|Sandy Trail-Head & Boardwalk Map|
I've searched for a map of this park and strangely i haven't been able to find anything, so I decided we should park at the boardwalk entrance that I suspected had a public map at the trail-head. My thoughts were we could review the map (and possibly take a picture for reference) before entering the trails.
|Boardwalk over the wetlands|
I asked my wife to watch her pace since the map didn't have any scale for reference and I didn't want her to get gassed early on her first trail run. Just as I said that the board walk started circling back to the direction of the start.
At an intersection we looped our way away from the start hoping to find more distance, but yet again we found ourselves circling back to the trail-head.
We decided to take the 1st ring of the figure eight one last time knowing it would return us to the trail-head. The Garmin reported a mere .6 miles.
We got back in the car and went to another trail-head about a 1/2 mile up the road (towards Monroe). The parking lot is across the road (Rt 17M) from the start of the trail. So once again we entered the uncharted Goose Pond Mountain State Park (part two of the same run).
|Meadow Along Lazy Hill rd|
The path is an extension of The Highlands Trail (teal) also known as Lazy Hill Road. From the parking area the tree-lined path climbs briefly to the top of small hill with grassy fields on either side.
Continuing we were surprised to find the path to be a mix of old pavement and rutted dirt and stone where the old road had been washed away years ago.
The path continues with very few turns through the rolling hills as it descends deeper into the shaded woods lined with old stone walls and small clearings to either side of the retired roadway.
|Goose Pond Mountain|
The deep grasses were damp and the path was barely worn through the strength of the late summer growth.
At the top of the hilly field was a beautiful hand-made cedar bench built in memorial to a park lover who had passed away. The bench reminded me of the one on the northern vista of Schunnemunk Mountain. This bench overlooked the grassy meadow and the profile of Goose Pond Mountain. I'm curious about this bench maker and the dear friends he's lost.
|Taking a Break at the Memorial Bench|
We wound our way through small grassy meadows damp with morning dew and small patches of saplings before we eventually returned to Lazy Hill Road.
Again we continued to journey deeper into the park and crossed Seely Brooke by a storm damaged bridge. Just a head we heard voices and stayed to the side of the trail in case a group of mountain bikers came around the gradual bend in the road.
We made our way safely around the corner and two mountain bikers were having a conversation at a fork in the trail. We exchanged greetings and we followed our instinct keeping to our left.
|Returning on Lazy|
We decided that would be enough for our first venture into GPMP and thought it would be wise to save some for when we return. Later we would find out there was only another 1/2 mile till we reached the end of the road but there was no indication of that from where we turned around.
We returned the way we came, following an out and back course entirely on Lazy Hill Road (with the one unsuccessful cemetery diversion).
The run was peaceful and beautiful. I was pleased by my wife's ability to blaze her way through the grasses and keep her footing on the storm washed road. We enjoyed our first foray into Goose Pond Mountain Park and I look forward to finding my way to the top of the mountain.
This park seems to offer quite a bit of terrain but to my knowledge there are no maps, so you'll have to pack your adventuresome spirit and blaze your own way on the unmarked trails.
Distance: 5.36 Miles
Time: 1hr 12 min
Elevation Gain: 392 ft
|The Elevation Profile|