Tourne County Park Longer Loop

Overview

This hike climbs to the top of the Tourne, with panoramic views, loops around the southern section of the park, and passes an interesting wetland.

Details
Time:
2.5 hours
Difficulty:
Easy
Length:
4.5 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Morris
State:
NJ
Publication
First Published:
05/21/2009

Updated/Verified:
05/11/2014
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Boulders on DeCamp Trail Tourne Park. Photo by Daniel Chazin.

Parking


View Tourne County Park in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
40.90761,-74.432459
Driving Directions

Take I-80 to Exit 43 (Mahwah/Morristown/I-287), then take Exit 43B onto I-287 North. Take the first exit, Exit 43 (Intervale Road), and turn left at the top of the ramp. Cross over I-287 and turn right at the traffic light onto Fanny Road. At the second stop sign, reached in 0.9 mile, continue ahead, following the sign to "West Main Street," then bear left at the next fork onto County Route 618. In 0.2 mile, turn left onto McCaffrey Lane and proceed for 0.2 mile to a parking area on the right.

Description

From the kiosk at the end of the parking area, continue downhill along McCaffrey Lane for 500 feet. Just beyond a bridge over a stream, turn right onto the Red Trail (marked by a triple-red blaze on a tree).

You'll immediately go through a gate in a chain-link fence and enter the Wildflower Trail area, where the trail curves sharply left. Continue for another 500 feet on the Red Trail, soon exiting the Wildflower Trail area via another gate.

Just beyond, you'll reach a four-way junction. Turn right and follow the DeCamp Trail -- a wide, yellow-blazedTypical Section of De Camp Trail. Photo by Daniel Chazin. gravel road that climbs on a moderate grade to the top of the Tourne. Near the top, you'll reach a panoramic September 11 Memorial. Photo by Daniel Chazin.viewpoint to the east, with the New York City skyline visible in the distance on a clear day. Just beyond, you'll pass a memorial to the tragic 9/11/01 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, which was visible from this point.

A grassy clearing on the left, with picnic tables, marks the high point of the Tourne (897 feet). Continue ahead on the gravel road, which descends slightly to reach a west-facing viewpoint over the Wildcat Ridge. A bench has been placed here so you can rest and enjoy the view.

Continue downhill along the road, passing interesting boulders on the hillside to the View of Wildcat Ridge. Photo by Daniel Chazin.left. At the base of the descent, the yellow-blazed DeCamp Trail turns left, but you should turn right onto the Red Trail, which leads in about a quarter of a mile to a parking area, with a handicapped restroom. Turn left, continuing to follow the red blazes, and cross the park entrance road by a yellow gate.

The Red Trail, which you’ll follow for the rest of the hike, now enters the less-used southern section of the park. It climbs a rise, bearing left at a fork on the way up, then bears right at a fork as it descends. At the base of the descent, it crosses the Pink Trail. After a relatively level stretch, the Red Trail crosses the Purple Trail. It then ascends on switchbacks to reach a high point (711 feet) with a bench –  the halfway point of the hike..

The Red Trail now descends rather steeply. At the base of the descent, it turns left to pass a vernal pool on the right. Just beyond, it briefly joins the Purple Trail, which comes in from the left. In 75 feet, the Red Trail turns right, leaving the Purple Trail, and climbs slightly to a ridge that overlooks a valley on the left. 

After descending once more, you’ll come to a junction, where you should turn left, following the sign to "Tourne." Once again, the trail runs along the edge of a ridge, overlooking a ravine on the left, until it descends to a four-way intersection. Continue straight ahead, crossing the Ogden Trail – a wide dirt road, built in 1898 for a proposed railroad but never actually used as such - and pass Birchwood Lake, visible through the trees on the right. 

In 500 feet, the Red TRattlesnake Meadow. Photo by Daniel Chazin.rail bears left at a bench. It follows a relatively level but somewhat rocky route for a third of a mile and then joins the blue-blazed Swamp Trail for about 500 feet. When the Swamp Trail leaves to the right, continue ahead on the Red Trail, which joins a woods road coming in from the right and begins to descend. On the way down, the Swamp Trail again joins for 500 feet, then departs to the left. At the base of a descent, an short unmarked path to the left leads to the edge of Rattlesnake Meadow - a fascinating wetland, filled with dead trees. 

At the end of Rattlesnake Meadow, the Red Trail joins a gravel road coming in from the left, and it bears right at a fork. Soon, the Red Trail ends opposite the parking area where the hike began.

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

Beautiful Park

I hiked this area on Sunday, September 29, 2013.  Be aware that HUNTING IS ALLOWED in this park except on Sundays.  Here's a different hike from the one above:   take the Green Trail across McCaffery Lane up the hill if you want a short loop of about 0.5 miles.  When that is completed, you can pick up the Red Trail immediately back into the park. 

No Dogs Allowed on Red Trail

Just a friendly heads up. Part of the red trail - the Wildflower Trail - is restricted to humans only. We brought out dog for this hike and ended up having to improvise. That being said, the rest of the park seems extremely dog friendly. We came across a ton of people with dogs. :)

Wildflower Area can be bypassed

If you are hiking with a dog, it is possible to bypass the short section of the Red Trail through the Wildflower Area by just staying on the road for a short distance, then turning right to pick the DeCamp Trail.

Green Pond Mtn?

Not so sure that West facing view past the top of the Tourne shows Green Pond Mtn. --- to me it looks more like the Wildcat Ridge and Farny State Park mountains.

It should be Wildcat

You're correct, and I've changed the description accordingly.