On July 7, 2021 the Jefferson Township Council adopted the Lake Hopatcong Regional Trails Plan and supported the development of the proposed trail segments. This is an ambitious multi-year effort to build out the trail network. The Township has an agreement in place with the New York New Jersey Trail Conference to help design, build and maintain the trail network. Maps and information about completed trail segments will be posted here.
1- Prospect Point Trails
At 300 Acres, Jefferson’s Prospect Point Preserve is the largest preserved property on Lake Hopatcong. It offers a range of outdoor activities. From the trailhead at Brady Road Park you can enjoy walking and biking along the white trail through the forested property on a semi smooth stone trail. The trail, which is named the James Leach Boardwalk Trail, takes you to the shore of Lake Hopatcong where you can use the boardwalk to cross over to Liffy Island. Liffy Island is 41 acres of preserved property in Lake Hopatcong. The white trail circles the island, where you can enjoy many wonderful views of the lake, and then returns to the boardwalk and your walk back. There are two other trails which connect to the white and offer a little different experience. The first is the red trail which is a short spur that reconnects to the white after a short distance. The second is the yellow trail which is a loop down to the Lake and back. This is a natural surface trail with a small elevation change.
From the Trailhead on Prospect Point Road you enjoy a different experience of the preserve. There are several multi-use trails from the parking lot that will connect you to the white trail and to Liffy Island. These are natural surface trails and can be used for hiking or mountain biking. Since they are natural surface they do have rocky areas and areas of elevation changes. It is a moderate hike with views of Lake Hopatcong although the views are better fall to early spring.
2- Castle Rock Trails
The Castle Rock Trails are neighborhood trails that connect to neighborhood streets in the Nolans Point section of Jefferson. The trails are an easy walk, with an upper trail in the forest that is slightly more challenging. The Bypass Trail, so named because it allows safe hiking without having to use Castle Rock Road, is a sloping cinder-cover trail that connects to local streets. At the north end, It connects to the Sunset Trail, which allows users to access the shore of Lake Hopatcong, where there is a bench to view the lake and sunset. Finally, the Crest Trail traverses the forest parallel to the main Bypass Trail, providing a hike in the woods with great views of Lake Hopatcong, especially in winter.
3- North Cherry Trail
4- Fire Tower Trail
Jefferson Township has a long history of cooperation with the Morris County Park Commission. The following two trails are an example of that relationship. Both of these trails are located in Mahlon Dickerson Reservation and are located on the site of the former Snow Bowl Ski Area and Bowling Green Mountain. The parking area and Trailhead are located on Weldon Road immediately south of the Jefferson Township Middle School.
The first trail is named the Snow Bowl Loop and is approximately one mile long. It follows part of the Jefferson High School Cross Country Trail. It is a mix of stone and natural surface tread. It is a nice casual walk alongside a pond, streams and several features from the former ski area. There are several benches where you can sit and relax. Great for a quick walk with your dog.
The second trail is the Forest Fire Tower Trail. This trail is much more difficult. It does involve a walk on a dirt and stone fire road up to the top of Bowling Green Mountain. It is a fairly steep hike up what was once a ski slope. At the top is a communication tower that is not your final destination. You then will walk across the top of the mountain until you reach the fire tower. That is the end of the trail. If you get there and the tower is manned give a yell up and hopefully they will invite you up. It is a spectacular view.
Please be aware that along this trail is habitat for deer, coyotes, bobcats and timber Rattlesnakes. Be aware of your surroundings and use caution on your hike.