is a directory with a trail map in the parking lot. From
there, it is about one mile to the overlook of Long Valley,
if you follow the road that goes past the rest rooms, turn
left at the trail intersection near a rock outcrop, and
the follow that trail to the overlook. From the overlook,
there is another trail that goes directly back to the parking
lots, and also a trail down to the falls of Electric Brook.
The walk back up the brook towards the parking lots requires
some climbing over rocks. There are also trails from the
far end of the upper left (on the map) parking lot, that
can be used to walk a two and a half mile loop that visits
The park offers a secluded outdoor chapel in the woods,
a challenging rock scramble down a stream bed to beautiful
waterfalls, and an overlook commanding a view of the still-agricultural
valley far below.
at the parking lot nearest the lake, boathouse and playground.
Walk down to the boathouse and cross the floating bridge.
Head up the trail into the meadow on the other side of the
lake, and turn left toward the flagpole. Then climb up to
the old lodge building. Walk to the front of the building,
through the dirt parking area and down toward the right
side of the building.
for a well-maintained stairway heading down into the woods.
This will take you past an open-air chapel, as pleasant
a spot for quiet meditation as you'll find in this county.
Continuing past the chapel the trail becomes narrower and
steeper, and the sound of Electric Brook louder, until you
are down by the brook.
left, heading toward the dam at the end of Lake George which
has a bridge, often with several fishermen, just below it.
official park map shows trails along Electric Brook but
rock scrambles are a way to describe them. The going is
steep and challenging, and you will have to pick your footholds
carefully, around rocks, along muddy slopes and over fallen
you have difficulty with this type of walking, or if there
have been recent heavy rains, I recommend an easier alternative,
described at the end of this article.
you reach the bridge, turn right to cross it and turn right
at the first path, coming back down along Electric Brook
on the other side. The path is in excellent shape for the
first few hundred feet. Look for concrete abutments with
a semi-circular cutout, former supports for a large pipe,
and down by the stream near a small waterfall you will see
the concrete foundation of a former powerhouse.
this point the trail pretty much disappears. Follow the
stream, picking your way from rock to rock. This is not
like the easy, flat rock scramble in Hacklebarney State
Park — it is a steep, sometimes hairy rock scramble over
rockslides and alongside the steep banks of a ravine.
the trail on the other side of the stream is in somewhat
better condition here, it can be difficult to cross the
stream. You will eventually make it to a major double waterfall
and feel somewhat like a pioneer in the wilderness, as you
are far from the crowds, deep in the forest, and the stream
is all you can hear.
trail suddenly reappears at the waterfall. Look up at the
falls and the ravine you just climbed down — it almost appears
that the falls are a gate to the wilderness.
left when you reach a fence marking private property and
climb up a trail that goes for a while next to that fence.
This trail is wide and obvious, but sometimes muddy due
to the prevalence of mountain springs. After a short climb
you will reach a great pile of rock that is left over from
a quarrying operation. Either scramble up the rock or follow
the trail, and you will reach an overlook that peers out
over Long Valley.
difficult trail walk is behind you now. Return from the
overlook to a junction of two well-maintained trails, almost
roads, and take the one to the right. In about five or 10
minutes you will reach a junction. Turn right on a dead-end
path to check out a huge pile of boulders that appears as
though some giant baby was playing with rocks and plopped
them randomly in the woods. This spot is a winter overlook
when the leaves are down.
to the junction and go straight ahead on another wide road-like
trail. In less than a mile a restroom building will be in
sight. Turn left at a trail before the building, then turn
right. This leads to the natural amphitheater where the
Morris County Park Commission holds several summer concerts.
Walk down the steep amphitheater (you'll probably have to
run), then turn right to walk alongside Lake George to the
boathouse, and back up to your car.
you wish to avoid the difficult parts mentioned above, you
can still see the highlights (floating bridge, chapel, old
powerhouse, overlook, falls and amphitheater) but the cost
will be a slightly longer walk that is not a loop.
the directions above to the chapel, then turn around and
return to the old lodge building. Return to the lake, turn
right, and cross the bridge below the dam. Turn right at
the first trail to view the powerhouse ruins, then return
to the lake and turn right again.
Turn right beyond the amphitheater to head toward the picnic
pavilion, then turn right at the trail marked "Overlook
0.8 Miles." This trail leads to the rock outcrop.
right at the junction, proceed down to the overlook, and
after viewing that, continue downhill to the falls. Then
reverse yourself, following the main directions back to
most recent addition to Schooley's Mountain is a new section
of Patriots Path. One part goes down the hill to Fairview
Avenue, but a more level three-quarter mile section runs
from East Springtown Road to Rock Avenue. This trail generally
follows the route of Electric Brook, and in season the plants
near the brook create a lush green environment. The Park
Commission has installed several sections of boardwalk and
three bridges, so mud should not be a problem. There is
a small gravel parking area at the start of the trail, near
a bridge on East Springtown Road; you can also reach this
trail by following the white blazes that go past the back
of the large parking area. Bicycles are not allowed on this
you can drive the still-scenic route through Long Valley
and up the mountain to the park.
DAN GOLDFISCHER of Succasunna is the author of several bicycle
guidebooks, including "Ride Guide/North Jersey"
and "Ride Guide/Central Jersey."