Allamuchy Pond Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Allamuchy State Park, with its 12 miles of forest roads and singletrack, is a place worth seeking out. Riding is a mixed bag, including everything from easy cruising on well-graded forest roads to challenging opportunities on an equal number of singletrack. A convenient network of old farm and lumber roads winds through this secluded and relatively unknown New Jersey State Park, only 50 miles from Manhattan, providing a pleasant mountain biking experience for riders of all levels. Plenty of hills and lively singletracks challenge the average hammerhead, with as much cruising material to go around for the less technically inclined. A wide, hard-packed forest road penetrates the Allamuchy forest and ends at Deer Park Pond just 4 miles later. Several other trails head off into the woods and pass through more densely forested habitat."
--Michael Margulis, Mountain Biking Eastern New York (Falcon Guides).
"Whether the quarry is birds, the backwoods, or beautiful bodies of water, Allamuchy has what it takes to make your outing a success. In fact, the combination of a wild, untended woodland with countless streams, several swamps, and a couple of lakes adds up to an environment that birds find irresistible. A good many hikers do, too, what with the miles of trails that snake through an underpopulated backcountry."
--Christopher & Catherine Brooks, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City (Menasha Ridge Press).
There is no Turquoise and Yellow trail markers at the beginning of the hike. Only red trail markers that will lead you to the top of the mountain. Also this is not an easy hike. More like a moderate hike. There's some scrambling up rocks and rock face at the higher elevations. When you get to the top of Storm King Mountain there's no white trail markers on the descent to complete the loop. There are two turquoise and yellow trails to descend, one of which leads you back up another mountain and the other leads you down to storm king school, which is probably a half mile down from where the parking lot is on 9W Quick hike with numerous beautiful views though. I recommend it. Just take your time and go down the way you came up following the red trail markers. Lots of cicadas in the trees also at this time of year but they don't bother you.
This seems like a wonderful trail, but the description is very misleading. Combined with the iPhone "Trails" app's pitiful supply of information (it sure would have been nice to be able to see these reviews or some of the photos on the iPhone app, for example), it made for a very poor experience.
I'm 7 months pregnant and so was looking for an easy trail without much climbing. The description says "Easy" and "Elevation gain: 0 feet". Sounds great. But it's not even close to true. Sure, I should have read the trail guide _before_ I got to the trailhead. Even when I did, though, it took quite a while to be sure that it was even the right place because there were no "yellow and turquoise" blazes - only red and grey ones. And there was little sign of the return loop shown on the map, thought I think that's just because of a very large tree that has fallen across what looks like it had been the head of that trail. To be fair, that seems to have happened not that long ago - there are still leaves on the tree.
Anyway, I made it several hundred feet in before giving up (with no end of climbing in sight). I'm sure I'd have loved this trail if I were not pregnant but for now this is not something I can do. This trail is simply not what the description claims.
This was a great hike. I will say I thought the description was a bit misleading. While this certainly wasn't the hardest summit I've climbed, I wouldn't classify it as an "easy" hike. I think it's more of a "moderate" hike. It was one of my friends first time hiking and honestly it was a little rough for a first hike. There was some hand-over-hand rock climbing and the ascent at times was steep. The views were great though. We watched the sun set from the summit - very nice. We're gonna go back in the fall when the leaves are turning. We didn't see any other trail other than the orange blazed trail which led up to the blue/yellow blazes which took us to the summit. We came back down the same way. One more thing...we originally passed the parking area...it's not 9.4 miles from the circle...I would say it's about 8 miles. Also, it's not at the top of a hill it's at the bottom of a hill or coming down a hill around a bend. When you are driving down 9W if you hit the Storm King School (on right), turn around there (that's Mountain Rd) -you've gone too far. Oh, one more thing...after your hike if you're hungry, there's a great BBQ place heading back in to town toward's the BM Bridge on the left side...great food! We loved it!
This trail guide is for the southern part, or Deer Park. The northern section, Allamuchy, is by far bigger and harder. Check out mtbnj dot com for the best maps. To make a good ride at Deer Park, park in the first lot and dont ride up the fire road. Instead take the trail behind the outhouse in the back of the lot. Its an unmarked technical climb out to the White trail (making lefts) or make rights to get to the intersection to the White and Yellow. (The map here is not correct so dont try to follow me on it.) From that intersection, go north (straight ahead - if you go left/west you will go back to the parking lot) and take the White all the way out past the Rt 80 Scenic Overlook and back around. Keeping left at the Blue intersection and then right at the intersection of the trail leading to Waterloo Rd (Its marked I think its red). Keep on the white trail and take it up to the pond and cross the bridge. After the bridge, dont take the fireroad to the right, but instead take the single track straight ahead (I think its marked white). Up and over the mt and hit a sharp washed out right then back up to the fireroad. Make a left on the road and watch for the Yellow trail on the right. Take that back to that first Yellow-White intersection I talked about above but dont take the singletrack to the left back to the parking lot. Keep going straight on the White and hit the climb. Towards the top of the hill, look for unmarked singletrack to the left. Once on the trail keep to the right. This winds out and down back to the White trail and then back to the parking lot. This ride is prolly the hardest Deer Park has to offer. Not really for beginners, but not too advanced either. For much harder stuff, try Allamuchy North. Just dont do north alone for your first time. It is huge and there are bears in them woods :)
Excellent hike! Trails clearly marked, particularly the initial orange trail entrance from parking lot on 9W. A little bit of rock scrambling initially on orange trail up to top of Butter Hill, but since it is on the south side of the mountain, most of the snow & ice had melted. Park Ranger indicated that north side of mountain along the lower Yellow Trail (Stillman Trail), had sections that were under significant ice sheets, so we stayed atop the ridge on the snow-covered Yellow Trail, returning on the easy Bypass Trail, which uses white blazes (actually gray in color). The views along the way were fantastic & our scout troop completed the easy 2—3 mile loop in 3 relaxing hours with several stops. Very little garbage found along the trail. The best Trail map is the West Hudson Trail Map #113 from NY-NJ Trail Conference. Bear Mountain Bridge to parking lot on 9w is about 8.7 miles, not 9.3 miles as found in one hiking book.
Sign in/up to upload photos.