Clay Pit Ponds Connector

Carteret, New Jersey

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9 Reviews
5 out of 5
It may be hard to believe, but many of Manhattan’s buildings and sidewalks were once made from the clay drawn from the ground of this pocket-size park. The 19th-century brick plant is long gone, replaced now by a fun series of lilting trails that loop by idyllic swamps and peaceful ponds, which serve as a backdrop for a colorful variety of birds and wildflowers.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City

DESCRIPTION FROM:

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City

by Christopher & Catherine Brooks (Menasha Ridge Press)

It may be hard to believe, but many of Manhattan’s buildings and sidewalks were once made from the clay drawn from the ground of this pocket-size park. The 19th-century brick plant is long gone, replaced now by a fun series of lilting trails that loop by idyllic swamps and peaceful ponds, which serve as a backdrop for a colorful variety of birds and wildflowers.

© 2013 Christopher & Catherine Brooks/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Carteret
Distance: 1.7
Elevation Gain: 148 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1 hour
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Clay Pit Ponds State Park
Topo Map: Clay Pit Ponds Connector Topographic Map
Guide Book: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

4/13/2013

Challenging as described. Really loved the workout and vistas. Serious rock scrambles. I took the 8-mile option rather than the 9, concerned I wouldn't have time. But completed the 8 in 4.5 hours.

2/10/2011

Tackled the Breakneck Ridge Loop today and enjoyed every minute of it. The weather was brisk to say the least, about 15F with a fair breeze on the exposed ridges but the uphill work kept me plenty warm. I left Mt. Taurus for another day as I had a 8 month old puppy with me and she can't handle 7 hrs of hiking so we followed the yellow blazes to the left (having gone right at the car park)...the blazes are easy to follow in winter but the trail itself is impossible to find as the track is snow covered and wind-scoured smooth. I met a group coming the other direction after a while and it was easy to follow their tracks. I wore strap on crampons and appreciated them as the going was very compacted and icy in places. At times it was heavy going as a foot would break through the ice crust and go to the knee in powder (with pack and all I probably weighed 240lbs so lighter folk will skip over this no problem). The ruins are magnificent, my favorite part of the hike...the snow filled pool a particularly notable sight. The elevation gain is noticeable, especially in the first half hour after leaving the car but is simply a great warm up. The descent on the yellow blaze trail is quite steep in places....the steps that are supposed to be there were obviously covered in snow so it is really a matter a taking whatever route you fancy down. Views are magnificent, the Hudson is almost frozen over this time of year. I'll be back when the dog has a little more stamina and we'll do it all!

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