Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve

Overview

This loop hike passes a scenic pond and interesting gneiss outcrops and descends to a ravine with a cascading stream.

Details
Time:
2.5 hours
Difficulty:
Easy to Moderate
Length:
3.2 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Waterfall
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Hunterdon
State:
NJ
Maps/Books
Publication
First Published:
11/19/2009
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

split gneiss rock

Parking


View Teetertown Preserve in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
40.75779,-74.859123
Driving Directions

Take I-80 to Exit 26 (Budd Lake/Hackettstown) and proceed west on US 46 for 7.4 miles to Hackettstown. Turn left onto NJ 182 and follow it for 1.0 mile. When NJ 57 begins on the right, continue ahead, now following NJ 24 and County 517 (Schooley's Mountain Road). Proceed for another 2.5 miles and turn right onto Pleasant Grove Road. In 2.5 miles, turn left onto Califon Road and follow it for 2.1 miles (the name changes to Pleasant Grove Road) to the entrance to Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve, on the left. Proceed ahead to a small parking area.

Description

HUNTING: Not permitted on weekends; weekday hikers are advised to wear blaze orange during hunting season 

East of the parking area, a sign gives the history of the Mountain Farm, where the hike begins. Proceed ahead on a paved road (shown on the park map as the "Pond Trail"), which soon becomes a gravel road and passes between a pond on the left and a large field on the right. At a sign just beyond the pond, bear right and cut across the field on a mowed path, following the arrow towards the "Hilltop Campsites."

When you reach the treeline on the opposite side of the field, bear left and follow along the edge of the field. Soon, you'll come to a wooden post with a red diamond blaze at a black metal bench. Here, the Red Trail comes in from the right and begins to run along the edge of the field. Continue ahead along the treeline, then follow the Red Trail as it turns right at a double blaze and enters the woods on a footpath.

The scenic Teetertown Ravine soon appears below to the left. The Red Trail descends partway into the ravine and reaches a T-intersection with the White Trail. Turn right, now following both red and white blazes along an old woods road, which bears right, away from the ravine.

When the red and white blazes diverge, turn left, now following the White Trail, which descends gradually. After briefly paralleling a stream to the right, you'll reach a junction with the Geology Study Trail, marked by a sign on the right. Turn right and follow this unmarked trail downhill on switchbacks (note especially the sharp right turn just before marker 5). The trail parallels an interesting gneiss outcrop (note the split boulder at marker 3) and ends at the unpaved Hollow Brook Road.

Turn right and follow this narrow dirt road (although open to vehicular traffic, it is very little used) along the cascading Hollow Brook. Soon, you'll pass a sign that gives the history of the former mill along the brook, acquired by John Teeter in 1814. You'll cross the brook on a stone-arch bridge, beyond which the road becomes paved. After passing between two homes, you'll reach a T-intersection. Here, you turn right onto Teetertown Road, which recrosses the brook on another stone-arch bridge.

Just beyond an old stone foundation to the right (and before you come to a sharp left turn in the road), a double blue blaze on the right marks the start of the Blue Trail. Turn right and follow the Blue Trail rather steeply uphill, with a massive stone wall on the left. At the top of the climb, the trail turns right and heads north through the woods.

In another half mile, after crossing a stream on rocks, the Blue Trail ends at a junction with the Red Trail. Turn left and follow the Red Trail for a third of a mile to the large field, passing several campsites along the way. When you reach the field, turn left along its edge, follow the mowed path across the field, then turn left on the road (Pond Trail), retracing your steps back to the parking area where the hike began.

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

I live 2 miles down the road from here, nice short hike

This is a nice late afternoon hike, especially for me since I live right down the street. Good to get a few mile hike in with a little challenge on that steep part of the Blue trail when I don't feel like driving far to get there. There's another parking area before the entrance indicated here. It's before the former Camp Beisler (now "Crossroads Outdoor Ministries") on the left. Parking within the gravel area outlined by the brown railings is permitted. You'll essentially walk through a small wooded path through some campsites to the activity field where the Red trail starts in 2 places (it's a loop) at the field's back left end. (driving to it, if you pass the driveway to the outdoor ministry you've gone too far, or if you hit Sharrer road, you might as well just contunie just past it to park at the main entrance.   Across the street now from the parking areas I just indicated there is an Orange blazed trail that leads off into the woods, maybe 3/4 mile or so to the Crystal Springs section of the Teetertown Nature Preserve. This preserve is still half working corn fields but there are mowed paths and you can walk along the edges of the fields - until you reach trees some 3 or 4 fields back that are posted no tresspassing. There are some ponds in here for fishing (subject to NJ fishing regs) and another "hidden" entrance, as the park kiosk and picnic table imply. An alternate way to gain direct access to this areas is while the road is still called Califon, head down the hill past the soccer fields, past Ascot Road, to an area with a farm to the left, and newer looking houses to the right (there are 4 of them lining the road. There will be a paved driveway that's wide enough for 2 lanes with a red hydrant terminal sticking out of the ground and a street sign facing the road that states something like "51-53" (this indicates the 2 other houses behind the group of 4. Follow the driveway (yes it's legal, the residents may not like a lot of people going through here but it's not tresspassing if you stay on the driveway) And cross through the break in the trees where the lane becomes a dirt/gravel road. Once you cross the little concrete bridge back here, you've crossed the county line to Hunterdon (Living here all this time, I live in Morris, but am surrounded by Hunterdon on 3 sides pretty much.) Continue to the parking area. The Morris side leading from Calidon Road to the concrete bridge is a parcel donated byt he Washington Twp open space committee and the open area beyond is similar to nearby Point Mountain where some of it is working corn fields and the rest donated open space land. Just be mindful when you reach the area in the back where the tree signs replace the yellow diamond Hunterdon open space declaration and become "POSTED" no tresspassing signs and you're legal.

Blue Trail Obliterated by Sandy

After Sandy, the Blue Trail from Teetertown Road to the Red Trail is impassable. You can hike up the hill on Blue from Teetertown Road to the top of the ridge, but not beyond that. The number of downed trees is hard to believe, and this area is thick with thorny vines so it would be extremely difficult to bushwack around the deadfalls. We had to turn around. It will be some time before the trail in that area can be cleared or rerouted.

Blue Better Now, Part of White Almost Impassible

As of 9/8/13 the downed trees on the Blue Trail have been cleared and it is passable although overgrown with weeds and briars in places.  However the White Trail from the Geology Trail to the Red Trail is still blocked by a huge number of downed trees.