Hike Distance: 5.97 miles
Trails: Sweetwater (orange), Swordens Pond (yellow), Clear Brook (purple), Mill Pond(red)
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was cold though, which is ironic because it was in the 60s for the past week. I had planned on going up north but the trails I wanted to hike were closed for the winter. And since this park was relatively close to the house, I decided to check it out.
Double Trouble State Park encompasses an old town and is the site of an ex logging operation and at one time the biggest cranberry bog in the state. There are numerous Atlantic Cedar groves in the park and many of the trails circumvent the numerous cranberry bogs. Much of the water in the creeks is stained red due to the cedars.
Most trails are on wide sandy roads
At one point the Sweetwater trail abuts the Garden State Parkway.
For the most part, the trails are flat; there is almost no elevation gain. My total for the day was 75 feet.
The first body of water I came to on the Sweetwater trail was the Cedar Creek. After checking it out from the bridge, I climbed down some stairs to get a closer look.
There were plenty of smaller creeks undoubtedly used for moving water from the larger creeks.
The first large body of water I came to was the Sweetwater Reservoir. It was much colder on the southern side of bodies of water, as the wind was really howling.
At the top of the Sweetwater Reservoir I made a left onto the Swordens Pond trail. This was more of a “trail” then sand roads.
After walking by the southern end of Platt Reservoir, the Swordens Pond trail makes a loop. I chose to do the loop clockwise. And the trail type changed. Instead of walking on a trail, I was in a ditch. It was as if they made a fire break out of the trail. And, I caught a whiff of what I thought was a campfire.
After walking a few minutes, the smell of campfire became more prolific. It became obvious what I had come across. All around me were the results of fire. It was if someone swept out the forest, clearing the ground of leaves, pine needles, brambles, twigs, etc. It wasn’t until I got home and looked it up, the area had a prescribed burn four days ago.
Half way around the loop I came to Swordens Pond.
The evidence of fire was all around. However, the fire is good. It cleans the forest. All of the sticks, leaves and pine needs add acid to the ground, which would promote the growth of oak trees. This area would be the Oak Barrens if fire didn’t clean the sandy soil every so often.
I came to area where fire did not cross the fire break. Here’s what it looked like on the un-burned side.
Back on the Sweetwater, I continued north. Where the Nature Trail junctioned, the trail went off into a Cedar Grove.
Here’s a shot of the water in Platt Reservoir.
At a large junction there was a sign describing how a large cedar grove was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Efforts are underway to reclaim the land and repopulate it with Cedar trees.
I took the Clear Brook trail up to where it ends at Cedar Creek. The Clear Brook parallels the trail, but here is what the end of the trail looks like.
At the junction of the Mill Pond trail, there are historic buildings from the town of Double Trouble. Next to me is the packing plant.
I took the Mill Pond Trail up to the Mill Pond Reservoir. At times the return path was twenty feet next to me, across a small creek.
The middle of the trail had great views of the reservoir but were very cold due to the wind.
As I was heading back to where I parked using the Mill Pond trail, I noticed some obviously man made stones off the trail. A short spur trail took me to the Crabbe Family Cemetery which was established in 1938. There were some stones with dates going back to the late 1800s on them. And there was a stone with a 2001 date.
Commodore Edward Crabbe purchased the Double Trouble tract in 1903 and established the Double Trouble Company in 1909. His heirs sold the property to the state in 1964.
Just before I reached the car, I looked at some of the other buildings of the town.