Length: 12 miles Click on the icon in the text below for photos.
ALERT: The Highlands Trail between Camp Jefferson and the Eve's Mountain Inlet Connector has been rerouted. See MAP
Note: The Highlands Trail sections in this description pass through some private lands. All areas off of the trail are restricted, and hiking off-trail constitutes trespass. Hudson Farm is a private estate. Please respect privacy of the owners, who have graciously allowed the Highlands Trail to cross their land. This property IS patrolled.
From Weldon Road, turn right onto Route 181 for 1.4 miles, reaching Prospect Point Road on your left shortly after passing Lake Hopatcong on the left. Turn left onto Prospect Point Road and follow it for .9 mile to the trail head of the co-aligned Highlands Trail / Lake Hopatcong Trail (HT/LHT) on the right. Hike mostly uphill to where you turn left onto the original route. (The old, abandoned route is to the right and followed/crossed the power lines out to Route 181 and was unmanageable. It quickly became impassable shortly after abandonment). At 3.6 miles, turn right, shortly crossing a small stream. A faint woods road joins from the left. At 3.7 miles, turn left and ascend a rocky hill with sparse oak cover. At 3.9 miles, there is a limited view to the south. Turn right and descend with a vertical rock face on the right to a mixed hardwood forest, reaching a woods road designated "Eves Mountain Road" at 4 miles.
A convenient terminus with parking may be reached by turning left on the teal diamond with black center blazed Eves Mountain Connector. The road forks immediately, but the two forks soon rejoin. At 0.15 miles from the junction with the HT/LHT, bear left where there is an exposed rock surface on the right. At 0.27 miles turn left where the Hopatcong nature trail, with yellow blazes, joins from the right. Cross a footbridge, and avoid a trail and a fainter woods road diverging to the left. At 0.41 miles, a bypass with a bridge takes you around a wet area. Continue past the start of a gravel surface, and two driveways joining from the left, to Roland May Eves Mountain Inlet Sanctuary on Northwood Road, where there is parking (.56 miles from the Highlands Trail). =======================================================================
Continuing on the HT/LHT, pass through patches of mountain laurel and over small hills. At 4.7 miles, enter the private property of the Hudson Farm. From this point to the Hopatcong Preserve, the HT/LHT is on Hudson Farm property. Please stay on the trail and respect the property owners, who have graciously allowed the trail to pass through their property. They consider anything off of the trail as trespassing, and this property is patrolled and has surveillance cameras. You are welcome to enjoy your hike, just please obey the rules. At 5.2 miles, reach an old woods road and an old water pump. Turn left and go down to Bear Pond, then follow the trail to the right as it follows the shoreline of Bear Pond, passing over a spillway, a dam and along a woods road, reaching paved Aladdin Trail at 6.2 miles.
Note: Aladdin Trail is a quiet residential street. Please respect the privacy of the residents and walk quietly through this area. No blazes have been painted along this street. Parking on or along Aladdin Trail, even at the trailhead, is strictly forbidden. At the beginning of the road is an illegal (it is against town ordinance to harass or impede someone walking on a public road) "no hikers" sign and at the end of Aladdin Trail is a Hudson Farm sign stating “No Trespassing! No Swimming! No Hiking!” This is due to problems with people illegally swimming in Bear Pond. HT hikers are allowed to HIKE this area, but again please respect the landowners who have allowed the HT to cross their property and just quietly hike without leaving the trail for any reason.
Follow Aladdin Trail 0.2 mile out to Route 607. Turn left onto Route 607 and follow it for 0.3 mile to a right turn on a woods road into Hudson Farm property. Quickly turn right off of the woods road onto a narrow trail, crossing over small hills and coming to a dirt road at 7.2 miles. Parking is available along Route 605 a short distance down the dirt road to the right. Cross the dirt road, leaving Hudson Farm property and entering the Hopatcong Preserve. Follow the trail along the ridge above Route 605, eventually turning away from the road before passing under power lines. Follow mostly woods roads before coming to a junction where the Lake Hopatcong Trail turns left and the Highlands Trail turns right. Follow the HT out to Route 605 at 10 miles. Turn left on Route 605 and go 0.1 mile to a right turn at the Byram Bike Trail. Follow the bike trail 1 mile, reaching a gate and the Byram Township Intermediate School on Mansfield Drive, where there is parking at 9.7 miles. Turn right on Mansfield Drive and go 0.35 mile out to Route 607 Lackawanna Drive. Turn left on Route 607 and go 0.9 mile out to Route 206 at 12.0 miles.