Hilly
Park(s): Tiger Brook Park / MacGregor Preserve

Unmarked Trail

At the center of the park is the Chester Community Garden, the entrance to which is off North Road less than ½ mile from the junction with South Road.  At the downhill edge is a woods road; a left turn here leads to a junction, in 0.1 mile with the Green Trail that leads in 300 feet to the Evans Family Forest Preserve and its four-miles of trails and Ayres Brook. Continuing on the woods road, the first left on a mown path affords an unhurried 0.4 mile loop walk around the gardens. Continuing straight on the woods road leads to another field and the far edge, uphill, to North Road and to the gate across from Black River Fields. This edge-of-field walk is an unblazed portion of the Patriots' Path, which continues downhill into the Black River Wildlife Management Area.

Back at the Community Garden, a right turn on the woods road leads in 0.1 mile to a junction on the right with a woods road leading to a large lawn with a stone firepit and wooden benches, then continues as a paved road that leads past the NJ Highlands Council building to North Road.      Continuing straight past this junction, the woods road continues west, uphill and then on a paved road to another field surrounding Seward’s Hill – well worth the climb for an expansive view of the surrounding area – although the Patriots Path passes to the left of the Hill on level ground. On the far side of the hill is a paved road which curves around to the right past the Chester Borough Municipal Building, meeting North Road at the telephone pole section. Continuing past the edge of the park,  the paved road on the right leads back to the Community Garden.

Length: 3.0 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
Terrain: Stonedust, Hilly, Flat
Park(s): Highlands Ridge Park

Upland Trail (Pink)

The trail begins 300 feet from the junction of the Green Trail from park entrance road and follows woods roads.   The trail ascends on a gravel road for 0.2 mile and turns left on another gravel road (straight ahead is a dead end) , descends until another left at 0.3 mile (ahead is a very short connector to Green Trail), then ascends to wooden viewing platform   There is no view in foliage season but there is a comfortable bench here.   The trail descends to meet second junction with Green Trail at 0.5 mile

Length: 0.5 mi.
Usage: Hiking
Terrain: Gravel Path
Park(s): Hacklebarney State Park

Windy Ridge Trail (Yellow)

The Windy Ridge Trail begins at the end of the green-blazed Playground Trail, 0.5 mile from the park entrance road.

The trail follows the paved white-blazed Main Trail for 0.1 mile, then turns right onto a dirt path and ascends briefly, then descends gradually, passes a bench with a nonworking water fountain, and at 0.4 mile turns sharply left to descend more steeply.  In 400 feet the trail reaches a T-junction and turns left along Rhinehart Brook, reaching its end at 0.5 mile.

Length: 0.5 mi.
Usage: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian, Strollers
Terrain: Steep, Stonedust, Hilly
Park(s): Hacklebarney State Park

Wintershine Trail (Orange)

Starting 0.6 mile from the start of the red-blazed Riverside Trail near the parking lot, the Wintershine Trail descends gradually towards the Black River on a beautiful dirt path. It crosses unmarked trails at 0.25 mile and then becomes rocky, crossing the Trout Brook on a wooden bridge. It reaches a small picnic area just before the junction with the blue-blazed Haki Trail at 0.3 mile.

Length: 0.4 mi.
Usage: Hiking
Terrain: Rocky, Hilly
Park(s): Hacklebarney State Park