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Kincaid/Black Dot Trails Loop
This hike loops through attractive second-growth woods and passes an historic mine.
Allowed on leash
Historic feature, Woods
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Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates40.953373,-74.408005
Take I-287 South to Exit 47 (Montville/Lincoln Park) and turn left at the bottom of the ramp onto Main Road (Route 202). Continue to follow Route 202 as it turns first sharply left, then sharply right. In 0.6 mile, just before reaching a fire station, turn right onto Taylortown Road and continue for 3.1 miles to a “stop” sign at Powerville Road (after 1.8 miles, Taylortown Road becomes Rockaway Valley Road). Turn right onto Powerville Road (the road is open only for local traffic because a bridge is out ahead, but the parking area for the hike is before the bridge, so you should go around the barricade) and continue for 1.2 miles to Kincaid Road (Powerville Road bears left at this intersection). Turn right onto Kincaid Road and immediately turn right into a gravel parking area.
From the kiosk at the end of the parking area, follow a grassy path uphill, through open fields, with yellow blazes on wooden posts. At the edge of the woods, a triple-yellow blaze marks the official start of the Kincaid Trail, which enters the woods, crosses a stream on a wooden footbridge and goes over an old stone wall.
After crossing a wet area on a raised causeway, you’ll reach a junction marked by a small cairn. The yellow-blazed Kincaid Trail straight ahead will be your return route, but for now, bear right onto the Black Dot Trail, marked with a black dot on yellow. This trail climbs a little and levels off, passing a large raised area on the left. After continuing along a relatively level section, it climbs some more and bears right.
Soon, the Black Dot Trail loops sharply to the left and descends briefly, crossing some more old stone walls. It now heads northwest, with a deep valley to the right.
After descending a short distance and crossing another stone wall, the Black Dot Trail ends at an intersection with the yellow-blazed Kincaid Trail. Turn left onto the Kincaid Trail and continue to descend, soon passing an interesting tree on the left with five trunks.
A short distance beyond, you’ll notice a deep cut on the left, now overgrown with trees. This large pit is a remnant of the Rockaway Valley Mines, excavated about 1870 and last worked in 1880. The ore was shipped to Musconetcong Ironworks in Stanhope via the Morris Canal. On the opposite side of the pit, piles of tailings (waste rock from mining operations) are visible. An old mining road leads uphill to the right, but you should continue ahead, following the yellow blazes, which loop to the left past the mine and continue to descend, with ditches (constructed to drain water from the mine) on either side of the trail.
Soon, you’ll come to a T-intersection, where you bear left onto a woods road, which continues to head downhill. On the left side of the road, you’ll notice a stone retaining wall which supported a flat work area and, far above on the hillside, more piles of tailings may be seen. A short distance beyond, you’ll reach the junction where the Black Dot Trail begins. Continue ahead on the yellow-blazed Kincaid Trail and follow it back to the parking area where the hike began.