Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Interested in visiting a park we had not visited previously, I selected Allamuchy Mountain State Park, in Sussex County. Despite the name, we found the park to be very flat. We began our hike on the white-blazed Deer Path Trail, hiking north:

Deer Path Trail, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Deer Path Trail

A tiny scenic view from the trail:

Scenic view from Deer Path Trail, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Scenic view from Deer Path Trail

The terrain was generally flat and not very exciting, though there were a few boulders:

Boulder on Deer Path Trail, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Boulder Deer Path Trail

An eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalus) was in the middle of the trail. It was small–only about two feet long:

Eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalus), Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Eastern garter snake

We also spotted a shell from a robin’s egg:

Robin egg shell, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Robin egg shell

There was a rocky outcrop hidden behind the trees:

Rocky outcrop, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Rocky outcrop

A more visible rocky outcrop:

Rocky outcrop, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Rocky outcrop

Near the northern most part of the white trail, the NY-NJ Trail Conference map showed an unblazed trail diverting a short distance to the west to a scenic view. We found that unblazed trail and followed it through a gap in a fence. It led to a parking area where traffic from Interstate 80 could pull over and appreciate the scenic view and have a picnic. We made use of one of the picnic tables, then after lunch, we walked over to enjoy the scenic view.

This is a stitched panorama:

Scenic view, Interstate 80 at Country Road 517, Sussex County, New Jersey

Scenic view

This is a stitched and tonemapped panorama:

Scenic view, Interstate 80 at Country Road 517, Sussex County, New Jersey

Scenic view

Unfortunately, while there were garbage cans adjacent to the picnic tables, there was a lot of garbage on the ground and at the tree line, left by litterers.

There were also “no trespassing” signs at the tree line, which seemed odd, as we imagined that both the park and the parking area were public land. We re-entered the woods and returned to the white trail of the state park.

Trail, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Trail

Deer Park Pond became visible through the trees:

Deer Park Pond, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Deer Park Pond

We reached a small clearing that gave us a clear view of the entire pond:

Deer Park Pond, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Deer Park Pond

The pond had many water lilies:

Water lilies in Deer Park Pond, Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Water Lilies in Deer Park Pond

We completed a loop that took us back to the car, though at one point we found a confusing intersection and walked about 15 minuted down a trail before realizing that it was not the trail we wanted. I am certain that the park is treasured by those that live nearby, but we did not find it so exciting. As mentioned, the park seemed very flat, and there were only a few interesting rock outcrops that we noted, and the scenic view actually required leaving the park and hiking to a car park also shared with traffic off I-80. Also, while not the fault of the park, we were tormented by gnats flying around our face the entire hike, a seasonal hazard that probably affected hikers throughout the region that week.

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