Fiddler's Elbow - Bedminster Township, NJ
This part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in New Jersey provides an outdoor, full-sensory experience. Hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, quiet roads for biking, and viewing of flora and fauna can all be enjoyed in this tranquil location.
Distant mountains, valleys, and lakes can be seen all along the woods road, as well as rock outcrops, and native animals.
People most often travel the Appalachian Trail, so you will encounter even fewer people on the unmarked trails (mostly woods roads). These roads were built during the 1930s, '40s and '50s for a vacation development, but the area was acquired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the controversial Tocks Island dam and reservoir project. The project was abandoned due in a large part to grassroots efforts to preserve the historic and scenic value of the land. It wasn't until 1992 that the dam project was officially de-authorized by Congress. Look for remnants of cabin foundations, and other signs of human habitation.
Be aware of bears while you're here. See http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm for bear safety tips. Preventing problems with bears is our responsibility.
Fairview Lake Rd. in Stillwater, NJ dead ends where you will begin your journey. For navigation you may wish to enter, "Fairview Lake YMCA Camps, Stillwater, NJ." You will pass the camp and continue to the end of the road.
It is a moderate climb on a former road, (known locally as Fiddler's Elbow), to the top where the Appalachian Trail crosses, as well as many woods roads. A New York-New Jersey Trail Conference map of the southern Kittatinny Trails, nynjtc.org will be needed as the beautiful woods roads are not blazed. After passing the second road gate, go to the right, and at about .5 mile from your start, go right again on a woods road. You could also remain on Skyline Dr., closed to traffic when snow covered, which takes you to Crater Lake in about 2 1/4 miles. The woods road is about a 1 mile long, level path with scenic overlooks. It veers left and brings you to Skyline Dr.. Using your map, there are many woods road options. A cautionary note: "Fiddler's Elbow" may have an ice sheet invisible to the eye under the snow due to water run-off from a spring.
Other outdoor resources nearby: Appalachian Mountain Club's Mohican Outdoor Center. outdoors.org.
Pet Friendly Notes
Leashed pets are permitted.
Your journey can be as long or short as you desire.
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