This hike traverses the Allamuchy Natural Area of Allamuchy State Park, following old woods roads with gentle grades. The area was once part of a private game preserve on which deer were introduced (hence the name Deer Park). The trails used by this hike are open to mountain bikes and are maintained by the Chain Gang Mountain Bike Club. Trails are blazed with painted metal markers, but some...
This hike traverses the Allamuchy Natural Area of Allamuchy State Park, following old woods roads with gentle grades. The area was once part of a private game preserve on which deer were introduced (hence the name Deer Park). The trails used by this hike are open to mountain bikes and are maintained by the Chain Gang Mountain Bike Club. Trails are blazed with painted metal markers, but some old paint blazes remain. You should follow the new metal markers and ignore the old paint blazes.
To begin the hike, find a sign for the Deer Park Trail at the end of a grassy clearing on the side of the parking area opposite the kiosk. Follow the white-blazed Deer Park Trail into the woods, immediately crossing a concrete bridge over the outlet of a small pond to the right of the trail. A short distance beyond, there is an interesting large red oak tree, with five trunks, about 50 feet to the right of the trail. Along this section of the trail, you will see some old yellow trail blazes, which you should ignore.
The trail climbs gently to the crest of a hill, crossing under two power lines along the way. It passes an open field to the left and bends to the right, continuing through an area with a dense understory. Soon, you'll reach a junction with the yellow-blazed Birch Trail, which begins to the right. You should bear left to continue along the white-blazed Deer Park Trail. In the next section of the trail, you'll pass a large rock outcrop to the right and, some distance beyond, parallel a large stone wall to the left. There are some old red paint blazes along the trail in this section (which should be disregarded).
In half a mile, you'll come to a T-intersection with a woods road. You should turn left, continuing along the white trail. The red-blazed Barberry Trail begins to the right in another third of a mile, but you should continue ahead, remaining on the white trail. Soon, you'll pass a knoll to the right that is the highest point in this section of Allamuchy Mountain State Park (but offers no views).
Nearly a mile after the intersection with the Barberry Trail, you'll pass to the left of a huge boulder. Here, the trail climbs briefly on a rocky footpath and then descends slightly. A short distance beyond, you'll notice an unmarked path that goes off to the left, passing through a gap in a chain-link fence. Follow this path, which leads in about 500 feet to a rest area and overlook off of the eastbound lanes of I-80. Although you'll have to share this spot with motorists from the Interstate highway, it offers a panoramic west-facing view over the Delaware Water Gap and is well worth the short detour.
After taking in the view, return to the white trail and turn left. The trail soon curves to the right, heading away from the sounds of I-80. In another quarter of a mile, you'll come a T-intersection where you turn right to continue on the white trail. Soon, the trail begins a steady descent on a rocky treadway. After crossing a stream, you'll reach a Y-intersection. Here, the white trail takes the left fork, but you should bear right and continue on the blue-blazed Lakeview Trail, which begins here.
The Lakeview Trail soon descends to reach another woods road near the shore of Deer Park Pond. From this junction, you will be heading right (west) on the red-blazed Barberry Trail. But you'll first want to stop at a viewpoint over the pond. So turn left at the junction, then almost immediately turn right and follow an unmarked path down to the shore of the pond. This is a good place to take a break.
After enjoying the view over the pond, return to the main trail, turn left, and continue ahead on the red-blazed Barberry Trail, which heads west along the shore of the pond. You'll cross Deer Park Pond's inlet stream (with a small pond to the left) and begin to closely follow the shoreline. Deer Park Pond is the site of much beaver activity, and you should be able to notice several beaver lodges in the pond.
Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 03/09/2007
At the end of the pond, the trail begins to head uphill, and it soon reaches a junction with the white-blazed Deer Park Trail. Turn left onto the white trail, which you will follow back to the parking area where the hike began, retracing your steps for a mile and a half. Be sure to turn right at the first junction you reach, in a third of a mile, then bear right at the next junction, where the yellow-blazed Birch Trail begins.
This lollipop-loop hike leads to a panoramic viewpoint over the Delaware Water Gap and follows the shore of scenic Deer Park Pond.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.