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Summary: A long route in the northern part of Pyramid Mountain Natural Area and around Butler Reservoir.
Trail surface: Trail is mostly moderate, some steep sections, rocks. There were some very wet sections, but we'd had an unusual amount of rain right before our hike.
Our 2-cents: This isn't a hike for a beginner or to put at the top of your "must-do" list, but maybe give it a shot. The reservoir and Pyramid sections are really pretty, but the trail runs near a lot of houses (less visible when the leaves are on the trees), and there is a lot more road walking than we like… you literally walk on several streets through a neighborhood.
Map: This route is now covered on the Jersey Highlands Trails map set and is recommended. The route excluding Butler Reservoir can be found on the park map.
Books: Trail descriptions appear in the New Jersey Walk Book.
Parking: N40 58.086 W74 21.909
This hike starts at the Kinnelon Recreation Fields, on route 511, north of the Pyramid Mountain visitor center.
Rest rooms: The bathrooms here are probably only open when games are being played, there are facilities at the Pyramid Mountain visitor center.
Hike Directions: Overview: GREEN – right on WHITE – BLUE w/ WHITE STRIPE – LEFT on BLUE – RED w/ WHITE STRIPE – LEFT on WHITE – GREEN
0.0 - The GREEN Trail starts in the north corner of the parking lot, by a gate.
0.7 - GREEN ends at WHITE. Turn RIGHT, now following WHITE.
1.1 - Come out of the woods and into a neighborhood, following the WHITE blazes while walking along the street.Make a right three times as you make your way through the neighborhood.
1.5 - Turn LEFT back into the woods, following WHITE.
1.8 - The trail comes to Fayson Lake Road and appears to end, but you need turn LEFT and walk down the street and bit, then turn RIGHT. Follow the markers down the road.
2.0 - Turn LEFT off of the road and back into the woods, continuing on WHITE.
2.8 - The WHITE trail turns LEFT. This turn was hard to spot when we hiked this.
3.0 - Turn LEFT, and start following BLUE w/ WHITE STRIPE. There is a rock cairn and a sign for the visitor's center. [WHITE goes straight]
3.3 - Turn LEFT after crossing over a causeway, now following BLUE. BLUE w/ WHITE STRIPE ends. [the road on the right goes to a parking area off of Kakeout Rd.]
The BLUE trail hugs Butler Reservoir for nice views. We stopped for a snack on a rock.
5.0 - Cross Fayson Lake Road. Continue following BLUE.
Go through some wet areas in a field (could be seasonally wet, or maybe all the time. It was very squishy for us) Continue following BLUE.
5.7 - Turn RIGHT and follow the trail down the road (Miller Road) for a bit, before it turns RIGHT back onto the trail. (There is a gate for the reservoir with BLUE blazes on the poles)
6.7 - RED w/ WHITE STRIPE starts. Now follow that. [BLUE continues to the Visitors Center. You are now in the northern part of Pyramid Mountain]
The trail heads steeply uphill over a lot of rocks.
6.9 - pass a large glacial erratic, "Whale Head Rock"
7.4 - Turn LEFT, now following WHITE. [RED w/ WHITE STRIPE ends]
7.6 - Turn LEFT and continue on WHITE. But you will want to check out the view at the start of the ORANGE trail first. [ORANGE leaves to the right]
7.8 - Turn RIGHT onto GREEN and follow that back to the parking lot.
Hiked: 3/13/11. Trail Blog: "Butler Reservoir"