Saturday, November 17, 2012

Post-Sandy: Hopatcong State Park

According to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page, the day use area at Hopatcong State Park is open, but the park office has no power.

Post-Sandy: Delaware Water Gap

Delaware River by ammodramus88
Delaware River, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

A variety of roads in the Delaware Water Gap are currently closed. The best way to keep track of closures in this park is to check the general access updates page on the Delaware Water Gap website. This page also includes phone numbers to call for current closure information. The list of closures does not distinguish between those due to Sandy and those due to other conditions; this area sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Irene last year.

Post-Sandy: Farny State Park

Farny State Park is "effectively closed," according to the post-Sandy access page of the NY-NJ Trail Conference.

Post-Sandy: Weis Ecology Center and Norvin Green State Forest

Update 11/30/12: many of the trails at Norvin Green have reopened. There is a full listing at the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

Per the post-Sandy access page of the NY-NJ Trail Conference, Norvin Green State Park is "effectively closed." Weis Ecology Center is closed for the winter season, but its page at the NJ Audubon website warns about the trail closures in the surrounding park.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Post-Sandy: South Amboy

A JerseyBirds post from Patrick Belardo reports on the state of the Morgan Ave. mudflats at South Amboy. The storm caused a lot of damage in this area, and South Amboy's Raritan Bay Waterfront Park is currently closed. South Amboy's city website notes the park closure under a "Traffic Update" post, and will presumably post an announcement when the park is reopened.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Post-Sandy: Monmouth Battlefield State Park

The Hedgerow by ammodramus88
The Hedgerow, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

Monmouth Battlefield is currently open, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access status page.

Post-Sandy: Jockey Hollow (Morristown National Historic Park)

Lock and Hinge by ammodramus88
Lock and Hinge, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/17/12: according to the park website, the Washington's Headquarters Museum and Ford Mansion have reopened. Jockey Hollow and the NJ Brigade area remain closed.

Previously:

Morristown National Historic Park is closed at least through today, 1/9. The park's website has a "park alerts" feature which shows closure information.

Post-Sandy: Belleplain State Forest

Belleplain State Forest is open, according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Post-Sandy: Worthington State Forest

Blue Pool Abstract by ammodramus88
Blue Pool Abstract, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/17/12: the closure of Old Mine Rd. from Rt. 80 to Millbrook is no longer on the Delaware Water Gap access update page, so that stretch of the road ought to be open. Further north, Old Mine Rd. remains closed from Pompey Ridge Rd. to Van Campen Inn.

Previously:

Worthington State Forest is open, according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access status page. Previously only the Dunnfield Creek area was open.

Also, according to the National Parks Service page for the Delaware Water Gap, Old Mine Rd. is closed from interstate 80 to Millbrook.

Post-Sandy: High Point State Park

Texture by ammodramus88
Texture, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

The portions of High Point State Park that are currently open, according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access status page, are the day use area as well as, "Cedar Swamp, Monument and Steenykill Trails." High Point saw one of the top wind gusts from the storm: 73 mph (per the NJ State Climatologist's Sandy NJ Weather Dashboard.

Post-Sandy: Double Trouble State Park

A View To a Bog by ammodramus88
A View To a Bog, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

It took a while for Double Trouble to show up on the NJ DEP post-Sandy access status page, but it finally appeared today. Not surprisingly (since Ocean County was hit very hard by the storm), Double Trouble is currently closed.

Post-Sandy: Wawayanda State Park

Update 11/30/12: most trails remain closed at Wawayanda; there is a long listing on the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

At present, the only open part of Wawayanda State Park is the park office. Everything else is closed, according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access site.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Post-Sandy: Washington Crossing State Park

Update 11/17/12: although Washington Crossing State Park is now in the "open" section of the NJ DEP's post-Sandy access page, all trails in the park remain closed.

Previously:

Washington Crossing State Park is closed, according to the NJ DEP's post-Sandy access page.

Post-Sandy: Vorhees State Park

Update 11/30/12: the park remains closed for most uses, but some hunting is being allowed, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

Vorhees State Park is closed, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Post-Sandy: Stokes State Forest

Rock by ammodramus88
Rock, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/30/12: this past weekend, my friends and I took a drive up to Stokes. Sunrise Mountain looks pretty much the same, but there were many areas of fallen trees. Most shocking was the damage done to the Norway spruce grove at Grau Rd. There are some photos on my Flickr account.

Previously:

Update 11/17/12: All roads through Stokes have now been reopened. Some campsites are now open, but many remain closed; some will stay closed for the winter season. Check the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page for more details on campsites.

Update 11/13/12: another post to the Sussex County Bird Club's e-mail list indicates that the Sunrise Mt. Rd. loop was reopened on Friday. At that time, there were still downed wires along Flatbrook Rd., so the advice was to call Stokes State Forest to confirm road access before one's trip.

Update 11/10/12: Stokes remains closed, and the Stokes State Forest webpage specifies that cabins, lean-tos, and campsites will remain closed, "...until further notice due to downed trees and loss of power." However, a post to the Sussex County Bird Club's e-mail list indicates that Sunrise Mountain (and, therefore, the hawkwatch) is accessible via Crigger Rd. if one hikes up to the Appalachian Trail and then heads south along the AT to Sunrise Mt. This is the same access that was used to reach the hawkwatch in the wake of Irene last year, when Sunrise Mt. Rd. was closed (as it currently is).

Stokes State Forest (including Sunrise Mt. Hawkwatch) is currently closed, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access status page.

Post-Sandy: Island Beach State Park

Dunes by ammodramus88
Dunes, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

Island Beach State Park sustained much damage from Sandy, according to this article about New Jersey state parks in the Hunterdon County Democrat, and there is no timetable for it to reopen. Island Beach is also listed among the closures on the NJ DEP's post-Sandy access status page.

Post-Sandy: Round Valley Reservoir

Butter-and-Eggs by ammodramus88
Butter-and-Eggs, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/30/12: Round Valley's day use area has reopened, but the campground and trails remain closed, according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

Although Spruce Run Reservoir has reopened, Round Valley Reservoir remains closed per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access status page.

Post-Sandy: Spruce Run Reservoir

Spruce Run Reservoir by ammodramus88
Spruce Run Reservoir, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

The front area of Spruce Run Reservoir is open, according to the NJ DEP's post-Sandy access status page. This article from the Hunterdon County Democrat discusses the process of reopening state parks after the storm.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Post-Sandy: Hacklebarney State Park

Hacklebarney by ammodramus88
Hacklebarney, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/30/12: the park remains closed for most uses, but some hunting is being allowed, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

Hacklebarney State Park is closed, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access status page.

Post-Sandy: Cheesequake State Park

Update 11/30/12: the main access issues currently remaining at Cheesequake are the closure of the White Trail, and detours in the Blue and Green Trails, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

Update 11/9/12: Cheesequake will reopen tomorrow, Saturday 11/10, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Cheesequake State Park is closed, according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Post-Sandy: Six Mile Run and Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park

D&R Sign by ammodramus88
D&R Sign, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/30/12: there are several trail closures at Bull's Island: the Bull's Island Natural Area Trail, the White Oak Trail, and the Frenchtown Preserve Trail. The Six Mile Run Reservoir area is now open, but trails at the Cook Nature Area need to be assessed and remain closed. All these updates are from the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

Update 11/17/12: some additional sections of the D&R towpath have been opened: from the Port Mercer Canal House north to Landing Lane and from Washington Crossing State Park north to Bridge St. in Lambertville. The park's main office on Mapleton Rd. in Princeton is open; the main office on Daniel Bray Highway in Stockton on the Feeder Canal will be open sporadically since power has been restored but phone and internet are still out. The most current information on the state of the towpath can be found at the D&R Canal's website.

Update 11/8/12: some portions of the D&R towpath are now open, per the DEP post-Sandy access page. The towpath from Lambertville (Feeder Canal) to Warsaw Rd. "is in good shape," and the towpath between Rt. 27 in Kingston and the Blackwell's Mills causeway is open. "All boat launches and river accesses are open." The day use area at Bull's Island and the bridge across the Delaware River are also open.

Updates from the NJ DEP post-Sandy access status page: Six Mile Run Reservoir Site is closed, the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is closed, and Rockingham Historic Site (next to the D&R in Franklin Twp., Somerset County) is open.

Since the D&R State Park stretches from Hunterdon County down to Mercer County and into Middlesex and Somerset Counties, this is a long stretch of towpath. It includes Bull's Island. A statement on the D&R Canal Commission's website states (as of 11/1/12), "We ask the public to avoid using the park at this time...Many trees are down while the root system of others may have been compromised. These conditions make it unsafe to traverse the path at this time."

Post-Sandy: Liberty State Park

Update 11/30/12: a few areas of Liberty State Park have been reopened, according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page. They include the 9/11 Memorial, the Grove of Remembrance, and "certain passive recreation portions of the park."

Previously:

Liberty State Park is closed, according to the NJ DEP's post-Sandy access page. Mike Britt, in a post to the JerseyBirds list, says, "LSP will be closed for months..."

Post-Sandy: Brendan T. Byrne State Forest

Pakim Pond Green by ammodramus88
Pakim Pond Green, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

Byrne State Forest, formerly known as Lebanon State Forest, is open after Sandy, according to the NJ DEP's post-Sandy access status page.

Post-Sandy: Wharton State Forest

Pinelands Afternoon by ammodramus88
Pinelands Afternoon, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

Update later on 11/7/12: Wharton State Forest is open, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

Wharton State Forest is currently closed, according to the NJ DEP's post-Sandy access status page. Atsion Recreation Area is open, however.

Post-Sandy: Bass River State Forest

Trail's End by ammodramus88
Trail's End, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/9/12: Bass River State Forest is now open, so that completes the Batona trifecta. It's reasonable to assume that the trail (and others) might still be obstructed in places due to fallen trees, so be advised.

Previously:

Update later on 11/7/12: conditions for the Batona Trail are improving; Wharton State Forest is now open. Bass River remains closed, however (per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page).

Bass River State Forest, the southern terminus of the Batona Trail, is currently closed, according to the NJ DEP's post-Sandy access status page. This is not a good time to hike the Batona Trail, since Wharton State Forest is also closed. Byrne (formerly Lebanon) State Forest, on the northern end of the trail, is open, however.

Post-Sandy: Ringwood State Park


Update 11/30/12: many more trails at Ringwood have reopened. Check the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page for a full listing.

Previously:

According to the post-Sandy access status page of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Ringwood Manor Section of Ringwood State Park is open.

Post-Sandy: Long Pond Ironworks State Park

Hewitt Falls by ammodramus88
Hewitt Falls, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/30/12: more trails at Long Pond have been reopened. Check the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page for a full listing.

Previously:

Update 11/17/12: via the NJ Hiking website's access updates page, the bridge across the Wanaque River has been washed out, so several trails in the park are affected.

The NJ DEP post-Sandy update page states that these sections of Long Pond are open: Green Turtle Pond Section, Jungle Habitat Section, Monksville Reservoir Section. They are listed under Ringwood State Park.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Post-Sandy: Barnegat Light

Update 11/30/12: the picnic area remains closed. There is currently no mention of the lighthouse being closed on the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page, so it is presumably now open.

Previously:

Update 11/17/12: according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page, the lighthouse and picnic area of the park remain closed, but the "jetty walkway, beach, shade shelters and nature trail" are open.

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is currently closed, according to the New Jersey DEP's post-Sandy status page. This article from The SandPaper says that the town of Barnegat Light weathered Sandy comparatively well, due to the extensive dunes buffering the town.

Post-Sandy: Allamuchy Mountain and Stephens State Parks

Update 11/30/12: Allamuchy remains closed for most uses, but some hunting is being allowed, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page.

Previously:

Update 11/10/12: Allamuchy Mt. State Park remains closed, but the day use area and park office of Stephens State Park are now open, according to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page. Trails at Stephens State Park are still closed.

Neither of these parks are open, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's post-Sandy status page.

Post-Sandy: Allaire State Park

Ochre by ammodramus88
Ochre, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Update 11/17/12: Parts of Allaire State Park are due to open today, per the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page. Camping area, picnic area, and trails remain closed, but the historic village and the railroad are open.

Previously:

According to the post-Sandy access status page of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Allaire State Park is closed.

Post-Sandy: Lorrimer Sanctuary

Update 11/13/12: As of the most recent update on the NJ Audubon homepage (dated 11/12), Lorrimer is now open.

Previously:

According to today's statement on the New Jersey Audubon website, Lorrimer is closed due to a lack of power. Power may return, "...early to mid next week."

Post-Sandy: Pequannock Watershed

Abstract by ammodramus88
Abstract, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
Jonathan Klizas of mocosoco Birds has blogged about the sad fate of conifer groves in the southern part of the Pequannock Watershed and nearby areas of Morris County. The photos included in his post look as though a bomb had hit the forests. It remains to be seen what effect the devastation will have on the local birdlife.

Post-Sandy: Essex County Environmental Center

Although many of New Jersey Audubon's centers are still closed in the wake of the storm (as of 11/5), the Essex County Environmental Center is open, per a statement on the New Jersey Audubon website.

Post-Sandy: Atlantic County Park

Estellville Ruins by ammodramus88
Estellville Ruins, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
A brief note from Anne Bekker to the JerseyBirds list mentions birding Atlantic County Park. Presumably there is some access at least, but the park covers a large area. A look at the Atlantic County Parks and Recreation website did not reveal any post-storm updates.

Post-Sandy: Rutgers Ecological Preserve

B. G. Sloan walked around Rutgers Ecological Preserve and reported back to the JerseyBirds list. Here, as in many other locations, there is a large number of fallen trees. He also noted, "Just about every trail is impassable at one point or another." The post also includes links to some photos Sloan took of the storm damage.

Post-Sandy: Jake's Landing Road

Jake's by ammodramus88
Jake's, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.
A JerseyBirds post by Sandra Keller describing a day in Cape May mentioned a stop at Jake's Landing Rd. to look for owls in passing. It sounds like the road is open.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Post-Sandy: Forsythe (Barnegat and Brick) NWR

The Barnegat Unit of Forsythe NWR and the deCamp Nature Trail in Brick are both closed pending cleanup of storm damage and trail repair. This post from Don Freiday gives some more details. The most current and accurate status information can be found at Forsythe NWR's website and Facebook page.

Post-Sandy: Palisades Park Overlooks

The State Line Hawkwatch in Alpine had a good day on Sunday (11/4), so add that to the list of open hawkwatches.

Post-Sandy: Palmyra Cove Nature Park

Palmyra Cove Nature Park suffered no storm damage and is open. Thanks to Tom Bailey for the report.

Post-Sandy: Taylor Wildlife Preserve

Taylor Wildlife Preserve in Cinnaminson is open. Some trees fell across trails but they're, "...nothing the average birder can't walk around," according to Tom Bailey. Thanks to Tom for the report.

Post-Sandy: Northern Salem County Tour

Battery at Fort Mott by ammodramus88
Battery at Fort Mott, a photo by ammodramus88 on Flickr.

Fort Mott State Park

Update 11/10/12: According to the NJ DEP post-Sandy access page, Fort Mott is due to reopen today, 11/10.

Previously:

According to a tweet from @ScNJbirdreport, Fort Mott State Park is closed with downed trees.