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Warren County Abandoned Rail Hike

Join us for the sixteen year anniversery hike, celebrating the 1997 start of the informal group that grew to the non profit organization Metrotrails (www.metrotrails.org).

On March 23, 1997, I gathered a group of his closest high school buddies to hike the route of the former Warren Railroad.

What began as an informal group of friends evolved to become Metrotrails; a New Jersey Non Profit Corporation dedicated to promoting the trails of the NY/Philly metropolitan area.

We will be meeting at 9 am at the Port Colden Mall in Washington NJ, located at 404 East Washington Avenue near the Motor Vehicle, Jersey Pizza, and Hunon Wok. Park in the front of the lot closest to the highway.

We will shuttle in as few cars as possible to the north. Unfortunately, the route we followed on that first hike has become difficult for large groups, so we have amended the hike and shaved off a few miles to keep it at about 15, but added a few things to the route as well.

This is a great hike for convenience, because we will be passing food and drink pit stops at several points, so little needs to be carried.

The route includes historic rail era towns with many century plus year old structures, abandoned bridges and two railroad tunnels. Those who do not wish to walk through tunnels have the option of joining a co-leader to pass over the top, an insignificant distance detour.

We will stop for lunch at Hot Dog Johnny's in Buttsville along the way.

I will add more details, including on the Annual Hikers' Hootenanny as the time nears.

I will add more details, including on the Annual Hikers' Hootenanny as the time nears.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    What a great hike thanks again.

    March 29, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Glad you enjoyed it! Join me again any time!

      March 29, 2013

  • alison

    Thank you Mike ! My daughters and I as well as my cousin & daughter had a blast. You are a kind, passionate, wonderful leader and the people and conversations we all had individually with people we met throughout our day made it even more enjoyable. AND I WALKED A PLANK ! okay okay, I CRAWLED a plank !!! hahahaha We will be back ! Hope you had a great Hootenanny and HAPPY BIRTHDAY !

    1 · March 24, 2013

    • Michael H.

      So glad you liked it! Join us any time! My pictures are up on Facebook

      March 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great Hike! I will be back next year and make sure I am able to do the full hike then so I can wade the 2nd tunnel.

    March 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am so sad I wasn't able to attend this hike. It sounds as great as I expected it'd be. I am looking forward to next years and upcoming hikes with this group.

    March 25, 2013

  • Janice

    Ditto Alison! Mike, it as a great day. I really enjoyed the history part of the hike and always a blast meeting fellow hikers and making new friends. Thanks ! See you again at Bear Mt next week :)

    1 · March 24, 2013

    • alison

      Go Mountaineers !!! ;)

      1 · March 25, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Glad you enjoyed! Hope to see you again!!!

      1 · March 27, 2013

  • Michael H.

    Crazy, but it was a fantastic time as always! Every year it's a very special celebration for me, so thank you all who attended and had patience with such a large group! Thank you also to the leaders who helped with those responsibilities at the tunnels!

    1 · March 27, 2013

  • Johnny

    Sorry.Plans have changed. Have a great hike! See ya next time!

    March 22, 2013

  • Michael H.

    For further questions or concerns call me at[masked]

    March 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey,

    I think I may do the 10 mile option tomorrow. Are we on the same trail for the shorter hike with the rest of the group and seeing the same sights, or is this a completely different hike?

    Also, just to verify the 10 mile option start point is at Oxford Central School - 17 Kent St Oxford Township, NJ 07863?

    1 · March 22, 2013

    • alison

      wondering same...have something i'd like to make tomorrow evening and thinking of 10 mi opt, but do not want to cut hike short if I am missing too much or a great part.

      March 22, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Yes, meet Eric @ Oxford Central. The hike is the same, but you cut out last 5 miles. See full description on top left at www.metrotrails.org

      March 22, 2013

  • Janice

    You mentioned a 10 mile option. Is anyone hiking it?

    March 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Count me and my sister in for the ten mile option :)

      March 22, 2013

    • Janice

      Cool...see you in Oxford!

      March 22, 2013

  • Michael H.

    For additional updates and more info on this hike please go to www.metrotrails.org and see the posting on the top left hand side.

    March 22, 2013

  • Michael H.

    Everyone: This is going to be an absolutely HUGE group...when you arrive, you will be assigned to co-leaders. We will shuttle everyone to the beginning in waves, beginning with one of my co-leaders, Michele Valerio. Michele is a trained leader through Appalachian Mountain Club and will begin shuttling the first five cars north to the hike beginning from the meeting point.
    Additionally, my brother will assist with organization at the beginning.
    Make sure to use spaces at Port Colden Mall CLOSEST TO RT 57 FIRST. Park facing the highway in that line.
    Please get ready to move out as soon as you arrive. Michele will start the group off with the sign in sheet at the beginning point. Please be patient as we herd everyone to the start.
    There are no restrooms along the way, at least none that will normally be open in March.
    The group is usually stretched between several miles, because we have never limited participants. At the beginning, co-leaders will be identified to assist you.

    February 20, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Johnnys has one but thats over 5 miles in. 99% of parks in nj have no restrooms.... everyone just heads into woods when they need to.

      1 · March 22, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Might be an opportunity in oxford, aand there's occasionally a portajohn at bridgeville

      March 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Kid duty. Have fun!

    March 21, 2013

  • Martie

    Have to work

    March 21, 2013

  • Jerry M.

    how far

    March 19, 2013

  • Kevin B.

    Been soo looking forward to this hike but i had surgery last week and I don't think I'd be up to it this soon..

    March 21, 2013

  • Julie

    i cant wait!!! im gonna leave super early so i make it there. i suck at driving haha

    1 · March 20, 2013

  • Michael H.

    Yes. You can read about full details on the top left of the official Metrotrails website, www.metrotrails.org

    March 20, 2013

  • Amit

    Unfortunately, I have to work this weekend.

    March 20, 2013

  • Susie D

    Are you going to Hot Dog Johnny's?? That's where I left off last year, might pick up from there this year.

    March 19, 2013

    • Susie D

      Maybe I should read through ... might catch you at lunch.

      1 · March 19, 2013

  • patricia

    Iam in park slope. Brooklyn

    March 19, 2013

  • patricia

    How do I get there w no car

    March 19, 2013

  • Maurice

    Sorry to back out. I have to work on Saturday.
    Hot Dog Johnny's is a historic institution. This sounds like a fun hike.

    March 19, 2013

  • eric s.

    Have to head to
    DC this weekend instead

    March 19, 2013

  • Jerry M.

    that not bad

    March 19, 2013

  • Gina

    What is the difficulty level of this hike?

    March 18, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Depends on what you look at. The total mileage is about 15, and so some consider that alone difficult. Overall, most of the hike is flat with a few places we go up and down. There is also a way of doing a ten mile early out, but that involves meeting at a different location in the morning.

      March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I forgot my cycling club has its kickoff meeting on Sat. Enjoy the hike! Sorry I won't be joining you!

    March 18, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Too bad. I do this once a year though, and you can always pick up a copy of my guide book to hiking this route. You'll find it on my website www.metrotrails.org

      March 18, 2013

  • Tim

    Sorry, my work schedule changed.

    March 18, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Too bad...always next year!

      March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I really wanted to do this hike but I can't this time around

    March 17, 2013

    • Michael H.

      I do this hike once a year, every March! But there's always something good coming up. Also, I host long friday night hikes, some other nights if interested.

      March 18, 2013

  • Tim

    Out of town

    March 17, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Aw, too bad. Doing Bear Mountain and vicinity on 3/30!

      March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't make it after all...will try again. Enjoy!

    March 15, 2013

    • Michael H.

      I host this hike once a year, but always have something interesting going on!

      March 18, 2013

  • Lisa

    Do you have a waiting list for this event?

    March 15, 2013

    • Lisa

      Thanks for the quick reply.

      March 15, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Well, now it allowed two spaces to open!

      March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    darn. gotta work

    March 2, 2013

  • Michael H.

    As Chairman of the Warren County Board of Recreation Commission, as well as President of the Non Profit Organization Metrotrails, I would like to invite you all to witness my vision of a continuous public trail on the former Warren Railroad. A great deal of this right of way is in public hands already, waiting to be developed for regular public use.
    For this hike, please refer to my mile by mile guide to the right of way on the official Metrotrails website:
    http://www.metrotrails.org/Metrotrails/Warren_Railroad.html

    2 · February 20, 2013

  • Michael H.

    It is not uncommon for the group to get separated, this is why experienced co-leaders are assigned to assist along the way. In most cases, the route is rather clear, and so it is easy to continue on. If someone needs to stop, please let myself or a co-leader know. At the time of the hike, participants will be given cell numbers of all leaders.
    The group will separate at three points:
    1. Manunka Chunk Tunnel; participants can opt to pass over the tunnel with co leaders and avoid getting wet feet.
    2. Bridgeville; an alternative and easier road walk to Hot Dog Johnny's where we will all re-group for extended lunch break.
    3. Oxford; participants can again opt for a dry route and road walk back to rail bed.
    Within the last mile we stop at NJ's best pizzeria, Dicolas in Washington for some food, then move on to the end, but you will have the opportunity to walk directly back to cars at this point too.

    February 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What time do you expect the hike to end. I need to be back in Montclair by 7:30 on the 23rd.

    1 · January 21, 2013

    • Michael H.

      Good question! For this hike, nothing is ever the same, and sometimes participants could finish two hours apart from one another. You can expect there might be fifty participants. I will be assigning co-leaders doing different speeds. We usually stay together for the first five or so miles, or until we get to Hot Dog Johnny's, then go at different paces. I lead the intermediate speed, but more time consuming version of the hike. My co-leaders might go slower or faster, and you're welcome to go with them at any time.
      Guide books of the route will be for sale at the beginning of the hike for $5 each, which give historic footnotes of what we will be seeing. I won't be able to pass along all the information to such a large group. Trained leaders through NJ/NJ Trail Conference and Appalachian Mountain Club will likely be on board to assist.
      Typical finish time for this one would be around 6, but certainly you could finish much sooner.

      January 21, 2013

    • Michael H.

      I will post more on this as the time nears.

      January 21, 2013

  • Michael H.

    I will be arranging this hike with co-leaders and designating carpoolers from the beginning.
    Copies of the Warren Railroad mile by mile book will be available at the start for $5 each. See comment below for details on ordering it ahead of time.
    With a large group, even with co-leaders, it is difficult to keep everyone together. Please check this page in the weeks prior to the event for updates and further instructions.
    This is always a really great hike. Looking forward to meeting everyone.
    Rain or shine; wear comfortable footwear and weather appropriate clothing.

    January 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Giddy up!

    December 30, 2012

  • Michael H.

    For those who wish to know more about the Warren Railroad, since it will be tough to give all the information to such a large group, you may order my book, a hiking guide to the line, here:
    http://squirefoto.zenfolio.com/p726905919/h18d9eff1#h18d9eff1

    1 · December 27, 2012

  • Martie

    I have been trying to go on one of your hikes. I am not a regular hiker, but I stay in training to run half marathons. With that in mind would my fitness level be ok for a hike of this type. Also what basic equipment do you suggest? Thank you

    December 26, 2012

    • Michael H.

      With that sort of training, you will be just fine. This particular hike requires very little due to number of stores we pass by. It is incredibly unique. Co-leaders will bring group members past difficult spots with alternate routes, and early outs will be offered.
      Most of the route is flat, but because it's been abandoned for so long, there are changes in elevation and areas we must circumvent that are not flat.

      1 · December 26, 2012

  • Susan S.

    Love that part of the State.

    December 26, 2012

  • Maurice

    Hot Dog Johnny's is a historic institution. This sounds like a fun hike.

    1 · December 26, 2012

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