Sunday, July 4, 2010

Waywayanda State Park

A swamp within the boundaries of Waywayanda State Park.
When:Saturday, July 3rd, from 8am to 11am
Where:Waywayanda State Park, Sussex County
What:Hiking with Janel, Lindsay and Chris Martalus
Weather:Not too hot in the morning. Clear skies. Afternoon was brutal, holiday heat wave in New Jersey.

Three day weekends are always nice, however, I'm a little apprehensive about straying too far from home on holidays. As I've said so many time before, I hold peace and quiet in the highest regard, and 4th of July is one time that it's hard to come by in New Jersey.

While everyone is flocking to their favorite lake or beach, you'll most likely find me in my air-conditioning watching the Yankee game.

That being said, short morning outings are a way to get outside, get some exercise and dodge the heat that keeps me somewhat grounded in July and August. Chris Martalus and I already had a wicked-early morning catfish trip planned to a local lake on the 5th and he accepted an invitation to hike with Janel, Lindsay and I on the 3rd.

The alarm went off at 5am, Lindsay and I were in the car at 5:45, Chris at 6 and Janel at 6:30. After coffee and gas, we were headed north at 7. The drive would have taken just shy of an hour, but an early morning redirection from the West Milford Fire Department yielded a sceninc drive around Upper Greenwood Lake. No worse for the wear, we pulled into an off-the-beaten-path parking area just after 8am.
A downed tree amongst thick foilage.
Once again, the outlined hike we followed came from the NY/NJ Trail Conference website. It's one of several hikes within Waywayanda State Park, which has several trails (including a part of the Appalachian Trail), campites, ponds and of course, Waywayanda Lake. The lake is one of the few in New Jersey that holds a population of landlocked salmon.

I was immediately struck by how dense the foilage is in the park. Rhodedendron was present throughout the entire hike, so thick at some points that ducking through it was necessary to pass. The mostly level trail took us past two ponds, one of which provided a view of a soaring bald eagle. We also made our way over boards through two sections of swamp before ending up back at the parking area where we started.

So, as I sit here, I'm watching the Yankee post-game on Indepence Day. Marcus Timms hit a walk-off single to beat the Jays. I spent more than 2 hours this morning grilling 250 hamburgers and 350 hot dogs for some 250 people, and I'm exhausted.

I did, however, manage to save enough energy to tie a handful of catfish rigs and go to Shop-Rite for chicken livers. I'm picking Chris Martalus up at 4am and should be back here no later than 10am. Only problem, no Yankee game. There is another BBQ though, and my only responsibility for this one is to carry Lindsay's Jello Pretzel Salad.

A happy and safe 4th of July to everyone. Tune in over the next few days for the catfish report. Also, only 74 more days until The Return to Black Lake.

1 comment:

  1. Love Waywayanda! Have not been fishing there in years. Last time I hiked there we ran into a few bears. Great reports as always!