Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Splitrock Hike
by Dave Miller

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hikers: Bob and Louise Kelly, Ted Clancy, John, Me

With cooperating 70 deg weather and a light breeze to help keep bugs at bay, our Sat Hike at Splitrock Reservoir was indeed a good day in the woods.

We began hiking at 9:00 and came off the trail at 4:45 PM. (7 hr & 45 min!)
(I hope everyone is still speaking to me). I didn't tell any jokes the last few hrs.

It was 5 hr until we reached our lunch spot atop the Indian Cliff overlook at 2 pm.
An un-planned side trip to a local viewpoint (Double D Peak) added more time to the itinerary than originally anticipated.
So our miles ended up in the 8.5 to 9 mile range.

Trees were still pretty bare which yielded great views of this magnificent reservoir. There were indeed many different types of trail conditions and ground vegetation and the landscape continually changed throughout the day.

From many views of the reservoir, local swamps and ponds, to boulder fields, dirt roads, thick new growth forests, through thick groves of mountain laurel, to soft pine needled trails.

We were stalked by a huge Turkey Vulture that sat in a tree and watched us for a while until one of us called up to him:
"We're not DEAD YET". We also saw a 4 ft black snake who slithered away from right in front of us.
We heard spring peepers and saw some frogs by a marsh. We also saw a really cool Luna Moth on the trail.
The group seemed familiar with them. Other sites included a rare birds nest un-like I've ever seen.

We saw (2) bald eagles, 4 Redtail Hawks and a Pileated Woodpecker at the lunch spot (Not really but I threw that in to get Bob R. all excited.)

We heard some strange flute music from atop the cliff. (I forgot half the songs I used to know.)

And all in all it was a great day. Nobody died, and no broken ankles!

We'll have to make this an annual trip!