Welcome to Kincaid Woods!
The woods, officially opened to the public circa 2009, were once farmland owned by a local family by the name of Kincaid. Evidence of old farm stone walls can still be found in the woods. The hike is located in the Stony Brook Mountains which are named for the nearby Stony Brook, a tributary of the Rockaway River.
From the kiosk in the parking area, follow the trail as it meanders through a meadow.
(Please keep in mind I took this hike in September 2012 about a month before Hurricane Sandy arrived. The following describes the hike as I encountered it at the time)
The yellow blazes of the Kincaid Trail will appear on wooden posts.
Enter the woods heading east on the Kincaid Trail.
Pass over a stream (a Stony Brook tributary) and through wetlands on a raised wooden bridge.
From here, be on the lookout for the Black-Dot Trail trail head which will appear on the right.
Head southwest on the black dot trail which passes over an old Kincaid Farm stone wall. From here, the Black Dot trail will begin to loop to the northeast.
Come to the end of the Black dot-trail after crossing another old stone wall.
From here turn left back on the Kincaid Trial heading northwest (turning right on the Kincaid trial leads to Pyramid Mountain).
From here a coppice Red Maple with the yellow blaze of the Kincaid trail becomes visible.
Soon a remnant of the Rockaway Valley Mine (aka DeCamp Mine) will come into view. Minerals mined included pyrite & magnetite. Minerals was shipped to the Musconetcong Ironworks in Stanhope NJ via the nearby Morris Canal. Tailings from the old mine may be found scattered about.
From the mine area, continue following the Kincaid trail west back through the wetlands, over the boardwalk and into the meadow where the hike began.
Directions (as taken from the NYNJ Trail Conference Web Site)
Take I-287 South to Exit 47 (Montville/Lincoln Park) and turn left at the bottom of the ramp onto Main Road (Route 202). Continue to follow Route 202 as it turns first sharply left, then sharply right. In 0.6 mile, just before reaching a fire station, turn right onto Taylortown Road and continue for 3.1 miles to a “stop” sign at Powerville Road (after 1.8 miles, Taylortown Road becomes Rockaway Valley Road). Turn right onto Powerville Road (the road is open only for local traffic because a bridge is out ahead, but the parking area for the hike is before the bridge, so you should go around the barricade) and continue for 1.2 miles to Kincaid Road (Powerville Road bears left at this intersection). Turn right onto Kincaid Road and immediately turn right into a gravel parking area.
Feel free to comment below with any bird sightings, interesting plants, memories or suggestions! Thank you and have fun exploring!
Welcome to Little Fall’s Morris Canal Preserve!
Walking on Little Falls Main Street, few people would suspect that a preserved woodland and forested floodplain is located behind the stores.
The Morris Canal Preserve is located right above the Passaic River. The river rushes by on fractured basalt . The preserve features a gentle paved path which traverses the edge between the developed landscape of Little Falls and the remnant forested floodplain of the Passaic River.
The paved path leads from a beautiful gazebo and heads in a southwest direction to its terminus near an outflow from the Passaic Valley Water Company.
You might be tempted to think that Little Falls was named after these views, but the real falls were eliminated late in the 18th century to relieve upstream flooding of the Passaic River.
The path features checkerboards, basalt rocks of the second Watchung Mountain and beautiful views along the way.
The Morris Canal was an artificial waterway which connected the coal fields of Pennsylvania’s LeHigh Valley to Paterson, Newark & New York City. Successful at first, railroads eventually replaced the need for the canal. After falling into disrepair, the Aqueduct was dynamited to the ground in 1925.
Typical examples of flora found along the Morris Canal Preserve include:
Want to learn more about the high diversity of plant life found in the Garden State? Check out Plant Communities of New Jersey.
NJ’s geology, topography and soil, climate, plant-plant and plant-animal relationships, and the human impact on the environment are all discussed in great detail. Twelve plant habitats are described and the authors were good enough to put in examples of where to visit!
Click here for more information!
Directions: (as taken from the NYNJCT Botany Website)
From Route 80 westbound, get off at the Union Avenue exit and bear left to follow Union Avenue for about one mile into Little Falls. Turn left at the light onto Main Street and then go about five blocks looking for Maple Street and Schumacher Chevrolet on the left. Turn left down Maple and continue as for the bus directions.
Alternative route by car: From Rt. 46 westbound, get off at the Great Notch/Cedar Grove exit. Bear left and follow overpass over Route 46 on to Notch Road. At the end of Notch Road turn right at the light onto Long Hill Road. Proceed on Long Hill Road for about one mile where it becomes Main Street. At Schumacher Chevrolet, turn right onto Maple Street and then follow the directions as for the bus. Look for the brick sign for the preserve on the left.
By public transportation: Take NJ TRANSIT 191/195 bus that leaves the Port Authority Bus Terminal, NY (check schedule prior to the trip) and get off on Main Street in downtown Little Falls at the corner of Maple Street Turn right on Maple and walk one block to entrance to the preserve parking lot on the left.
Great Local Books!
New Jersey’s Passaic River rises in a pristine wetland and ends in a federal Superfund site. In An American River, author and New Jersey native Mary Bruno kayaks its length in an effort to discover what happened to her hometown river.
Click Here for more information!
The Morris Canal was an important component in the American Industrial Revolution. For nearly 100 years it crossed the hills of northern New Jersey, accomplishing that feat with 23 lift locks and 23 inclined planes.
Click Here for more information!
Feel free to e-mail NJUrbanForest at NJUrbanForest@gmail.com with any comments, memories or suggestion! Thank you and have fun exploring!