As part of my volunteer work with the Mount Olive Open Space Committee I’ve recorded trail data in town, made a google places interactive map and wrote up descriptions of our trails. This effort will hopefully foster confidence and encourage access and use of the impressive trail system and highlight our outdoor treasures within our 31sq mile township.
GUIDE TO MOUNT OLIVE TRAILS
These trail descriptions are designed to be used with our trails map. Descriptions should not be relied on exclusively.
You can find the interactive map of our trail system here:
Thank you for leaving the trails better than you found them. To assist with trail improvements or report on trail conditions please contact the Mount Olive Open Space Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and join our Facebook group to learn more about trail walks and volunteer opportunities. You can also sign on to become a trail steward HERE.
Mount Olive Trail Regulations
- Trails are open from dawn to dusk.
- Trails are carry-in, carry-out; refuse is to be disposed of properly.
- Pets must be kept on leash and cleaned-up after.
- Motorized vehicles are prohibited, including ATVs, motorcycles, and snowmobiles. Police may impound such vehicles pending a municipal court hearing.
- Horses and bicycles are allowed on some trails (check trail descriptions).
- Please use our trails with a stewardship ethic, leave them better than you found them.
- Respect private property and nearby homes. Stay on designated trails.
- Wear bright colors on all trails during hunting season (September through February).
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Prepare for weather changes and bring plenty of water.
- Make sure to check yourself for ticks upon the completion of your hike.
- Bring a bag to collect any litter
- Share photos on social media to help highlight our natural areas and recreational opportunities.
Printable Map mtolive_turkeybrooktrail_012516
Description: This trail begins on Old Budd Lake Rd ( 40.887964, -74.723251 ) behind Adams Bagels. It enters a hardwood forest and ascends before crossing under the power line right of way and meandering through a wooded wetland habitat. The trail curves around a large dead forest that has been flooded by beavers. The dead trees have become a rookery for herons to raise their young. You’ll walk over some boardwalks built by township eagle scouts and come to the Gold Mine Road parking area in .08 miles
( 40.878577, -74.720833 ).
Due to beaver activity, boots are strongly recommended. The trail then reenters the forest and gently gains elevation as it winds through the Turkey Brook Park Greenway reaching its highest elevation of 1202 feet at Mt. Olive just before the large Greenway parking area on Flanders Rd in 1.1miles (40.865919, -74.717325).
After a short walk along Flanders Rd. the trail enters into the east side of Turkey Brook Park (40.867060, -74.725483) on a gravel pathway. At this point there are options to split off into the park and directly down to the Maiers Pond on the blue trail 0.7miles or stay on the white trail 1.6miles downhill through a forested trail toward the pond. After reaching the pond, the white trail loops around the southwest side of the pond, crosses Turkey Brook (a NJ Fish and Wildlife designated wild trout stream) over a log bridge, and ascends east to slightly higher elevation through a forested trail on to School House Lane and further along to the High School 0.6miles (Lot D when school is not in session) creating the potential to loop back towards the Greenway Parking Area in 0.8miles (40.865919, -74.717325) and/or a return hike to where the trail begins off of route 46 1.9 miles away (40.887964, -74.723251).
Adam’s Bagels to Goldmine Road 0.8miles
Goldmine Road to Mt. Olive Greenway 1.1miles
Mt. Olive Greenway to Mt. Olive High School 0.8miles
Mt. Olive High School (Lot D when school is not in session) to Maiers Pond 0.6miles
Maiers Pond through Turkey Brook Park to Greenway 1.6miles
Parking: Drive or walk down the gravel road behind the Dog Park in Turkey Brook Park
Distance: 0.8 mile to the pond.
Description: From the gate located at the back of Turkey Brook Park walk down hill on the gravel pathway to the pond. On the way you will pass stands of Staghorn Sumac and Autumn Olive, pass a small open field known as the bird sanctuary and continue down through a hardwood forest of Oak and Maple to reach the pond. You may wish to turn around after enjoying the pond or continue further on an extended hike using the trails map. The white trail continues past the pond towards Mount Olive High School and does offer a loop around if you connect with the orange trail (approximately 1 hour). Look for Beaver, King Fisher, Pileated Woodpecker and more. The pond offers wonderful opportunities to fish for Bass, Bluegill and Perch. Please be sure to carry out fishing refuse and leave the place better than you found it.
MORRIS CANAL GREENWAY (PREVIOUSLY THE BRAILLE TRAIL)
Parking: Continental Drive ( 40.908418, -74.720006 ) or Plane Lane in Stanhope, NJ ( 40.904082 -74.712377 )
Distance: 1.4 miles there and back.
Description: This trail located in Allamuchy State Park is 0.7 mile one way and meanders along a section of the old Morris Canal. The trail is a smooth gravel pathway and passed the stone ruins of the lock tenders house 0.2 mile from Continental Drive.
Look for the many Painted Turtles basking on rocks and logs and King Fishers feeding when water levels are low. Native plant species including Goldenrod, Joe Pye Weed, Iron Weed, Milkweed and Elderberry are on brilliant display during the late summer and early autumn. This trail also offers excellent opportunities for a level snowshoe or xc ski pathway. At the entrance of Plant Street on the Stanhope side of the trail is an old bridge that crosses over the Musconetcong River (stocking point for NJ Fish & Wildlife)
SILVER SPRINGS TRAIL (In Development)
Parking: Across from Matt’s Glass along the road on Rt. 206 The gravel parking lot is private party and should not be used.
Description: Hike uphill following the Orange blazes to top of the hill where you see the farm fields of Silver Springs Manor. Please be respectful of the property and stay along the perimeter of the fields following the trail through the fields and around towards Flanders Draketown Road. (Please Note: This trail is in progress and has not been completed as of 7.26.21)
BUDD LAKE VISTA KNOLL TRAIL
Parking: Kennedy Drive. Trail access is along Sandshore Road.
Distance: 0.4 miles one way.
Description: Be careful crossing the road to the trail access. Enter the forest and walk downhill into a wooded wetland with remnants of a rusted automobile before ascending to the vista overlooking Budd Lake. An excellent short trail with an pretty view of the lake.
Did you know the lake has a maximum depth of 12 feet and is on average about 9 feet deep?
More Trails in Mt. Olive!
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey!
South Branch Preserve & Community Garden and North Tract of South Branch Preserve
NY/NJ Trail Conference Maps for Allamuchy & Stephens State Park
How to Follow a Blazed Trail
Blazes are distinctive marks, usually on trees and at eye level, that indicate the path of a trail. They can, however, also be found on rocks and pavement. Besides painted blazes of varying colors, trails can also be marked with plastic or aluminum tags. As a rule, you should be able to see the next blaze as you stand with your back to the last tree with a blaze. At most, you need to walk only a few yards further. Due to the nature of the woods, sometimes this is not possible, Sometimes a blazed tree falls over or gets obscured. If you can’t see the next blaze, follow the path on the ground. If you don’t find another blaze you may well be on the wrong path. Return to the previous blaze and try again.
HOW TO AVOID TICK BITES
A tick that is infected with certain types of bacteria can bite people and cause them to become sick. You can reduce the risk of getting diseases from ticks by taking steps to avoid getting bitten by a tick.
• Wear solid, light-colored clothes. This will make it easier to find a tick on your clothes.
• Tuck your pants into your socks and wear a long-sleeved shirt. This will help prevent a tick from attaching to your skin.
• Use insect repellents (bug spray) on yourself and your pets. There are two types of repellents effective for ticks. Repellents that contain DEET can be used on clothes and exposed skin. The
other type of repellent contains permethrin and should ONLY be used on clothes. Always read and follow label directions carefully.
• Stay on the trails and avoid tall grass and vegetation where possible to reduce opportunities for interaction with ticks.
• Check yourself for ticks frequently when you are in tick-infested areas. Check again after returning and again before going to bed. Don’t overlook some of ticks’ favorite hiding places—on the scalp, behind the ears, under the arms, on the ankles, and in the groin area.
For more information click here: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html