Voorhees State Park Loop

Overview

Follow part of the Highlands Trail through mixed hardwood forests on a footpath then on to a scenic overlook of Round Valley Reservoir and return on a multi-use woods road.

Details
Time:
2 hours
Difficulty:
Easy to Moderate
Length:
4.1 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Woods
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Hunterdon
State:
NJ
Publication
First Published:
02/16/2012
Submitter:
Daniela Wagstaff

Photo

View of Round Valley Reservoir from Voorhees State Park

Parking


View Voorhees State Park in a larger map

Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
40.693307, -74.894223
Driving Directions
From New York or north Jersey: Take Route 78 west to exit 17, merge with Route 31 north. At second traffic light, make a right onto Route 513 North through High Bridge. Follow signs to the park.  Turn left into the park at the entrance and continue on the park road to the parking lot at the Hoppock Grove Picnic Area.From Pennsylvania and western New Jersey: Take I-78 east to exit 16, cross Route 78 to traffic light. Proceed through traffic light. At stop sign turn left, merge onto Route 31 north. At second light on Route 31 north turn right on Route 513 through High Bridge. Follow signs to park.  Turn left into the park at the entrance and continue on the park road to the parking lot at the Hoppock Grove Picnic Area.
Description

From the parking lot walk back across the park road to the footbridge and cross over following the teal diamond blazes of the Highlands Trail.  After a short distance, come to a T-intersection and turn right.  Follow teal/white/orange then keep left on teal/white when the orange-blazed Brookside Trail leaves to the right.  For the next mile and a half the Highlands Trail will follow the white-blazed Cross Park Trail but you will be seeing more teal diamond blazes than white trail markers.  The trail meanders through mixed hardwood forests with multiple rock hops over small creeks.  1.2 miles into the hike, the trail turns right in a power cut, follows the power cut briefly, then leaves to the left back into the woods.

At the 1.5 mile point, the white-blazed Cross Park Trail ends at a paved park road.  Continue following the teal blazes to the left along the park road for a short distance then turn right on the Vista Trail, blazed infrequently with pink markers.  The teal blazes, however, will guide the way until a fork with a cairn in .3 mile when the Highlands Trail leaves to the right.  Keep left at this fork staying on the Vista Trail but there won’t be any markers for a while.  Unless there is deep snow, the trail should be well defined enough to follow.

Although named the Vista Trail, it seems the vista is not that easy to find.  When the leaves are down, there are obstructed views through the trees along this trail.  The Vista Trail will start to ascend towards an old stone wall.  Just before this wall, a trail not on the map comes in from the left.  Turn right here and you should see a pink marker a short distance ahead to confirm you are on the right path.  The pink markers become more frequent now.

You may do a double take in .2 mile when the trail passes between two piles of rocks.  Take another look - the piles are actually a seating arrangement of matching armchairs made out of rocks! 

In another .2 mile the Vista Trail ends at the paved park road.  Turn right and walk along the park road keeping straight at the intersection.  In just under half a mile turn right on the drive leading to the observatory, then left before the observatory to pick up the Solar System Trail.  Several interpretive signs line this half-mile long trail.

Once again arrive at the same park road only this time in a parking lot at a picnic area.  Turn right in the parking lot for a spectacular view of Round Valley Reservoir.  You can see how high up the reservoir is situated from this viewpoint.

Continue on the park road in the direction you were heading watching to the left for the start of the multi-use Hill Acres Trail at a large sign across a small field.  This trail will soon cross a power cut and then turn right at an unmarked intersection on a woods road.  Keep following the Hill Acre Trail signs and blue trail markers until you arrive back at the junction with the Highlands Trail.  Turn right on the Highlands Trail and cross over the footbridge back to your car.

Click here for more pictures of this hike .

Voorhees State Park Trail Map

Turn by turn description
0.00    From the Hoppock Grove parking lot follow teal-blazed Highlands Trail over a footbridge0.10    Turn right on teal/orange/white trail; stay on teal/white when orange leaves to the right0.40    Cross footbridge0.55    Rock hop over creek0.65    Rock hop over creek0.70    Rock hop over creek1.05    Rock hop over creek1.20    Teal/white turns right along power cut briefly before turning left back into woods1.50    Turn left on paved park road when the white-blazed Cross Park Trail ends1.55    Turn right on teal/pink trail at Vista Trail sign (pink blazes will be sporadic - mostly teal blazes along this part)1.60    Cross creek on footbridge1.70    Cross footbridge1.85    At the fork with a cairn when teal Highlands Trail leaves to the right, keep left on pink (no pink markers at the fork)2.05    Near the top of an incline with stone wall ahead, turn right when trail not on map comes in from left2.20    Trail passes between 2 stone chairs; pink markers become more frequent2.40    Turn right on paved park road; keep straight through the intersection with another paved road2.85    Turn right towards observatory then left on Solar System Trail before observatory building3.20    Solar System Trail ends in parking lot with scenic overlook of Round Valley Reservoir to right; continue to blue-blazed Hill Acres Trail through field on left (large sign)3.30    Cross through power cut3.50    When trail comes out at woods road, keep right (unmarked)3.55    At well-marked intersection, turn right; blue-blazed Hill Acres Trail becomes gravel road3.95    At intersection turn left following Hill Acres Trail sign4.05    At intersection with teal-blazed Highlands Trail, turn right following teal blazes 4.10    Cross footbridge then park road back to parking lot